Pennine Alps

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Pennine Alps
French: Alpes Pennines, Alpes valaisannes
Valais Alps.jpg
View of Pennine Alps from Riederalp
Highest point
Peak Monte Rosa
Elevation 4,634 m (15,203 ft)
Coordinates 45°56′12″N 7°52′00″E / 45.93667°N 7.86667°E / 45.93667; 7.86667
Geography
Countries Switzerland and Italy
States/Provinces Valais, Piedmont and Aosta Valley
Range coordinates 46°05′N 7°50′E / 46.08°N 7.83°E / 46.08; 7.83Coordinates: 46°05′N 7°50′E / 46.08°N 7.83°E / 46.08; 7.83
Parent range Alps
Borders on Graian Alps, Lepontine Alps, Bernese Alps and Po plain

The Pennine Alps (also: Valais Alps, formerly called Alpes Poeninae) are a mountain range in the western part of the Alps. They are located in Switzerland (Valais) and Italy (Piedmont and the Aosta Valley). They are not to be confused with the Pennines.

Geography[edit]

The Italian side is drained by the rivers Dora Baltea, Sesia and Toce, tributaries of the Po. The Swiss side is drained by the Rhône River.

The Great St Bernard Tunnel, under the Great St Bernard Pass, leads from Martigny, Switzerland to Aosta.

Morphology[edit]

Matterhorn

The main chain (watershed between the Mediterranean Sea and Adriatic Sea) runs from west to east on the border between Italy (south) and Switzerland (north). From Mont Vélan, the first high summit east of St Bernard Pass, the chain rarely goes below 3000 metres and contains many four-thousanders such as Matterhorn or Monte Rosa. The valleys are quite similar on both side of the border, being generally oriented perpendicular to the main chain and descending progressively into the Rhône Valley on the north and the Aosta Valley on the south. Unlike many other mountain ranges, the higher peaks are often located outside the main chain and found themselves between the northern valleys (Grand Combin, Weisshorn, Mischabel, Weissmies).

Peaks[edit]

Monte Rosa

The chief peaks of the Pennine Alps are:

Name Height (metres) Height (feet)
Monte Rosa 4,638 15,217
Ostspitze 4,632 15,197
Grenzgipfel 4,618 15,151
Nordend 4,609 15,121
Zumsteinspitze 4,563 14,970
Signalkuppe 4,554 14,941
Dom 4,545 14,911
Lyskamm 4,538 14,889
Weisshorn 4,506 14,780
Täschhorn 4,491 14,734
Matterhorn 4,478 14,693
Parrotspitze 4,432 14,541
Dent Blanche 4,364 14,318
Nadelhorn 4,327 14,196
Grand Combin 4,314 14,164
Lenzspitze 4,294 14,088
Stecknadelhorn 4,241 13,914
Castor 4,230 13,879
Zinalrothorn 4,223 13,856
Hohberghorn 4,219 13,841
Alphubel 4,206 13,799
Rimpfischhorn 4,199 13,776
Strahlhorn 4,191 13,751
Dent d'Hérens 4,171 13,684
Breithorn 4,164 13,661
Bishorn 4,153 13,625
Pollux 4,092 13,425
Ober Gabelhorn 4,073 13,364
Dürrenhorn 4,035 13,238
Allalinhorn 4,027 13,236
Weissmies 4,031 13,226
Lagginhorn 4,010 13,140
Fletschhorn 3,993 13,110
Adlerhorn 3,988 13,084
Schalihorn 3,974 13,038
Jägerhorn 3,970 13,025
Grand Cornier 3,962 12,999
Ulrichshorn 3,925 12,877
Wellenkuppe 3,903 12,805
Feechopf 3,888 12,756
Klein Matterhorn 3,883 12,740
Pointe du Mountet 3,877 12,720
La Ruinette 3,879 12,727
Name Height (metres) Height (feet)
Mont Blanc de Cheilon 3,870 12,697
Bouquetins 3,838 12,592
Brunegghorn 3,833 12,575
Tour de Boussine 3,833 12,575
Cima di Jazzi 3,818 12,527
Balfrin 3,802 12,474
Pigne d'Arolla 3,796 12,454
Mont Vélan 3,765 12,353
Tête Blanche 3,750 12,304
L'Évêque 3,738 12,264
Le Pleureur 3,706 12,159
Aiguille de la Tsa 3,668 12,034
Besso 3,667 12,031
Mont Collon 3,637 11,932
Les Diablons 3,605 11,828
Mont Gelé 3,517 11,539
Becca di Luseney (Pic de Luseney) 3,506 11,503
Château des Dames 3,489 11,447
Grand Tournalin 3,379 11,086
Rosablanche 3,348 10,985
Mont Avril 3,341 10,962
Grande Rochère 3,326 10,913
Corno Bianco 3,320 10,893
Testa Grigia (Tête grise, Grauhaupt) 3,315 10,876
Sasseneire 3,259 10,693
Grand Golliat 3,240 10,630
Pizzo Bianco 3,216 10,552
Latelhorn 3,207 10,523
Schwarzhorn 3,204 10,512
Gornergrat 3,136 10,289
Frilihorn 3,124 10,249
Mont Nery 3,070 10,073
Bella Tola 3,028 9,935
Monte Tagliaferro 2,964 9,725
Riffelhorn 2,931 9,617
Cima di Bo 2,556 8,386

