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
A mountain range is a geographic area containing numerous geologically related mountains. A mountain system or system of ranges, sometimes is used to combine several geological features that are geographically related. Mountain ranges are usually segmented by highlands or mountain passes and valleys, individual mountains within the same mountain range do not necessarily have the same geologic structure or petrology. They may be a mix of different orogenic expressions and terranes, for example thrust sheets, uplifted blocks, fold mountains, most geologically young mountain ranges on the Earths land surface are associated with either the Pacific Ring of Fire or the Alpide Belt. The Andes is 7,000 kilometres long and is considered the worlds longest mountain system. The Alpide belt includes Indonesia and southeast Asia, through the Himalaya, the belt includes other European and Asian mountain ranges. The Himalayas contain the highest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest, mountain ranges outside of these two systems include the Arctic Cordillera, the Urals, the Appalachians, the Scandinavian Mountains, the Altai Mountains and the Hijaz Mountains.
If the definition of a range is stretched to include underwater mountains. The mountain systems of the earth are characterized by a tree structure, the sub-range relationship is often expressed as a parent-child relationship. For example, the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Blue Ridge Mountains are sub-ranges of the Appalachian Mountains, the Appalachians are the parent of the White Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains, and the White Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains are children of the Appalachians. The position of mountains influences climate, such as rain or snow, when air masses move up and over mountains, the air cools producing orographic precipitation. As the air descends on the side, it warms again and is drier. Often, a shadow will affect the leeward side of a range. Mountain ranges are constantly subjected to forces which work to tear them down. Erosion is at work while the mountains are being uplifted and long after until the mountains are reduced to low hills, rivers are traditionally believed to be the principle erosive factor on mountain ranges, with their ability of bedrock incision and sediment transport.
The rugged topography of a range is the product of erosion. The basins adjacent to a mountain range are filled with sediments which are buried and turned into sedimentary rock. The early Cenozoic uplift of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado provides an example and this mass of rock was removed as the range was actively undergoing uplift
The Breithorn is a mountain range of the Pennine Alps with its highest peak of the same name, located on the border between Switzerland and Italy. It lies on the chain of the Alps, approximately halfway between the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa and east of the Theodul Pass. Most of the massif is glaciated and includes several peaks, all located east of the main summit, the Central Breithorn, the western Breithorn Twin, the Gendarm. The main summit is distinguished by the name Western Breithorn. The nearest settlements are Zermatt and St-Jacques, the Breithorn is considered the most easily climbed 4,000 m Alpine peak. This is due to the Klein Matterhorn cable car which takes climbers to over 3,820 m from Zermatt for a starting point. The standard route is from the Italian side of the mountain, inexperienced mountaineers may run into severe difficulty if caution is not taken near cornices or in bad weather. For experienced climbers wanting more of a challenge, the traverse of the Breithorn crest is another option.
The Breithorn was first climbed in 1813 by Henry Maynard, Joseph-Marie Couttet, Jean Gras, Jean-Baptiste Erin, media related to Breithorn at Wikimedia Commons Breithorn on SummitPost Breithorn on Peakware - photos Breithorn on 4000er. de Breithorn on WinterClimb. com - photos, practical info
Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a federal republic in Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, and the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in western-Central Europe, and is bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning an area of 41,285 km2. The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. The country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation, it has not been in a state of war internationally since 1815, nevertheless, it pursues an active foreign policy and is frequently involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to international organisations.
On the European level, it is a member of the European Free Trade Association. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties, spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions, French and Romansh. Due to its diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names, Suisse, Svizzera. On coins and stamps, Latin is used instead of the four living languages, Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF. Zürich and Geneva have each been ranked among the top cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with the former ranked second globally, according to Mercer. The English name Switzerland is a compound containing Switzer, a term for the Swiss. The English adjective Swiss is a loan from French Suisse, in use since the 16th century.
The name Switzer is from the Alemannic Schwiizer, in origin an inhabitant of Schwyz and its associated territory, the Swiss began to adopt the name for themselves after the Swabian War of 1499, used alongside the term for Confederates, used since the 14th century. The data code for Switzerland, CH, is derived from Latin Confoederatio Helvetica. The toponym Schwyz itself was first attested in 972, as Old High German Suittes, ultimately related to swedan ‘to burn’
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
The Matterhorn is a mountain of the Alps, straddling the main watershed and border between Switzerland and Italy. It is a huge and near-symmetrical pyramidal peak in the extended Monte Rosa area of the Pennine Alps, whose summit is 4,478 metres high, making it one of the highest summits in the Alps and Europe. The four steep faces, rising above the glaciers, face the four compass points and are split by the Hörnli, Leone. The mountain overlooks the Swiss town of Zermatt in the canton of Valais to the north-east, just east of the Matterhorn is Theodul Pass, the main passage between the two valleys on its north and south sides and a trade route since the Roman Era. The Matterhorn was studied by Horace-Bénédict de Saussure in the eighteenth century. It remained unclimbed after most of the other great Alpine peaks had been attained, the first ascent of the Matterhorn was finally made in 1865 from Zermatt by a party led by Edward Whymper but ended disastrously when four of its members fell to their deaths on the descent.
