|Alps top 10 by reduced ORS
Metzler, May 2009
in meters. ORS, RORS are accurate to roughly +/-15m or better.
courtesy of Jonathan de Ferranti.
Notes on the individual peaks follow the table.
|Mont Blanc (du Courmayeur)
|Grandes Jorasses, Les
As a general note, I highly recommend
summitpost.org as a source of information and pictures for almost all of these
peaks. Much of the info below is from summitpost.
NEW: take a look at this rough Top 110 in KML format
For more about ORS and reduced ORS (RORS) see the
main ORS page.
- The Eiger, while not even 4000m high, boasts the most famous north
face in the alps, if not the whole world. This is a classic example of
a peak ill-served by height (or prominence) listings.
- The Matterhorn is one of the most "spirelike" of the Alpine peaks;
it is tall, steep, pointy, and rises above fairly low valleys. Like
the Eiger, it has a classic north face. All of these features contribute
to its superb ORS. Note that it beats its higher neighbor Monte Rosa,
as it does in the popular imagination and among mountaineers.
- Mont Blanc: The highest peak in the Alps comes in very well, but not first, in
terms of ORS. However the main summit is not the
best point in terms of ORS, since it is a rounded dome. The
subpeak Mont Blanc du Courmayeur, which stands atop the tremendous
Freney and Brenva Faces, is the optimal point.
- Monte Agner is the highest peak of the Pale di San Martino Group.
It has huge, classic North and Northwest Face routes: "Both routes are
counted among the longest and highest in the whole Alps"--Summitpost.org.
- In Les Grandes Jorasses, part of the greater Mont Blanc Massif, we find
the last of the three great north faces
of the Alps. They also tower over the low valley on the Italian side.
Note the large reduction from Mont Blanc, which they almost beat.
- Monte Antelao is the "King of the Dolomites." (The higher Marmolada
is the "Queen", however it sits in higher terrain and has a relatively
gentle slope on one side). Like many Dolomite peaks, Antelao is steep,
rocky, and pointy; it also sits close to the edge of the Dolomite
uplift and so has dramatic drops to the nearby valleys. For all of the
Dolomite peaks, note the low elevations---these peaks are totally,
and unfairly, ignored by an elevation-based ranking.
- The Weisshorn is an almost perfect pyramidal peak which commands the
middle Mattertal valley, over which it has 3000m of relief. Note the significant
reduction from the Matterhorn.
- The Scheidegg Wetterhorn, a northern summit of the Wetterhorn massif
(northeast of the Eiger), has a
huge, steep northwest face which towers over the Grosse Scheidegg pass.
This face is overshadowed in the region only by the Eiger Nordwand
(which gives a significant reduction).
- La Meije is the second highest summit in the Ecrins group (see Barre des Ecrins, lower down)
in the Dauphine Alps,
narrowly missing the arbitrary 4000m mark. It is at the northern edge of the group
and therefore towers over the nearby valley and the town of La Grave.
- Monte Civetta is one of the most famous of the Dolomite peaks:
"Civetta north west face is probably the biggest rock face of the
Dolomites"--Summitpost.org. Note that it gets a substantial reduction from the
nearby Monte Agner.