Glaciers[edit]

Weissmies
Grand Combin

Main glaciers:

Passes[edit]

Great St Bernard pass

The chief passes of the Pennine Alps are:

Mountain pass location type elevation
Sesiajoch Zermatt to Alagna snow 4,424 14,515
Domjoch Randa to Saas-Fee snow 4,286 14,062
Lysjoch Zermatt to Gressoney-La-Trinité snow 4,277 14,033
Mischabeljoch Zermatt to Saas-Fee snow 3,856 12,651
Alphubel Pass Zermatt to Saas-Fee snow 3,802 12,474
Adler Pass Zermatt to Saas-Fee snow 3,798 12,461
Moming Pass Zermatt to Zinal snow 3,745 12,287
Schwarztor Zermatt to Ayas snow 3,741 12,274
Ried Pass Sankt-Niklaus to Saas-Fee snow 3,597 11,800
Neues Weisstor Zermatt to Macugnaga snow 3,580 11,746
Allalin Pass Zermatt to Saas-Fee snow 3,570 11,713
Col de Valpelline Zermatt to Aosta snow 3,562 11,687
Biesjoch Randa to Turtmann snow 3,549 11,644
Triftjoch Zermatt to Zinal snow 3,540 11,615
Col du Sonadon Bourg-Saint-Pierre to the Val de Bagnes snow 3,489 11,447
Col d'Herens Zermatt to Evolène snow 3,480 11,418
Col Durand Zermatt to Zinal snow 3,474 11,398
Col des Maisons Blanches Bourg-Saint-Pierre to the Val de Bagnes snow 3,426 11,241
Col de Bertol Arolla to the Col d'Herens snow 3,414 11,200
Col du Mont Rouge Val de Bagnes to the Val d'Hérémence snow 3,341 10,962
Theodulpass Zermatt to Valtournenche snow 3,322 10,899
Col de Tracuit Zinal to Turtmann snow 3,252 10,670
Zwischbergen Pass Saas-Fee to Gondo snow 3,248 10,657
Col d'Oren Val de Bagnes to the Valpelline snow 3,242 10,637
Col de Seilon Val de Bagnes to the Val d'Hérémence snow 3,200 10,499
Col du Cret Val de Bagnes to the Val d'Hérémence snow 3,148 10,329
Col de Valcournera Valtournenche to the Valpelline snow 3,147 10,325
Col de Collon Arolla to Aosta snow 3,130 10,270
Col de Valsorey Bourg-Saint-Pierre to Aosta snow 3,113 10'214
Col de Chermontane Val de Bagnes to Arolla snow 3084 10,119
Cimes Blanches Valtournenche to Ayas bridle path 2,980 9,777
Col de Torrent Evolène to the Val de Torrent bridle path 2,924 9,593
Augstbord Pass Sankt-Niklaus to Turtmann bridle path 2,893 9,492
Col de Crete Seche Val de Bagnes to the Valpelline snow 2,888 9,475
Col d'Olen Alagna to Gressoney bridle path 2,871 9,420
Monte Moro Saas-Fee to Macugnaga bridle path 2,862 9,390
Pas de Chevres Arolla to the Val d'Hérémence foot path 2,851 9,354
Antrona Pass Saas-Fee to Antrona bridle path 2,844 9,331
Col de Sorebois Zinal to the Val de Torrent bridle path 2,825 9,269
Col de Vessona Valpelline to Nus foot path 2,794 9,167
Fenêtre de Durand Val de Bagnes to Aosta bridle path 2,786 9,141
Z'Meiden Pass Zinal to Turtmann bridle path 2,772 9,095
Turlo Pass Alagna to Macugnaga foot path 2,736 8,977
Fenêtre de Ferret Great St Bernard to the Swiss Val Ferret bridle path 2,699 8,855
Colle Bettaforca Ayas to Gressoney bridle path 2,676 8,780
Col Serena Great St Bernard to Morgex foot path 2,538 8,327
Col Ferret Courmayeur to Orsières bridle path 2,533 8,311
Col de Valdobbia Gressoney to the Val Sesia bridle path 2,479 8,134
Great St Bernard Martigny to Aosta road 2,472 8,111
Col de Moud Alagna to Rima bridle path 2,323 7,622
Col d'Egua Rima to the Valle Anzasca bridle path 2,236 7,336
Simplon Pass Brig to Domodossola road 2,009 6,592
Bocchetta del Croso Piedicavallo to Valsesia bridle path 1,941 6,374
Baranca Pass Varallo to the Val Anzasca bridle path 1,820 5,971

Nature conservation[edit]

Some regional nature parks, like the Parco Naturale Alta Valsesia (6,511 ha - Piedmont, IT),[1] the Riserva Naturale Mont Mars (390 ha - Aosta Valley, IT) [2] and the Regional park of Binn valley (15,891 ha - Valais,CH),[3] have been established on both sides of the main water divide.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Parco Naturale Alta Valsesia site on www.parks.it (accessed on April 2012)
  2. ^ Parco del Mont Avic park site on www.parks.it (accessed on April 2012)
  3. ^ , Ein regionaler Naturpark, park site on www.landschaftspark-binntal.ch (accessed on April 2012)

Maps[edit]

See also[edit]