Top Ten African Mountains

Top Ten African Mountains

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  1. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

           Kilimanjaro, with its three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, is a dormant volcanic mountain in Kilimanjaro National Park, Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Tanzania, the highest mountain in Africa, and the highest free-standing mountain in the world at 5,895 m or 19,341 feet above sea level (the Uhuru Peak/Kibo Peak).
    Links: Top Ten Tanzanian Attractions, Top Ten Volcanoes, National Parks, Top Ten African National Parks,   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Kilimanjaro,
  2. Cape Town and Table Mountain, South Africa

           Cape Town is the 2nd most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality. The city is famous for its harbor as well as its natural setting in the Cape floral kingdom, including such well-known landmarks as Table Mountain and Cape Point. Cape Town is also Africa’s most popular tourist destination. Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town was originally developed by the Dutch East India Company as a supply station for Dutch ships sailing to Eastern Africa, India and the Far East. Jan van Riebeeck’s arrival on April 6, 1652 established the first permanent European settlement in South Africa. Cape Town quickly outgrew its original purpose as the first European outpost at the Castle of Good Hope, becoming the economic and cultural hub of the Cape Colony. Until the Witwatersrand Gold Rush and the development of Johannesburg, Cape Town was the largest city in South Africa. Today it is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, reflecting its role as a major destination for immigrants and expatriates to South Africa. As of 2007 the city had an estimated population of 3.5 million. Cape Town’s land area of 2,455 square km (948 sq mi) is larger than other South African cities, resulting in a comparatively lower population density of 1,425 inhabitants per square km (3,690 /sq mi). Table Mountain is a flat-topped mountain forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town in South Africa, and is featured in the flag of Cape Town and other local government insignia. It is a significant tourist attraction, with many visitors using the cableway or hiking to the top. The mountain forms part of the Table Mountain National Park.
    Links: Top Ten South African Attractions, Cities, Top Ten African Cities, Top Ten MountainsTop Ten African Mountains,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Town,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_Mountain,
  3. Mount Kenya, Kenya
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           Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the 2nd highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. The highest peaks of the mountain are Batian (5,199 m (17,057 ft)), Nelion (5,188 m (17,021 ft)) and Point Lenana (4,985 m (16,355 ft)). Mount Kenya is located in central Kenya, just south of the equator, around 150 km (93 mi) north-northeast of the capital Nairobi. Mount Kenya is the source of the name of the Republic of Kenya. Mount Kenya is a stratovolcano created approximately 3 million years after the opening of the East African rift. Before glaciation, it was 7,000 m (23,000 ft) high. It was covered by an ice cap for thousands of years. This has resulted in very eroded slopes and numerous valleys radiating from the center. There are currently 11 small glaciers. The forested slopes are an important source of water for much of Kenya. There are several vegetation bands from the base to the summit. The lower slopes are covered by different types of forest. Many alpine species are endemic to Mount Kenya, such as the giant lobelias and senecios and a local subspecies of rock hyrax. An area of 715 square km (276 sq mi) around the center of the mountain was designated a National Park. The park receives over 15,000 visitors per year.
    Links: Top Ten Kenyan Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Kenya,
  4. Mount Stanley, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo
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           Mount Stanley is a mountain located in the Rwenzori range. With an elevation of 5,109 m (16,763 ft), it is the highest mountain of both the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda and the 3rd highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro (5,895 m) and Mount Kenya (5,199 m). The peak and several other surrounding peaks are high enough to support glaciers. Mount Stanley is named for the journalist and explorer, Sir Henry Morton Stanley. It is part of the Rwenzori Mountains National Park.
    Links: Top Ten Attractions Uganda, Top Ten Congo Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Margherita,
  5. Mount Meru, Tanzania
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    Mount Meru is an active stratovolcano located 70 km (43 mi) west of Mount Kilimanjaro in the nation of Tanzania. At a height of 4,565 m (14,977 ft), it is visible from Mt Kilimanjaro on a clear day, and is the 9th or 10th highest mountain in Africa, dependent on definition. Much of its bulk was lost about 8,000 years ago due to an eastward volcanic blast, similar to the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in the US state of Washington. Mount Meru most recently had a minor eruption in 1910. The several small cones and craters seen in the vicinity probably reflect numerous episodes of volcanic activity. Mount Meru is the topographic centerpiece of Arusha National Park. Its fertile slopes rise above the surrounding savanna and support a forest that hosts diverse wildlife, including nearly 400 species of birds, and also monkeys and leopards.
    Links: Top Ten Tanzanian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Meru_(Tanzania),
  6. Giant’s Castle, South Africa
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    Giant’s Castle is a mountain peak in the southern African Drakensberg in KwaZulu Natal. Giants Castle offers visitors to the regions hiking opportunities with panoramic views. The Nature Reserve offers secluded accommodation, rock art with easy access for everyone and about the best base to start a Drakensberg hiking experience. Lying at the southern end of the central Drakensberg Giant’s Castle, which gets its name from the outline of the peaks and escarpment that combine to resemble the profile of a sleeping giant, is essentially a grassy plateau that nestles among the deep valleys of this part of the Drakensberg. Giants Castle Game Reserve is considered the home of the eland as well as the bearded vulture. Another Giants Castle highlight is the superb rock art at main caves which is easy to get to and well presented.
    Links: Top Ten South African Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant%27s_Castle,
  7. Toubkal, Morocco
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    Toubkal is a mountain peak in southwestern Morocco, located in the Toubkal National Park. At 4,167 m (13,671 ft.), it is the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains and in North Africa. It is located 63 km south of the city of Marrakesh, in the Toubkal National Park, and is a popular destination for climbers.
    Links: Top Ten Moroccan Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toubkal,
  8. Ras Dashen, Ethiopian
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    Ras Dashen, “head guard,” is the highest mountain in Ethiopia and 10th highest mountain of Africa. Part of Semien Mountains National Park, it reaches an elevation of 4,550 m (14,928 ft.). The more common form, “Ras Dashen” is a corruption of its Amharic name, “Ras Dejen,” used by the system of the Ethiopian Mapping Authority, which means “the general who fights in front of the Emperor.” According to Erik Nilsson, Ras Dashen is the eastern peak of the rim of “an enormous volcano, the northern half of which is cut down about 1,000 m by numerous ravines, draining into the Takkazzi River.” Its western counterpart is Mount Biuat (4,510 m), separated by the valley of the Meshaha river.
    Links: Top Ten Ethiopian Mountains, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ras_Dashen,
  9. Champagne Castle, South Africa
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    Champagne Castle is a mountain in the central Drakensberg range, and is the 2nd highest peak in South Africa. It contains a series of subsidiary peaks, amongst them, Cathkin Peak (3149 m), Sterkhorn, Mount Memory, Monk’s Cowl and Dragon’s Back. It is said that when two intrepid mountaineers, David Gray and Major Grantham, climbed the peaks directly in front of Cathkin, they were about to celebrate their long haul by popping a bottle of champagne. But as fate would have it, the guide dropped the bottle on a rock – and in that moment Champagne Castle in the heart of the Drakensberg was christened. Cathkin Peak was named after the residence of a Lanarkshire immigrant, Stephan Snyman, who named his home after Cathkin Braes, a hill in Glasgow.
    Links: Top Ten South African Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champagne_Castle,
  10. Cathedral Peak, South Africa
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    Cathedral Peak is a mountain in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is a 3,004 m high (9,856 ft.) free standing mountain in the Drakensberg. The mountain is also known as Mponjwana (Little Horn) by the local Amangwane people. Cathedral Peak is part of the Cathedral Ridge which is at right angles to the main range. Other peaks in the spur are the Twins, also known as the Triplets, (2,899 m or 9,510 ft.), the Bell (2,930 m or 9,800 ft.), the Outer (3,006 m or 9,860 ft.) and Inner (3,005 m or 9,858 ft.) Horns, the Chessmen (2,987 m or 9,800 ft.) and Mitre Peak (3,023 m or 9,919 ft.). Cathedral Peak was first climbed by D.W Basset-Smith and R.G. Kingdon in 1917, via the gully.
    Links: Top Ten South African Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_Peak_(South_Africa),
  11. Mount Karisimbi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo
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    Mount Karisimbi is an inactive volcano in the Virunga Mountains on the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. At 4,507 m (14,787 ft), Karisimbi is the highest of the 8 major mountains of the mountain range, which is a part of Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift. Karisimbi is flanked by Mikeno to the north, Bisoke to the east and Nyiragongo to the west, on the other side of the Rift Valley. Karisimbi is the 11th highest mountain of Africa. The name Karisimbi comes from the word ‘amasimbi’ in the local language, Kinyarwanda, which means snow. Snow can mostly be found during the dry season in June, July and August on the top of the volcano. Between Karisimbi and Bisoke is the Karisoke Research Center, which was founded by Dian Fossey in order to observe the mountain gorillas living in this area.
    Links: Top Ten Rwandan Attractions, Top Ten Democratic of the Republic Attractions,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Karisimbi,
  12. Mafadi, South Africa and Lesotho
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    Mafadi is a peak on the border of South Africa and Lesotho. At a height of 3,450 m (11,320 ft.), it is the highest mountain in South Africa, but is lower than Thabana Ntlenyana, the highest peak in Lesotho which is, at 3,482 m (11,424 ft.), the highest point in Southern Africa.
    Links: Top Ten South African Attractions, Top Ten Lesotho Attractions,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mafadi,
  13. Mount Speke, Uganda
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    Mount Speke lies in the Ruwenzori Mountains National Park in Uganda, Africa and is the second highest peak in this range. Together with Mount Stanley and Mount Baker (Ruwenzoris), it forms a triangle enclosing the upper Bujuku Valley. The mountains lie within an area called ‘The Mountains of the Moon.’ All mountains in this range consist of multiple jagged peaks. Mount Speke’s summits are: Vittorio Emanuele 4,890 m (16,042 ft.); Ensonga 4,865 m (15,961 ft.); Johnston 4,834 m (15,860 ft.); Trident 4,572 m (15,000 ft.). The people living on the mountains call the mountains ‘Rwenzori,’ which means ‘rain maker’ or ‘rain mountains’ in the Bakonjo language. The Baganda, who could see the mountain range from far, used to call them ‘Gambaragara,’ which means ‘My Eyes Pain,’ a reference to the shining snow. The Bakonjo had their own names for the peaks in the Rwenzori range, however, as they had never climbed them, it was difficult to clarify which peak was which. For example, they had names for the three main peaks: Kiyanja, Duwoni and Ingomwimbi. The fact is that for the Bakonjo the high Rwenzori is the home of Kitasamba, god who resides at the high altitudes and cannot be accessed. Early European explorers visited the region in the search for the source of the Nile. This mountain was named after John Speke. Whilst he never climbed this peak, Speke mapped the source of the White Nile in 1862.
    Links: Top Ten Ugandan Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Speke,
  14. Njesuthi, South Africa
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    Njesuthi is one of the highest mountains in the Drakensberg mountain range at 3,408 m (11,181 ft.). It is located on the border between Lesotho and the South African province KwaZulu-Natal. Also on the border is the taller Mafadi peak.
    Links: Top Ten South African Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Njesuthi,
  15. Mount Elgon, Uganda and Kenya
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    Mount Elgon is an extinct shield volcano on the border of Uganda and Kenya, north of Kisumu and west of Kitale. The mountain’s highest point, named “Wagagai,” is located entirely within the country of Uganda. At 4,321 m (14,177 ft.), Elgon is the 17th highest mountain of Africa.
    Links: Top Ten Kenyan Attractions, Top Ten Ugandan Attractions,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Elgon,
  16. Mount Cameroon, Cameroon
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    Mount Cameroon is an active volcano in Cameroon near the Gulf of Guinea. Mount Cameroon is also known as Cameroon Mountain or Fako (the name of the higher of its two peaks) or by its native name Mongo ma Ndemi (“Mountain of Greatness”). The mountain is part of the area of volcanic activity known as the Cameroon Volcanic Line, which also includes Lake Nyos, the site of a disaster in 1986. The most recent eruption occurred on February 3, 2012.
    Links: Top Ten Cameroonian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Cameroon,
  17. Marrah Mountain, Sudan
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    The Marrah Mountains, alson nown as the Marra Mountains, Fugo Marra or Jebel Marra, is a range of volcanic peaks created by a massif that rises up to 3,000 m. It is located in the center of the Darfur region of Sudan, specifically within Dar Fur and neighboring areas. The highest point is Deriba Caldera. The upper reaches of the massif is a small area of temperate climate with high rainfall and permanent springs of water. The last eruption occurred around 1500 BC. The center of activity was Deriba Caldera, and involved caldera collapse following the eruption of pumice and pyroclastic flows which traveled over 30 km (19 mi) from the volcano.
    Links: Top Ten Sudanese Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jebel_Marra,
  18. M’Goun, Morocco
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    The M’Goun mountain, also rendered as Ighil Mgoun, Ighil n’Oumsoud, Irhil M’Goun, Ighil M’Goun, Jebel Mgoun, Jebel Ighil M’Goun and Jebel Aït M’goun, at 4,071 m (13,356 ft.) is the 4th highest peak of the Atlas Mountains (After Toubkal, Timzguida and Ouenkrim). It is located in the Souss-Massa-Drâa region of Morocco.
    Links: Top Ten Moroccan Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%27Goun,
  19. Emi Koussi, Chad
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    Emi Koussi is a high pyroclastic shield volcano that lies at the south end of the Tibesti Mountains in the central Sahara of northern Chad. It is the highest mountain in Chad, and the highest in the Sahara. The volcano is one of several in the Tibesti massif, and reaches 3,445 m (11,302 ft.) in altitude, rising 2.3 km (1.4 mi) above the surrounding sandstone plains. The volcano is 60 by 80 km wide. Two nested calderas cap the volcano, the outer one being about 12 by 15 km in size. Within it on the southeast side is a smaller caldera, about 2–3 km wide and 350 m deep. Numerous lava domes, cinder cones, maars, and lava flows are found both within the calderas and along the outer flanks of the shield. The inner caldera contains large natron deposits which see some harvesting for domestic animal salt lick use by the local people. Emi Koussi has been studied as an analog of the Martian volcano Elysium Mons. One of the most important morphological differences between volcanoes on Mars and Earth is the widespread furrowing of the surface due to flowing water on terrestrial volcanoes. The furrows are shallow valleys. Larger channels have a different origin. Major channels can be seen on volcanoes on both planets and indicate low points in caldera rims where lava spilled out of pre-collapse craters.
    Links: Top Ten Chadian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emi_Koussi,
  20. Thabana Ntlenyana, Lesotho
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    Thabana Ntlenyana, which literally means “Beautiful little mountain” in Sesotho, is the highest point in Lesotho and the highest mountain in southern Africa. It is situated on the Mohlesi ridge of the Drakensberg/Maloti mountains, north of Sani Pass. It stands at 3,482 m high. The peak is usually climbed by groups completing a Grand Traverse of the Drakensberg – even though the peak is technically in the Maloti Mountains. The peak is often also climbed from Sani Top Chalet or from Vergelegen Nature Reserve.
    Links: Top Ten Lesotho Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thabana_Ntlenyana,
  21. Links: Mountains, Top Ten Mountains

