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Uluguru Mountains, in Tanzania

A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. A mountain differs from a plateau in having a limited summit area, and is larger than a hill, typically rising at least 300 metres (1000 feet) 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

A mountain pass is a navigable route through a mountain range or over a ridge. Since many of the world's mountain ranges have presented formidable barriers to travel, passes have played a key role in trade, war, and both human and animal migration throughout history. At lower elevations it may be called a hill pass. A mountain pass may be formed between two volcanic peaks, or created by erosion from water or wind. ( Full article...)

Selected mountain range

GuadalupeMtns 2006 cropped.jpg

The Guadalupe Mountains ( Spanish: Sierra de Guadalupe) are a mountain range located in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. The range includes the highest summit in Texas, Guadalupe Peak, 8,751 ft (2,667 m), and the "signature peak" of West Texas, El Capitan, both of which are located within Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The Guadalupe Mountains are bordered by the Pecos River valley and Llano Estacado to the east and north, Delaware Mountains to the south, and Sacramento Mountains to the west. One of the clearest exposures of a prehistoric reef is preserved in the mountain range's bedrock geology. Bedrock contains fossils of reef-dwelling organisms from the Permian period, and the geology is widely studied, mostly by stratigraphers, paleontologists, and Paleoecologists (see geology section). ( Full article...)

Selected mountain type

A peak's line parent is the closest higher peak on the highest ridge leading away from the peak's "key col". A col is the lowest point on the ridge between two summits and is roughly synonymous with pass, gap, saddle and notch. The highest col of a peak is its key col. If there is more than one ridge which can be followed to a higher peak then the line parent is the peak closest to the key col. Usually, a line parent must meet some prominence criteria, which might vary depending on the author and the location of the peak.

There are at least two other kinds of peak parentage. Island parentage, which is also referred to as encirclement or topographic parentage; and source parentage. ( Full article...)

Selected climbing article

This glossary of climbing terms is a list of definitions of terms and jargon related to rock climbing and mountaineering. The specific terms used can vary considerably between different English-speaking countries; many of the phrases described here are particular to the United States and the United Kingdom. ( Full article...)

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Selected skiing article

This is the complete list of Olympic medalists in ski jumping. ( Full article...)


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