List of mountains of Switzerland
This page contains a table listing by elevation all mountains of Switzerland that have a topographic prominence of at least 300 metres (984 ft), regardless of their elevation. For a list of mountains with lower prominence, see List of mountains of Switzerland above 3000 m and List of mountains of Switzerland above 3600 m. For a list of mountains including topographic isolation, see List of most isolated mountains of Switzerland.
Mountains constitute a major geological feature of Switzerland with most of the cantons having summits exceeding 2,000 metres (7,000 ft) and three of them having summits exceeding 4,000 metres (13,000 ft). The two main mountain ranges are the Alps (south and east) and the Jura (north and west), separated by the Swiss Plateau which also includes a large number of hills. Topographically, the three most important summits of Switzerland are those of Monte Rosa (most elevated), the Finsteraarhorn (most prominent) and Piz Bernina (most isolated).
The Union Internationale des Associations d'Alpinisme defines a summit in the Alps as independent, if the connecting ridge between it and a higher summit drops at least 30 m (a prominence/drop of 30 m, with the lowest point referred to as the "key col"). There are over 4400 such summits exceeding 2000 m in Switzerland. In order for a peak to qualify as an independent mountain, traditionally a prominence of at least 300 m has been used. Inclusion based on prominence is expedient for its objectivity and verifiability, but has its drawbacks. For example, an impressive mountain peak dominating a valley may be connected via long high ridges to a barely higher hidden summit. Among the better-known peaks absent from this list are Fletschhorn (Lagginhorn), Mont Blanc de Cheilon (Ruinette), Nadelhorn and Täschhorn (Dom), Piz d'Err (Piz Calderas), Piz Badile (Piz Cengalo) and Piz Palü (Piz Zupò).
All mountain heights and prominences on the list are from the largest-scale maps available. However, heights sometime conflict on different scales. For example, the Fletschhorn is indicated to be 3993, 3982, and 3984.5 m high on the 1:100'000, 1:50'000 and 1:25'000 Swisstopo map, respectively. The (rounded) elevation given by the largest scale map is always used in this table. Also, the deepest points in connecting ridges are not always survey points with spot elevations, so that heights have to be estimated from contour lines. For example, maps often provide heights for the place where a route passes over a ridge rather than for the lowest point of that pass.
The list contains 451 mountains with a prominence higher than 300 m, among which 24 are above 4000 m, 64 above 3500 m, 208 above 3000 m, 321 above 2500 m, 384 above 2000 m, 417 above 1500 m and 443 above 1000 m. The average and median heights are respectively 2812 and 2956 m. The great majority of the summits are located in the Alps, the other being located in the Jura Mountains. On average, each summit is the culminating point of an area corresponding to 91.5 km2.
These 451 major summits are found in 22 different cantons.[Note 1] 3 cantons (Valais, Bern and Graubünden) have summits above 4000 m, 9 cantons have summits above 3000 m, 15 cantons have summits above 2000 m and 21 cantons have summits above 1000 m. Two cantons have more than 100 summits: Graubünden (152) and Valais (104), while eleven cantons have less than 10 summits. 82 of the summits are on cantonal borders. A number of mountains (e.g. Titlis, Chasseral, Lägern) straddle borders as well, but have their summit on one side of the border. In the list, only the location of the culminating point is considered.
Notes and references
- Out of 26 cantons. The cantons of Basel-Stadt, Geneva, Schaffhausen and Thurgau do not appear on the list.
- The lowest col between equally high Gletscherhorn and Piz Gallagiun is the 383 m deep Passo de la Prasgnola. They share the 2694 m key col Pass da la Duana.
- High point between Il Madone and Campanile
- Christian Thöni, Directory of the mountains of Switzerland
- All mountain heights and prominences are from the 1:25,000 Swisstopo topographic maps. Key cols of mountains above 2500 m were verified using the SRTM data based contour lines in the terrain view of Google maps.
- Jonathan de Ferranti & Eberhard Jurgalski, Europe to R150m list
- The three main sources for first ascent data are:
For the Western Alps; W.A.B. Coolidge, The Alps in nature and history, Methuen & Co, London, 1908.
For the Central Alps; Gottlieb Studer, Über Eis und Schnee: Die höchsten Gipfel der Schweiz und die Geschichte ihrer Besteigung, Volumes 1-3, Schmid & Francke, Bern, 1896-1899.
For the Eastern Alps: Die Erschließung der Ostalpen, Volumes 1-3, German and Austrian Alpine Club, Berlin, 1894.
Given are the years for the first recorded ascents. In many cases local people or surveyors made earlier ascents. In particular, chamois and ibex hunters are expected to have reached many summits. Years in italics indicate that it is known that an earlier ascent was made, for example by the presence of artifacts on top or the summit's prior use as a triangulation point.
- Jonathan de Ferranti & Eberhard Jurgalski's map-checked ALPS TO R589m and rough, computer-generated EUROPE TO R150m lists 
- Christian Thöni's list of 8875 summits in Switzerland