That climb and disaster, portrayed in films, marked the end of the golden age of alpinism. The north face was not climbed until 1931, and is amongst the three biggest north faces of the Alps, known as the ‘The Trilogy’, the west face, which is the highest of the four, was completely climbed only in 1962. It is estimated that over 500 alpinists have died on the Matterhorn since the first climb in 1865, making it one of the deadliest peaks in the world. The current shape of the mountain is the result of erosion due to multiple glaciers diverging from the peak, such as the Matterhorn Glacier at the base of the north face. Sometimes referred to as the Mountain of Mountains, the Matterhorn has become an emblem of the Swiss Alps. Since the end of the 19th century, when railways were built in the area, each year a large number of mountaineers try to climb the Matterhorn from the Hörnli Hut via the northeast Hörnli ridge, the most popular route to the summit. Many trekkers undertake the 10-day-long circuit around the mountain, the Matterhorn is part of the Swiss Federal Inventory of Natural Monuments since 1983.
Decomposing Matterhorn yields Matter and Horn, here Matter is Matte in the case. Commonly, prepositions related to Zermatt are dropped as in Matterhorn, Mattertal, in Sebastian Münsters Cosmography, published in 1543, the name Matter is given to the Theodul Pass, which seems to be the origin of the present German name of the mountain. On Münsters topographical map this group is marked under the names of Augstalberg, the French name Cervin, from which the Italian term Cervino derives, stems from the Latin Mons Silvanus where silva, means forest which was corrupted to Selvin and Servin. The change of the first letter s to c is attributed to Horace Bénédict de Saussure, servius Galba, in order to carry out Caesars orders, came with his legions from Allobroges to Octodurum in the Valais, and pitched his camp there. It is unknown when the new name of Servin, or Cervin, replaced the old, the Matterhorn is named Gran Becca by the Valdôtains and Horu by the local Walliser German speaking people
An aerial tramway, sky tram, cable car, ropeway or aerial tram is a type of aerial lift which uses one or two stationary ropes for support while a third moving rope provides propulsion. With this form of lift, the grip of an aerial tramway cabin is fixed onto the propulsion rope, as such, careful phrasing is necessary to prevent confusion. It is called a ropeway or even incorrectly referred to as a gondola lift. A gondola lift has cabins suspended from a continuously circulating cable whereas aerial trams simply shuttle back, in Japan, the two are considered as the same category of vehicle and called ropeway, while the term cable car means Cable car and funicular. An aerial railway where the vehicles are suspended from a track is known as a suspension railway. An aerial tramway consists of one or two fixed cables, one loop of cable, and a number of passenger cabins, the fixed cables provide support for the cabins while the haulage rope, by means of a grip, is solidly connected to the truck.
An electric motor drives the haulage rope which provides propulsion, Aerial tramways differ from gondola lifts in that gondola lifts are considered continuous systems. A similar system of cables is used in a funicular railway, the two passenger cabins, which carry from 4 to over 150 people, are situated at opposite ends of the loops of cable. Thus, while one is coming up, the other is going down the mountain, some aerial trams have only one cabin, which lends itself better for systems with small elevation changes along the cable run. The first operational aerial tram was built in 1644 by Adam Wiebe in Gdańsk and it was moved by horses and used to move soil over the river to build defences. It is called the first known cable lift in European history and it is not known how long this lift was used. In any case, it would be another 230 years before Germany would get the cable lift. Other mining systems were developed in the 1860s by Hodgson, Hallidie went on to perfect a line of mining and people tramways after 1867 in California and Nevada.