Top Ten Asian Mountains

Top Ten Asian Mountains

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  1. Mount Everest, Tibet and Nepal
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           Mount Everest, also known as Qomolangma Peak, Chajamlungma (Limbu), Zhumulangma Peak or Mount Chomolungma, is the highest mountain on Earth above sea level, and the highest point on the Earth’s continental crust, as measured by the height above sea level of its summit, 8,848 meters (29,029 ft). The mountain, which is part of the Himalaya range in Asia, is located on the border between Sagarmatha Zone, Nepal and Tibet, China. In 1856, the Great Trigonometric Survey of India established the first published height of Everest, then known as Peak XV, at 29,002 ft (8,840 m). In 1865, Everest was given its official English name by the Royal Geographical Society upon recommendation of Andrew Waugh, the British Surveyor General of India at the time. Chomolungma had been in common use by Tibetans for centuries, but Waugh was unable to propose an established local name because Nepal and Tibet were closed to foreigners.
    Links: Top Ten Tibetan Attractions, Top Ten Nepali Attractions, Top Ten Natural Wonders of the World,   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Everest,
  2. Mount Fuji, Japan
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    Mount Fuji, located on Honshu Island, is the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776.24 m (12,389 ft.). An active stratovolcano that last erupted in 1707–08, Mount Fuji lies about 100 km (60 mi) south-west of Tokyo, and can be seen from there on a clear day. Mount Fuji’s exceptionally symmetrical cone, which is snow-capped several months a year, is a well-known symbol of Japan and it is frequently depicted in art and photographs, as well as visited by sightseers and climbers. It is one of Japan’s “Three Holy Mountains” along with Mount Tate and Mount Haku; it is a Special Place of Scenic Beauty. Mount Fuji has “inspired artists and poets and been the object of pilgrimage for centuries.” The 25 locations include the mountain itself, Fujisan Hongū Sengen Taisha and six other Sengen shrines, two lodging houses, Lake Yamanaka, Lake Kawaguchi, the eight Oshino Hakkai hot springs, two lava tree molds, the remains of the Fuji-kō cult in the Hitoana cave, Shiraito Falls, and Miho no Matsubara pine tree grove.
    Links: Top Ten Japanese Attractions, Top Ten Japanese Hotelshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_fuji,
  3. Mount Kailash, Tibet
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           Mount Kailash is a peak in the Gangdisê Mountains, which are part of the Himalayas in Tibet. It lies near the source of some of the longest rivers in Asia: the Indus River, the Sutlej River (a major tributary of the Indus River), the Brahmaputra River, and the Karnali River (a tributary of the Ganges River). It is considered as a sacred place in five religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Ayyavazhi and the Bön faith. In Hinduism, it is considered to be the abode of Lord Shiva and as a place of eternal bliss. The mountain lies near Lake Manasarowar and Lake Rakshastal in Tibet. There have been no recorded attempts to climb Mount Kailash; it is considered off limits to climbers in deference to Buddhist and Hindu beliefs. It is the most significant peak in the world that has not seen any known climbing attempts.
    Links: Top Ten Tibetan Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Kailash,
  4. Kangchenjunga, India
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    Kangchenjunga is the 3rd highest mountain in the world, rising 8,586 m (28,169 ft.) in a section of the Himalayas called Kangchenjunga Himal that is limited in the west by the Tamur River and in the east by the Teesta River. Kangchenjunga is located on the boundary between Nepal and the Indian state of Sikkim. It is the highest peak in India and the easternmost of the peaks higher than 8,000 m (26,000 ft.). It is called Five Treasures of Snow after its five high peaks, and has always been worshiped by the people of Darjeeling and Sikkim. Two of the five peaks are in Taplejung District, Nepal. The other three peaks – main, central, and south – are on the border of North Sikkim and Nepal. Kangchenjunga Main is the 2nd highest peak in Nepal after Mount Everest. Until 1852, Kangchenjunga was assumed to be the highest mountain in the world, but calculations based on various readings and measurements made by the Great Trigonometric Survey of India in 1849 came to the conclusion that Mount Everest, known as Peak XV at the time, was the highest. Kangchenjunga was first climbed on 25 May 1955 by Joe Brown and George Band, who were part of a British expedition. They stopped short of the summit as per the promise given to the Maharaja of Sikkim that the top of the mountain would remain inviolate. Every climber or climbing groups that have reached the summit have followed this tradition. Other members of this expedition included John Angelo Jackson and Tom Mackinon.
    Links: Top Ten Indian Attractionshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kangchenjunga,
  5. Mount Kinabalu, East Malaysia
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    Mount Kinabalu is a prominent mountain on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. It is located in the East Malaysian state of Sabah and is protected as Kinabalu National Park. Kinabalu is the highest peak in Borneo’s Crocker Range and is the highest mountain in the Malay Archipelago. Mount Kinabalu is also the 20th most prominent mountain in the world by topographic prominence. In 1997, a re-survey using satellite technology established its summit (known as Low’s Peak) height at 4,095 m (13,435 ft.) above sea level. Mount Kinabalu includes the Kinabalu montane alpine meadows ecoregion in the montane grasslands and shrublands biome. The mountain and its surroundings are among the most important biological sites in the world, with between 5,000 and 6,000 species of plants, 326 species of birds, and more than 100 mammalian species identified. Among this rich collection of wildlife are famous species such as the gigantic Rafflesia plants and the orangutan. Low’s Peak can be climbed quite easily by a person in good physical condition and there is no need for mountaineering equipment at any point on the main route.
    Links: Top Ten Malaysian Attractions, Top Ten Primates, Top 100 Flowers,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Kinabalu,
  6. K2
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    K2 is the 2nd highest mountain on Earth, after Mount Everest. It is located on the border between Baltistan, in the Gilgit–Baltistan region of northern Pakistan, and the Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang, China. With a peak elevation of 8,611 m (28,251 ft.), K2 is the highest point of the Karakoram Range and the highest point in Pakistan. K2 is known as the Savage Mountain due to the extreme difficulty of ascent and the 2nd highest fatality rate among the eight thousanders. For every four people who have reached the summit, one has died trying. It is more hazardous to reach K2 from the Chinese side; thus, it is mostly climbed from the Pakistani side. Unlike Annapurna, the mountain with the highest fatality-to-summit rate, K2 has never been climbed in winter.
    Links: Top Ten Pakistani Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K2,
  7. Hkakabo Razi, China, India and Myanmar
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    Hkakabo Razi is Southeast Asia’s highest mountain, located in the northern Myanmar state of Kachin. It lies in an outlying subrange of the Greater Himalayan mountain system. The mountain lies on the border tri-point among Myanmar, China, and India. The peak is enclosed within Hkakabo Razi National Park. The park is entirely mountainous and is characterized by broad-leaved evergreen rain forest, a sub-tropical temperate zone from 8,000 to 9,000 feet (2,400–2,700 m), then broad-leaved, semi-deciduous forest and finally needle-leaved evergreen, snow forest. Above 11,000 feet (3,400 m), the highest forest zone is alpine, different not only in kind from the forest, but different in history and origin. Still higher up, around 15,000 feet (4,600 m), cold, barren, windswept terrain and permanent snow and glaciers dominate. At around 17,500 feet (5,300 m), there is a large ice cap with several outlet glaciers.
    Links: Top Ten Chinese Attractions, Top Ten Indian Attractions, Top Ten Myanmar Attractions,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hkakabo_Razi,
  8. Nanda Devi, India
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    Nanda Devi is the 2nd highest mountain in India and the highest entirely within the country (Kangchenjunga being on the border of India and Nepal); owing to this geography it was considered the highest known mountain in the world until computations on Dhaulagiri by western surveyors in 1808. It was also the highest mountain in India before Sikkim joined the Indian Union. It is part of the Kumaon Himalayas, and is located in the state of Uttarakhand, between the Rishiganga valley on the west and the Goriganga valley on the east. Its name means Bliss-Giving Goddess. The peak is regarded as the patron-goddess of the Uttarakhand Himalaya. In acknowledgment of its religious significance and for the protection of the its fragile ecosystem, the peak as well as the circle of high mountains surrounding it—the Nanda Devi sanctuary—were closed to both locals and climbers in 1983.
    Links: Top Ten Indian Attractions,
  9. Mount Apo, Philippines
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    Mount Apo is a large solfataric, potentially-active stratovolcano in the island of Mindanao, Philippines. With an altitude of 2,954 m (9,692 ft.) above sea level, it is the highest mountain in the country and is located between Davao City and Davao del Sur province in Region XI and Cotabato province in Region XII. The peak overlooks Davao City 40 km (25 mi) to the northeast, Digos City 25 km (16 mi) to the southeast, and Kidapawan City 20 km (12 mi) to the west. Apo, which means “ancestor,” is flat-topped mountain with three peaks and is capped by a 500 m wide (1,600 ft.) volcanic crater containing a small crater lake. The date of its most recent eruption is unknown, and none are verified in historical times. The volcano is one of the most popular climbing destinations in the Philippines with the summit, on the average, takes two days to reach. The first recorded climb was on October 10, 1880, by a party led by Joaquin Rajal, then Spanish governor of Davao.
    Links: Top Ten Philippine Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Apo,
  10. Mount Tambora, Indonesia
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           Mount Tambora is an active stratovolcano on the island of Sumbawa, Indonesia. Tambora was formed by the active subduction zone beneath it, which raised Mount Tambora as high as 4,300 m (14,100 ft), making it, in the 18th century, one of the tallest peaks in the Indonesian archipelago. After a large magma chamber inside the mountain filled over the course of several decades, volcanic activity reached a historic climax in the eruption of 10 April 1815. This eruption was approximately VEI-7, the only eruption unambiguously confirmed of that size since the Lake Taupo eruption in about 180 AD, though the Heaven Lake eruption of Baekdu Mountain in 969 AD may have also been VEI-7. With an estimated ejecta volume of 160 cubic km (38 cu mi), Tambora’s 1815 outburst was the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history. The explosion was heard on Sumatra island more than 2,000 km (1,200 mi) away. Heavy volcanic ash falls were observed as far away as Borneo, Sulawesi, Java and Maluku islands. Most deaths from the eruption were from starvation and disease, as the eruptive fallout ruined agricultural productivity in the local region. The death toll was at least 71,000 people, of whom 11,000–12,000 were killed directly by the eruption. The eruption caused global climate anomalies that included the phenomenon known as “volcanic winter:” 1816 became known as the “Year Without a Summer” because of the effect on North American and European weather. Crops failed and livestock died in much of the Northern Hemisphere, resulting in the worst famine of the 19th century. During an excavation in 2004, a team of archaeologists discovered cultural remains buried by the 1815 eruption. They were kept intact beneath the 3 m (9.8 ft) deep pyroclastic deposits. At the site, dubbed the Pompeii of the East, the artifacts were preserved in the positions they had occupied in 1815.
    Links: Top Ten Indonesian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Tambora,
  11. Mount Krakatau, Indonesia
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           Krakatoa, or Krakatau, is a volcanic island situated in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. The name is also used for the surrounding island group comprising the remnants of a much larger island of three volcanic peaks which was obliterated in a cataclysmic 1883 eruption, unleashing huge tsunamis (killing more than 36,000 people) and destroying over two-thirds of the island. The explosion is considered to be the loudest sound ever heard in modern history, with reports of it being heard up to 3,000 miles (4,800 km) from its point of origin. The shock waves from the explosion were recorded on barographs around the globe. In 1927 a new island, Anak Krakatau, or “Child of Krakatoa,” emerged from the caldera formed in 1883 and is the current location of eruptive activity.
    Links: Top Ten Indonesian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krakatoa,
  12. Mount Bromo, Indonesia
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    Mount Bromo, is an active volcano and part of the Tengger massif, in East Java, Indonesia. At 2,329 m (7,641 ft) it is not the highest peak of the massif, but is the most well-known. The massif area is one of the most visited tourist attractions in East Java, Indonesia. The volcano belongs to the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. The name of Bromo derived from Javanese pronunciation of Brahma, the Hindu creator god. Mount Bromo sits in the middle of a vast plain called the “Sea of Sand,” a protected nature reserve since 1919. The typical way to visit Mount Bromo is from the nearby mountain village of Cemoro Lawang. From there it is possible to walk to the volcano in about 45 minutes, but it is also possible to take a jeep tour, which includes a stop at the viewpoint on Mount Penanjakan (2,770 m or 9,088 ft). From inside the caldera, sulfur is collected by workers. Depending on the degree of volcanic activity, the Indonesian Centre for Vulcanology and Disaster Hazard Mitigation sometimes issues warnings against visiting Mount Bromo.
    Links: Top Ten Indonesian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Bromo,
  13. Mount Banahaw, Philippines
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    Mount Banahaw is an active volcano on Luzon Island in the Republic of the Philippines. The three-peaked volcano complex is located between the provinces of Laguna and Quezon and is the tallest mountain in the CALABARZON region dominating the landscape for miles around. The mountain is considered by many as a “Holy mountain” and is popular among pilgrims along with mountain climbers. Banahaw is a national park and a protected area in the Philippines since 1941, and is now called Mts. Banahaw-San Cristobal Protected Landscape covering 10,901 hectares (26,940 acres) of land.
    Links: Top Ten Philippine Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Banahaw,
  14. Annapurna Mastif, Nepal
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    Annapurna is a section of the Himalayas in north-central Nepal that includes 8,091 m (26,545 ft.) This section is a 55 km-long (34 mi-long) massif, including 13peaks,  bounded by the Kali Gandaki Gorge on the west, the Marshyangdi River on the north and east, and Pokhara Valley on the south. Annapurna I is tenth among Earth’s 14 eight-thousanders. 8167 m Dhaulagiri I rises 34 km to the west across the Kali Gandaki Gorge, considered Earth’s deepest canyon. Annapurna is a Sanskrit name which literally means “full of food” (feminine form), but is normally translated as Goddess of the Harvests. In Hinduism, Annapurna is “… the universal and timeless kitchen-goddess … the mother who feeds. Without her there is starvation, a universal fear: This makes Annapurna a universal goddess … Her most popular shrine is located in Kashi, on the banks of the river Ganga.” Her association with the giving of food (wealth) led her in time to be transformed into Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth. The entire massif and surrounding area are protected within the 7,629 km2 Annapurna Conservation Area, the first and largest conservation area in Nepal. The Annapurna Conservation Area is home to several world-class treks, including the Annapurna Circuit. The Annapurna peaks are among the world’s most dangerous mountains to climb, although in more recent history, using figures from only 1990 and after, Kangchenjunga has a higher fatality rate. As of the end of 2009, there had been 157 summit ascents of Annapurna I, and 60 climbing fatalities on the mountain. This fatality-to-summit ratio (38%) is the highest of any of the eight-thousanders. In particular, the ascent via the south face is considered, by some, the most difficult of all climbs.
    Links: Top Ten Nepali Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annapurna,
  15. Dhaulagiri, Nepal
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    The Dhaulagiri massif in Nepal extends 120 km from the Kaligandaki River west to the Bheri. This massif is enclosed on the north and southwest by tributaries of the Bheri and on the southeast by Myagdi Khola. Dhaulagiri I at 8,167 m (26,795 ft) ranks 7th among Earth’s 14 peaks over eight thousand m. It was first climbed on May 13, 1960 by a Swiss/Austrian/Nepali expedition. The mountina’s name comes from Sanskrit where dhawala, means dazzling, white, beautiful and giri means mountain. Dhaulagiri I is also the highest point of the Gandaki river basin. Annapurna I (8,091m/26,545 ft.) is only 34 km. east of Dhaulagiri I. The Kaligandaki River flows between through its notable gorge, said to be the world’s deepest. The town Pokhara is south of the Annapurnas, an important regional center and the gateway for climbers and trekkers visiting both ranges as well as a tourist destination in its own right.
    Links: Top Ten Nepali Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhaulagiri,
  16. Cho Oyu, Tibet and Nepal
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           Cho Oyu is the 6th highest mountain in the world at 8,201 m (26,906 ft.) above sea level. Cho Oyu means “Turquoise Goddess” in Tibetan. The mountain is the westernmost major peak of the Khumbu sub-section of the Mahalangur Himalaya 20 km west of Mount Everest. The mountain stands on the Tibet-Nepal border. Just a few km west of Cho Oyu is Nangpa La (5,716m/18,753 ft.), a glaciated pass that serves as the main trading route between the Tibetans and the Khumbu’s Sherpas. This pass separates the Khumbu and Rolwaling Himalayas. Due to its proximity to this pass and the generally moderate slopes of the standard northwest ridge route, Cho Oyu is considered the easiest 8,000 m peak to climb. It is a popular objective for professionally guided parties.
    Links: Top Ten Tibetan Attractions, Top Ten Nepali Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cho_Oyu,
  17. Lhotse, Tibet and Nepal
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    Lhotse is the 4th highest mountain on Earth (after Mount Everest, K2 and Kangchenjunga) and is connected to Everest via the South Col. Lhotse means “South Peak” in Tibetan. In addition to the main summit at 8,516 m (27,940 ft.) above sea level, Lhotse Middle (East) is 8,414 m (27,605 ft.) and Lhotse Shar is 8,383 m (27,503 ft). It is located at the border between Tibet (China) and the Khumbu region of Nepal.
    Links: Top Ten Tibetan Attractions, Top Ten Nepali Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lhotse,
  18. Manaslu, Nepal
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    Manaslu is the 8th highest mountain in the world, and is located in the Mansiri Himal, part of the Nepalese Himalayas, in the west-central part of Nepal. Its name, which means “Mountain of the Spirit,” comes from the Sanskrit word Manasa, meaning “intellect” or “soul.” Manaslu was first climbed on May 9, 1956 by Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu, members of a Japanese expedition. Manaslu at 8,156 m (26,759 ft.) above mean sea level is the highest peak in the Lamjung District and is located about 40 miles east of Annapurna. The mountain’s long ridges and valley glaciers offer feasible approaches from all directions, and culminate in a peak that towers steeply above its surrounding landscape, and is a dominant feature when viewed from afar. The Manaslu region offers a variety of trekking options. The popular Manaslu trekking route of 177 km (110 mi), skirts the Manaslu massif over the pass down to Annapurna. The trekking trail follows an ancient salt-trading route along the Budhi Gandaki river. En route, 10 peaks over 6,500 m (21,300 ft.) are visible, including a few over 7,000 m (23,000 ft.). The highest point reached along the trek route is the Larkya La at an elevation of 5,235 m (17,175 ft.). As of May 2008, the mountain has been climbed 297 times with 53 fatalities.
    Links: Top Ten Nepali Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manaslu,
  19. Hialchuli, Nepal
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    Himalchuli is the 2nd highest mountain in the Mansiri Himal, part of the Nepalese Himalayas. It lies south of Manaslu, one of the Eight-thousanders. Himalchuli has three main peaks: East (7893 m), West (7540 m) and North (7371 m). It is also often written as two words, “Himal Chuli.” Himalchuli is the 18th highest mountain in the world (using a cutoff of 500 m prominence, or re-ascent). Himalchuli is also notable for its large vertical relief over local terrain. For example, it rises 7,000 m over the Marsyangdi River to the southwest in about 27 km (17 mi) horizontal distance.
    Links: Top Ten Nepali Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilmalchuli,
  20. Shishapangma, Tibet
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    Shishapangma, also called Gosainthān, is the 14th highest mountain in the world and, at 8,013 m (26,289 ft.), the lowest of the eight-thousanders. It was the last 8,000 m peak to be climbed, due to its location entirely within Tibet and the restrictions on visits by foreigners to the region imposed by national Chinese and regional Tibetan authorities.
    Links: Top Ten Tibetan Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shishapangma,
  21. Mount Baigong, China
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           Some of the Baigong Pipes are reported to be associated with three caves in Mount Baigong. These caves are reported to occur within the front face of Mount Baigong. The mouths of the two smaller caves have collapsed. Only the largest cave, which is 6 m (18 feet) high, can be entered. The vague resemblance of the top of Mount Baigong to a pyramid has been the focus of much fringe speculation.
    Links: Top Ten Chinese Attractions, Top Ten Asian Pyramids, Top Ten Chinese Pyramids,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baigong_Pipes#Mount_Baigong,
  22. Arunachala, India
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           Arunachala refers to the holy hill at Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, where the Annamalaiyar Temple, a temple of Lord Shiva is located. Every year in the Tamil month of Karthigai (October–November), the Karthigai Deepam (Light) is lit atop the hill. This place is also known by the names Arunagiri, Annamalai Hill, Arunachalam, Arunai, Sonagiri and Sonachalam. It is the most important holy place for people practicing Atma vichara (self-enquiry) and one of the 5 main shaivite holy places in South India. The ashram of Sri Ramana Maharishi, Sri Ramana Ashram is also situated at its foothills.
    Links: Top Ten Indian Attractions, Temples, Top Ten TemplesTop Ten Asian TemplesTop Ten Indian TemplesTop Ten ShrinesTop Ten Asian Shrineshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arunachala,
  23. Bonus: Mt. Meru (Sumeru)
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           Mount Meru, also knows as called Sumeru, i.e. the “Excellent Meru,” is a sacred mountain in Hindu and Buddhist cosmology as well as in Jain cosmology, considered to be the center of all the physical, metaphysical and spiritual universes. It is also the abode of Lord Brahma and the Demi-Gods (Devas). The mountain is said to be 84,000 Yojanas high (which is around 1,082,000 km (672,000 mi), or 85 times the Earths’s diameter). Many famous Hindu and Jain temples have been built as symbolic representations of this mountain. The highest point (the finial bud) on the pyatthat, a Burmese-style multi-tiered roof, represents Mount Meru.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Meru_%28mythology%29,
  24. Links:

