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Introduction

Silvretta panorama from the Ochsenkopf
Silvretta panorama from the Ochsenkopf
Mount Ararat, as seen from Armenia.

A mountain is a large landform that rises above the surrounding land in a limited area, usually in the form of a peak. A mountain is generally steeper than a hill. Mountains are formed through tectonic forces or volcanism. These forces can locally raise the surface of the earth. Mountains erode slowly through the action of rivers, weather conditions, and glaciers. A few mountains are isolated summits, but most occur in huge mountain ranges.

High elevations on mountains produce colder climates than at sea level. 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, such as mountain climbing.

The highest mountain on Earth is Mount Everest in the Himalayas of Asia, whose summit is 8,850 m (29,035 ft) above mean sea level. The highest known mountain on any planet in the Solar System is Olympus Mons on Mars at 21,171 m (69,459 ft).

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Selected mountain-related landform

Lake Rogen, Sweden as seen from the north. The forested ridges in the lake are 'Rogen moraines' of which this is the type location

A Rogen moraine (also called ribbed moraine) is a subglacially (i.e. under a glacier or ice sheet) formed type of moraine landform, that mainly occurs in Fennoscandia, Scotland, Ireland and Canada. They cover large areas that have been covered by ice, and occur mostly in what is believed to have been the central areas of the ice sheets. Rogen moraines are named after Lake Rogen in Härjedalen, Sweden, the landform's type locality. Rogen Nature Reserve serves to protect the unusual area.

The landform occurs in groups that are often closely and regularly spaced. They consist of glacial drift, with till being the most common constituent. The individual moraines are large, wavy ridges orientated transverse to ice flow. Drumlins are often found in close proximity of Rogen moraines, and are often interpreted to be formed at the same time as the Rogen moraines. Although Rogen moraines can span a large range of sizes, the most common distribution seems to be 10–30 metres high, 150–300 metres wide and 300–1,200 metres long. Read more...

Selected mountain range

The Kipengere Range, also known as the Livingstone Mountains, lies in southwest Tanzania at the northern end of Lake Malawi. Near Lake Malawi they are known as the Kinga Mountains. It is a plateau-like ridge of mountains running southeastwards from the basin of the Great Ruaha River in the north to that of the Ruhuhu River in the south, and forms part of the eastern escarpment of the East African Rift. The range is mostly clad in montane grasslands, renowned for their botanical diversity and displays of flowers, with montane evergreen forests mostly in stream valleys.

Some sources use the names Kipengere Range or Livingstone Mountains to describe the entire range, while others distinguish the Livingstone Mountains as the southwest-facing escarpment which runs along the shore of Lake Malawi, and the Kipengere Range as the high ridge that defines the northeastern edge of the Kitulo Plateau. Read more...

Selected mountain type

Inselbergs are common in eroded and weathered shields. The presence of an inselberg typically indicates the existence of a nearby plateau or highland, or their remnants. This is especially the case for inselbergs composed of sedimentary rock, which will display the same stratigraphic units as this nearby plateau. However once exposed, the inselbergs are destroyed by marginal collapse of joint blocks and exfoliation sheets. This process leaves behind tors perched at their summits and, over time, a talus-bordered residual known as a castle koppie appears. By this association various inselberg fields in Africa and South America are assumed to be the vestiges of eroded etchplains.

Clusters of inselbergs, called inselberg fields and inselberg plains, occur in various parts of the world. These areas include Tanzania, the Anti-Atlas of Morocco, Northeast Brazil, Namibia, the interior of Angola, and the northern portions of Finland and Sweden. Read more...

Selected climbing article

Ice axe
1 – pick
2 – head
3 – adze
4 – leash
5 – leash stop
6 – shaft with rubber grip
7 – spike

An ice axe is a multi-purpose hiking and climbing tool used by mountaineers both in the ascent and descent of routes that involve frozen conditions with snow and/or ice. An ice axe can be held and employed in a number of different ways, depending on the terrain encountered. In its simplest role, the ice axe is used like a walking stick in the uphill hand, the mountaineer holding the head in the center. It can also be buried pick down, the rope tied around the shaft to form a secure anchor on which to bring up a second climber, or buried vertically to form a stomp belay. The adze is used to cut footsteps (sometimes known as pigeon holes if used straight on), as well as scoop/bucket seats in the hillside and trenches to bury an ice axe belay. The long-handled alpenstock was a predecessor to the modern ice axe.

An ice axe is not only used as an aid to climbing, but also as a means of self-arrest in the event of a downhill slip. Read more...

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Selected skiing article

The following is a partial list of skiing deaths of notable people, in chronological order. It includes skiers and snowboarders both professional and recreational whose deaths are due to accidents or avalanches. Read more...

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Topics

Shivling
Eruption of Pinatubo 1991

Flora and fauna

Climbing in Greece
Georg Winkler.jpg

Lists of mountains

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