The Swiss Alps extend over both the Western Alps and the Eastern Alps, encompassing an area sometimes called Central Alps. The Swiss Alps comprise almost all the highest mountains of the Alps, such as Dufourspitze, the Dom, the Liskamm, the Weisshorn, the other following major summits can be found in this list of mountains of Switzerland. Since the Middle Ages, transit across the Alps played an important role in history, the region north of St Gotthard Pass became the nucleus of the Swiss Confederacy in the early 14th century. The Alps cover 65% of Switzerlands total 41,285 square kilometres surface area, making it one of the most alpine countries. The glaciers of the Swiss Alps cover an area of 1,220 square kilometres — 3% of the Swiss territory, the Swiss Alps are situated south of the Swiss Plateau and north of the national border. The limit between the Alps and the runs from Vevey on the shores of Lake Geneva to Rorschach on the shores of Lake Constance, passing close to the cities of Thun.
The not well defined regions in Switzerland that lie on the margin of the Alps, the Swiss Prealps are mainly made of limestone and they generally do not exceed 2,500 metres. The Alpine cantons are Valais, Graubünden, Glarus, Ticino, St. Gallen, Obwalden, Schwyz, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Fribourg and Zug. The countries with which Switzerland shares mountain ranges of the Alps are, Italy, the Alps are usually divided into two main parts, the Western Alps and Eastern Alps, whose division is along the Rhine from Lake Constance to the Splügen Pass. The western ranges occupy the greatest part of Switzerland while the more numerous eastern ranges are smaller and are all situated in the canton of Graubünden. The latter are part of the Central Eastern Alps, except the Ortler Alps which belong to the Southern Limestone Alps, the Pennine and Bernina Range are the highest ranges of the country, they contain respectively 38,9 and 1 summit over 4000 metres. The lowest range is the Appenzell Alps culminating at 2,500 metres, Western Alps Eastern Alps The north side of the Swiss Alps is drained by the Rhône, Rhine and Inn while the south side is mainly drained by the Ticino.
The rivers on the empty into the Mediterranean and Black Sea. The major triple watersheds in the Alps are located within the country, they are, Piz Lunghin, Witenwasserenstock, between the Witenwasserenstock and Piz Lunghin runs the European Watershed separating the basin of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. The European watershed lies in fact only partially on the main chain, Switzerland possesses 6% of Europes fresh water, and is sometimes referred to as the water tower of Europe. Since the highest dams are located in Alpine regions, many mountain lakes are artificial and are used as hydroelectric reservoirs. Some large artificial lakes can be found above 2,300 m, the melting of low-altitude glaciers can generate new lakes, such as the 0.25 km² large Triftsee which formed between 2002–2003. The following table gives the area above 2000 m and 3000 m
Riffelalp is a hamlet in the municipality of Zermatt in the canton of Valais. It is located at a height of 2,222 metres above sea level, just above the tree line, once the site of the prestigious Riffelalp Grand Hotel, today Riffelalp mainly consists of a large hotel complex, the Riffelalp Resort 2222m, and a chapel. Riffelalp is connected to Zermatt by the Gornergrat railway, although Riffelalp railway station is located some distance from the resort, the 675 metres long Riffelalp tram links the two together. The famous Zermatt hotelier Alexander Seiler first spotted the potential of the Riffelalp meadow, with its view of the Matterhorn, in 1856 and it wasnt, until 1878 that construction of the Riffelalp Grand Hotel got underway, and the hotel opened in 1884. In 1898, the Gornergrat railway was opened, and the year the hotel built the Riffelalp tram to connect it to the railway. Around this time, the capacity of the hotel reached 280 rooms, during the night of 14 February 1961, the Riffelalp Grand Hotel was destroyed in a fire.
