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
Mont Blanc massif
The Mont Blanc massif is a mountain range in the Alps, located mostly in France and Italy, but straddling Switzerland at its northeastern end. It contains eleven major independent summits, each over 4,000 metres in height, and is named after Mont Blanc, the mountains of the massif consist mostly of granite and gneiss rocks, and at high altitudes the vegetation is an arctic-alpine flora. The valleys that delimit the massif were used as communication routes by the Romans until they left around the 5th century AD, the region has remained of some military importance through to the mid-20th century. A peasant farming economy operated within these valleys for centuries until the glaciers. Word of these impressive sights began to spread, and Mont Blanc was finally climbed in 1786, the region is now a major tourist destination, drawing in over six million visitors per year. It provides a range of opportunities for outdoor recreation and activities such as sight-seeing, hiking. Around one hundred people a year die across its mountains and, bodies have been lost, access into the mountains is facilitated by cable cars, mountain railways and mountain huts which offer overnight refuge to climbers and skiers.
The long-distance Tour du Mont Blanc hiking trail circumnavigates the whole massif in an 11-day trek of 170 kilometres, the Mont Blanc Tunnel connects the French town of Chamonix on the northern side with the Italian town of Courmayeur in the south. The high mountains have provided opportunities for scientific research, including neutrino measurements within the Tunnel. The Mont Blanc massif is 46 kilometres long and lies in a southwest to northeasterly direction across the borders of France, Italy, at its widest point the massif is 20 km across. The northern side of the massif lies mostly within France, and is bounded by the valley of the River Arve, containing the towns of Argentière, Chamonix and Les Houches. The southern side of the massif lies mostly within Italy and is bounded by the Val Veny, from Courmayeur these waters flow southwards as the Dora Baltea towards Aosta, eventually joining the Po river. However, the southwestern end of the massif does lie within France and is bounded by the Vallée des Glaciers.
The northeastern end of the massif falls within Switzerland, and is bounded by a valley, confusingly called Val Ferret. Its watercourse, la Dranse de Ferret, flows northwards to join the Rhône at Martigny, the borders of all three countries converge at a tripoint near the summit of Mont Dolent at an altitude of 3,820 metres. From here the border turns southwards over the Dômes de Miage, the Swiss – Italian border runs southwest from Mont Dolent, down to the twin passes of Col Ferret. The massif contains 11 main summits over 4,000 metres in altitude, crowning the massif is Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps and in western Europe. From the summit of Mont Blanc to the River Arve near Chamonix there is a 3,800 metres drop over a distance of just 8 kilometres, because of its great elevation, much of the massif is snow- and ice-covered, and has been deeply dissected by glaciers
They are considered to be high-level experts in mountaineering, and are hired to instruct or lead individuals or small groups who require this advanced expertise. Their skills usually include climbing and hiking and their knowledge includes furthermore the topics rocks, weather, navigation and health, each practically and theoretically. Mountain guides, or more formally high mountain guides, are employed by groups or individuals assuring the safety of the climbing or skiing party and this professional class of guides arose in the middle of the 19th century when Alpine climbing became recognized as a sport. Certification is earned through an examination process encompassing rock climbing, alpine climbing. Typically lasting between 3 and 7 years, mountain guide certification required a level of commitment, dedication. In addition to assuring safety, professional mountain guides frequently offer other services to their clients. These services can improve the alpine experience, especially when the client climber has limited time or equipment.
Mountain guides are commonly organized in national and international associations, the worlds oldest guides association is the Compagnie des guides de Chamonix, established in Chamonix in 1821. It remains today the largest association with nearly 250 mountain guides
Savoy is a cultural region in Western Europe. It comprises roughly the territory of the Western Alps between Lake Geneva in the north and Dauphiné in the south, the historical land of Savoy emerged as the feudal territory of the House of Savoy during the 11th to 14th centuries. The historical territory is shared between the countries of France and Switzerland. Installed by Rudolph III, King of Burgundy, officially in 1003 and it ruled the County of Savoy to 1416 and the Duchy of Savoy from 1416 to 1860. The territory of Savoy was annexed to France in 1792 under the French First Republic, victor Emmanuels dynasty, the House of Savoy, retained its Italian lands of Piedmont and Liguria and became the ruling dynasty of Italy. In modern France, Savoy is part of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, following its annexation to France in 1860, the territory of Savoy was divided administratively into two separate departments and Haute-Savoie. The traditional capital remains Chambéry, on the rivers Leysse and Albane, hosting the castle of the House of Savoy, the capital of the Duchy remained at the traditional Savoyard capital of Chambéry until 1563, when it was moved to Turin.
