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Introduction

Silvretta panorama from the Ochsenkopf
Silvretta panorama from the Ochsenkopf
Mount Everest, Earth's highest mountain
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 (1,000 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...)

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Selected mountain-related landform

Side valleys and tributary valleys are valleys whose brooks or rivers flow into greater ones.

Upstream, the valleys can be classified in an increasing order which is equivalent to the usual orographic order: the tributaries are ordered from those nearest to the source of the river to those nearest to the mouth of the river. A confluence is where two or more tributaries or rivers flow together. (Full article...)

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Serra do Espinhaço vista da Lapinha da Serra..jpg

The Espinhaço Mountains (Portuguese: Serra do Espinhaço, IPA: [ˈsɛ.ʁɐ dwis.piˈɲa.su]) are a mountain range in Brazil. The range runs roughly north and south through the states of Minas Gerais and Bahia, extending for approximately 1,100 km (680 mi). It forms the divide between the upper watershed of the São Francisco River and those of the shorter rivers which flow east into the Atlantic Ocean, including the Doce, the Jequitinhonha, and the Pardo rivers. Pico do Sol, its highest peak, rises to 2,072 metres (6,798 ft), in Catas Altas town (Caraça National Park). The historical town of Diamantina are located in the Espinhaço Mountains. The Espinhaço Mountains were a major route through which Minas Gerais was settled during the Gold Rush of the 18th century. (Full article...)

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QAPF diagram for the classification of plutonic rocks
QAPF diagram for the classification of plutonic rocks

Intrusive rock is formed when magma penetrates existing rock, crystallizes, and solidifies underground to form intrusions, such as batholiths, dikes, sills, laccoliths, and volcanic necks.

Intrusion is one of the two ways igneous rock can form. The other is extrusion, such as a volcanic eruption or similar event. An intrusion is any body of intrusive igneous rock, formed from magma that cools and solidifies within the crust of the planet. In contrast, an extrusion consists of extrusive rock, formed above the surface of the crust. (Full article...)

Selected climbing article

Nepalese Sherpa
Nepalese Sherpa

The Sherpa are one of the Tibetan ethnic groups native to the most mountainous regions of Nepal, Tingri County in the Tibet Autonomous Region and the Himalayas. The term sherpa or sherwa derives from the Sherpa language words ཤར shar ("east") and pa ("people"), which refer to their geographical origin of eastern Tibet.

Most Sherpa people live in the eastern regions of Nepal and Tingri County, though some live farther west in the Rolwaling Valley , Bigu and in the Helambu region north of Kathmandu, Nepal. Sherpas establish gompas where they practice their religious traditions. Tengboche was the first celibate monastery in Solu-Khumbu. Sherpa people also live in Tingri County, Bhutan, and the Indian states of Sikkim and the northern portion of West Bengal, specifically the district of Darjeeling. The Sherpa language belongs to the south branch of the Tibeto-Burman languages, mixed with Eastern Tibet (Khamba) and central Tibetan dialects. However, this language is separate from Lhasa Tibetan and unintelligible to Lhasa speakers. (Full article...)

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General images

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

Selected skiing article

Alpine skiers
Alpine skiers

Alpine skiing, or downhill skiing, is the pastime of sliding down snow-covered slopes on skis with fixed-heel bindings, unlike other types of skiing (cross-country, Telemark, or ski jumping), which use skis with free-heel bindings. Whether for recreation or for sport, it is typically practiced at ski resorts, which provide such services as ski lifts, artificial snow making, snow grooming, restaurants, and ski patrol.

"Off-piste" skiers—those skiing outside ski area boundaries—may employ snowmobiles, helicopters or snowcats to deliver them to the top of a slope. Back-country skiers may use specialized equipment with a free-heel mode, including 'sticky' skins on the bottoms of the skis to stop them sliding backwards during an ascent, then locking the heel and removing the skins for their descent. (Full article...)

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NASA Landsat-7 imagery of Himalayas
Shivling
Eruption of Pinatubo 1991

Flora and fauna

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Climbing in Greece
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