In 1986 worked commenced on the refurbishment of the two annex, which had survived the fire, and 1988 the Riffelalp was again open to visitors, in 1998, work started on the construction of the new Riffelalp Resort on the site of the old grand hotel. Media related to Riffelalp at Wikimedia Commons Riffelalp Resort
The Pennine Alps, known as the Valais Alps, and formerly called Alpes Poeninae, are a mountain range in the western part of the Alps. They are located in Switzerland and Italy, the Italian side is drained by the rivers Dora Baltea and Toce, tributaries of the Po. The Swiss side is drained by the Rhône, the Great St Bernard Tunnel, under the Great St Bernard Pass, leads from Martigny, Switzerland to Aosta. The main chain runs from west to east on the border between Italy and Switzerland, from Mont Vélan, the first high summit east of St Bernard Pass, the chain rarely goes below 3000 metres and contains many four-thousanders such as Matterhorn or Monte Rosa. Unlike many other ranges, the higher peaks are often located outside the main chain
Alpine Club (UK)
The Alpine Club was founded in London in 1857 and is the worlds first mountaineering club. It is UK mountaineerings acknowledged senior club, on 22 December 1857 a group of British mountaineers met at Ashleys Hotel in London. All were active in the Alps and instrumental in the development of alpine mountaineering during the age of alpinism. It was at this meeting that the Alpine Club, under the chairmanship of E. S. Kennedy, was born, John Ball was the first president and Kennedy, the first vice-president, succeeded him as president of the club from 1860 to 1863. It moved its headquarters to the Metropole Hotel, for climbing, a rope was required which would be both strong and light so that lengths of it could be carried easily. A committee of the club tested samples from suppliers and prepared a specification, the official Alpine Club Rope was made by John Buckingham of Bloomsbury. It was made from three strands of manila hemp, treated to be rot proof and marked with a red thread of worsted yarn.
One hundred and fifty years later, the Alpine Club continues, and its members remain active in the Alps. For many years it had the characteristics of a London-based Gentlemens club, however, it still requires prospective members to be proposed and seconded by existing members. These higher technical standards were often to be found in such as the Alpine Climbing Group. The club has produced a suite of guidebooks which cover some of the more popular Alpine mountaineering regions and it holds extensive book and photo libraries as well as an archive of historical artifacts which are regularly lent out to exhibitions. The clubs history has recently been documented by George Band in his book Summit,150 Years of the Alpine Club and its members activities are recounted annually in the clubs publication the Alpine Journal. As of 2009, the subscription costs between £39 and £60 per year, with a £27 rate for younger members. In 1895 the club moved to 23 Savile Row, and in June 1907, from 1937 to 1990 the club was based at 74, South Audley Street, in Mayfair, London.
In 1936–1937 the surveying firm of Pilditch and Company had converted the ground floor of the building into premises for the club. The clubs library was at the back of the building, in what was once the picture gallery of Sir William Cuthbert Quilter. In 1990 the club sold its lease of 74, South Audley Street and briefly shared quarters with the Ski Club of Great Britain at 118, Eaton Square. In 1991 the Alpine Club acquired the freehold of a five-storey Victorian warehouse at 55, Charlotte Road, on the edge of the City of London, the clubs lecture room, bunk-house and archives are all housed there
It is a measure of the independence of a summit. A peaks key col is a point on this contour line. By convention, the prominence of Mount Everest, the Earths highest mountain, is taken to equal the elevation of its summit above sea level, if the peaks prominence is P metres, to get from the summit to any higher terrain one must descend at least P metres. Together with the convention for Mount Everest, this implies that the prominence of any island or continental highpoint is equal to its elevation above sea level, for every ridge connecting the peak to higher terrain, find the lowest point on the ridge. The key col is defined as the highest of these cols, the prominence is the difference between the elevation of the peak and the elevation of the key col. The following mental exercise may illustrate the meaning of topographic prominence, imagine you are standing at the top of a peak and imagine that an imaginary sea level rises to your feet. Now slowly lower the sea level and an imaginary island appears beneath your feet.
Your island will grow and will merge with other islands that emerge, the parent peak may be either close or far from the subject peak. The summit of Mount Everest is the parent peak of Aconcagua at a distance of 17,755 km, the key col may be close or far from the subject peak. The key col for Aconcagua is the Bering Strait at a distance of 13,655 km, the key col for the South Summit of Mount Everest is about 100 m distant. Prominence is interesting to many mountaineers because it is a measurement that is strongly correlated with the subjective significance of a summit. Peaks with low prominences are either subsidiary tops of some higher summit or relatively insignificant independent summits, peaks with high prominences tend to be the highest points around and are likely to have extraordinary views. Only summits with a sufficient degree of prominence are regarded as independent mountains, for example, the worlds second-highest mountain is K2. While Mount Everests South Summit is taller than K2, it is not considered an independent mountain because it is a subsummit of the main summit, many lists of mountains take topographic prominence as a criterion for inclusion, or cutoff.
