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,
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