Mount Pilatus

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Mount Pilatus
Tomlishorn
Picswiss SZ-27-06.jpg
East side
Highest point
Elevation 2,128 m (6,982 ft)
Prominence 585 m (1,919 ft) [1]
Isolation 16.7 km (10.4 mi) [2]
Parent peak Brienzer Rothorn
Coordinates 46°58′26″N 8°14′28″E / 46.97389°N 8.24111°E / 46.97389; 8.24111Coordinates: 46°58′26″N 8°14′28″E / 46.97389°N 8.24111°E / 46.97389; 8.24111
Geography
Mount Pilatus is located in Switzerland
Mount Pilatus
Mount Pilatus
Location in Switzerland
Location Obwalden/Nidwalden, Switzerland
Parent range Emmental Alps
Climbing
First ascent 14th century
Easiest route Pilatus Railway (world's steepest cogwheel railway)

Mount Pilatus (German: Pilatus) is a mountain overlooking Lucerne in central Switzerland. It is composed of several summits of which the highest (2,128 m) is named Tomlishorn. Another summit named Esel (2,119 m) lies just over the railway station. Jurisdiction over the massif is divided between the cantons of Obwalden, Nidwalden, and Lucerne. The main peaks are right on the border between Obwalden and Nidwalden.

Railway and summit[edit]

Newest aerial cablecar (called Dragon Ride) arriving Mount Pilatus.

The top can be reached with the Pilatus railway, the world's steepest cogwheel railway, from Alpnachstad, operating from May to November (depending on snow conditions), and the whole year with the aerial panorama gondolas and aerial cableways from Kriens. Both summits of Tomlishorn and Esel can be reached with a trail. Mount Pilatus has the longest summer toboggan track in Switzerland (0.88 miles or 1,350 m) and the biggest suspension rope park in Central Switzerland.

During the summer, the "Golden Round Trip" — a popular route for tourists — involves taking a boat from Lucerne across Lake Lucerne to Alpnachstad, going up on the cogwheel railway, coming down on the aerial cableways and panorama gondolas, and taking a bus back to Lucerne.

A few different local legends about the origin of the name exist. One claims that Mount Pilatus was named so because Pontius Pilate was buried there;[citation needed] a similar legend is told of Monte Vettore in Italy. Another is that the mountain looks like the belly of a large man, Pilate, lying on his back and was thus named for him. The name may also be derived from "pileatus," meaning "cloud-topped."

Numbered amongst those who have reached its summit are Conrad Gessner, Theodore Roosevelt, Arthur Schopenhauer (1804), Queen Victoria and Julia Ward Howe (1867).

Military installations[edit]

The mountain has fortified radar (part of the Swiss FLORAKO system) and weather stations on the Oberhaupt summit, not open to the public view and used all year round.

Dragon[edit]

A medieval legend had dragons with healing powers living on the mountain.[3] A chronicle from 1619 reads: 'as I was contemplating the serene sky by night, I saw a very bright dragon with flapping wings go from a cave in a great rock in the mount called Pilatus toward another cave, known as Flue, on the opposite side of the lake'.[4] This legend was the inspiration for Steven Reineke's famous concert band piece, Pilatus: Mountain of Dragons. [5]

Weather[edit]

Climate data for Pilatus
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −2
(28)
−2.3
(27.9)
−1
(30)
0.7
(33.3)
4.8
(40.6)
8.5
(47.3)
11.3
(52.3)
10.8
(51.4)
9
(48)
6.4
(43.5)
1.3
(34.3)
−0.7
(30.7)
3.9
(39)
Daily mean °C (°F) −4.7
(23.5)
−5
(23)
−3.9
(25)
−1.9
(28.6)
2.2
(36)
5.3
(41.5)
8.1
(46.6)
7.8
(46)
6.2
(43.2)
3.8
(38.8)
−1.4
(29.5)
−3.5
(25.7)
1.1
(34)
Average low °C (°F) −7.5
(18.5)
−7.6
(18.3)
−6.4
(20.5)
−4.4
(24.1)
−0.1
(31.8)
2.8
(37)
5.4
(41.7)
5.2
(41.4)
3.5
(38.3)
1.2
(34.2)
−4.1
(24.6)
−6.4
(20.5)
−1.5
(29.3)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 200
(7.87)
170
(6.69)
180
(7.09)
202
(7.95)
168
(6.61)
155
(6.1)
159
(6.26)
183
(7.2)
109
(4.29)
87
(3.43)
157
(6.18)
183
(7.2)
1,953
(76.89)
Average precipitation days 14.3 11.9 15.2 14.8 15.8 16 14.3 14.7 10.6 9.3 12 14.2 163.1
Source: MeteoSchweiz[6]

In literature[edit]

"The Chalet School does it again" (1955) Elinor Brent-Dyer retells the Pilate burial place legend.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Retrieved from the Swisstopo topographic maps. The key col is the Glaubenberg Pass (1,543 m).
  2. ^ Retrieved from Google Earth. The nearest point of higher elevation is north of the Widderfeld Stock.
  3. ^ "Dragon Legends - Pilatus Bahnen". Retrieved 10 September 2015. 
  4. ^ http://www.strangehistory.net/2011/07/17/dragons-in-swtizerland/
  5. ^ http://www.barnhouse.com/composers.php?id=148/
  6. ^ "Temperature and Precipitation Average Values-Table, 1961-1990" (in German, French, and Italian). Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss. Retrieved 8 May 2009. 

External links[edit]