The region was occupied by the Allobroges, a Celtic people that in 121 BC were subdued by the Roman Empire, the name Savoy stems from the Late Latin Sapaudia, referring to a fir forest. It is first recorded in Ammianus Marcellinus, to describe the part of Maxima Sequanorum. According to the Gallic Chronicle of 452, it was separated from the rest of Burgundian territories in 443 and this latter territory comprised what would become known as Savoy and Provence. From the 10th to 14th century, parts of what would ultimately become Savoy remained within the Kingdom of Arles. Beginning in the 11th century, the rise to power of the House of Savoy is reflected in the increasing territory of their County of Savoy between 1003 and 1416. The County of Savoy was detached de jure from the Kingdom of Arles by Emperor Charles IV in 1361, on February 19,1416, Holy Roman Emperor, made the County of Savoy an independent duchy, with Amadeus VIII as the first duke. Straddling the Alps, Savoy lay within two competing spheres of influence, a French sphere and a North Italian one, at the time of the Renaissance, Savoy showed only modest development.
Its towns were few and small, Savoy derived its subsistence from agriculture. The geographic location of Savoy was of military importance, during the interminable wars between France and Spain over the control of northern Italy, Savoy was important to France because it provided access to Italy. Savoy was important to Spain because it served as a buffer between France and the Spanish held lands in Italy, in 1563 Emmanuel Philibert moved the capital from Chambéry to Turin, which was less vulnerable to French interference. Vaud was annexed by Bern in 1536, and Savoy officially ceded Vaud to Bern in the Treaty of Lausanne of 30 October 1564
Champex is a village located in the French-speaking Swiss canton of Valais, part of the municipality of Orsières. The village lies at 1,470 metres on the shore of Lac de Champex and it is a starting point for many hikes into the surrounding mountains and huts. Champex is a ski resort. The Champex Pass is located a few hundred metres west of Champex, tourist office http, //www. champex. info/ website in English providing details of village, accommodation, etc
In climbing, a first ascent is the first successful, documented attainment of the top of a mountain, or the first to follow a particular climbing route. First ascents are notable because they entail genuine exploration, with risks, challenges. The person who performs the first ascent is called the first ascensionist, the details of the first ascents of even many prominent mountains are scanty or unknown, sometimes the only evidence of prior summiting is a cairn, artifacts, or inscriptions at the top. Today, first ascents are generally recorded and usually mentioned in guidebooks. Overwhelmingly, the idea of a first ascent is a one, especially in places such as Africa. There may be little or no evidence or documentation about the climbing activities of indigenous peoples living near the mountain. The term is used when referring to ascents made using a specific technique or taking a specific route, such as via the North Face. In rock climbing, some of the earlier first ascents, particularly for difficult routes, involved a mix of free, as a result, purist free climbers have developed the designation first free ascent to acknowledge ascents intentionally made more challenging by using equipment for protection only.
Some other first ascents could be recorded for particular mountains or routes, one is the First Winter Ascent, which is, as the name easily suggests, the first ascent made during winter season. This is most important where the climate of winter is a factor in increasing the difficulty grade of the route, in the Northern Hemisphere conventional winter ascents are made between December 21 and March 21 and are not related to the conditions. Also in the Himalayan area, although Nepal and Chinas winter season permits start on December 1, another is the First Solo Ascent, which is the first ascent made by a single climber. This is most important on high-level rock climbing, when the climber has to provide his own security or even when climbing without any protection at all, another type of ascent, known as FFA is the first female ascent. The term last ascent has been used to refer to an ascent of a mountain or face that has changed to such an extent – often because of rockfall – that the route no longer exists.