Top Ten European Mountains

Top Ten European Mountains

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  1. The Matterhorn, Switzerland and Italy
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    The Matterhorn (German), Monte Cervino (Italian) or Mont Cervin (French), is a mountain in the Pennine Alps on the border between Switzerland and Italy. Its summit is 4,478 m (14,690 ft.) high, making it one of the highest peaks in the Alps. The four steep faces, rising above the surrounding glaciers, face the four compass points. The mountain overlooks the town of Zermatt in the canton of Valais to the north-east and Breuil-Cervinia in the Aosta Valley to the south. The Theodul Pass, located at the eastern base of the peak, is the lowest passage between its north and south side. The Matterhorn was one of the last great Alpine peaks to be climbed and its first ascent marked the end of the golden age of alpinism. It was made in 1865 by a party led by Edward Whymper and ended disastrously when four of its members fell to their deaths on the descent. The north face was not climbed until 1931, and is amongst the six great north faces of the Alps. The Matterhorn is one of the deadliest peaks in the Alps: from 1865 – when it was first climbed – to 1995, 500 alpinists died on it. The Matterhorn has become an iconic emblem of the Swiss Alps and the Alps in general. Since the end of the 19th century, when railways were built, it attracted more and more visitors and climbers. Each summer a large number of mountaineers try to climb the Matterhorn via the northeast Hörnli ridge, the most popular route to the summit.
    Links: Top Ten Swiss Attractions, Top Ten Italian Attractions,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Matterhorn,
  2. Mont Blanc, Italy and France
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    Mont Blanc or Monte Bianco (“White Mountain,”) rises 4,810 m (15,781 ft.) above sea level and is ranked 11th in the world in topographic prominence. The mountain lies in a range called the Graian Alps, between the regions of Aosta Valley, Italy, and Haute-Savoie, France. The location of the summit is on the watershed line between the valleys of Ferret and Veny in Italy and the valleys of Montjoie Valley and Arve Valley in France. The Mont Blanc massif is popular for mountaineering, hiking, skiing, and snowboarding. The three towns and their communes which surround Mont Blanc are Courmayeur in Aosta Valley, Italy, and both Saint-Gervais-les-Bains and Chamonix in Haute-Savoie, France — the latter being the site of the first Winter Olympics. A cable car ascends and crosses the mountain range from Courmayeur to Chamonix, through the Col du Géant. Begun in 1957 and completed in 1965, the 11.6 km (7¼ mi) Mont Blanc Tunnel runs beneath the mountain between these two countries and is one of the major trans-Alpine transport routes.
    Links: Top Ten Italian Attractions, Top Ten French Attractionshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mont_blanc,
  3. Mount Etna, Italy
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           Mount Etna is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, Italy, close to Messina and Catania. It lies above the convergent plate margin between the African Plate and the Eurasian Plate. It is the tallest active volcano on the European continent, currently 3,329 m (10,922 ft.) high, though this varies with summit eruptions. It is the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps. Etna covers an area of 1,190 square km (459 sq mi) with a basal circumference of 140 km. This makes it by far the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy, being about two and a half times the height of the next largest, Mount Vesuvius. Only Mount Teide in Tenerife surpasses it in the whole of the European–North-African region. In Greek Mythology, the deadly monster Typhon was trapped under this mountain by Zeus, the god of the sky and thunder and king of gods, and the forges of Hephaestus were said to also be located underneath it. Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity. The fertile volcanic soils support extensive agriculture, with vineyards and orchards spread across the lower slopes of the mountain and the broad Plain of Catania to the south. Due to its history of recent activity and nearby population, Mount Etna has been designated a Decade Volcano by the United Nations.
    Links: Top Ten Italian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_etna,
  4. Vesuvius Volcano, Italy
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           Mount Vesuvius is a stratovolcano in the Gulf of Naples, Italy, about 9 km (5.6 mi) east of Naples and a short distance from the shore. It is one of several volcanoes which form the Campanian volcanic arc. Vesuvius consists of a large cone partially encircled by the steep rim of a summit caldera caused by the collapse of an earlier and originally much higher structure. Mount Vesuvius is best known for its eruption in AD 79 that led to the burying and destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. That eruption ejected a cloud of stones, ash and fumes to a height of 20.5 miles, spewing molten rock and pulverized pumice at the rate of 1.5 million tons per second, ultimately releasing a hundred thousand times the thermal energy released by the Hiroshima bombing. An estimated 16,000 people died due to hydrothermal pyroclastic flows. The only surviving eyewitness account of the event consists of two letters by Pliny the Younger to the historian Tacitus. Vesuvius has erupted many times since and is the only volcano on the European mainland to have erupted within the last hundred years. Today, it is regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world because of the population of 3,000,000 people living nearby and its tendency towards explosive eruptions. It is the most densely populated volcanic region in the world.
    Links: Top Ten Italian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vesuvius,
  5. Mount Elbrus, Georgia
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           Mount Elbrus is an inactive volcano located in the western Caucasus mountain range, in Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia, Russia, near the border of Georgia. Mt. Elbrus’s peak is the highest in the Caucasus, in Russia. While there are differing authorities on how the Caucasus are distributed between Europe and Asia, many sources agree that Elbrus is also the highest mountain in all of Europe. Mt. Elbrus (west summit) stands at 5,642 m (18,510 ft.); the east summit is slightly lower at 5,621 m (18,442 ft.).
    Links: Top Ten Georgian Attractions, Top Ten Volcanoes, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Elbrus,
  6. Mt. Olympus, Greece
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           Mount Olympus (Greek: Όλυμπος Oros Olympos) is the highest mountain in Greece, located in the Olympus Range on the border between Thessaly and Macedonia, about 80 km (50 mi) southwest from Thessaloniki, Greece’s 2nd largest city. Mount Olympus has 52 peaks, the highest peak being Mytikas, meaning “nose,” rises to 2,917 m (9,570 ft.). It is one of the highest peaks in Europe in terms of topographic prominence. Mount Olympus is noted for its very rich flora with several species. It is a National Park of Greece and a World’s Biosphere Reserve.
    Links: Top Ten Greek Attractionshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Olympus,
  7. Mulhacén, Spain
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    Mulhacén is the highest mountain in continental Spain and in the Iberian Peninsula. It is part of the Sierra Nevada range in the Cordillera Penibética. It is named after Abu l-Hasan Ali, or Muley Hacén as he is known in Spanish, the penultimate Muslim King of Granada in the 15th century who, according to legend, was buried on the summit of the mountain. Mulhacén is the highest peak in Europe outside the Caucasus Mountains and the Alps. It is also the 3rd most topographically prominent peak in Western Europe, after Mont Blanc and Mount Etna, and is ranked 64th in the world by prominence. The peak is not exceptionally dramatic in terms of steepness or local relief. The south flank of the mountain is gentle and presents no technical challenge, as is the case for the long west ridge. The shorter, somewhat steeper north east ridge is slightly more technical. The north face of the mountain, however, is much steeper, and offers several routes involving moderately steep climbing on snow and ice (up to French grade AD) in the winter. Mulhacén can be climbed in a single day from the villages of either Capileira or Trevélez, but it is more common to spend a night at the mountain refuge at Poqueira, or in the bare shelter at Caldera to the west. Those making the ascent from Trevelez can also bivouac at the tarns to the northeast of the peak.
    Links: Top Ten Spanish Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulhac%C3%A9n,
  8. Monte Cinto, France
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    Monte Cinto is the highest mountain on the island of Corsica, a région of France. Its elevation is 2,706 m and so is its prominence, making it one of the most prominent peaks in Europe. Its location gives it a theoretical panorama of mountains on mainland Europe stretching from near Marseille to Rome. The most distant mountain theoretically visible is Monte Rosa in Switzerland, just west of north, approximately 405 km (252 mi) away. The first known ascent of Monte Cinto was by a party led by Édouard Rochat on June 6, 1882, who reached the summit via the mountain’s southern slopes. On May 26, 1883, a party led by the English mountaineer Francis Fox Tuckett, and including the guide F. Devouassoud and the landscape painter Compton, also ascended the mountain by the pass that now bears Tuckett’s name.
    Links: Top Ten French Attractionshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monte_Cinto,
  9. Corno Grande, Italy
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    Corno Grande is part of the Gran Sasso massif, and is the highest peak in the Apennine Mountains and the highest on the Italian Peninsula, at 2,912 m above sea level. Its northern corrie holds Europe’s southernmost glacier, Calderone glacier (Ghiacciaio del Calderone). The first recorded ascent of Corno Grande was made in 1573 by the Bolognese captain Francesco De Marchi together with Francesco Di Domenico. The usual route of ascent is via the western ridge, although a number of other routes exist, including one that ascends the southern face.
    Links: Top Ten Italian Attractionshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corno_grande,
  10. Grossglockner, Austria
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    The Grossglockner is, at 3,798 m above the Adriatic (12,461 ft), the highest mountain of Austria and the highest mountain in the Alps east of the Brenner Pass. It is part of the larger Glockner Group of the Hohe Tauern range, situated along the main ridge of the Central Eastern Alps and the Alpine divide. The Pasterze, Austria’s most extended glacier, lies on the Grossglockner’s eastern slope. The characteristically pyramid-shaped peak actually consists of two pinnacles, the Grossglockner and the Kleinglockner (3,770 m (12,370 ft.), from German: klein, “small”), separated by a saddle-like formation known as the Glocknerscharte.
    Links: Top Ten Austrian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grossglockner,
  11. Galdhøpiggen, Norway
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    Galdhøpiggen is the highest mountain in Norway, Scandinavia and Northern Europe, at 2,469 m (8,100 ft) above sea level. It is located within the municipality of Lom (in Oppland), in the Jotunheimen mountain area.
    Links: Top Ten Norwegian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galdh%C3%B8piggen,
  12. The Finsteraarhorn, Switzerland
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    The Finsteraarhorn (4,274 m (14,022 ft.)) is the highest mountain in the Bernese Alps and the highest mountain in the canton of Berne. It is also the highest summit in the Alps lying outside the main chain, or watershed. The Finsteraarhorn is the 9th highest and 3rd most prominent peak in the Alps. Since 2001 the whole massif and surrounding glaciers are part of the Jungfrau-Aletsch World Heritage Site.
    Links: Top Ten Swiss Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finsteraarhorn,
  13. Piz Bernina, Switzerland
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    Piz Bernina (4,049 m (13,284 ft.)) is the highest mountain of the Eastern Alps and the highest point of the Bernina Range the highest peak in south Rhetic Alps. It is also the farthest easterly mountain higher than 4,000 m (13,000 ft.) in the Alps, the highest point of the Swiss canton of Graubünden, and the 5th most prominent peak in the Alps. Piz Bernina is located near St. Moritz, one of the best known resorts in the Swiss Alps. The mountain takes its name from the Bernina Pass and was given in 1850 by Johann Coaz, who also made the first ascent. The prefix Piz comes from the Romansch language predominant in Graubunden and any mountain with that name immediately points to its location in South-Eastern Switzerland.
    Links: Top Ten Swiss Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piz_Bernina,
  14. Gerlachovský štít, Slovakia
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    Gerlachovský štít is the highest peak in the High Tatras, in Slovakia, and in the whole 1,500 km (930 mi) long Carpathian mountain chain, as well as in northern and eastern Central Europe. Usually listed at 2,655 m (8,711 ft.), its exact elevation is actually 0.6 m (2 ft.) lower. The pyramidal shape of the massif is marked by a huge cirque. Despite its relatively low elevation, the about 2,000 m vertical rise from the valley floor makes Gerlachovský štít soar. Mistaken for an average mountain in the rugged High Tatras range in the more distant past, it has since played a symbolic role in the eyes of the rulers and populations of several Central European nations, to the point that between the 19th and mid-20th century, it had four different names with six name reversals. It managed to be the highest mountain of the Kingdom of Hungary, and of the countries of Czechoslovakia and Slovakia within the span of only about two decades of the 20th century. Gerlachovský štít shares its geology and ecology with the rest of the High Tatras, but provides a worthwhile environment for biologists as the highest ground anywhere in Europe north of the parallel linking approximately Munich, Salzburg, and Vienna. With the travel restrictions imposed by the communist Eastern Bloc, the mountain was particularly treasured as the loftiest point available to climb to by Czechs, East Germans, Hungarians, Poles and Slovaks. It continues to attract its share of visitors although the local authorities have been continually adding new restrictions on access.
    Links: Top Ten Slovakian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerlach_Peak,
  15. Musala, Bulgaria
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    Musala is situated within the Rila National Park, which is noted for its rich flora, including species such as Macedonian Pine and Bulgarian Fir in the forests on its middle slopes, and fauna; it is one of the easiest places in Europe to see the wallcreeper. All major mountain ranges of Bulgaria can be seen from the top; these include Vitosha to the northwest, Sredna Gora towards the northeast, the Balkan Mountains along most of the northern horizon behind Vitosha and Sredna Gora, the Rhodope Mountains to the southeast, Pirin to the south, Osogovo and Ruy Mountain to the west, and of course Rila. With an average annual temperature of -3 °C Musala is the coldest place in Bulgaria and the entire Balkan Peninsula. Due to this about 45% of the annual precipitation on Musala is snow, and snow cover lasts for about 200 days (more than 6.5 months). Three of the main rivers of Bulgaria, the Iskar, Maritsa and Mesta have their sources near Musala. The easiest climb is by a straightforward footpath from the ski resort of Borovets, 10 km to the north; there is also a Gondola lift from Borovets to the Yastrebets peak at 2,369 m altitude and several mountain chalets. A cosmic ray study station functioned at the summit until it was devastated by a fire in 1984. The station was re-opened in 1999 as the Environmental Observatory “Musala” of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences where air pollutants and space radiation are monitored. Also there is a meteorological station, that is doing regular synoptic and climatic observations.
    Links: Top Ten Bulgarian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musala,
  16. Wildspitze, Austria
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    Wildspitze is the highest mountain in the Ötztal Alps and in North Tyrol, as well as the 2nd highest mountain in Austria after the Großglockner. The nearest higher mountain is the Ortler, 48.5 kilometres (30 mi) away in South Tyrol.
    Links: Top Ten Austrian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildspitze,
  17. Hochkönig, Austria
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    Hochkönig is the name applied to the highest mountain in the Berchtesgaden Alps, Salzburgerland, Austria, and also to the surrounding mountain group as a whole. The Berchtesgaden Alps form part of the Northern Limestone Alps.
    Links: Top Ten Austrian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hochkonig,
  18. Monte Rosa (Mount Rose), Switzerland
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    Monte Rosa (Italian) or Mont Rose (French), both meaning “Pink Mountain,” is the highest mountain in Switzerland and the 2nd highest in both the Alps and western Europe. The main summit, known as the Dufourspitze (4,634 m (15,203 ft.)), is the culminating point of the Pennine Alps. Although its main peak is located within Switzerland in the southeastern part of the canton of Valais, the Monte Rosa Massif is the 2nd highest massif in Italy. The Gorner Glacier descends in gentle slopes on the western side of Monte Rosa and flows towards Zermatt. On the east a 2,400 m high wall towers above the village of Macugnaga. Following a long series of attempts beginning in the early 19th century Monte Rosa’s summit was first reached in 1855 from Zermatt by a party of eight climbers led by three guides. Each summer a large number of climbers set out from the Monte Rosa Hut on the mountain’s west side for the summit via the normal route. Many tourists come each year to Zermatt to see the panorama that extends over the giants of the Swiss Alps from Monte Rosa to the Matterhorn.
    Links: Top Ten Swiss Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dufourspitze
  19. Monviso, Italy
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    Monte Viso or Monviso, is the highest mountain of the Cottian Alps. It’s located in Italy close to the French border. Monte Viso is well known for its pyramid-like shape, and because it is higher than all its neighboring peaks by about 500 m it can be seen from some distance, from the Piedmontese plateau and the Langhe. On a very clear day it can be seen from the spires of the Milan Cathedral. It has been suggested that Monte Viso could be one of the mountains which inspired the Paramount logo. In Italy is also known as Il Re di Pietra (The Stone King) because of his prominence within western Italian Alps landscape.
    Links: Top Ten Italian Attractionshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monte_Viso,
  20. Triglav, Slovenia
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    Triglav is with its elevation of 2,864 m (9,396 ft.) the highest mountain in Slovenia and the highest peak of the Julian Alps. The mountain is the preeminent symbol of the Slovene nation. It is the centerpiece of Triglav National Park, Slovenia’s only national park.
    Links: Top Ten Slovenian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triglav,
  21. Mount Athos, Greece
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    Mount Athos is a mountain and peninsula in Greece. A World Heritage Site and autonomous polity in the Hellenic Republic, Athos is home to 20 stavropegial Eastern Orthodox monasteries under the direct jurisdiction of the patriarch of Constantinople. Today Greeks commonly refer to Mount Athos as the “Holy Mountain.” In Classical times, while the mountain was called Athos, the peninsula was called Akté (Ἀκτὴ) (sometimes Acte or Akte).
    Links: Top Ten Greek Attractionshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Athos,
  22. Dents du Midi, Switzerland
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    The Dents du Midi (“The Teeth of the South”) are a multi-summited mountain situated in the Chablais Alps in the Swiss canton of Valais. They are composed of seven distinct summits and reach a height of 3257 m (10,686 ft.). Dominating the Val-d’Illiez and the Rhône Valley, to the south it faces the Lac de Salanfe, an artificial reservoir. Geologically it makes up a part of the massif Haut-Giffre.
    Links: Top Ten Swiss Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haute_Cime,
  23. The Zugspitze, Germany
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    The Zugspitze, at 2,962 m (9,718 ft.) above sea level, is the highest peak of the Wetterstein Mountains as well as the highest mountain in Germany. It lies south of the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and the border between Germany and Austria runs over its western summit. On the flanks of the Zugspitze are three glaciers, including the two largest in Germany. The Zugspitze was first conquered on 27 August 1820 by Josef Naus, his survey assistant, Maier, and mountain guide, Johann Georg Tauschl. Today there are three normal routes to the summit: one from the Höllental valley to the northeast; another out of the Reintal valley to the southeast; and the third from the west over the Austrian Cirque (Österreichische Schneekar). One of the best known ridge routes in the Eastern Alps runs along the knife-edged Jubilee Ridge (Jubiläumsgrat) to the summit, linking the Zugspitze, the Hochblassen and the Alpspitze. For mountaineers there is plenty of accommodation in the vicinity. On the western summit of the Zugspitze itself is the Münchner Haus and on the western slopes is the Wiener-Neustädter Hut. Three cable cars run to the top of the Zugspitze. In winter, nine ski lifts cover the ski area on the Zugspitzplatt. The weather station, opened in 1900, and the research station in the Schneefernerhaus are mainly used to conduct climate research.
    Links: Top Ten German Attractionshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zugspitze,
  24. Monte Antelao, Italy
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    Monte Antelao is the highest mountain in the eastern Dolomites (a section of the Alps) in northeastern Italy, southeast of the town of Cortina d’Ampezzo, in the region of Cadore. It is known as the “King of the Dolomites.” (Marmolada, the highest of all the Dolomites, is the “Queen.”) Like many Dolomite peaks, Antelao is steep, rocky, and pointed; it also sits close to the edge of the Dolomite uplift and so has dramatic drops to the nearby valleys. The easiest route is from the north, known as the “Laste,” a steep, narrow ridge. It involves a good deal of exposure, and a few short technical sections, such as a chimney, protected by cables.
    Links: Top Ten Italian Attractionshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antelao,
  25. Links: Mountains,

Top Ten South American Mountains

Top Ten South American Mountains

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  1. Aconagua, Argentina
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    Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the Americas at 6,960.8 m (22,837.3 ft). It is located in the Andes mountain range, in the province of Mendoza, Argentina, and lies 112 km (70 mi) northwest of its capital, the city of Mendoza. Aconcagua is the highest peak in both the Western and Southern Hemispheres. It is one of the Seven Summits. Aconcagua is bounded by the Valle de las Vacas to the north and east and the Valle de los Horcones Inferior to the West and South. The mountain and its surroundings are part of the Aconcagua Provincial Park. The mountain has a number of glaciers, with the largest being the Ventisquero Horcones Inferior at about 10 km long, which descends from the south face to about 3600 m altitude near the Confluencia camp. Two other large glacier systems are the Ventisquero de las Vacas Sur and Glaciar Este/Ventisquero Relinchos system at about 5 km long. The most well-known is the north-eastern or Polish Glacier, as it is a common route of ascent. The mountain was created by the subduction of the Nazca Plate beneath the South American plate during the geologically recent Andean orogeny; but it is not a volcano. The origin of the name is contested; it is either from the Arauca Aconca-Hue, which refers to the Aconcagua River and means “comes from the other side,” the Quechua Ackon Cahuak, meaning “‘Sentinel of Stone,” or Quechua Anco Cahuac, “White Sentinel” or the Aymara Janq’u Q’awa, “White Ravine,” “White Brook.”
    Links: Top Ten Argentinian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aconcagua,
  2. Monte Roraima, Brazil, Venezuela and Guyana
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    Mount Roraima is the highest of the Pakaraima chain of tepui plateau in South America. First described by the English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh in 1596, its 31 square km summit area is defended on all sides by tall cliffs rising 400 m (1,300 ft.). The mountain also serves as the triple border point of Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana. Mount Roraima lies on the Guiana Shield in the southeastern corner of Venezuela’s 30,000 square km (12,000 sq mi) Canaima National Park forming the highest peak of Guyana’s Highland Range. The tabletop mountains of the park are considered some of the oldest geological formations on Earth, dating back to some two billion years ago in the Precambrian. The highest point in Guyana and the highest point of the Brazilian state of Roraima lie on the plateau, but Venezuela and Brazil have higher mountains elsewhere. The mountain’s highest point is Maverick Rock, 2,810 m (9,219 ft.), at the south end of the plateau and wholly within Venezuela.
    Links: Top Ten Brazilian Attractions, Top Ten Venezuelan Attractions, Top Ten Guyanese Attractions, Top Ten National Wonders of the World, Top Ten Plateaus,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monte_Roraima,
  3. Yerupajá, Peru
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    Yerupajá is a mountain of the Waywash mountain range in west central Peru, part of the Andes. At 6,635 m (21,768 ft.) it is the 2nd highest in Peru and the highest in the Waywash mountain range. The summit is the highest point in the Amazon River watershed, and was first reached in 1950 by Jim Maxwell and Dave Harrah, and its northern peak (Yerupajá Norte) in 1968 by the Wellingtonian Roger Bates and Graeme Dingle. The mountain’s local name is El Carnicero, which means The Butcher. This name refers to the knife-edge-sharpness of its summit ridge, and possibly to the climbers who have died trying to climb it. Many visitors consider Yerupajá to be the most spectacular peak in South America. There have been only a few successful ascents of the peak because it is one of the hardest Andean high peaks to climb. The most popular route is the southwest face. The approach is normally made from Huaraz southwards via Chiquián and Hawaqucha.
    Links: Top Ten Peruvian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yerupaj%C3%A1,
  4. Alpamayo, Peru
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    Alpamayo, Allpamayu (“earth river”) or Shuyturahu (“slim and long snow covered mountain”) is one of the most conspicuous peaks in the Cordillera Blanca of the Peruvian Andes. It is named after the river Allpamayu which originates northwest of it. It is a steep (sixty degrees), almost perfect pyramid of ice, one of a number of peaks that compose the Pukarahu massif, the northernmost massif of the Cordillera Blanca. Although smaller than many of its neighboring peaks, it is distinguished by its unusual formation and overwhelming beauty. It actually has two sharp summits, North and South, separated by a narrow corniced ridge. On July 1966, on the German magazine “Alpinismus,” a photo made by American photographer Leigh Ortenburger, came together with an article resulting from an international survey among climbers, photographers, etc., making the choice for Alpamayo as “The Most Beautiful Mountain in the World.”
    Links: Top Ten Peruvian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpamayo,
  5. Kapak Urku (El Altar), Ecuador
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    El Altar or Kapak Urku, “sublime mountain,” is an extinct volcano on the western side of Sangay National Park in Ecuador, 170 km south of Quito. Spaniards named it so because it resembled two nuns and four friars listening to a bishop around a church altar.
    Links: Top Ten Ecuadoran Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Altar,
  6. Nevado del Huila, Colombia
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    Nevado del Huila at 5,750 m (18,865 ft.), is the highest volcano in Colombia located in Huila Department, Tolima and Cauca Departments. After being dormant for more than 500 years, the volcano showed heavy signs of activity in 2007 and 2008. As of February 20, 2007, there were more than 7000 “minor” seismic events, and a high state of alert was in place for the departments of Cauca, Huila, Caldas and Valle del Cauca. The volcano erupted twice in April 2007, once in April 2008 and again in November 2008. Any eruption would affect the small villages around the volcano, mostly Paez, Cauca, where their inhabitants still have in memory the eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano and the destruction of Armero.
    Links: Top Ten Colombian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nevado_del_Huila,
  7. Chimborazo, Ecuador
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    Chimborazo is a currently inactive stratovolcano located in the Cordillera Occidental range of the Andes. Its last known eruption is believed to have occurred around 550 AD. With a peak elevation of 6,268 m (20,564 ft.), Chimborazo is the highest mountain in Ecuador. It is the highest peak in close proximity to the equator. While Chimborazo is not the highest mountain by elevation above sea level, its location along the equatorial bulge makes its summit the farthest point on the Earth’s surface from the Earth’s center.
    Links: Top Ten Ecuadoran Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimborazo_(volcano),
  8. Pico da Neblina, Brazil
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    Pico da Neblina (Mist Peak) is the highest mountain in Brazil, 2,994 m (9,823 ft,) above sea level, in the Serra da Neblina, Serra do Imeri, a section of the Guiana Highlands on the Brazil–Venezuela border. As determined by a border survey expedition in 1962, its summit lies just within Brazilian territory, at a horizontal distance of only 687 m (2,254 ft) from the Venezuelan border at Pico 31 de Março. As the peak’s name suggests, it is shrouded in dense clouds most of the time. It was first ascended in 1965 by members of a Brazilian Army expedition.
    Links: Top Ten Brazilian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pico_da_Neblina,
  9. Cerro Marahuaca, Venezuela