John and Anne Nuttalls The Mountains of England and Wales uses a cutoff of 15 m, in the contiguous United States, the famous list of fourteeners uses a cutoff of 300 ft /91 m. Also in the U. S.2000 feet of prominence has become a threshold that signifies that a peak has major stature. This generates lists of peaks ranked by prominence, which are different from lists ranked by elevation. Such lists tend to emphasize isolated high peaks, such as range or island high points, one advantage of a prominence-ranked list is that it needs no cutoff, since a peak with high prominence is automatically an independent peak
A summit is a point on a surface that is higher in elevation than all points immediately adjacent to it. Mathematically, a summit is a maximum in elevation. The topographic terms acme, apex and zenith are synonymous, the UIAA definition is that a summit is independent if it has a prominence of 30 metres or more, it is a mountain if it has a prominence of at least 300 metres. This can be summarised as follows, A pyramidal peak is an exaggerated form produced by ice erosion of a mountain top, Summit may refer to the highest point along a line, trail, or route. In many parts of the western United States, the term refers to the highest point along a road, highway. For example, the highest point along Interstate 80 in California is referred to as Donner Summit while the highest point on Interstate 5 is Siskiyou Mountain Summit, geoid Hill List of highest mountains Maxima and minima Nadir Summit accordance Peak finder
St. Niklaus, Switzerland
St. Niklaus is a village and a municipality in the Mattertal, part of the district of Visp in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. St. Niklaus is first mentioned in 1233 as chousun, in 1272 it was mentioned as ecclesia Sancti Nicholai de Chouson, Gebreitun de Gazun,1388 in villa sti nicolai de chosun, niu a fr Saint-Nicolas. Josef Marie Lochmatter, his best friend Peter Knubel, his brother-in-law Alois Pollinger, and Josef Imboden and they had a monopoly on Matterhorn ascents. Moreover, as the first Swiss guide, Peter Knubel climbed a mountain outside the Alps in 1874, Alois Pollinger invented the double-rope system of descent with. He used this technique with success at the Ridge of Ferpècle, Josef Imboden was the first Swiss to ascend a 6,000 meter-high in the Himalayas in 1883, where we find the highest mountains in the world. The fathers trained the sons early in their expeditions. The initiators of the new school came out of their ranks for the time, a fact that gave a new input to alpinism.
They werent satisfied to climb a mountain, but they always chose more and more difficult routes. They were the first ski-guides and were pioneers overseas, the mountain guides of St. Niklaus have effected about 300 first ascents a little bit everywhere in the world. In 1995 a monument for all guides of St. Niklaus was built, moreover, in 2000 a museum of the mountain guides was opened in St. Niklaus. St. Niklaus has an area, as of 2011, of 89.3 square kilometers, of this area,9. 8% is used for agricultural purposes, while 21. 5% is forested. Of the rest of the land,1. 5% is settled and 67. 2% is unproductive land, the municipality is located in the Visp district. It is the settlement in the Matter valley. It consists of the settlements of Riedmatten, Stalu, Ze Schwidernu, Herbriggen, Breitmatten on the valley floor and the alpine settlement of Gasenried on the eastern slope. St Niklaus sits in the Mattertal, the valley that runs from Stalden to Zermatt. There are several footpath nets for Alpine hikers leading up on the mountains, the closest hut is the Topali hut at the west side of the village.
The Bordier hut at the east side can be accessed easily from St Niklaus, the highest mountain close to St Niklaus is Brunegghorn, reaching almost 4,000 m. In 1866 the municipality was created through the merger of St. Niklaus Dorf, the municipality is a stop on section of the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn between Visp railway station and Zermatt railway station
A mountain is a large landform that stretches above the surrounding land in a limited area, usually in the form of a peak. A mountain is steeper than a hill. Mountains are formed through tectonic forces or volcanism and these forces can locally raise the surface of the earth. Mountains erode slowly through the action of rivers, weather conditions, a few mountains are isolated summits, but most occur in huge mountain ranges. High elevations on mountains produce colder climates than at sea level and these colder climates strongly affect the ecosystems of mountains, different elevations have different plants and animals. Because of the less hospitable terrain and climate, mountains tend to be used less for agriculture and more for resource extraction and recreation, the highest mountain on Earth is Mount Everest in the Himalayas of Asia, whose summit is 8,850 m above mean sea level. The highest known mountain on any planet in the Solar System is Olympus Mons on Mars at 21,171 m, there is no universally accepted definition of a mountain.
