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Silvretta panorama from the Ochsenkopf
Silvretta panorama from the Ochsenkopf
Mount Everest, Earth's highest mountain

A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. Although definitions vary, a mountain may differ from a plateau in having a limited summit area, and is usually higher than a hill, typically rising at least 300 metres (980 ft) above the surrounding land. A few mountains are isolated summits, but most occur in mountain ranges.

Mountains are formed through tectonic forces, erosion, or volcanism, which act on time scales of up to tens of millions of years. Once mountain building ceases, mountains are slowly leveled through the action of weathering, through slumping and other forms of mass wasting, as well as through erosion by rivers and glaciers.

High elevations on mountains produce colder climates than at sea level at similar latitude. These colder climates strongly affect the ecosystems of mountains: different elevations have different plants and animals. Because of the less hospitable terrain and climate, mountains tend to be used less for agriculture and more for resource extraction, such as mining and logging, along with recreation, such as mountain climbing and skiing.

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

Selected mountain-related landform

Hill upon which the village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence is built, in Southern France

A hill is a landform that extends above the surrounding terrain. It often has a distinct summit, and is usually applied to peaks which are above elevation compared to the relative landmass, though not as prominent as mountains. (Full article...)

Selected mountain range

Vancouver Island-relief DouglasRanges.png
Location map of the Douglas Range

The Douglas Ranges are a subrange of the Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains of the Canadian province of British Columbia, about 70 km (43 mi) east of downtown Vancouver, north of the Fraser River and between the valleys of Stave and Harrison Lakes. They are approximately 4,900 km2 (1,900 sq mi) in area. Their highest peak is Mount Robertson 2,252 m (7,388 ft), at the northwest limit of the range.

The Douglas Ranges among the smallest and lowest of the major named subranges Coast Mountains, but in addition to being smallest and lowest they are also the southernmost part of the Coast Mountains and therefore also of the Pacific Ranges. The only thing more southerly than the Douglas Ranges, other than floodplain, is the unnamed hill-country that is most of Districts of Mission and part of Maple Ridge, from the Alouette River east across the upland to Hatzic Prairie. And in addition to being the most southerly and relatively lower than the rest of the Pacific Ranges, it is also among the wettest and, for being lowland country relative to the rest of its parent ranges, among the ruggedest. (Full article...)

Selected mountain type

Escarpment face of a cuesta broken by a fault; overlooking Trenton, Cloudland Canyon State Park, and Lookout Mountain, Georgia

A cuesta (from Spanish cuesta "slope") is a hill or ridge with a gentle slope on one side, and a steep slope on the other. In geology the term is more specifically applied to a ridge where a harder sedimentary rock overlies a softer layer, the whole being tilted somewhat from the horizontal. This results in a long and gentle backslope called a dip slope that conforms with the dip of resistant strata, called caprock. Where erosion has exposed the frontslope of this, a steep slope or escarpment occurs. The resulting terrain may be called scarpland. (Full article...)

Selected climbing article

Ainhize Belar eskalatzen.jpg
Lead climber on the bolted sport climbing route Gezurren Erresuma 8c (5.14b), in Spain.

Lead climbing (or leading) is a technique in rock climbing where the lead climber clips their rope to the climbing protection as they ascend the climbing route, while their second (or belayer) remains at the base of the route belaying the rope to protect the lead climber in the event that they fall. The term is used to distinguish between the two roles, and the greater effort and increased risk, of the role of the lead climber.

Leading a climb is considered to be the opposite of top roping a climb, where even though there is still a second belaying the rope, the lead climber faces little or no risk in the event of a fall and does not need to clip into any protection as the rope is already anchored to the top of the route (i.e. if they fall off, they just hang from the rope). (Full article...)

Related portals

General images

The following are images from various mountain-related articles on Wikipedia.

Selected skiing article

Muscovite campaign against the Lithuanians, a painting by Sergei Ivanov (1903).

Ski warfare is the use of ski-equipped troops in war. (Full article...)


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Eruption of Pinatubo 1991

Flora and fauna

Climbing in Greece
Georg Winkler.jpg

Lists of mountains

Recognized content

Associated Wikimedia

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