    Cerro Marahuaca is a tepui in Amazonas state, Venezuela. It has an elevation of 2,832 m (9,291 ft.) above sea level and is the 2ndhighest mountain of the entire Guayana Shield (after the Cerro de la Neblina complex). Cerro Marahuaca shares a common base with the much larger Cerro Duida and together they form the Duida–Marahuaca Massif. Both tepuis are located entirely within the bounds of Duida–Marahuaca National Park. Cerro Marahuaca actually consists of two summit plateaus, the slightly larger northern one going by the Yekwana Amerindian name Fufha or Huha. The southern plateau is known by two local names; its northwestern edge is called Fuif or Fhuif, whereas its southeastern portion is called Atahua’shiho or Atawa Shisho. A massive ridge known as Cerro Petaca rises to at least 2,700 m (8,900 ft) just west of these two plateaus. Cerro Marahuaca has a total summit area of 121 km2 (47 sq mi) and an estimated slope area of 325 km2 (125 sq mi).
    Links: Top Ten Venezuelan Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerro_Marahuaca,
  10. Pico Cristóbal Colón and Pico Simón Bolívar, Colombia
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    Pico Cristóbal Colón is the highest mountain in Colombia, with an estimated height of 5,700 m (18,700 ft.). It is also the 5th most prominent in the world. The nearest peak that is higher is Cayambe, some 1,288 km (800 mi) away. There is a permanent snowcap on this peak and on the nearby mountains. It is part of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta range, along with Pico Simón Bolívar. The peak is named after Christopher Columbus. Pico Cristóbal Colón and Pico Simón Bolívar are the two highest peaks in Colombia and are very nearly equal in elevation. It is possible that nearby Pico Simón Bolívar is higher than Pico Cristóbal Colón. If so, then Pico Simón Bolívar is the true highest mountain in Colombia and the 5th most prominent in the world. Pico Cristóbal Colón was first climbed in 1939 by W. Wood, A. Bakerwell and E. Praolini.
    Links: Top Ten Colombian Attractions,   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pico_Crist%C3%B3bal_Col%C3%B3n,
  11. Illimani, Bolivia

           Illimani (from Aimara, meaning “golden eagle”) is the highest mountain in the Cordillera Real (part of the Cordillera Oriental, a subrange of the Andes) of western Bolivia. It lies just south of La Paz at the eastern edge of the Altiplano. It is the 2nd highest peak in Bolivia, after Nevado Sajama, and the 18th highest peak in South America. The snow line lies at about 4,570 m (15,000 ft.) above sea level, and glaciers are found on the northern face at 4,983 m (16,350 ft.). The mountain has four main peaks; the highest is the south summit, Nevado Illimani, which is a popular ascent for mountain climbers. Geologically, Illimani is composed primarily of granodiorite, intruded during the Cenozoic era into the sedimentary rock which forms the bulk of the Cordillera Real. Illimani is quite visible from the city of La Paz and is its major landmark. The mountain has been the subject of many local songs, most importantly “Illimani,” with the following refrain: “¡Illimani, Illimani, sentinela tu eres de La Paz! ¡Illimani, Illimani, patrimonio eres de Bolivia!”
    Links: Top Ten Bolivian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illimani,
  12. Huayna Potosí, Bolivia

            Huayna Potosí is a mountain in Bolivia, located about 25 km north of La Paz in the Cordillera Real. Huayna Potosí is the closest high mountain to La Paz, a city which is surrounded by high mountains, and itself is the highest capital city in the world. Huayna Potosí is roughly 15 miles due north of the city, which makes this mountain the most popular climb in Bolivia. The normal ascent route is a fairly straightforward glacier climb, with some crevasses and a steep climb to the summit. However, the other side of the mountain, Huayna Potosí West Face, is the biggest face in Bolivia. Several difficult snow and ice routes goes up this 1,000 m high face. The first ascent of the normal route took place in 1919 by Germans Rudolf Dienst and Adolf Schulze. Some climbing books report this mountain as the “easiest 6,000er in the world,” but this claim is arguable. The easiest route entails an exposed ridge and sections of moderately steep ice, with a UIAA rating of PD. There are many 6,000 m mountains that are easier to climb in terms of technical difficulty. Perhaps, the main reason Huayna Potosí has been called the easiest 6000 m climb is that the elevation gain from trailhead to summit is less than 1400 m; with easy access from La Paz. Since La Paz is at 3,640 m, climbers have an easier time acclimatizing.
    Links: Top Ten Bolivian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huayna_Potos%C3%AD,
  13. Cotopaxi, Ecuador
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    Cotopaxi is a stratovolcano in the Andes Mountains, located about 28 km (17 mi) south of Quito, Ecuador, South America. It is the 2nd highest summit in the country, reaching a height of 5,897 m (19,347 ft.) and is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. Since 1738, Cotopaxi has erupted more than 50 times, resulting in the creation of numerous valleys formed by lahars (mudflows) around the volcano.
    Links: Top Ten Ecuadoran Attractions, Top Ten Volcanoes, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotopaxi,
  14. Cordillera del Paine, Chile
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    The Cordillera del Paine is a small mountain group in Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia. It is located 280 km (170 mi) north of Punta Arenas, and about 1,960 km south of the Chilean capital Santiago. It belongs to the Commune of Torres del Paine in Última Esperanza Province of Magallanes and Antártica Chilena Region. No accurate surveys have been published, and published elevations have been claimed to be seriously inflated, so most of the elevations given on this page are approximate.
    Links: Top Ten Chilean Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cordillera_del_Paine,
  15. Tupungato, Argentina
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    Tupungato, one of the highest mountains in the Americas, is a massive Andean stratovolcano dating to Pleistocene times. It lies on the border between the Chilean Metropolitan Region (near a major international highway about 80 km (50 mi) east of Santiago) and the Argentine province of Mendoza, about 100 km (62 mi) south of Aconcagua, the highest peak of both the Southern and Western Hemispheres. Immediately to its southwest is the active Tupungatito volcano, which last erupted in 1987. The mountain gives its name to the Tupungato Department, an important Argentine wine producing region in the Mendoza province.
    Links: Top Ten Argentinian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupungato,
  16. Nevado Sajama, Bolivia
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    Nevado Sajama is an extinct stratovolcano and the highest peak in Bolivia. The mountain is located in the Oruro Department, Sajama Province, Curahuara de Carangas Municipality, Sajama Canton. It is situated in the Sajama National Park in the southwest area of the country some 16–24 km (10-15 mi) from the border with Chile. The peak is an isolated cone, but is geologically complex, with lava domes of andesitic and rhyodactic composition overlain by an andesitic stratovolcano. The treeline of Polylepis tarapacana on the volcano is as high as 5,200 m above sea level, one of the highest altitudes trees can be found growing anywhere in the world. From the village of Sajama an acclimatized team can climb the mountain in two or three days if weather conditions are favorable. Currently the easiest of the routes is the SW ridge. This route is technically easy, require some minimal mountaineering equipment and does not present any particular difficulty except some snow slopes up to 45 degrees. In August 2001, two teams of Sajama villagers and Bolivian mountain guides played a soccer match on top of Mount Sajama in an effort to show that altitude itself is not a limitation to physical strain. Indeed, the objective was to protest against the FIFA decision to discontinue the use of La Paz as a location to hold international football matches, because of its very high elevation.
    Links: Top Ten Bolivian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nevado_Sajama,
  17. Coropuna, Peru
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    Coropuna is the largest and highest volcano in Peru, attaining an elevation of 6,425 m (21,079 ft.). It is located about 150 km (90 mi) northwest of Arequipa, the 2nd largest city in Peru. Three summits have over 300 m of prominence, the true summit, 6,425 m, is at the northwest corner of the plateau. The southwest summit Kasulla (Casulla) has an elevation of 6,377 m, but may be equal or greater in height depending on the depth of seasonal snow. A further summit with over 300 m prominence is Coropuna E, 6,307 m high. A permanent ice cap of about 130 square km (50 sq mi) in area covers the summit region, extending down to roughly 5,300 m (17,400 ft.) on the north side and 4,800 m (15,700 ft.) on the south. The name Coropuna means “shrine on the plateau” in Quechua. Coropuna was and still is one of the most sacred mountains in Peru, and in 1553 its temple was claimed to be the 5th most important shrine in the Inca Empire by the chronicler, Cieza de Leon. In 1982 the Peruvian archaeologist José Antonio Chávez was able to briefly visit an Inca site called Achaymarka (Achaymarca), which he felt was a likely candidate to be the temple of Coropuna. In 1989 Chávez and Johan Reinhard led an expedition to visit Achaymarka and surveyed the central ruins at 4,030 m (13,222 ft.), which was part of a complex of over 200 structures, including an ushnu, an Inca ceremonial platform. They also traced an Inca trail up to 5,500 m (18,044 ft) on the western slope of the mountain, where it disappeared beneath the glacier ice. Along this trail was an Inca site at 5,090 m (16,699 ft.) that they named Aqukancha (Ajocancha). In 1996 they organized another expedition which found wool and llama bones at 5,760 m (18,897 ft), llama bones and shards at 5,947 m (19,511 ft), and wood at 6,200 m (20,341 ft), providing evidence of pre-Columbian ascents. Another large Inca site, Mawk’allaqta, has been investigated by Peruvian and Polish archaeologists in recent years. It lies several km to the east of Achaymarka at the head of a separate drainage system and also contains an ushnu and numerous structures. Thus two “temples” of primary importance had been established by the Incas on the slopes of Coropuna.
    Links: Top Ten Peruvian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coropuna,
  18. Tronador, Argentina and Chile
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    Tronador is an extinct stratovolcano in the southern Andes, located along the border between Argentina and Chile near the city of Bariloche. The mountain was named Tronador (Spanish for Thunderer) by locals in reference to the sound of falling seracs. With an altitude of 3,470 m, Tronador stands more than 1000 m above nearby mountains in the Andean massif, making it a popular mountaineering destination. Located inside two National Parks, Nahuel Huapi in Argentina and Vicente Pérez Rosales in Chile, Tronador hosts a total of eight glaciers, which are currently retreating due to warming of the upper troposphere.
    Links: Top Ten Argentinian Attractions, Top Ten Chilean Attractions, Top 100 Birds,   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tronador,
  19. Monte Pissis, Argentina

    Monte Pissis is an extinct volcano in La Rioja Province, Argentina. The mountain is the third-highest in the Western Hemisphere, and is located about 550 km (340 mi) north of Aconcagua. Monte Pissis is named after Pedro José Amadeo Pissis, a French geologist who worked for the Chilean government. Due to its location in the Atacama Desert, the mountain has very dry conditions but there is an extensive glacier (with crevasses, which is unique in the region).
    Links: Top Ten Argentinian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monte_Pissis,
  20. Huascarán, Peru
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    Huascarán or Nevado Huascarán is a mountain in the Peruvian province of Yungay, situated in the Cordillera Blanca range of the western Andes. The highest southern summit of Huascarán (Huascarán Sur) is the highest point in Peru, and in all of the Earth’s Tropics. Huascarán is the 4th highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere after Aconcagua, Ojos del Salado, and Monte Pissis. The mountain was named after Huáscar, a 16th century Inca chieftain who was the Sapa Inca of the Inca empire. The mountain has two distinct summits, the higher with an elevation of 6,768 m (22,205 ft.). Huascarán gives its name to Huascarán National Park which surrounds it, and is a popular location for trekking and mountaineering. Huascarán is normally climbed from the village of Musho to the west via a high camp in the col that separates the two summits, known as La Garganta. The ascent normally takes 5–7 days, the main difficulties being the large crevasses that often block the route. The Huascarán summit is one of the points on the Earth’s surface farthest from the Earth’s center, closely behind the farthest point, Chimborazo in Ecuador. The summit of Huascarán is the place on Earth with the smallest gravitational force.
    Links: Top Ten Peruvian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huascar%C3%A1n,
  21. Links: Mountains,