It can be used facetiously to refer to a climb that is so unpleasant or unaesthetic that no one would willingly repeat the first ascent partys ordeal. List of first ascents List of first ascents in the Alps List of first ascents in the Himalaya Glossary of climbing terms Alpinist Magazine – Peter Mortimers First Ascent, Issue 17
Aiguille Blanche de Peuterey
The Aiguille Blanche de Peuterey is a mountain of the Mont Blanc massif in Italy. It is considered the most difficult and serious of the alpine 4000-m mountains to climb, there are three tops to the mountain, Pointe Güssfeldt Pointe Seymour King Pointe Jones The three tops are named after Paul Güssfeldt, Henry Seymour King and Humphrey Owen Jones. The highest point, Pointe Güssfeldt, was first climbed by Henry Seymour King with guides Emile Rey, Ambros Supersaxo and Aloys Anthamatten on 31 July 1885. In July 1882, Francis Maitland Balfour, a young English professor, james Eccles, with guides Alphonse and Michel Payot, made the first ascent of the upper part of the ridge during their first ascent of Mont Blanc de Courmayeur on 31 July 1877. The main ridge itself was first climbed via a couloir on the Brenva face by Paul Güssfeldt with Emile Rey, Christian Klucker, the first ascent of the complete ridge including the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey was on 28–31 July 1934 by Adolf Göttner, Ludwig Schmaderer and Ferdinand Krobath.
The Aiguille Blanche de Peuterey on SummitPost
Aiguille du Dru
The Aiguille du Dru is a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif in the French Alps. It is situated to the east of the village of Les Praz in the Chamonix valley, the mountains highest summit is Grande Aiguille du Dru 3,754 m Another, slightly lower sub-summit is, Petite Aiguille du Dru 3,733 m. The two summits are located on the west ridge of the Aiguille Verte and are connected to other by the Brèche du Dru. The north face of the Petit Dru is considered one of the six great north faces of the Alps. Dent, in his description of the climb, Those who follow us, taken together, it affords the most continuously interesting rock climb with which I am acquainted. There is no wearisome tramp over moraine, no great extent of snow fields to traverse, sleeping out as we did, it would be possible to ascend and return to Chamonix in about 16 to 18 hrs. But the mountain is never safe when snow is on the rocks, the best time for the expedition would be, in ordinary seasons, in the month of August. The rocks are sound and are peculiarly unlike those of other mountains, from the moment the glacier is left, hard climbing begins, and the hands as well as the feet are continuously employed.
The difficulties are therefore enormously increased if the rocks be glazed or cold, the Petit Dru was climbed in the following year, on 29 August 1879, by J. E. Charlet-Straton, P. Payot and F. Follignet via the south face and the south-west ridge. The first traverse of both summits of the Drus was by E. Fontaine and J. Ravanel on 23 August 1901, the first winter traverse of the Drus was by Armand Charlet and Camille Devouassoux on 25 February 1938. In 1889 both peaks of the Dru were climbed for the first time from the Petit Dru to the Grand Dru by two parties. One party contained Katharine Richardson and guides Emile Rey and Jean-Baptiste Bich, and these 1000 m-high rock faces have seen serious rockfalls in 1950,1997,2003,2005 and 2011, which have considerably affected the structure of the mountain and destroyed a number of routes. Seven years later, from 24–26 July 1962, Gary Hemming and Royal Robbins climbed the American Direct, on 10–13 August 1965, Royal Robbins, this time accompanied by John Harlin, climbed the American Direttissima.
This route was destroyed by the 2005 rockfall, on 4 September 1913 a party of climbers led by Camille Simond and Roberts Charlet-Straton attempted to carry a hollow metal statue of Our Lady of Lourdes up the peak. The Aiguille du Dru on SummitPost
Quartz is the second most abundant mineral in Earths continental crust, behind feldspar. There are many different varieties of quartz, several of which are semi-precious gemstones, since antiquity, varieties of quartz have been the most commonly used minerals in the making of jewelry and hardstone carvings, especially in Eurasia. The word quartz is derived from the German word Quarz and its Middle High German ancestor twarc, the Ancient Greeks referred to quartz as κρύσταλλος derived from the Ancient Greek κρύος meaning icy cold, because some philosophers apparently believed the mineral to be a form of supercooled ice. Today, the rock crystal is sometimes used as an alternative name for the purest form of quartz. Quartz belongs to the crystal system. The ideal crystal shape is a six-sided prism terminating with six-sided pyramids at each end, well-formed crystals typically form in a bed that has unconstrained growth into a void, usually the crystals are attached at the other end to a matrix and only one termination pyramid is present.