Tramways are sometimes used in regions to carry ore from a mine located high on the mountain to an ore mill located at a lower elevation. Ore tramways were common in the early 20th century at the mines in North and South America, one can still be seen in the San Juan Mountains of the US state of Colorado. Over one thousand mining tramways were built around the world—Spitsbergen, Alaska, New Zealand and this experience was replicated with the use of tramways in the First World War particularly on the Isonzo Front in Italy. The German firm of Bleichert built hundreds of freight and military tramways, Bleichert even built the first tourist tramway at Bolzano/Bozen, in Tyrolian Austria in 1913. Other firms entered the mining tramway business- Otto, Breco Ropeways Ltd and Tanfani, and Riblet for instance
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
The Theodul Glacier is a glacier of the Alps, located south of Zermatt in the canton of Valais. It lies on the Swiss side of the Pennine Alps, although its upper basin touches the Italian region of the Aosta Valley, both branches are part of the Rhone basin, through the rivers Gornera and Vispa. Slightly above the glacier splitting is the Theodul Pass, crossing the border between Switzerland and Italy, and connecting Zermatt to Breuil-Cervinia, on the west, the Theodul Glacier is overlooked by the Matterhorn. Until about 1980s the Lower Theodul Glacier was still connected to the Gorner Glacier, the upper section of the Theodul Glacier consists of a flat plateau at around 3,800 metres, named Breithorn Plateau. The plateau lies between the Breithorn, the Gobba di Rollin and the Klein Matterhorn, the Breithorn Pass separates the Breithorn from the Gobba di Rollin. A3,795 m high saddle lies between the Gobba di Rollin and the Klein Matterhorn, between the Klein Matterhorn and the Breithorn is a distinct glacier, named Klein Matterhorn Gletscher, which joins the Lower Theodul Glacier at about 3,000 metres.
The Breithorn Plateau area can be accessed by several cable cars connecting Zermatt to the Klein Matterhorn. At around 3,500 metres is the Plateau Rosa, whose name derives from the Valdôtain patois term Rosà and this area lies between Testa Grigia and the Klein Matterhorn, south of and slightly above the Theodul Pass. Southeast of Testa Grigia is a saddle named Passo di Ventina Nord and this area can be easily accessed by several cable cars connecting Breuil-Cervinia to Testa Grigia. Most of the glacier is part of the ski area marketed as Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. It is the highest in Europe and largest summer ski area in the world, the culminating point is on the summit of Gobba di Rollin and the lowest is above Trockener Steg. The Matterhorn Glacier Paradise links the ski areas of Zermatt and Breuil-Cervina, ski lifts connect Trockener Steg, Theodul Pass, Testa Grigia, Klein Matterhorn and Gobba di Rollin. A chair lift connects Trockener Steg to the Furggsattel, north of the Theodul Pass, several lakes recently formed at the bottom of the Upper Theodul Glacier, west of Trockener Steg.
The largest, named Theodulgletschersee is 7.76 ha wide and it is the highest lake over 4 ha in Switzerland and the largest lake in the Matter Valley. The second-largest, named Furggsee is 2.57 ha wide and lies at 2,874 metres
The Klein Matterhorn is a peak of the Pennine Alps, overlooking Zermatt in the Swiss canton of Valais. At 3,883 metres above sea level, it is the highest place in Europe that can be reached by aerial tramway, as well as by any other means of transport. The Klein Matterhorn is part of the Breithorn massif and overlooks on its side the almost equally high flat glacier named Breithorn Plateau. The name Klein Matterhorn is a reference to its larger neighbour, the Matterhorn. Even before the license application was filed, the building promoter had to negotiate with the Swiss Alpine Club. These discussions resulted in two large natural reserve zones, the third area was designated as a tourist zone. Licensing was further delayed until 1969 by the citizens of Zermatt filing a complaint to the council of the Canton of Valais. In December 1970, the Swiss government finally gave permission for the cable way, eventually, on 17 December 1973, the Federal Council rejected objections and granted a construction license.
The next major obstacle proved to be the recruitment of a force to build the lift system. At altitudes of 3000 to 4000m above sea level, worker productivity would be reduced by up to 50% compared to normal levels, and workers would be required to live for weeks on end within the camps. The construction of cable car started in August 1976 at all three construction sites, the valley terminal, the three tower sites and the mountain terminal. Creation of the terminal was a difficult undertaking. Some 2000 cubic metres of concrete were used in the station, all of which had to be transported there by helicopter in specially insulated tanks, mixed with warm water. Weather conditions at the site in high mountain terrain were extreme, temperatures falling to minus 40 °C, snowfalls. It took several weeks to cover the distance of 3,600 meters, with an altitude of almost 1,000 meters. On December 1978, all four track cables were installed, the Cable car was built by Von Roll LTD Bern Switzerland. The Klein Matterhorn is at the end of a cable car journey from Zermatt, via Furi.
The last station lies at a height of 3,820 metres, a tunnel connects it with the Breithorn Plateau on the south side