Top Ten North American Mountains

Top Ten North American Mountains

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  1. Mount McKinley, Alaska, USA
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    Mount McKinley or Denali (“The High One”), is the highest mountain peak in North America, with a summit elevation of 20,237 ft. (6,168 m) above sea level. At some 18,000 feet (5,500 m), the base to peak rise is considered the largest of any mountain situated entirely above sea level. Measured by topographic prominence, it is the third most prominent peak after Mount Everest and Aconcagua. Located in the Alaska Range in the interior of US state of Alaska, it is the centerpiece of Denali National Park and Preserve. The first European to document sighting the mountain was George Vancouver in 1794. In 1903, James Wickersham recorded the first attempt at climbing McKinley, which was unsuccessful. The first verifiable ascent to McKinley’s summit was achieved on June 7, 1913 by climbers Hudson Stuck, Harry Karstens, Walter Harper, and Robert Tatum, who went by the South Summit.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_McKinley,
  2. The Ten Peaks and the Rocky Mountains, USA
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           The Rocky Mountains, commonly known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than 3,000 miles (4,830 km) from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States. Within the North American Cordillera, the Rockies are somewhat distinct from the Pacific Coast Ranges and the Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada which all lie farther to the west. The Rocky Mountains were formed from 80 million to 55 million years ago during the Laramide orogeny, in which a number of plates began to slide underneath the North American plate. The angle of subduction was shallow, resulting in a broad belt of mountains running down western North America. Since then, erosion by water and glaciers have sculpted the Rockies into dramatic peaks and valleys. At the end of the last ice age, humans started to inhabit the mountain range. After Europeans, such as Sir Alexander MacKenzie and the Lewis and Clark expedition, started to explore the range, minerals and furs drove the initial economic exploitation of the mountains, although the range itself never became densely populated. Currently, much of the mountain range is protected by public parks and forest lands, and is a popular tourist destination, especially for hiking, camping, mountaineering, fishing, hunting, mountain biking, skiing, and snowboarding. Valley of the Ten Peaks is a valley in Banff National Park that is crowned by ten notable peaks and also includes Moraine Lake. The valley can be reached by following the Moraine Lake road near Lake Louise. The ten peaks were originally named by Samuel Allen, an early explorer of the region, who simply referred to them by using the numerals from one to ten in the Stoney First Nations Language. He may have learnt the terms from his Native American guides, who helped him with the horses. The Nakoda – also known as the Stoney Indians – is a tribe whose culture and dialect are closely related to that of the Assiniboine First Nation, from whom they are believed to have separated in the mid-1700s, and who roamed large parts of the prairies and mountains of western Alberta well into British Columbia. The secluded Valley of the Ten Peaks was part of their original homeland. Gradually, though, all but three of the mountains were renamed in honor of noteworthy individuals, including Allan himself. Mount Hungabee was not included in the original peak list by Allen, even though it is higher than Wenkchemna Peak, the latter of which is really an extension of Hungabee.
    Links: Top Ten Mountain Ranges, Top Ten Explorers, Top Ten American Explorers, National Parks,   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Mountains,
  3. Pico de Orizaba, Mexico
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    The Pico de Orizaba, or Citlaltépetl (star mountain), is a stratovolcano, the highest mountain in Mexico and the 3rd highest in North America. It rises 5,636 m (18,491 ft.) above sea level in the eastern end of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, on the border between the states of Veracruz and Puebla. The volcano is currently dormant but not extinct with the last eruption taking place during the 19th century. It is the second most prominent volcanic peak in the world after Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro.
    Links: Top Ten Mexican Attractions, Top Ten Volcanoes, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pico_de_Orizaba,
  4. Hawaiian Islands, USA
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    The Hawaiian Islands are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls, numerous smaller islets, and undersea seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean, extending some 1,500 mi (2,400 km) from the island of Hawaiʻi in the south to northernmost Kure Atoll. Once known as the “Sandwich Islands,” the name chosen by James Cook in honour of the then First Lord of the Admiralty John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, the archipelago now takes its name from the largest island in the cluster. The US state of Hawaii occupies the archipelago almost in its entirety, with the sole exception of Midway island, which is instead an unincorporated territory within the US Minor Outlying Islands. The Hawaiian Islands are the exposed peaks of a great undersea mountain range known as the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain, formed by volcanic activity over a hotspot in the Earth’s mantle. The islands are about 1,860 miles (3,000 km) from the nearest continent.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawaiian_islands,
  5. Mount Logan, Canada and USA
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    Mount Logan is the highest mountain in Canada and the 2nd highest peak in North America, after Mount McKinley. The mountain was named after Sir William Edmond Logan, a Canadian geologist and founder of the Geological Survey of Canada. Mount Logan is located within Kluane National Park and Reserve in southwestern Yukon and is the source of the Hubbard and Logan Glaciers. Logan is believed to have the largest base circumference of any non-volcanic mountain on Earth (a large number of shield volcanoes are much larger in size and mass), with the massif containing eleven peaks over 5,000 m (16,400 ft.). Because of active tectonic uplifting, Mount Logan is still rising in height. Before 1992, the exact elevation of Mount Logan was unknown and measurements ranged from 5,959 m (19,551 ft.) to 6,050 m (19,849 ft.). Temperatures are extremely low on and near Mount Logan. On the 5,000 m high plateau, air temperature hovers around −45 °C (−49 °F) in the winter and reaches near freezing in summer with the median temperature for the year around −27 °C (−17 °F). Minimal snow melt leads to a significant ice cap, reaching almost 300 m (984 ft.) in certain spots.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Logan,
  6. Mount Saint Elias, Alaska, USA and Canada
    St. Elias over Guyot Glacier.cfabd
    Mount Saint Elias, also designated Boundary Peak 186, is the 2nd highest mountain in both Canada and the US, being situated on the Yukon and Alaska border. It lies about 40 km (25 mi) southwest of Mount Logan, the highest mountain in Canada. The Canadian side is part of Kluane National Park, while the US side of the mountain is located within Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Its name in Tlingit is Yaas’éit’aa Shaa, meaning “mountain behind Icy Bay.” It is one of the most important crests of the Kwaashk’khwáan clan since they used it as a guide during their journey down the Copper River. Mount Fairweather at the apex of the British Columbia and Alaska borders at the head of the Alaska Panhandle is known as Tsalxhaan, it is said this mountain and Yaas’éit’aa Shaa (Mt. St. Elias) were originally next to each other but had an argument and separated. Their children, the mountains in between the two peaks, are called Tsalxhaan Yatx’i (“Children of Tsalxaan”). The mountain was first sighted by European explorers on July 16, 1741 by Vitus Bering of Russia. While some historians contend that the mountain was named by Bering, others believe that 18th century mapmakers named it after Cape Saint Elias, when it was left unnamed by Bering. Mount Saint Elias is notable for its immense vertical relief. Its summit rises 18,008 ft. (5,489 m) vertically in just 10 miles (16 km) horizontal distance from the head of Taan Fjord, off of Icy Bay. In 2007, an Austrian documentary movie called “Mount. St. Elias” was made about a team of skiier/mountaineers determined to make “the planet’s longest skiing descent” – ascending the mountain and then skiing nearly all 18,000 feet down to the Gulf of Alaska.
    Links:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Saint_Elias,
  7. Popocatépetl, Mexico
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    Popocatépetl is an active volcano located in the states of Puebla, State of Mexico, and Morelos, in Central Mexico, and lies in the eastern half of the Trans-Mexican volcanic belt. At 5,426 m (17,802 ft.) it is the 2nd highest peak in Mexico, after the Pico de Orizaba at 5,636 m (18,491 ft.). It is linked to the Iztaccihuatl volcano to the north by the high saddle known as the Paso de Cortés. Popocatepetl is 70 km (43 mi) southeast of Mexico City, from where it can be seen regularly, depending on atmospheric conditions. Until recently, the volcano was one of three tall peaks in Mexico to contain glaciers, the others being Iztaccihuatl and Pico de Orizaba. In the 1990’s, the glaciers such as Glaciar Norte (North Glacier) greatly decreased in size, partly due to warmer temperatures but largely due to increased volcanic activity. By early 2001, Popocatepetl’s glaciers had become extinct; ice remained on the volcano, but no longer displayed the characteristic features of glaciers such as crevasses. Magma erupting from Popocatepetl has historically been predominantly andesitic, but it has also erupted large volumes of dacite.
    Links: Top Ten Mexican Attractions, Top Ten Volcanoes,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popocat%C3%A9petl,
  8. Mount Whitney and the Sierra Nevada, California, USA
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    Mount Whitney is the highest summit in the contiguous US with an elevation of 14,505 ft. (4,421 m). It is on the boundary between California’s Inyo and Tulare counties, 84.6 miles (136.2 km) west-northwest of the lowest point in North America at Badwater in Death Valley National Park at 282 ft. (86 m) below sea level. The west slope of the mountain is in Sequoia National Park and the summit is the south end of the John Muir Trail which runs 211.9 mi (341.0 km) from Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley. The east slope is in the Inyo National Forest in Inyo County. The Sierra Nevada is a mountain range in the US states of California and Nevada, between the Central Valley and the Basin and Range Province. The Sierra runs 400 miles (640 km) north-to-south, and is approximately 70 miles (110 km) across east-to-west. Notable Sierra features include Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America; Mount Whitney at 14,505 ft. (4,421 m), the highest point in the contiguous United States; and Yosemite Valley sculpted by glaciers out of 100-million-year-old granite. The Sierra is home to three national parks, 20 wilderness areas, and two national monuments. These areas include Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks; and Devils Postpile National Monument. More than 100 million years ago, granite formed deep underground. The range started to uplift 4 Ma (million years) ago, and erosion by glaciers exposed the granite and formed the light-colored mountains and cliffs that make up the range. The uplift caused a wide range of elevations and climates in the Sierra Nevada, which are reflected by the presence of five life zones. The Sierra Nevada was home to several Native American tribes. The first European to sight the range was Pedro Fages in 1772. The range was explored between 1844 and 1912.
    Links: National Parks, Top Ten North American National Parks,   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Whitneyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sierra_Nevada_(U.S.),
  9. Mount St. Helens, Washington, USA
    File:Sthelens1.jpgFile:MSH82 st helens plume from harrys ridge 05-19-82.jpgFile:1890 Clohessy and Strengele engraving of Mount St Helens.jpgFile:Mount St Helens erupting at night by Paul Kane.jpg
           Mount St. Helens is an active stratovolcano located in Skamania County, Washington, in the Pacific Northwest region of the US. It is 96 miles (154 km) south of Seattle, Washington and 50 miles (80 km) northeast of Portland, Oregon. Mount St. Helens takes its English name from the British diplomat Lord St Helens, a friend of explorer George Vancouver who made a survey of the area in the late 18th century. The volcano is located in the Cascade Range and is part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc, a segment of the Pacific Ring of Fire that includes over 160 active volcanoes. This volcano is well known for its ash explosions and pyroclastic flows. Mount St. Helens is most notorious for its catastrophic eruption on May 18, 1980, at 8:32 am PDT, the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the US. 57 people were killed; 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles (24 km) of railways, and 185 miles (298 km) of highway were destroyed. A massive debris avalanche triggered by an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, caused an eruption, reducing the elevation of the mountain’s summit from 9,677 ft (2,950 m) to 8,365 ft (2,550 m) and replacing it with a 1 mile (1.6 km) wide horseshoe-shaped crater. The debris avalanche was up to 0.7 cubic miles (2.9 cubic km) in volume. The Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument was created to preserve the volcano and allow for its aftermath to be scientifically studied. As with most other volcanoes in the Cascade Range, Mount St. Helens is a large eruptive cone consisting of lava rock interlayered with ash, pumice, and other deposits. The mountain includes layers of basalt and andesite through which several domes of dacite lava have erupted. The largest of the dacite domes formed the previous summit, and off its northern flank sat the smaller Goat Rocks dome. Both were destroyed in the 1980 eruption.

    Links: Top Ten Volcanoes, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_St._Helens,
  10. Mount Blackburn and the Wrangell Mountains, Alaska, USA
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    Mount Blackburn is the highest peak in the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska in the US. It is the 5th highest peak in the US and the 12th highest peak in North America. The mountain is an old, eroded shield volcano, the 2nd highest volcano in the US behind Mount Bona and the 5th highest in North America. It was named in 1885 by Lt. Henry T. Allen of the U.S. Army after Joseph Clay Stiles Blackburn, a US senator from Kentucky. It is located in the heart of Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, the largest national park in the country. The mountain’s massif is covered almost entirely by icefields and glaciers, and is the principal source of ice for the Kennicott Glacier, which flows southeast over 20 miles (32 km) to just above the town of McCarthy. The mountain also contributes a large volume of ice to the north-flowing Nabesna Glacier and the Kuskulana Glacier system. Mount Blackburn is a large, dramatic peak, with great local relief and independence from higher peaks. Its west face drops over 11,000 ft. (3,350 m) to the Kuskulana Glacier in less than 4 horizontal miles (6 km). Its other faces drop 8,000–10,000 ft. (2,440–3,050 m), all in less than 8 miles. The first ascent of the west peak, and hence Mount Blackburn, was done on May 30, 1958 by Bruce Gilbert, Dick Wahlstrom, Hans Gmoser, Adolf Bitterlich, and Leon Blumer via the North (also called the Northwest) Ridge. This team made the first ascent of Blackburn, but did not even know it at the time due to the incorrect identification of the highpoint.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Blackburn,
  11. Mount Fairweather, Alaska, USA and British Colombia, Canada
    1Moon at sunrise over Mt Fairweather3
    Mount Fairweather is one of the world’s highest coastal mountains at 4,671 m (15,325 ft.) It is located 20 km (12 mi) east of the Pacific Ocean on the border of Alaska, US and western British Columbia, Canada. Most of the mountain lies within Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in the City and Borough of Yakutat, Alaska (USA), though the summit borders Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park, British Columbia (Canada), making it the highest point in that province. It is also designated as Boundary Peak 164 or as US/Canada Boundary Point #164. The mountain was named on May 3, 1778 by Captain James Cook, apparently for the unusually good weather encountered at the time. Fairweather was first climbed in 1931 by Allen Carpé and Terris Moore.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Fairweather,
  12. Mount Shasta, California, USA
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            Mount Shasta (“White Mountain”) is a volcano located at the southern end of the Cascade Range in Siskiyou County, California. At 14,179 ft. (4,322 m), it is the 2nd highest peak in the Cascades and the 5th highest in California. Mount Shasta has an estimated volume of 85 cubic miles (350 km3) which makes it the most voluminous stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc. The mountain and its surrounding area are managed by the US Forest Service, Shasta-Trinity National Forest.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Shasta,
  13. Mount Sanford, Alaska, USA
    abc
    Mount Sanford is a shield volcano in the Wrangell Volcanic Field, in eastern Alaska near the Copper River. It is the 3rd highest volcano in the US behind Mount Bona and Mount Blackburn. The south face of the volcano, at the head of the Sanford Glacier, rises 8,000 feet (2,400 m) in 1 mile (1,600 m) resulting in one of the steepest gradients in North America.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Sanford_(Alaska),
  14. Mount Ranier, Washington, USA
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    Mount Rainier is a massive stratovolcano located 54 miles (87 km) southeast of Seattle in the state of Washington, US. It is the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous US and the Cascade Volcanic Arc, with a summit elevation of 14,411 ft. (4,392 m). Mt. Rainier is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, and it is on the Decade Volcano list. Because of its large amount of glacial ice, Mt. Rainier could potentially produce massive lahars that would threaten the whole Puyallup River valley.
    Links: Top Ten Volcanoes, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Rainier,
  15. Mount Mazama/Crater Lake, Oregon, USA
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           Mount Mazama is a destroyed stratovolcano in the Oregon part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc and the Cascade Range located in the US. The volcano’s collapsed caldera holds Crater Lake, and the entire mountain is located within Crater Lake National Park. Mazama was destroyed by a volcanic eruption that occurred around 5,677 (± 150) BC. The eruption reduced Mazama’s approximate 12,000-foot (3,700 m) height by around a mile (1600 m). Much of the volcano fell into the volcano’s partially emptied neck and magma chamber. At 8,159 feet (2,487 m), Hillman Peak is now the highest point on the rim.
    Links: Top Ten US Attractions, Lakes, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Mazama,
  16. Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, USA
    1462Mount Rushmore3
    The Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota, in the US. Sculpted by Danish-American Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln Borglum, Mount Rushmore features 60-foot (18 m) sculptures of the heads of four US presidents: George Washington (1732–1799), Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) and Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865). The entire memorial covers 1,278.45 acres (5.17 km2) and is 5,725 feet (1,745 m) above sea level. South Dakota historian Doane Robinson is credited with conceiving the idea of carving the likenesses of famous people into the Black Hills region of South Dakota in order to promote tourism in the region. Robinson’s initial idea was to sculpt the Needles; however, Gutzon Borglum rejected the Needles site because of the poor quality of the granite and strong opposition from Native American groups. They settled on the Mount Rushmore location, which also has the advantage of facing southeast for maximum sun exposure. Robinson wanted it to feature western heroes like Lewis and Clark, Red Cloud and Buffalo Bill Cody but Borglum decided the sculpture should have a more national focus, and chose the four presidents whose likenesses would be carved into the mountain. After securing federal funding through the enthusiastic sponsorship of “Mount Rushmore’s great political patron,” US Senator Peter Norbeck, construction on the memorial began in 1927, and the presidents’ faces were completed between 1934 and 1939. Upon Gutzon Borglum’s death in March 1941, his son Lincoln Borglum took over construction. Although the initial concept called for each president to be depicted from head to waist, lack of funding forced construction to end in late October 1941. The U.S. National Park Service took control of the memorial in 1933, while it was still under construction, and has managed the memorial to the present day. It attracts nearly three million people annually.
    Links: Top Ten US Attractions, Top 100 Busts, Top Ten Native Americans,   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Rushmore,
  17. Mount Waddington, British Colombia, Canada
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    Mount Waddington, once known as Mystery Mountain, is the highest peak in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. Although Mount Fairweather and Mount Quincy Adams, which straddle the US border between Alaska and British Columbia are taller, Mount Waddington is the highest peak that lies entirely within British Columbia. It and the subrange which surround it, known as the Waddington Range, stand at the heart of the Pacific Ranges, a remote and extremely difficult set of mountains and river valleys. It is not so far north as its extreme Arctic-like conditions might indicate and Mount Waddington and its attendant peaks pose some of the most serious expedition mountaineering to be had in North America, and some of the most extreme relief and spectacular mountain scenery. From Waddington’s 13,186 ft. fang to sea level at the heads of Bute and Knight Inlets is only a few miles; across the 10,000-foot-deep (3,000 m) gorges of the Homathko and the Klinaklini Rivers stand mountains almost as high, and icefields even vaster and whiter, only a few aerial miles away, with a maw deeper than the Grand Canyon, comparable in relief to the Himalayas (to which the terrain of British Columbia was compared by colonial-era travellers).
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Waddington,
  18. Mount Hood, Oregon, USA
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    Mount Hood, called Wy’east by the Multnomah tribe, is a stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc of northern Oregon. It was formed by a subduction zone on the Pacific coast and rests in the Pacific Northwest region of the US. It is located about 50 miles (80 km) east-southeast of Portland, on the border between Clackamas and Hood River counties. In addition to being Oregon’s highest mountain, it is one of the loftiest mountains in the nation based on its prominence. The height assigned to Mount Hood’s snow-covered peak has varied over its history, with modern sources varying between 11,239 ft. (3,426 m) and 11,249 ft. (3,429 m). The peak is home to 12 named glaciers and snowfields. It is the highest point in Oregon and the 4th highest in the Cascade Range. Mount Hood is considered the Oregon volcano most likely to erupt, though based on its history, an explosive eruption is unlikely. Still, the odds of an eruption in the next 30 years are estimated at between 3-7%, so the U.S. Geological Survey characterizes it as “potentially active,” but the mountain is informally considered dormant.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Hood,
  19. Pikes Peak
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    Pikes Peak is a mountain in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains within Pike National Forest, 10 mi (16 km) west of Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. Originally called “El Capitán” by Spanish settlers, the mountain was renamed Pike’s Peak after Zebulon Pike, Jr., an explorer who led an expedition to the southern Colorado area in 1806. The Arapaho name is heey-otoyoo’ (“long mountain”). At 14,115 ft. (4,302 m), it is one of Colorado’s 54 fourteeners, mountains that rise more than 14,000 ft. (4,300 m) above mean sea level, and rises 8,400 ft. (2,600 m) above the city of Colorado Springs. Pikes Peak is a designated National Historic Landmark.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pikes_Peak,
  20. Links: Mountains, Top Ten Mountain Ranges,