Elevation, relief, steepness and continuity have been used as criteria for defining a mountain, whether a landform is called a mountain may depend on local usage. The highest point in San Francisco, California, is called Mount Davidson, notwithstanding its height of 300 m, Mount Scott outside Lawton, Oklahoma is only 251 m from its base to its highest point. Whittows Dictionary of Physical Geography states Some authorities regard eminences above 600 metres as mountains, in addition, some definitions include a topographical prominence requirement, typically 100 or 500 feet. For a while, the US defined a mountain as being 1,000 feet or taller, any similar landform lower than this height was considered a hill. However, the United States Geological Survey concludes that these terms do not have technical definitions in the US, using these definitions, mountains cover 33% of Eurasia, 19% of South America, 24% of North America, and 14% of Africa. As a whole, 24% of the Earths land mass is mountainous, there are three main types of mountains, volcanic and block.
All three types are formed from plate tectonics, when portions of the Earths crust move, compressional forces, isostatic uplift and intrusion of igneous matter forces surface rock upward, creating a landform higher than the surrounding features. The height of the feature makes it either a hill or, if higher and steeper, major mountains tend to occur in long linear arcs, indicating tectonic plate boundaries and activity. Volcanoes are formed when a plate is pushed below another plate, at a depth of around 100 km, melting occurs in rock above the slab, and forms magma that reaches the surface. When the magma reaches the surface, it builds a volcanic mountain. Examples of volcanoes include Mount Fuji in Japan and Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, the magma does not have to reach the surface in order to create a mountain, magma that solidifies below ground can still form dome mountains, such as Navajo Mountain in the US
Zermatt is a municipality in the district of Visp in the German-speaking section of the canton of Valais in Switzerland. It has a population of about 5,800 inhabitants, the town lies at the upper end of Mattertal at an elevation of 1,620 m, at the foot of Switzerlands highest peaks. It lies about 10 km from the over 10,800 ft high Theodul Pass bordering Italy, Zermatt is famed as a mountaineering and ski resort of the Swiss Alps. The year round population is 5,759, though there may be several times as many tourists in Zermatt at any one time. Much of the economy is based on tourism, with about half of the jobs in town in hotels or restaurants. Just over one-third of the permanent population was born in the town, the name of Zermatt, as well as that of the Matterhorn itself, derives from the alpine meadows, or matten, in the valley. The name appeared first as Zur Matte and became Zermatt and it does not appear until 1495 on a map or 1546 in a text, but may have been employed long before. Praborno or Prato Borno are the names of Zermatt, they appear in the ancient maps as early as the thirteenth century.
The Romand-speaking people from the Aosta Valley and from the Romand-speaking part of canton Wallis used this name until about 1860 in the form of Praborne, the reason of this change from Praborno to Zermatt is attributed to the gradual replacement of the Romance-speaking people by German-speaking colony. The town of Zermatt lies at the end of the Matter Valley. Zermatt is almost completely surrounded by the mountains of the Pennine Alps among which Monte Rosa. It is followed by the Dom, Lyskamm and the Matterhorn, most of the Alpine four-thousanders are located around Zermatt or in the neighbouring valleys. The town of Zermatt, while dense, is geographically small, there are three main streets which run along the banks of the river Matter Vispa, and numerous cross-streets, especially around the station and the church which forms the centre of Zermatt. In general anything is at most a thirty-minute walk away, there are several suburbs within Zermatt. Winkelmatten, which was once a hamlet, lies on a hill on the southern side.
Steinmatten is located on the bank of the main river. Many hamlets are located in the valleys above Zermatt, however they are not usually inhabited all year round, zum See lies south of Zermatt on the west bank of the Gorner gorge, near Furi where a cable car station is located. On the side of Zmutt valley lies the hamlet of Zmutt, findeln is located in the eastern valley above the Findelbach river