However, doubly terminated crystals do occur where they develop freely without attachment, a quartz geode is such a situation where the void is approximately spherical in shape, lined with a bed of crystals pointing inward. α-quartz crystallizes in the crystal system, space group P3121 and P3221 respectively. β-quartz belongs to the system, space group P6222 and P6422. These space groups are truly chiral, both α-quartz and β-quartz are examples of chiral crystal structures composed of achiral building blocks. The transformation between α- and β-quartz only involves a comparatively minor rotation of the tetrahedra with respect to one another, although many of the varietal names historically arose from the color of the mineral, current scientific naming schemes refer primarily to the microstructure of the mineral. Color is an identifier for the cryptocrystalline minerals, although it is a primary identifier for the macrocrystalline varieties. Pure quartz, traditionally called rock crystal or clear quartz, is colorless and transparent or translucent, common colored varieties include citrine, rose quartz, smoky quartz, milky quartz, and others.
The most important distinction between types of quartz is that of macrocrystalline and the microcrystalline or cryptocrystalline varieties, the cryptocrystalline varieties are either translucent or mostly opaque, while the transparent varieties tend to be macrocrystalline. Chalcedony is a form of silica consisting of fine intergrowths of both quartz, and its monoclinic polymorph moganite. Other opaque gemstone varieties of quartz, or mixed rocks including quartz, often including contrasting bands or patterns of color, are agate, carnelian or sard, heliotrope, amethyst is a form of quartz that ranges from a bright to dark or dull purple color. The worlds largest deposits of amethysts can be found in Brazil, Uruguay, France, sometimes amethyst and citrine are found growing in the same crystal. It is referred to as ametrine, an amethyst is formed when there is iron in the area where it was formed
The chamois has been introduced to the South Island of New Zealand. Some subspecies of chamois are strictly protected in the EU under the European Habitats Directive, the English name comes from French chamois. The latter is derived from Gaulish camox, itself perhaps borrowing from some Alpine language, the Gaulish form underlies German Gemse, Gams, Gämse, Italian Camoscio, Ladin Ciamorz. The usual pronunciation for the animal is UK /ˈʃæmwɑː/ or US /ʃæmˈwɑː/, when referring to chamois leather, and in New Zealand often for the animal itself, it is /ˈʃæmi/, and sometimes spelt shammy or chamy. The plural of chamois is spelled the same as the singular, however, as with many other quarry species, the plural for the animal is often pronounced the same as the singular. The Dutch name for the chamois is gems, and the male is called a gemsbok, in Afrikaans, the name gemsbok came to refer to a species of Subsaharan antelope of the genus Oryx, and this meaning of gemsbok has been adopted into English.
The chamois are in the subfamily of the family Bovidae. A fully grown chamois reaches a height of 70–80 cm and measures 107–137 cm, which weigh 30–60 kg, are slightly larger than females, which weigh 25–45 kg. Both males and females have short, straightish horns which are hooked backwards near the tip, in summer, the fur has a rich brown colour which turns to a light grey in winter. Distinct characteristics are white contrasting marks on the sides of the head with pronounced black stripes below the eyes, a white rump, female chamois and their young live in herds of up to 15 to 30 individuals, adult males tend to live solitarily for most of the year. During the rut, males engage in battles for the attention of unmated females. An impregnated female undergoes a period of 170 days, after which a single kid is usually born in May or early June - on rare occasions, twins may be born. If a mother is killed, other females in the herd may try to raise the kid, the kid is weaned at six months of age and is fully grown by one year of age.
However, the kids do not reach maturity until they are three to four years old, although some females may mate at as early two years old. Chamois eat various types of vegetation, including grasses and herbs during the summer and conifers, barks. Primarily diurnal in activity, they often rest around mid-day and may actively forage during moonlit nights, Chamois can reach an age of 22 years in captivity, although the maximum recorded in the wild is from 15 to 17 years of age. Common causes of mortality can include avalanches and predation, at present, humans are the main predator of Chamois. In the past, the predators were Eurasian lynxes, Persian leopards and gray wolves, with some predation possibly by brown bears