Mountains

Mountains

Top Ten Middle Eastern Mountains

Top Ten Middle Eastern Mountains

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  1. Mount Ararat, Turkey
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           Mount Ararat is a snow-capped, dormant volcanic cone in Turkey. It has two peaks: Greater Ararat (the highest peak in Turkey, and the entire Armenian plateau with an elevation of 5,137 m/16,854 ft.) and Lesser Ararat (with an elevation of 3,896 m/12,782 ft.). The Ararat massif is about 40 km (25 mi) in diameter. The Iran-Turkey boundary skirts east of Lesser Ararat, the lower peak of the Ararat massif. It was in this area that, by the Tehran Convention of 1932, a border change was made in Turkey’s favor, allowing it to occupy the eastern flank of Lesser Ararat. Mount Ararat in Judeo-Christian tradition is associated with the “Mountains of Ararat” where, according to the book of Genesis, Noah’s ark came to rest. It also plays a significant role in Armenian culture and irredentism.
    Links: Top Ten Turkish Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Ararat,
  2. Temple Mount, Israel
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           The Temple Mount is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem, having been used as a religious site for thousands of years. At least four religions are known to have used the Temple Mount: Judaism, Christianity, Roman religion, and Islam. Biblical scholars have often identified it with two biblical mountains of uncertain location: Mount Moriah where the binding of Isaac took place, and Mount Zion where the original Jebusite fortress stood; however, both interpretations are disputed. Judaism regards the Temple Mount as the place where God chose the Divine Presence to rest (Isa 8:18); according to the rabbinic sages whose debates produced the Talmud, it was from here the world expanded into its present form and where God gathered the dust used to create the first man, Adam. The site is the location of Abraham’s binding of Isaac, and of two Jewish Temples. According to Jewish tradition and scripture (2 Chronicles 3:1-2), the first temple was built by Solomon the son of David in 957 BC and destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. The second was constructed under the auspices of Zerubbabel in 516 BC and destroyed by the Roman Empire in 70 AD. Jewish tradition maintains it is here the Third and final Temple will also be built. The location is the holiest site in Judaism and is the place Jews turn towards during prayer. Due to its extreme sanctity, many Jews will not walk on the Mount itself, to avoid unintentionally entering the area where the Holy of Holies stood, since according to Rabbinical law, some aspect of the Divine Presence is still present at the site. It was from the Holy of Holies that the High Priest communicated directly with God. Among Sunni Muslims, the Mount is widely considered the third holiest site in Islam. Revered as the Noble Sanctuary (Bait-ul-Muqaddas) and the location of Muhammad’s journey to Jerusalem and ascent to heaven, the site is also associated with Jewish biblical prophets who are also venerated in Islam. After the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem in 637 AD, Umayyad Caliphs commissioned the construction of the al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock on the site. The Dome was completed in 692 AD, making it one of the oldest extant Islamic structures in the world, after the Kaabah. The Al Aqsa Mosque rests on the far southern side of the Mount, facing Mecca.
    Links: Temples, Top Ten Israeli Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_Mount,
  3. Asir & Hejaz Mountains
    1A new road rolls toward the the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.34657
    The Hijaz or Hejaz range of mountains is located in the Hejaz region, close to the western coast of Saudi Arabia. The western coastal escarpment of the peninsula is composed of two mountain ranges, the Hijaz to the north and the Asir farther south, with a gap between them near the middle of the peninsula’s coastline. From an elevation of 2,100 m (6000 feet), the range declines towards the vicinity of the gap about 600 m. The mountain wall drops abruptly on the western side toward the Red Sea, leaving the narrow coastal plain of Tihamah. The eastern slopes are not as steep, allowing rare rainfall to help create oases around the springs and wells of the few wadis. The Hijaz mountain area includes the Cradle of Gold (Mahd adh Dhahab) in the region between Mecca to Madina, the only known Arabian source for workable quantities of gold. Additionally the Hijaz has been conjectured as the source of the Pishon River that was described as one of the four rivers associated with the Garden of Eden. The course of the now dried up river (modern-day Wadi Al-Rummah and its extension Wadi Al-Batin) was identified by Farouk El-Baz of Boston University and named the Kuwait River. This tracks north-east across the Saudi desert for 600 miles and follows Wadi Al-Batin to the Gulf. The ‘Kuwait River’ and the Hejaz region is estimated to have dried up 2,500–3000 years ago.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hijaz_mountains,
  4. Hindu Kush
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    The Hindu Kush is an 800 km (500 mi) long mountain range that stretches between central Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. The highest point in the Hindu Kush is Tirich Mir (7,708 m or 25,289 ft.) in Chitral District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. It divides the valley of the Amu Darya (the ancient Oxus River) to the north from the Indus River valley to the south. To the east the Hindu Kush buttresses the Pamir range near the point where the borders of China, Pakistan and Afghanistan meet, after which it runs southwest through Pakistan and into Afghanistan, finally merging into minor ranges in western Afghanistan.
    Links: Top 100 Cannabis Strains, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_Kush,
  5. Taurus Mountains
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    The Taurus Mountains are a mountain complex in southern Turkey, dividing the Mediterranean coastal region of southern Turkey from the central Anatolian Plateau. The system extends along a curve from Lake Eğirdir in the west to the upper reaches of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers in the east. It is a part of the Alpide belt in Eurasia. The Taurus mountains are divided into three chains from west to east as follows; Western Taurus ((Batı Toroslar), Akdağlar, the Bey Mountains, Katrancık Mountain, Geyik Mountain), Central Taurus ((Orta Toroslar), Akçalı Mountains, Bolkar Mountains, Aladağlar, Tahtalı Mountain), and the Southeastern Taurus ((Güneydoğu Toroslar), Nurhak Mountains, Malatya Mountains, Maden Mountains, Genç Mountains, Bitlis mountains).
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taurus_mountains,
  6. Pamir Mountains
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    The Pamir Mountains are a mountain range in Central Asia formed by the junction of the Himalayas with Tian Shan, Karakoram, Kunlun, and Hindu Kush ranges. They are among the world’s highest mountains, and since Victorian times, they have been known as the “Roof of the World,” presumably a translation from Persian. They lie mostly in Gorno-Badakhshan province, Tajikistan and Badakshan Province, Afghanistan. To the north they join the Tian Shan mountains along the Alay Valley of Kyrgyzstan. To the south they join the Hindu Kush mountains along the Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan and Gilgit–Baltistan in Pakistan. To the east they may end on the Chinese border or extend to the range that includes Kongur Tagh which is sometimes included in the Kunlun Mountains.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamir_Mountains,
  7. Elburz Mountains
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    Alborz, also written as Alburz, Elburz or Elborz, is a mountain range in northern Iran stretching from the borders of Azerbaijan and Armenia in the northwest to the southern end of the Caspian Sea, and ending in the east at the borders of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. The highest mountain in West Asia, Mount Damavand, Amol, Mazandaran is located in the range. The Alborz mountain range forms a barrier between the south Caspian and the Qazvin-Tehran plateau. Its higher elevations, in the Elburz Range forest steppe ecoregion, are arid with few trees, but its northern slopes, in the Caspian Hyrcanian mixed forests ecoregion, are lush and forested. Zoroastrians may identify the range with the dwelling place of the Peshyotan, and the Zoroastrian Ilm-e-Kshnoom sect identify Mount Davamand as the home of the Saheb-e-Dilan (‘Masters of the Heart’). In his epic Shahnameh, the poet Ferdowsi speaks of the mountains “as though they lay in India.” This could reflect older usage, for numerous high peaks were given the name and some even reflect it to this day, for example, Mount Elbrus in the Caucasus Mountains, and Mount Elbariz (Albariz, Jebal Barez) in the Kerman area above the Strait of Hormuz. As recently as the 19th century, a peak in the northernmost range in the Hindu Kush system, just south of Balkh, was recorded as Mount Elburz in British army maps. All these names reflect the same Iranian language compound, and share an identification as the legendary mountain Harā Bərəzaitī of the Avesta. Also due to its great snowy winters there are several ski resorts, some consider that a few of these are among the best in the world. Some of most important ones are Dizin, Shemshak, Tochal, and Darband.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elburz_Mountains,
  8. Caucasus Mountains
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    The Caucasus Mountains are a mountain system in Eurasia between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in the Caucasus region. The Caucasus Mountains include: the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range and the Lesser Caucasus Mountains. The Greater Caucasus Range extends from the Caucasian Natural Reserve in the vicinity of Sochi on the northeastern shore of the Black Sea, generally trending east-southeast and reaching nearly to Baku on the Caspian Sea, while the Lesser Caucasus runs parallel to the greater range, at a distance averaging about 100 km (62 mi) south. The Meskheti Range is a part of the Lesser Caucasus system. The Greater and Lesser Caucasus ranges are connected by the Likhi Range, which separates the Kolkhida Lowland from the Kura-Aras Lowland. In the southeast are the Talysh Mountains. The Lesser Caucasus and the Armenian Highland constitute the Transcaucasian Highland. The highest peak in the Caucasus range is Mount Elbrus in the Greater Caucasus, which rises to a height of 5,642 m (18,510 ft.) above sea level. Mountains near Sochi will host part of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caucasus_Mountains,
  9. Tian Shan
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    The Tian Shan, also spelled Tien Shan, is a large system of mountain ranges located in Central Asia. The highest peak in the Tian Shan is Victory Peak (Jengish Chokusu), 7,439 m (24,406 ft.). Local names for the ranges include: “Celestial Mountains,” “Empyrean God,” “Heavenly Mountains,” “God’s Mountains,” and “Mountains of Tengri.” The Chinese name for Tian Shan may be derived from the Xiongnu language name Qilian, which was described by Sima Qian in the Records of the Grand Historian as the homeland of the pre-Xiongnu peoples of the region, the Yuezhi, and has been said to refer to the Tian Shan rather than to the range 1,500 km (930 mi) further east now known by this name.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tien_Shan,
  10. Zagros Mountains
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    The Zagros Mountains are the largest mountain range in Iran and Iraq. With a total length of 1,500 km (932 mi), from northwestern Iran, and roughly correlating with Iran’s western border, the Zagros range spans the whole length of the western and southwestern Iranian plateau and ends at the Strait of Hormuz. The highest points in the Zagros Mountains are Zard Kuh-bakhtiari and Dena. The Hazaran massif in the Kerman province of Iran forms an eastern outlier of the range, the Jebal Barez reaching into Sistan.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zagros_Mountains,
  11. Mount Sinai, Egypt
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           Mount Sinai, meaning “Moses’ Mountain” or “Mount Moses,” also known as Mount Horeb, is a mountain in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt that is the traditional and most accepted identification of the biblical Mount Sinai. The latter is mentioned many times in the Book of Exodus in the Torah, the Bible, and the Quran. According to Jewish, Christian and Islamic tradition, the biblical Mount Sinai was the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments.
    Links: Top Ten Egyptian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Sinai,
  12. Mount Damāvand, Iran
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    Mount Damāvand is a potentially active volcano or Stratovolcano and the highest peak in Iran, has a special place in Persian mythology and folklore. It is located in the middle Alborz Range, adjacent to Varārū, Sesang, Gol-e Zard and Mīānrūd and is the highest volcano in all of Asia. It is a potentially active volcano, since there are fumaroles near the summit crater emitting sulfur, which were known to be active on July 6, 2007. The mountain is located near the southern coast of the Caspian Sea, in Āmol county, Māzandarān, 66 km (41 mi) northeast of Tehran.
    Links: Top Ten Iranian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damavand,
  13. Mount Zion, Israel
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           Mount Zion is a hill in Jerusalem just outside the walls of the Old City. Mount Zion has been historically associated with the Temple Mount. In the Bible, Mount Zion is synonymous with Mount Moriah, the site of the binding of Isaac and the Jewish Temple. The term is also used for the entire Land of Israel.
    Links: Top Ten Israeli Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Zion,
  14. Ultar Sar, Pakistan
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           Ultar Sar is the southeasternmost major peak of the Batura Muztagh, a subrange of the Karakoram range. It lies about 10 km (6.2 mi) northeast of the Karimabad, a town on the Karakoram Highway in the Hunza Valley, part of the Gilgit District of Gilgit–Baltistan, Pakistan.
    Links: Top Ten Pakistani Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultar_Peak,
  15. Mount Aqraa’, Turkey and Syria
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           Mount Aqraa’, also known as Zaphon in the Bible, and Mount Casius to the Greeks, is a mountain located near the mouth of the Orontes River on the Syrian-Turkish border around 10 km (6.2 mi) north of Ugarit. Rising directly from a narrow coastal plain, Jebel Aqra is a mariners’ landmark with a long history as a sacred mountain. According to Ugaritic texts it was the sacred mountain of the storm god Baal (Baal-Hadad in ancient Canaanite mythology), where his palace was erected of blue lapis and silver and where his lightning overcame the nearby sea (Yam) and Death (Mot) himself. The thunderstorm-gathering mountain was an object of cult itself, and on it dwelt also the goddess Anat. As a result of the mountain being the meeting site of the gods, Mount Aqraa’ has been given the title of the Mount Olympus of the Middle East. On its bare limestone peak the cult-site is represented by a huge mound of ashes and debris, 180 feet wide and 26 feet deep, of which only the first 6 feet have been excavated, in which the excavators reached only as far as Hellenistic strata before closing down. The mountain, Robin Lane Fox observes, had an earlier sacred history among the Hurrians, who had known the mountain as Hazzi and placed their own storm god Teshub on its summit. Hittite rulers took up the name of its storm king and his victory over the sea by which he established his “kingship in heaven,” according to texts found at the Hittite capital Hattusa.
    Links: Top Ten Turkish Attractions, Top Ten Syrian Attractions,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Aqraa,
  16. Mount Serbal, Egypt
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           Mount Serbal is a mountain located in Wadi Feiran in southern Sinai, sometimes identified in texts as Gebel Serbal. At 2,070 m (6,791 ft.) high, it is the 5th highest mountain in Egypt. It is part of the St. Catherine National Park. It is thought by some to be the Biblical Mount Sinai. There were many granite dwellings on Mount Serbal which were inhabited by anchorites in early Christian times, and there are traces of a 4th century monastery close to its base. It is likely that the many inscriptions (some in Greek) found on rocks at the foot of Mount Serbal and the path up to its peak date from these times. One spot on the path is called Mokatteb, or the valley of writing.
    Links: National Parks, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Serbal,
  17. Mount Paran, Jordan

    Description:
    Links: Top Ten Jordanian Attractions,
  18. Mt. Mashu
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           Mashu, as described in the Epic of Gilgamesh of Mesopotamian mythology, is a great cedar mountain through which the hero-king Gilgamesh passes via a tunnel on his journey to Dilmun after leaving the Cedar Forest, a forest of 10,000 leagues span. The corresponding location in reality has been the topic of speculation, as no confirming evidence has been found. Aaron Shaffer confirmed the reading of the mountain in Sumerian as “Kur Lib-na-nu” through collation of different sources of the Gilgamesh myth. Jeffrey H. Tigay also suggests that in the earlier Akkadian version it is “explicitly located in the north west, in or near Lebanon.” One theory is that the only location suitable for being called a “cedar land” was the great forest covering Lebanon and western parts of Syria and, in consequence, “Mashu” is the whole of the parallel Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon ranges, with the narrow gap between these mountains constituting the tunnel. The word “Mashu” itself may translate as “two mountains,” from the Babylonian for twins. May refer to the two mountains Mt. Ararat and Little Ararat.
    Links: Top Ten Lebanese Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mashu,
  19. Bonus: Mount Moriah

           Moriah, “ordained/considered by the LORD,” is the name given to a mountain range by the Book of Genesis, in which context it is the location of the sacrifice of Isaac. Traditionally Moriah has been interpreted as the name of the specific mountain at which this occurred, rather than just the name of the range and some believe the location to be the site of the Temple Mount.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Moriah,
  20. Mount Umm Shumar
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    Links:
  21. Links: Mountains,

Top Ten Volcanoes

Top Ten Volcanoes

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       Volcanoes are some of the most primordially powerful natural forces on the planet, shaping the landscape and inspiring the minds of men.

  1. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

    Kilimanjaro, with its three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, is a dormant volcanic mountain in Kilimanjaro National Park, Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Tanzania, the highest mountain in Africa, and the highest free-standing mountain in the world at 5,895 m or 19,341 feet above sea level (the Uhuru Peak/Kibo Peak).
    Links: Top Ten Tanzanian Attractions, Top Ten African Mountains, National Parks, Top Ten African National Parks,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Kilimanjaro,
  2. Mount Etna, Italy
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    Mount Etna is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, Italy, close to Messina and Catania. It lies above the convergent plate margin between the African Plate and the Eurasian Plate. It is the tallest active volcano on the European continent, currently 3,329 m (10,922 ft.) high, though this varies with summit eruptions. It is the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps. Etna covers an area of 1,190 square km (459 sq mi) with a basal circumference of 140 km. This makes it by far the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy, being about two and a half times the height of the next largest, Mount Vesuvius. Only Mount Teide in Tenerife surpasses it in the whole of the European–North-African region. In Greek Mythology, the deadly monster Typhon was trapped under this mountain by Zeus, the god of the sky and thunder and king of gods, and the forges of Hephaestus were said to also be located underneath it. Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity. The fertile volcanic soils support extensive agriculture, with vineyards and orchards spread across the lower slopes of the mountain and the broad Plain of Catania to the south. Due to its history of recent activity and nearby population, Mount Etna has been designated a Decade Volcano by the United Nations.
    Links: Top Ten Italian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_etna,
  3. Vesuvius Volcano, Italy
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             Mount Vesuvius is a stratovolcano in the Gulf of Naples, Italy, about 9 km (5.6 mi) east of Naples and a short distance from the shore. It is one of several volcanoes which form the Campanian volcanic arc. Vesuvius consists of a large cone partially encircled by the steep rim of a summit caldera caused by the collapse of an earlier and originally much higher structure. Mount Vesuvius is best known for its eruption in AD 79 that led to the burying and destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. That eruption ejected a cloud of stones, ash and fumes to a height of 20.5 miles, spewing molten rock and pulverized pumice at the rate of 1.5 million tons per second, ultimately releasing a hundred thousand times the thermal energy released by the Hiroshima bombing. An estimated 16,000 people died due to hydrothermal pyroclastic flows. The only surviving eyewitness account of the event consists of two letters by Pliny the Younger to the historian Tacitus. Vesuvius has erupted many times since and is the only volcano on the European mainland to have erupted within the last hundred years. Today, it is regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world because of the population of 3,000,000 people living nearby and its tendency towards explosive eruptions. It is the most densely populated volcanic region in the world.
    Links: Top Ten Italian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vesuvius,
  4. Mount Mazama/Crater Lake, Oregon, USA
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    Mount Mazama is a destroyed stratovolcano in the Oregon part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc and the Cascade Range located in the US. The volcano’s collapsed caldera holds Crater Lake, and the entire mountain is located within Crater Lake National Park. Mazama was destroyed by a volcanic eruption that occurred around 5,677 (± 150) BC. The eruption reduced Mazama’s approximate 12,000-foot (3,700 m) height by around a mile (1600 m). Much of the volcano fell into the volcano’s partially emptied neck and magma chamber. At 8,159 feet (2,487 m), Hillman Peak is now the highest point on the rim.
    Links: Top Ten US Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Mazama,
  5. Mount Tambora, Indonesia
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    Mount Tambora is an active stratovolcano on the island of Sumbawa, Indonesia. Tambora was formed by the active subduction zone beneath it, which raised Mount Tambora as high as 4,300 m (14,100 ft), making it, in the 18th century, one of the tallest peaks in the Indonesian archipelago. After a large magma chamber inside the mountain filled over the course of several decades, volcanic activity reached a historic climax in the eruption of 10 April 1815. This eruption was approximately VEI-7, the only eruption unambiguously confirmed of that size since the Lake Taupo eruption in about 180 AD, though the Heaven Lake eruption of Baekdu Mountain in 969 AD may have also been VEI-7. With an estimated ejecta volume of 160 cubic km (38 cu mi), Tambora’s 1815 outburst was the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history. The explosion was heard on Sumatra island more than 2,000 km (1,200 mi) away. Heavy volcanic ash falls were observed as far away as Borneo, Sulawesi, Java and Maluku islands. Most deaths from the eruption were from starvation and disease, as the eruptive fallout ruined agricultural productivity in the local region. The death toll was at least 71,000 people, of whom 11,000–12,000 were killed directly by the eruption. The eruption caused global climate anomalies that included the phenomenon known as “volcanic winter:” 1816 became known as the “Year Without a Summer” because of the effect on North American and European weather. Crops failed and livestock died in much of the Northern Hemisphere, resulting in the worst famine of the 19th century. During an excavation in 2004, a team of archaeologists discovered cultural remains buried by the 1815 eruption. They were kept intact beneath the 3 m (9.8 ft) deep pyroclastic deposits. At the site, dubbed the Pompeii of the East, the artifacts were preserved in the positions they had occupied in 1815.
    Links: Top Ten Indonesian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Tambora,
  6. Mount Krakatau, Indonesia
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    Krakatoa, or Krakatau, is a volcanic island situated in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. The name is also used for the surrounding island group comprising the remnants of a much larger island of three volcanic peaks which was obliterated in a cataclysmic 1883 eruption, unleashing huge tsunamis (killing more than 36,000 people) and destroying over two-thirds of the island. The explosion is considered to be the loudest sound ever heard in modern history, with reports of it being heard up to 3,000 miles (4,800 km) from its point of origin. The shock waves from the explosion were recorded on barographs around the globe. In 1927 a new island, Anak Krakatau, or “Child of Krakatoa,” emerged from the caldera formed in 1883 and is the current location of eruptive activity.
    Links: Top Ten Indonesian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krakatoa,
  7. Pico de Orizaba, Mexico
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           The Pico de Orizaba, or Citlaltépetl (star mountain), is a stratovolcano, the highest mountain in Mexico and the 3rd highest in North America. It rises 5,636 m (18,491 ft.) above sea level in the eastern end of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, on the border between the states of Veracruz and Puebla. The volcano is currently dormant but not extinct with the last eruption taking place during the 19th century. It is the second most prominent volcanic peak in the world after Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro.
    Links: Top Ten Mexican Attractions, Top Ten North American Mountains, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pico_de_Orizaba,
  8. Novarupta, Alaska, USA
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    Novarupta, literally “new eruption,” is a new volcano that was created in 1912 and located on the Alaska Peninsula in Katmai National Park and Preserve, about 290 miles (470 km) southwest of Anchorage. Formed during the largest pre-Pinatubo volcanic eruption of the 20th century, Novarupta released 30 times the volume of magma as the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.
    Links: Top Ten US Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novarupta,
  9. Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, Kilauea Volcanoes and the Hawaii Islands, USA
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    The Hawaiian Islands are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls, numerous smaller islets, and undersea seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean, extending some 1,500 mi (2,400 km) from the island of Hawaiʻi in the south to northernmost Kure Atoll. Once known as the “Sandwich Islands,” the name chosen by James Cook in honour of the then First Lord of the Admiralty John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, the archipelago now takes its name from the largest island in the cluster. The US state of Hawaii occupies the archipelago almost in its entirety, with the sole exception of Midway island, which is instead an unincorporated territory within the US Minor Outlying Islands. The Hawaiian Islands are the exposed peaks of a great undersea mountain range known as the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain, formed by volcanic activity over a hotspot in the Earth’s mantle. The islands are about 1,860 miles (3,000 km) from the nearest continent.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawaiian_islands,
  10. Mount Pelee, Martinique
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    Mount Pelée is an active volcano at the northern end of the island and French overseas department of Martinique in the Lesser Antilles island arc of the Caribbean. Its volcanic cone is composed of layers of volcanic ash and hardened lava. The stratovolcano is famous for its eruption in 1902 and the destruction that resulted, dubbed the worst volcanic disaster of the 20th century. The eruption killed about 30,000 people. Most deaths were caused by pyroclastic flows and occurred in the city of Saint-Pierre, which was, at that time, the largest city on the island. Pyroclastic flows completely destroyed St. Pierre, a town of 30,000 people, within minutes of the eruption. The eruption left only two survivors in the direct path of the flows (with a third reported): Louis-Auguste Cyparis survived because he was in a poorly ventilated, dungeon-like jail cell; Léon Compère-Léandre, living on the edge of the city, escaped with severe burns. Havivra Da Ifrile, a young girl, reportedly escaped with injuries during the eruption by taking a small boat to a cave down shore, and was later found adrift two miles (3 km) from the island, unconscious. The event marked the only major volcanic disaster in the history of France and its overseas territories.
    Links: Top Ten Martinique Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Pelee,
  11. Parícutin Volcano, Mexico
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           Parícutin is a cinder cone volcano in the Mexican state of Michoacán, close to a lava-covered village of the same name. The volcano is unique in the fact that its evolution from creation to extinction was witnessed, observed and studied by human beings. It appears on many versions of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Parícutin is part of the Michoacán-Guanajuato volcanic field, which covers much of west central Mexico. It is part of the Ring of Fire.
    Links: Top Ten Mexican Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Par%C3%ADcutin_Volcano,
  12. Yasur Volcano, Vanuatu
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           Mount Yasur is an active volcano on Tanna Island, Vanuatu with a height of 361 m (1,184 ft.) above sea level, located on the coast near Sulphur Bay. It lies to the southeast of the taller Mount Tukosmera, which was active in the Pleistocene. It has a largely unvegetated pyroclastic cone with a nearly circular summit crater 400 m in diameter. It is a stratovolcano, caused by the eastward-moving Indo-Australian Plate being subducted under the westward-moving Pacific Plate. It has been erupting nearly continuously for over 800 years, although it can usually be approached safely. Its eruptions, which often occur several times an hour, are classified as Strombolian or Vulcanian. The glow of the volcano was apparently what attracted Captain James Cook on the first European journey to the island in 1774. Today the mountain is a sacred area for the John Frum cargo cult. Members of the cult revere John Frum, a deified messenger who foretold the bringing of wealth to the island by American forces, and believe he resides in Mount Yasur with his countrymen. The village of Sulphur Bay, the center of the movement, claims the volcano as part of their territory.
    Links: Top Ten Vanuatuan Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Yasur,
  13. Irazú Volcano, Costa Rica
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            The Irazú Volcano is an active volcano in Costa Rica, situated in the Cordillera Central close to the city of Cartago. The name could come from either the combination of “ara” (point) and “tzu” (thunder) or a corruption of Iztarú, which was the name of an indigenous village on the flanks of the volcano. In Costa Rica it is known by the name of “El Coloso” (The Colossus) due to the catastrophes that it has provoked in the past. The volcano’s summit has several craters, one of which contains Diego de la Haya, a green crater lake of variable depth. At11,260 feet (3,432 m), the Irazú Volcano is the highest active volcano in Costa Rica. It is easily visited from San José, with a road leading right up to the summit craters and a weekly bus service to the top. It is thus a popular tourist spot. The volcano summit also spots a few television transmitters for television stations in San José. From the top it is possible to see both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans on a clear day. However, such clear days are rare, and the volcano’s summit is usually cloud-covered. The volcano is contained within the Irazú Volcano National Park, which spreads across 5,705 acres (2,300 ha). The national park contains both primary and secondary montane forests and is home to armadillos, owls, rabbits, foxes, woodpeckers, and hummingbirds.
    Links: Top Ten Costa Rican Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraz%C3%BA_Volcano,
  14. Mount St. Helens, USA
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            Mount St. Helens is an active stratovolcano located in Skamania County, Washington, in the Pacific Northwest region of the US. It is 96 miles (154 km) south of Seattle, Washington, and 50 miles (80 km) northeast of Portland, Oregon. The volcano is located in the Cascade Range and is part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc, a segment of the Pacific Ring of Fire that includes over 160 active volcanoes. Mount St. Helens is most notorious for its catastrophic eruption on May 18, 1980, the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the US. 57 people were killed; 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles (24 km) of railways, and 185 miles (298 km) of highway were destroyed. A massive debris avalanche triggered by an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale caused an eruption that reduced the elevation of the mountain’s summit from 9,677 ft. (2,950 m) to 8,365 ft. (2,550 m), replacing it with a 1 mile (1.6 km) wide horseshoe-shaped crater. The debris avalanche was up to 2.9 km cubed in volume. As with most other volcanoes in the Cascade Range, Mount St. Helens is a large eruptive cone consisting of lava rock interlayered with ash, pumice, and other deposits. The mountain includes layers of basalt and andesite through which several domes of dacite lava have erupted. The largest of the dacite domes formed the previous summit, and off its northern flank sat the smaller Goat Rocks dome. Both were destroyed in the 1980 eruption.
    Links: Top Ten US Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_St._Helens,
  15. Nevada del Ruiz, Colombia
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    Description:
    Links: Top Ten Colombian Attractions,
  16. Mount Pinatubo, Philippines
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    Mount Pinatubo is an active stratovolcano located on the island of Luzon, near the tripoint of the Philippine provinces of Zambales, Tarlac, and Pampanga. Before the volcanic activities of 1991, its eruptive history was unknown to most people. It was heavily eroded, inconspicuous and obscured from view. It was covered with dense forest which supported a population of several thousand indigenous people, the Aetas, who fled to the mountains during the Spanish conquest of the Philippines. The volcano’s Plinian / Ultra-Plinian eruption on June 15, 1991 produced the second largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century after the 1912 eruption of Novarupta in the Alaska Peninsula. Complicating the eruption was the arrival of Typhoon Yunya bringing a lethal mix of ash and rain. Successful predictions at the onset of the climactic eruption led to the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from the surrounding areas, saving many lives, but the surrounding areas were severely damaged by pyroclastic flows, ash deposits, and subsequently, by the lahars caused by rainwaters re-mobilizing earlier volcanic deposits causing extensive destruction to infrastructure and altering the river systems months to years after the eruption. The effects of the eruption were felt worldwide. It ejected roughly 10,000,000,000 tonnes (2.4 cu mi) of magma, and 20,000,000 tonnes SO2, bringing vast quantities of minerals and metals to the surface environment. It injected large amounts of aerosol into the stratosphere – more than any eruption since that of Krakatoa in 1883. Over the following months, the aerosols formed a global layer of sulfuric acid haze. Global temperatures dropped by about 0.5 °C (0.9 °F), and ozone depletion temporarily increased substantially.
    Links: Top Ten Philippine Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Pinatubo,
  17. Taal Volcano, Philippines
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           Taal Volcano is a complex volcano located on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. It is the second most active volcano in the Philippines with 33 historical eruptions. All of these eruptions are concentrated on Volcano Island, an island near the middle of Taal Lake. The lake partially fills Taal Caldera, which was formed by prehistoric eruptions between 140,000 to 5,380 BP. Viewed from Tagaytay Ridge, Taal Volcano and Lake presents one of the most picturesque and attractive views in the Philippines. It is located about 50 km (31 mi) south of the capital of the country, the city of Manila. The volcano had several violent eruptions in the past causing loss of life in the island and the populated areas surrounding the lake, with the death toll estimated at around 5,000 to 6,000. Because of its proximity to populated areas and its eruptive history, the volcano was designated a Decade Volcano, worthy of close study to prevent future natural disasters. All volcanoes of the Philippines are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire.
    Links: Top Ten Philippine Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taal_volcano,
  18. Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica
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           Arenal Volcano is an active andesitic stratovolcano in north-western Costa Rica around 90 km northwest of San José, in the province of Alajuela, canton of San Carlos, and district of La Fortuna. The Arenal volcano measures at least 1,633 m (5,358 ft.). It is conically shaped with a crater spanning 140 m (460 ft.). Geologically, Arenal is considered a young volcano and the age is estimated to be less than 7,500 years. It is also known as “Pan de Azúcar,” “Canaste,” “Volcan Costa Rica,” “Volcan Río Frío” or “Guatusos Peak.” The volcano was dormant for hundreds of years and exhibited a single crater at its summit, with minor fumaroles activity, covered by dense vegetation. In 1968 it erupted unexpectedly, destroying the small town of Tabacón. Due to the eruption three more craters were created on the western flanks but only one of them still exists today. Since October 2010, Arenal’s volcanic activity appears to be decreasing and explosions have become rare, with no explosions reported between December 2010 and October 2012.
    Links: Top Ten Costa Rican Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arenal_Volcano,
  19. Mount Bromo, Indonesia
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           Mount Bromo, is an active volcano and part of the Tengger massif, in East Java, Indonesia. At 2,329 m (7,641 ft) it is not the highest peak of the massif, but is the most well-known. The massif area is one of the most visited tourist attractions in East Java, Indonesia. The volcano belongs to the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. The name of Bromo derived from Javanese pronunciation of Brahma, the Hindu creator god. Mount Bromo sits in the middle of a vast plain called the “Sea of Sand,” a protected nature reserve since 1919. The typical way to visit Mount Bromo is from the nearby mountain village of Cemoro Lawang. From there it is possible to walk to the volcano in about 45 minutes, but it is also possible to take a jeep tour, which includes a stop at the viewpoint on Mount Penanjakan (2,770 m or 9,088 ft). From inside the caldera, sulfur is collected by workers. Depending on the degree of volcanic activity, the Indonesian Centre for Vulcanology and Disaster Hazard Mitigation sometimes issues warnings against visiting Mount Bromo.
    Links: Top Ten Indonesian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Bromo,
  20. Llaima Volcano, Chile
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    The Llaima Volcano is one of the largest and most active volcanoes in Chile. It is situated 82 km northeast of Temuco and 663 km southeast of Santiago, within the borders of Conguillío National Park.
    Links: National Parks, Top Ten South American Attractions, Top Ten Chilean Attractions,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Llaima,
  21. Bonus: Olympus Mons, Mars
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           Olympus Mons (Latin for “Mount Olympus”) is a mountain which is located on the planet Mars. It is a little under three times as tall as Mount Everest, and is in fact the tallest known volcano and mountain in the Solar System. Olympus Mons was formed during Mars’ Amazonian epoch. Since the late 19th century, well before space probes confirmed its identity as a mountain, Olympus Mons was known to astronomers as the albedo feature Nix Olympica (Latin for “Snows of Olympus”), although its mountainous nature was suspected.
    Links: Top Ten Mars Destinations, Top Ten Mountains, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympus_Mons,
  22. Links: Top Ten Natural Wonders of the World,

