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Appalachian Mountains

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, and 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, and 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

The snow-free debris hills around the lagoon are lateral and terminal moraines of a valley glacier in Nepal.

A moraine is any accumulation of unconsolidated debris (regolith and rock), sometimes referred to as glacial till, that occurs in both currently and formerly glaciated regions, and that has been previously carried along by a glacier or ice sheet. It may consist of partly rounded particles ranging in size from boulders (in which case it is often referred to as boulder clay) down to gravel and sand, in a groundmass of finely-divided clayey material sometimes called glacial flour. Lateral moraines are those formed at the side of the ice flow, and terminal moraines were formed at the foot, marking the maximum advance of the glacier. Other types of moraine include ground moraines (till-covered areas forming sheets on flat or irregular topography) and medial moraines (moraines formed where two glaciers meet). (Full article...)

Selected mountain range

The Selenite Range is a mountain range in western Pershing County, Nevada. The range is a north–south trending feature approximately 27 miles (43 km) long and 4 miles (6.4 km) wide.

The Fox Range lies to the west across the San Emidio Desert valley and the south end of the Black Rock Desert playa. Gerlach and Empire are two communities on the foothills and just to the northwest of the range. These communities supported the gypsum mines in the range during their active period. The large Empire gypsum quarry lies just west of Luxor Peak at 40° 30' N; 119° 18' W just 1.2 mi (1.9 km) northwest of Kumiva Peak. The range was named for deposits of selenite, a variety of gypsum. (Full article...)

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Sarmatian Kurgan, 4th century BC, Fillipovka, South Urals, Russia. A dig led by Russian Academy of Sciences Archeology Institute Prof. L. Yablonsky excavated this kurgan in 2006. It is the first kurgan known to have been completely destroyed and then rebuilt to its original appearance.
A kurgan (Russian: курга́н, Ukrainian: курга́н, висока могила) is a type of tumulus constructed over a grave, often characterized by containing a single human body along with grave vessels, weapons and horses. Originally in use on the Pontic-Caspian steppe, kurgans spread into much of Central Asia and Eastern, Southeast, Western and Northern Europe during the 3rd millennium BC.

According to the Etymological dictionary of the Ukrainian language the word "kurgan" is borrowed directly from the "Polovtsian" language (Kipchak, part of the Turkic languages) and means: fortress, embankment, fortress, high grave. There is also a hypothesis that the word is related to the Persian word "gurxane", which in turn comes from "gur" – grave and "xane" – house. However, the word is more probably formed in the Turkic languages, where is has two possible etymologies, either from the Old Turkic root korı- "to protect, defend" or Old Turkic qur- "to build". (Full article...)

Selected climbing article

Two quickdraws. The upper has a solid bent gate for the rope and the lower a wire gate for it.

A quickdraw (also known as an extender) is a piece of climbing equipment used by rock and ice climbers to allow the climbing rope to run freely through bolt anchors or other protection while leading.

A quickdraw consists of two carabiners connected by a semi-rigid material (sometimes called the "dogbone"). One carabiner has a straight gate and connects to an anchoring device. The other carabiner is for the climbing rope, and uses a bent gate. Quickdraws are manufactured with either a solid carabiner gate or a wire carabiner gate for its lighter weight. (Full article...)

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World Cup speed skiing

Speed skiing is the sport of skiing downhill in a straight line at as high a speed as possible, as timed over a fixed stretch of ski slope. There are two types of contest: breaking an existing speed record or having the fastest run at a given competition. Speed skiers regularly exceed 200 kilometres per hour (124 mph) (Full article...)


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Flora and fauna

Climbing in Greece
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