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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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,