Top Ten Caves

Top Ten Caves

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       Galleries of artistic evolution, homes, and even tunnels into the depths of our soul, caves have had a profound influence on the human experience. Here is a look at some of the most profound.

  1. Cave of Crystals, Mexico
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           Geologist Juan Manuel García-Ruiz calls it “the Sistine Chapel of crystals,” but Superman could call it home. A sort of south-of-the-border Fortress of Solitude, Mexico’s Cueva de los Cristales (Cave of Crystals) contains some of the world’s largest known natural crystals, translucent beams of gypsum as long as 36 feet (11 meters). How did the crystals reach such superheroic proportions? In the new issue of the journal Geology, García-Ruiz reports that for millennia the crystals thrived in the cave’s extremely rare and stable natural environment. Temperatures hovered consistently around a steamy 136 degrees Fahrenheit (58 degrees Celsius), and the cave was filled with mineral-rich water that drove the crystals’ growth. Modern-day mining operations exposed the natural wonder by pumping water out of the 30-by-90-foot (10-by-30-meter) cave, which was found in 2000 near the town of Delicias (Chihuahua state map). Now García-Ruiz is advising the mining company to preserve the caves. “There is no other place on the planet,” García-Ruiz said, “where the mineral world reveals itself in such beauty.” Buried in the mineral-rich lands of the Chihuahua region, the crystals are estimated to be more than half a million years old. The cave in which they are found sits above an intrusion of magma, the heat of which, combined with the cave’s mineral-rich groundwater, allowing the crystals to form.
    Links: Top Ten Mexican Attractions, 
  2. Jeita Grotto, Lebanon
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    The Jeita Grotto is a system of two separate, but interconnected, karstic limestone caves spanning an overall length of nearly 9 km (5.6 mi). The caves are situated in the Nahr al-Kalb valley within the locality of Jeita, 18 km (11 mi) north of the Lebanese capital Beirut. Though inhabited in prehistoric times, the lower cave was not rediscovered until 1836 by Reverend William Thomson; it can only be visited by boat since it channels an underground river that provides fresh drinking water to more than a million Lebanese. In 1958, Lebanese speleologists discovered the upper galleries 60 m (200 ft.) above the lower cave which have been accommodated with an access tunnel and a series of walkways to enable tourists safe access without disturbing the natural landscape. The upper galleries house the world’s largest known stalactite. The galleries are composed of a series of chambers the largest of which peaks at a height of 120 m (390 ft). Aside from being a Lebanese national symbol and a top tourist destination, the Jeita grotto plays an important social, economic and cultural role and is a finalist in the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition.
    Links: Top Ten Lebanese Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeita_Grotto,
  3. Reed Flute Cave, China
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    The Reed Flute Cave is a landmark and tourist attraction in Guilin, Guangxi, China. It is a natural limestone cave with multicolored lighting and has been one of Guilin’s most interesting attractions for over 1,200 years. It is over 180 million years old. The cave got its name from the type of reed growing outside, which can be made into melodious flutes. Reed Flute Cave is filled with a large number of stalactites, stalagmites and rock formations in weird and wonderful shapes. Inside, there are more than 70 inscriptions written in ink, which can be dated back as far as 792 AD in the Tang Dynasty. These aged inscriptions tell us that it has been an attraction in Guilin since ancient times. It was rediscovered in the 1940’s by a group of refugees fleeing the Japanese troops.
    Links: Top Ten Chinese Attractionshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reed_Flute_Cave,
  4. Crystal Caves, Bermuda
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           Located in Bermuda, the Crystal Caves are famous for the clear water that runs through them, which allows visitors to see 55 ft. down into their depths.
    Links: Top Ten Bermudian Attractions,
  5. Son Doong Cave, Vietnam
    Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park3Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park4Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park5Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park6Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park7Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park8Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park9Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park10Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park11
           Son Doong cave is a cave in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province, Vietnam. The cave is located near the Laos-Vietnam border. It has a large fast-flowing underground river inside. The cave was found by a local man named Hồ-Khanh in 1991. The local jungle men were afraid of the cave for the whistling sound it makes from the underground river. However, not until 2009 was it made known to the public when a group of British scientists from the British Cave Research Association, led by Howard and Deb Limbert, conducted a survey in Phong Nha-Ke Bang from April 10-14, 2009. Their progress was stopped by a large calcite wall. According to Limbert, this cave is five times larger than the Phong Nha cave, previously considered the biggest cave in Vietnam. The biggest chamber of Son Doong is over five kilometers in length, 200 m high and 150 m wide. With these dimensions, Son Doong overtakes Deer Cave in Malaysia to take the title of the world’s largest cave.
    Links: Top Ten Vietnamese Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Son_Doong_Cave,
  6. Eisriesenwelt Cave, Austria
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           The Eisriesenwelt, German for “World of the Ice Giants,” is a natural limestone ice cave located in Werfen, Austria, about 40 km south of Salzburg. The cave is inside the Hochkogel mountain in the Tennengebirge section of the Alps. It is the largest ice cave in the world, extending more than 42km and visited by about 200,000 tourists every year.
    Links: Top Ten Austrian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisriesenwelt,
  7. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, The Philippines
    Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National ParkPuerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park1Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park2Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park3Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park4Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park5
    The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is located about 50 km (31 mi) north of the city center of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. The National Park is located in the Saint Paul Mountain Range on the northern coast of the island. It is bordered by St. Paul Bay to the north and the Babuyan River to the east. The City Government of Puerto Princesa has managed the National Park since 1992. It is also known as St. Paul’s Subterranean River National Park, or St. Paul Underground River. The entrance to the Subterranean River is a short hike from the town of Sabang. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is one of the 28 finalists for the “New Seven Wonders of Nature” competition.
    Links: Top Ten Philippine Attractions, National Parks, Top Ten Asian National Parks,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puerto_Princesa_Subterranean_River_National_Park,
  8. Waitamo Caves, New Zealand
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    The Waitomo Caves are a village and cave system forming a major tourist attraction in the northern King Country region of the North Island of New Zealand, 12 km northwest of Te Kuiti. The community of Waitomo Caves itself is very small, though the village has many temporary service workers living there as well. The word Waitomo comes from the Māori language wai meaning water and tomo meaning a doline or sinkhole; it can thus be translated to be water passing through a hole. These Caves are believed to be over two million years old.
    Links: Top Ten New Zealand Attractions, Top Ten Bioluminescent Animals,   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waitomo_Caves,
  9. Škocjan Caves, Slovenia
    Škocjan CavesŠkocjan Caves1Škocjan Caves2Škocjan Caves3Škocjan Caves4Škocjan Caves5Škocjan Caves6Škocjan Caves7Škocjan Caves8
           The Skocjan Caves comprise a cave system in Slovenia. International scientific circles have acknowledged the importance of the caves as one of the natural treasures of planet Earth. Ranking among the most important caves in the world, Škocjan Caves represents the most significant underground phenomena in both the Karst region and Slovenia. Following its independence, the Republic of Slovenia committed itself to actively protecting the Škocjan Caves area; for this reason, it established the Škocjan Caves Regional Park, Slovenia and its Managing Authority, the Škocjan Caves Park Public Service Agency.
    Links: Top Ten Slovenian Attractions, Top Ten Cave Paintings, National Parks, Top Ten European National Parks,   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%A0kocjan_Caves,
  10. Majilis al Jinn, Oman
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    Majlis al Jinn, also Majlis al-Jinn, Arabic for “meeting/gathering place of the Jinn,” is the 2nd largest known cave chamber in the world, as measured by the surface area of the floor. It ranks lower when measured by volume. The cave is located in a remote area of the Selma Plateau at 1,380 m above sea level in the Sultanate of Oman, 100 km south-east from Muscat.
    Links: Top Ten Omani Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Majlis_al_Jinn,
  11. Harrison’s Cave, Barbados
    bca
    Harrison’s Cave is a tourist attraction in the country of Barbados, first mentioned in 1795. Tourists can access the subterranean environment on a tramway.
    Links: Top Ten Barbadian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrison%27s_Cave,
  12. Ali Sadr Cave, Hamadan Iran
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    The Ali Sadr Cave originally called Ali Saadr or Ali Saard (meaning cold) is the world’s largest water cave which attracts millions of visitors every year. It is located Ali Sadr Kabudarahang County about 100 km north of Hamedan, western Iran. Since the cave is situated between the large cities Hamadan, Tehran, and Qom it is a popular destination for Iranians. Tours of the cave are available by pedal boats.
    Links: Top Ten Iranian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Sadr_Cave,
  13. Carlsbad Cavern, USA
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           Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a US National Park in the Guadalupe Mountains in southeastern New Mexico. The primary attraction of the park is the show cave, Carlsbad Cavern. Visitors to the cave can hike in on their own via the natural entrance or take an elevator from the visitor center. The park entrance is located on US Highway 62/180 approximately 18 miles (29 km) southwest of Carlsbad, New Mexico. Approximately two thirds of the park has been set aside as a wilderness area, helping to ensure no future changes will be made to the habitat. Carlsbad Cavern includes a large cave chamber, the Big Room, a natural limestone chamber which is almost 4,000 feet (1,220 m) long, 625 feet (191 m) wide, and 255 feet (78 m) high at the highest point. It is the 3rd largest chamber in North America and the 7th largest in the world. The largest chamber in the world is the Sarawak Chamber in Malaysia.
    Links: Top Ten US Attractionshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlsbad_Caverns_National_Park,
  14. Huanglong “Yellow Dragon” Cave, China
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    Huanglong Cave, “yellow dragon cave,” is a karst cave located near the Wulingyuan district of Zhangjiajie City, Hunan, People’s Republic of China and a national 4A rated scenic area.
    Links: Top Ten Chinese Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huanglong_Cave,
  15. Velebit Caves, Croatia
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    The Velebit mountains of Croatia have several deep caves with some of the world’s largest subterranean vertical drops. The “Lukina jama” cave is 1,421 m deep (2010), the deepest cave in Croatia and the deepest in southeast Europe. At its foot, there are ponds and streams including one of the largest known colonies of subterranean leeches, which has been ascertained to represent a new species, genus and also family. Other notable caves include the “Slovacka jama” (Slovak pit), (1,320 m deep), “Velebita” (1,026 m deep with underground free fall vertical drop of 513 m) and “Meduza” (679 m deep). The vertical shaft “Patkov Gušt,” named after a deceased Croatian speleologist is 553 meters deep and the 2nd deepest pitch in the world as of 2007.
    Links: Top Ten Croatian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velebit_caves,
  16. Kugitang Caves, Turkmenistan
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           Köýtendag Nature Reserve, formerly Kugitang Nature Reserve, is a nature reserve in the extreme east of Turkmenistan. Established in 1986, it is located in the Köýtendag Range of Lebap Province and covers an area of 271.4 square km. The reserve is home for the rare Heptner’s markhor. It also incorporates four sanctuaries: Garlyk Sanctuary (established in 1986), Hojapil Sanctuary (established in 1986), Hojaburjybelent Sanctuary (established in 1986) and Hojagarawul Sanctuary (established in 1999).
    Links: Top Ten Turkmenistani Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinosaurs_and_Caves_of_Koytendag,
  17. Vrelo Cave, Macedonia
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           Located on the right bank of the Treska River, Vrelo Cave was listed as one of the top 77 natural sites in the world in the New7Wonders of Nature project. Vrelo Cave has many stalactites including a large one in the middle of the cave is known as the “Pine Cone” due to its shape. There are two lakes at the end of the cave, with one larger than the other. The smaller lake is 8 m (26.2 feet) at its longest length and 15 m (49.2 feet) in depth at its deepest point. The larger lake is 35 m (114.8 feet) at its longest length, and 18 m (59 feet) at its deepest point. Though the exact depth of the cave is unknown, some speculate that it could be the deepest underwater cave in the world.
    Links: Top Ten Macedonian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matka_Canyon#Vrelo_Cave,
  18. Altamira Cave, Spain (16,500–12,000 BC)

