In geomorphology, a col is the lowest point on a mountain ridge between two peaks.It may also be called a gap. Particularly rugged and forbidding cols in the terrain are usually referred to as notches. They are generally unsuitable as mountain passes, but are occasionally crossed by mule tracks or climbers' routes. The term col tends to be associated more with mountain rather than hill ranges.
The height of a summit above its highest col (called the key col) is effectively a measure of a mountain's topographic prominence. Cols lie on the line of the watershed between two mountains, often on a prominent ridge or arête. For example, the highest col in Austria, the Obere Glocknerscharte ("Upper Glockner Col", metres.), lies between the Kleinglockner ( ) and Großglockner ( ) mountains, giving the Kleinglockner a minimum prominence of 17
The majority of cols are unnamed and are either never transited or only crossed in the course of negotiating a ridge line. Many double summits are separated by prominent cols. The distinction with other names for breaks in mountain ridges such as saddle, wind gap or notch is not sharply defined and may vary from place to place.
A mountain pass is a navigable route through a mountain range or over a ridge. Since many of the world's mountain ranges have presented formidable barriers to travel, passes have played a key role in trade, war, and both human and animal migration throughout history. At lower elevations it may be called a hill pass.
The Grossglockner is, at 3,798 metres above the Adriatic (12,461 ft), the highest mountain in Austria and the highest mountain in the Alps east of the Brenner Pass. It is part of the larger Glockner Group of the Hohe Tauern range, situated along the main ridge of the Central Eastern Alps and the Alpine divide. The Pasterze, Austria's most extended glacier, lies on the Grossglockner's eastern slope.
In topography, prominence measures the height of a mountain or hill's summit relative to the lowest contour line encircling it but containing no higher summit within it. It is a measure of the independence of a summit. A peak's key col is a unique point on this contour line and the parent peak is some higher mountain, selected according to various criteria.
Piz Bernina is the highest mountain in the Eastern Alps, the highest point of the Bernina Range, and the highest peak in the Rhaetian Alps. It rises 4,048.6 m (13,283 ft) and is located south of Pontresina and near the major Alpine resort of St. Moritz, in the Engadin valley. It is also the most easterly mountain higher than 4,000 m (13,000 ft) in the Alps, the highest point of the Swiss canton of Graubünden, and the fifth-most prominent peak in the Alps. Although the summit lies within Switzerland, the massif is on the border with Italy. The "shoulder" known as La Spedla is the highest point in the Italian Lombardy region.
Monte Rosa is a mountain massif in the eastern part of the Pennine Alps. It is between Italy's and Switzerland's (Valais). Monte Rosa is the second highest mountain in the Alps and western Europe, after Mont Blanc.
A peak's line parent is the closest higher peak on the highest ridge leading away from the peak's "key col". A col is the lowest point on the ridge between two summits and is roughly synonymous with pass, gap, saddle and notch. The highest col of a peak is its key col. If there is more than one ridge which can be followed to a higher peak then the line parent is the peak closest to the key col. Usually, a line parent must meet some prominence criteria, which might vary depending on the author and the location of the peak.
An ultra-prominent peak, or Ultra for short, is a mountain summit with a topographic prominence of 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) or more; it is also called a P1500. The prominence of a peak is the minimum height of climb to the summit on any route from a higher peak, or from sea level if there is no higher peak. There are approximately 1,524 such peaks on Earth. Some well-known peaks, such as the Matterhorn and Eiger, are not Ultras because they are connected to higher mountains by high cols and therefore do not achieve enough topographic prominence.
The Allgäu Alps are a mountain range in the Northern Limestone Alps, located in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg in Germany and Tyrol and Vorarlberg in Austria. The range lies directly east of Lake Constance.
The Glockner Group is a sub-group of the Austrian Central Alps in the Eastern Alps, and is located in the centre section of the High Tauern on the main chain of the Alps.
The Großer Sonnblick or Malteiner Sonnblick, a mountain with a height of 3,030 m (AA), is a peak in the Ankogel Group of the Hohe Tauern range in Austria. It is the easternmost peak of the Alps with a prominence over 100 metres and with a height exceeding 3,000 metres (9,800 ft).
The Villgraten Mountains or Deferegg Alps, also called the Defreggen Mountains are a subgroup of the Austrian Central Alps within the Eastern Alps of Europe. Together with the Ankogel Group, the Goldberg Group, the Glockner Group, the Schober Group, the Kreuzeck Group, the Granatspitze Group, the Venediger Group and the Rieserferner Group, the Villgraten Mountains are part of the major mountain range, the High Tauern. Their highest summit is the Weiße Spitze with a height of 2,962 m above sea level (AA).
The saddle between two hills is the region surrounding the highest point of the lowest point on the line tracing the drainage divide connecting the peaks. When, and if, the saddle is navigable, even if only on foot, the saddle of a (optimal) pass between the two massifs, is the area generally found around the lowest route on which one could pass between the two summits, which includes that point which is a mathematically when graphed a relative high along one axis, and a relative low in the perpendicular axis, simultaneously; that point being by definition the col of the saddle.
The Jochköpfl is a mountain, 3,143 m (AA), on the Windach-Brunnenkogel-Kamm, a subgroup of the Stubai Alps in Austria.
The Küchlspitze is a three-thousander in the Verwall between the valley of Stanzer Tal and Paznaun in the western North Tyrol in Austria.
The Plöckenstein is a mountain, 1,379 m (AA) high, in the Bohemian Forest on the Austro-Czech border. Its summit is the highest point in the Bohemian Forest in both countries, and also the highest point in the regions of Mühlviertel and South Bohemia. It is well known as a result of stories by Adalbert Stifter.
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