           Considered by many as the “Sistine Chapel” of Cave Art, Altamira (Spanish for ‘high view’) is a cave in Spain famous for its Upper Paleolithic drawings and polychrome rock paintings of wild mammals and human hands. Its special relevance comes from the fact it was the first cave in which prehistoric cave paintings were discovered, leading to a controversy during the late 19th century because many people did not believe prehistoric man had the intellectual capacity to produce any kind of artistic expression. It is located near the town of Santillana del Mar in Cantabria, Spain, 30 km west of the city of Santander.
    Links: Top Ten Spanish Attractions, Cave Paintings, Top Ten Cave Paintings, Top Ten European Cave/Rock Paintings, Top 100 Spanish Paintings,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cave_of_Altamira,
  19. Lascaux Caves, France

           Lascaux is the setting of a complex of caves in southwestern France famous for its Paleolithic cave paintings. The original caves are located near the village of Montignac, in the Dordogne département. They contain some of the best-known Upper Paleolithic art. These paintings are estimated to be 17,000 years old. They primarily consist of realistic images of large animals, most of which are known from fossil evidence to have lived in the area at the time.
    Links: Top Ten French Attractions, Cave Paintings, Top Ten Cave Paintings, Top Ten European Cave Paintings,   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lascaux,
  20. Cuevas del Drach (Dragon Caves), Majorca, Spain
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           The Caves of Drach, literally “Dragon caves,” are four great caves that are located in the island of Majorca, Balearic Islands, Spain. They are in the municipality of Manacor, near the locality of Porto Cristo. They were first mentioned in a letter 1338. The caves extend to a depth of 25 m, reaching 2.4 km in length. The four caves, called Black Cave, White Cave, Cave of Luis Salvador, and Cave of the French, are connected to each other. The caves have formed by water being forced through the entrance from the Mediterranean Sea, and some researchers think the formation may date back to Miocene. There is an underground lake situated in the caves called Martel Lake, which is about 115 m in length and 30 m in width. It’s named after the French explorer and scientist Edouard A Martel, who is considered the founding father of speleology (the study of caves). He was invited to explore the cave 1896. A German cave explorer, M.F. Will, had mapped the White and Black cave in 1880. Martel found two more caves, as well as the underground lake. The caves are open to the public and one of the main attractions on Mallorca. The visit ends with a short classical concert performed by four musicians on a boat.
    Links: Top Ten Spanish Attractions,
  21. Voronya Cave, Georgia
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           Voronya Cave is the deepest known cave in the world (measured from its highest entrance to its lowest point) is Voronya Cave, which is also known as Krubera Cave. Krubera is located in the Republic of Georgia, and is an abyss that plunges to a stupefying depth of 2,191 m, making it the first known cave in the world to exceed a depth of two kilometres. In recent years, Voronya Cave has also often traded the world’s deepest cave title with its nearby Abkhazian sibling, the Illyuzia-Mezhonnogo-Snezhnaya Cave, which measures in at 1,753 metres, and with the Lamprechtsofen Vogelschacht Weg Schacht in Austria, which reaches a depth of 1,632 metres. Gagra District, Abkhazia, Georgia.
    Links: Top Ten Georgian Attractions, http://v2.garudamagazine.com/whatson.php?cat=travel&id=423,
  22. Caves of Han-sur-Lesse, Belgium
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           The Caves of Han-sur-Lesse are a major Belgian tourist attraction (around half a million visitors per year) located on the outskirts of the village of Han-sur-Lesse. The caves are the result of the underground erosion of a limestone hill by the river Lesse. The river forces its way under the hill over a distance of over one kilometer as the crow flies. The caves have a constant temperature of 13°C (55°F) and a high level of humidity. Access is only possible via a vintage streetcar, a remnant of the country’s once extensive vicinal tramway system, which departs from the center of Han-sur-Lesse. The entry to the caves is about 2 km from the village. The guided tour takes about an hour to an hour and a half and includes a sound and light show in one of the largest chambers of the cave and an ending with a cannon shot to demonstrate the cave’s acoustic properties.
    Links: Top Ten Belgian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caves_of_Han-sur-Lesse,
  23. The Observatory Cave, Monaco
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    Description:
    Links: Top Ten Monacan Attractions,
  24. Sterkfontein Caves “Cradle of Humankind,” South Africa

           The Cradle of Humankind is a World Heritage Site first named by UNESCO in 1999, about 50 kilometers northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa in the Gauteng province. This site currently occupies 47,000 hectares (180 sq mi); it contains a complex of limestone caves, including the Sterkfontein Caves, where the 2.3-million year-old fossil Australopithecus africanus (nicknamed “Mrs. Ples”) was found in 1947 by Dr. Robert Broom and John T. Robinson. The find helped corroborate the 1924 discovery of the juvenile Australopithecus africanus skull, “Taung Child,” by Raymond Dart, at Taung in the North West Province of South Africa, where excavations still continue. The name Cradle of Humankind reflects the fact that the site has produced a large number, as well as some of the oldest, hominid fossils ever found, some dating back as far as 3.5 million years ago. Sterkfontein alone has produced more than a third of early hominid fossils ever found.
    Links: Top Ten Scientific Discoveries, Top Ten Scientists, Top Ten South African Attractions, Top Ten Human Skeletons, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cradle_of_Humankind,
  25. Pacaritambo
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           In Inca mythology, of the main Inca creation myths was that of the Ayar Brothers, who emerged from a cave called Pacaritambo (“Hostel of Production,” “Hostel of Dawn” or “Hideout House”). This house was located on Tambotoco Hill. It had three windows. According to the myth, the group of Maras Sutic emerged from one of the windows, called Maras Toco (“without parents”) by spontaneous generation. Another theory held by more obscure groups, tending to dwell on the mysticism of South American Indians is that Pacaritambo is a quasi-mythical place believed by these historians to have been flooded by Lake Titicaca. There are no proofs, archaeological or otherwise for this and the theories base themselves mainly on tales of the Chasa, another race or tribe thought by most to be as mythical. They proclaim the name to actually come from the chasa word Pàchacambo (meaning birthing place of the gods Chaca, who they believed themselves to be.)
    Links: Top 100 Gold Artifacts, Top Ten Mystical Places,
  26. Jeju Island Lava Tubes, South Korea
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    The Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes is a volcanic island, 130 km from the southern coast of the Korean Peninsula. The largest island and smallest province in South Korea, the island has a surface area of 1,846 square km. It is listed at number 23 on CNN Go’s 50 natural wonders: The ultimate list of scenic splendor.
    Links: Top Ten South Korean Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeju_Volcanic_Island_and_Lava_Tubes,
  27. Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst, Hungary and Slovakia
    Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak KarstCaves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst1Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst2Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst3Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst4Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst5
    The Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst site consists of 712 caves spread out over a total area of 55,800 ha (138,000 acres) along the border of Hungary and Slovakia.
    Links: Top Ten Hungarian Attractions, Top Ten Slovakian Attractions,   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caves_of_Aggtelek_Karst_and_Slovak_Karst,
  28. Natural Bridge Caverns, Texas, USA
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    The Natural Bridge Caverns are the largest known commercial caverns in the state of Texas. The name was derived from the 20 m (65 foot) natural limestone slab bridge that spans the amphitheater setting of the cavern’s entrance. The span was left suspended when a sinkhole collapsed below it. The caverns are located near the city of New Braunfels, Texas in the Texas Hill Country next to the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, a drive-through wildlife safari park. The caverns feature several unique speleothems and other geological formations. The temperature inside the cave is 21 degrees Celsius (70°F) year-round and the deepest part of the public tour is 64.3 m (211 feet) below the surface. The caverns are still very active and growing. Water flows and drips constantly throughout, causing the formations to retain a waxy luster that can be seen in few caverns.
    Links: Top Ten US Attractionshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_Bridge_Caverns,
  29. Blue Lake Cave, Brazil
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    Description:
    Links: Top Ten Brazilian Attractions,
  30. Links: Top Ten Natural Wonders of the World,

Top Ten Diamonds

Top Ten Diamonds

Cullinan I2Public DomainThe Hope DiamondThe Incomparable

In mineralogy, diamond, greek for “unbreakable,” is a metastable allotrope of carbon, where the carbon atoms are arranged in a variation of the face-centered cubic crystal structure called a diamond lattice. Diamond has the highest hardness and thermal conductivity of any bulk material. Those properties determine the major industrial application of diamond in cutting and polishing tools and the scientific applications in diamond knives and diamond anvil cells. Diamond also has remarkable optical characteristics. Because of its extremely rigid lattice, it can be contaminated by very few types of impurities, such as boron and nitrogen. Combined with wide transparency, this results in the clear, colorless appearance of most natural diamonds. Small amounts of defects or impurities (about one per million of lattice atoms) color diamond blue (boron), yellow (nitrogen), brown (lattice defects), green (radiation exposure), purple, pink, orange or red. Diamond also has relatively high optical dispersion (ability to disperse light of different colors), which results in its characteristic luster. Excellent optical and mechanical properties, notably unparalleled hardness and durability, make diamond the most popular gemstone. Most natural diamonds are formed at high temperature and pressure at depths of 140 to 190 km (87 to 120 mi) in the Earth’s mantle. Carbon-containing minerals provide the carbon source, and the growth occurs over periods from 1 billion to 3.3 billion years (25% to 75% of the age of the Earth). Diamonds are brought close to the Earth′s surface through deep volcanic eruptions by a magma, which cools into igneous rocks known as kimberlites and lamproites. Diamonds can also be produced synthetically in a high-pressure high-temperature process which approximately simulates the conditions in the Earth mantle.

  1. Golden Jubilee
    Golden Jubilee
    The Golden Jubilee is the largest faceted diamond in the world, weighing 545.67 carats. The stone was designed by Gabi Tolkowsky, who also designed the 273.85-carat Centenary Diamond, which is the largest D-Flawless diamond in the world. The Golden Jubilee was presented to the King of Thailand in 1997 for his Golden Jubilee, the 50th anniversary of his coronation. Prior to this event, the stone was simply known as the Unnamed Brown.
    Links:
  2. Cullinan I
    Cullinan ICullinan I1Cullinan I2
    The Cullinan I was the largest gem produced from the rough stone. It is a pear shaped stone of 530.2 carats and is the world’s largest cut diamond. The Cullinan I is now in the head of the royal scepter in the British crown jewels.
    Links: Top Ten Scepters, Top Ten Crown Jewels, http://www.internetstones.com/cullinan-diamond-famous-jewelry.html,
  3. Cullinan II
    Cullinan IICullinan II1
    The second largest cut diamond, the Cullinan II, is a cushion-shaped stone weighing 317.4 carats, and is set in the British imperial state crown.
    Links:
  4. The Incomparable
    The Incomparable
    The Incomparable is the largest diamond in the US and was found in its rough state weighing 890 carats in the town of Mbuji Mayi in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) in the 1980’s. It was found by a young girl playing in a pile of rubble outside her uncle’s house. This rubble had been legitimately collected from old mine dumps from the nearby MIBA Diamond Mine, having been rejected during the recovery process as being too bulky to be worth scanning for diamonds. The girl gave the diamond to her uncle, who sold it to some local African diamond dealers, who in turn sold it to a group of Lebanese buyers operating out of Kinshasa. It was later purchased in Antwerp by the Senior De Beers Buyer. As a result, Sir Philip Oppenheimer, then president of the Central Selling Organization and a De Beers director, sold it to Donald Zale, chairman of the board of the Zale Corporation, the Dallas-based jewelry store chain. He bought the diamond in partnership with Marvin Samuels, of the Premier Gems Corporation, and Louis Glick, both prominent figures in the New York diamond industry. The huge stone was finally unveiled in November, 1984, which coincided with the Zale Corporation’s 75th anniversary (their Diamond Anniversary). Shortly afterwards it was put on display at the Natural History wing of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC.
    Links: http://famousdiamonds.tripod.com/incomparablediamond.html,
  5. For the Love of God
    Public Domain
    For the Love of God is a sculpture by artist Damien Hirst produced in 2007. It consists of a platinum cast of an 18th century human skull encrusted with 8,601 flawless diamonds, including a pear-shaped pink diamond located in the forehead that is known as the Skull Star Diamond. The skull’s teeth are original, and were purchased by Hirst in London. The artwork is a Memento mori, Latin for “Remember your mortality” or “Remember you must die,” referring to a genre of artworks that vary widely but share the same purpose: to remind people of their mortality, an artistic theme dating back to antiquity. In 2007, art historian Rudi Fuchs, observed: ‘The skull is out of this world, celestial almost. It proclaims victory over decay. At the same time it represents death as something infinitely more relentless. Compared to the tearful sadness of a vanitas scene, the diamond skull is glory itself.’ Costing £14 million to produce, the work was placed on its inaugural display at the White Cube gallery in London in an exhibition Beyond belief with an asking price of £50 million. This would have been the highest price ever paid for a single work by a living artist. According to Art Knowledge News, a sale was being completed at the $100 million asking price.
    Links: Top Ten Works of Art by Damian Hirst, Top 100 Works of Arthttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_the_Love_of_God,
  6. Star of Sierra Leone Broach

    Description:
    Links:
  7. Queen Victoria’s Jubilee
    Queen Victoria’s Jubilee
    A colorless cushion cut stone weighing 245.35 metric carats, ranking as the 3rd largest cut stone in the world. It weighed 650.8 carats in the rough and was discovered in 1895. Originally called The Reitz, it was renamed, The Jubilee, in 1896 in honor of The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897. It was supposed to be presented to her, but it never happened. Shortly after being displayed in the Paris Exhibition of 1900, the stone was sold at a value of 7,000,000 francs to an Indian Industrialist and Philanthropist, Sir Dorabji Jamsetji Tata.
    Links: Top Ten Queens,
  8. Sea of Light Diamond
    Sea of Light Diamond
    The pale pink table-cut diamond, the Darya-i-Nur (Sea ofLight), weighing 186 carats, is the largest pink diamond in the world, and originated in the famous Kollur diamond mines ofSouthern India. It was believed to be part of the “Grand Table Diamond” or “Diamanta Grand Table” which Tavernier saw when he visitedGolconda in 1642, during one of his many trips toIndia in the 17th century. Tavernier also reported that the “Great Table Diamond” was at one time mounted on the famous “Peacock Throne” of Shah Jahaan. Modern diamond historians in trying to trace the whereabouts of the “Great Table Diamond” eventually concluded that the 186-carat table-cut “Darya-i-Nur” diamond which formed part of the Iranian Crown Jewels, may possibly be a part of this diamond, and another 60-carat oval pink diamond known as the Nur-ul-Ain which also belonged to the Iranian Crown Jewels may be another part. A team of Canadian Experts who conducted research on the Iranian Crown Jewels in 1965, also came to the same conclusion, and it is now generally accepted that the Great Table Diamond was cleaved into two parts during the rule of one of the Mogul Emperors after Shah Jahaan, and the major portion was transformed into the Darya-i-Nur, and the lesser portion into the Nur-ul-Ain.
  9. The Hope Diamond
    The Hope Diamond
    The 45.52 carat Hope Diamond is in a platinum setting surrounded by 16 white pear-shaped and cushion-cut diamonds designed by Pierre Cartier in 1910.
    Links:
  10. The Spoonmaker’s Diamond
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    The Spoonmaker’s Diamond is an 86 carat pear-shaped diamond which is considered the pride of the Imperial Treasury exhibitions at the Topkapi Palace Museum (Turkey) and its most valuable single exhibit. Considered the fourth largest diamond of its kind in the world, it is kept under conditions of high security. Set in silver, surrounded by a double row of 49 old-mine cut diamonds it hangs in a glass case on the wall of the third room in Imperial Treasury section of Topkapı’s “Conqueror’s Pavilion”, where it is clearly the most eye-catching jewel.
    Links: Museums and Galleries, http://idealcut.wordpress.com/category/famous-diamonds/page/2/,
  11. Star of the East
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    The Star of the East is 95-carat stone once owned by Evalyn Walsh McLean of Washington DC, who also owned the Hope Diamond. The Star of the East remained in Evalyn Walsh McLean’s ownership for 40 years or so. After her death, Harry Winston bought both diamonds and in 1951 he sold the Star of the East and a fancy colored oval cut diamond to King Farouk of Egypt. By the time of the King’s overthrow in 1952, Mr. Winston had still not received payment for the two gems, but three years later an Egyptian government legal board entrusted with the disposal of the former royal assets, ruled in his favor. Nevertheless, several years of litigation were needed before he was able to reclaim the Star of the East from a safe-deposit box in Switzerland. In 1969 Harry Winston sold the Star of the East, the new owner asking him to remount the gem as a pendant to a V-shaped diamond necklace to which two flawless matching pear shapes could be attached  The Star of the East was displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in 1978, at a reception marking the 50th anniversary of Harry Winston Inc. Six years later the diamond came back into the ownership of Harry Winston Inc. Its present whereabouts are unknown.
    Links: The Universe, Top Ten Starshttp://idealcut.wordpress.com/category/famous-diamonds/page/2/,
  12. Bonus: Lucy (Largest Known Diamond)
    Lucy
    The biggest diamond ever discovered completely dwarfs the Cullinan diamond.  A white dwarf star called BPM 37093 was discovered on February 13, 2004. BPM 37093 has a huge diamond at its heart which is spherical in shape and measures some 4,000 kilometers in diameter. The only problem is that the diamond, which has been named Lucy, after the famous Beatles song, is approximately 50 light years away from Earth. Located in the Centaurus constellation, the dead star was originally the size of the Sun. After exhausting its nuclear fuel it turned into a white dwarf. When cooling down, the carbon crystallized, transforming itself into a gigantic diamond. Lucy is estimated to weight 5 million trillion trillion pounds which makes her 10 billion trillion trillion carats, in other words a one followed by 34 zeros!
    Links: The Universe, Top Ten Stars, Top Ten Suns, http://www.piglette.com/diamonds/largest.html,
  13. Shah Diamond
    Shah
    As you can tell, this is not a cut diamond in the usual sense. The Shah diamond is unique in that it has been polished from its original 95cts to its present 88.7cts and has been variously described as Table Cut, Portrait Stone and bar Shaped. It is unique because 3 of its polished faces are engraved with the names of 3 rulers who have owned it. The oldest dates the stone to around 1591 (AD) or 1000 in the Muslim calendar and refers to Burhan II. The second inscription reads “Son od Jahangir Shah, Jahan Shah 1051” (1641 AD). The third inscription is that of the Persian Ruler Fath Ali Shah (1797-1834). The stone was probably acquired whenPersia invadedIndia in 1739. There are many stories about how the stone then traveled toRussia and became part of the Russian Crown Jewels. In 1914 the stone was taken fromSt Petersburg toMoscow for safekeeping and it was found after the Russian Revolution in 1917 and put on display in the Kremlin.
  14. Kooh-I-Nor
    Kooh-I-NorPublic Domain
    Believed to have been presented by Sultan Ala-ed-in to two brothers but captured on 4th may 1526 by Humayin, at which point it was stated to be valued at half the daily expense of the whole world. It arrived in England in 1850 and was presented to Queen Victoria on the 3rd of July. It originally weighed 186 carats (190 metric) and took 38 days to cut to its present form at a cost then of $8,000. It is currently an Oval Brilliant of 108.93 metric carats. The name means Mountain of Light. The stone is currently set into the Maltese Cross in the crown made for the Queen mother in 1937.
    Links:
  15. Links: Nature, Top Ten Minerals, http://brysonburke.com/diamonds_top_twenty.html, http://www.jewelleryvaluer.com/diamonds.html, http://brysonburke.com/diamonds_famous_polished.html, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_famous_diamonds, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond,