A summit is a local, that is, within a certain area, the highest point of a mountain or mountain range. Within a mountain terrain than the peaks form the corresponding free form to do so.

  • 3.1 mountain named after the shape of the peaks

Berg, major and minor peaks

Typical of Summit are their own names ( Oronym ) - a mountain bears in most cases, the same name as its highest peak: Mount Such lists of names play an important role for cartography. But some mehrgipfeligen mountains do not bear the name of a supreme, but for example, the most prominent summit seen from the valley. Many peaks in the topographic or geodetic sense, without proper names, and unmeasured, particularly outside the developed world. In the Alps, but the density of named summit is locally large: So you can find some in Chamonix, on the less than four kilometers from the Aiguille du Midi Aiguille de Trelaporte over 50 common peaks name - on average one every 80 meters.

Geodetic- topographic characteristic of a stand-alone summit is an official Kote ( survey point ).

Most often, the highest peak in absolute terms, a mountain formation as the main peak, the other peaks is called a pre-peak, off- peak and winter peak. For two nearly equal high peak points is often called a double peak. For volcanoes with summit crater summit awards are uncommon. In plateau summits generally only the highest point is excellent.

Common geographic- topographic criteria for the independence of a mountain refers mainly to how far a summit its surroundings dominates ( relief energy and Vertical separation ) and how far the next highest point is located on the ground ( dominance), but other parameters may play a role play.

When creating top lists and in the context of mountain climbing in the mountains of all the earth, and the enormous significance accorded to the " summit victory" there, different criteria have been designed to define " independent mountains " or delineate major and minor peaks from each other. However, there are no generally accepted such a criterion. Here are a few such attempts at definition are listed as examples:


  • To speak of a separate mountain at a summit, for example, thresholds of at least 100 to 300 meters Vertical separation are given for the Alps.
  • For the Himalayas a saddle height of 500 meters is a measure of the independence of a mountain. In addition to the 14 eight-thousanders, there are a number of other peaks, but not exceed this threshold, the height of 8000 meters. They are therefore considered as secondary peaks.
  • In Scotland, only when given after the about 80 -year-old division of Corbett autonomy so if the saddle height is at least 500 feet, that is 152 meters - and at relatively low peak heights of less than 1500 meters. Otherwise, no such independence definitions are known for low mountain range.
  • In addition, sometimes other, more complex criteria are put into circulation, include the absolute height, saddle height and dominance in weighted form.


  • The UIAA names in their list of four thousand in the Alps, a survey usually then as the pinnacle when the saddle height is at least 30 m. In addition, it relates to their evaluation but also other, more difficult -to-define criteria such as the morphology of the mountain and its importance with a mountaineering.
  • In the climbing also significantly smaller-scale concept formations are to be found summit ', such as in the climbing area Saxon Switzerland. Here are climbing peaks according to the Saxon climbing rules as " detached rocks, the [ ... ] are to ascend only by climbing or by robbery, crossing or jumping from nearby rock [ ... ], " fixed. On Rocks that do not meet this criterion may not be climbed here.

Terrain formations

To form abundance of mountain peaks, the rock and its fracturing, the predominant erosion and weathering and tectonics contributes ( orogeny ). Also, the vegetation may play a certain role. The geological structure of a summit may differ from its surroundings, as various banks of sediment in the Limestone Alps, or the slate roof of the Zentralkristallins ( Grossglockner ), or the witnesses mountains and cliffs of the plains, or volcanic origin. The peaks form the summit plain a mountain region.


The word summit since 1400 testifies ( Upper German Oswald von Wolkenstein ) and since 15-16. Century textual. Dialect forms are, inter alia, Gippel, Giffel, Gipf and Güpfel. The last is probably the more original by Grimm shape ( cf. aid → Help ) while the related word Gupf today rounded shapes bezeichnet.Vorgipfel is similar to old, secondary summit a younger formation.

Since about 1700, will peak ', also used figuratively. May culminate The associated verb next to mountains, for example, clouds, trees, buildings, equipment, or processes described. In crop production and forestry means summit ' synonymously tops. Related is the word with gable, the pointed roof of a, as well as the Crescents ( Teigspitz ).

Mountain named after the shape of the peaks

The shape of peaks is often reflected in the base word of their names, while the first part of the name (meaning word ) from the locality ( town or valley's name, rocks, color, flora, danger, weather, etc. ) gives:

  • The suffixes - mountain or -gipfel/-gippel imply any particular form
  • Rocky peaks are commonly referred to as rock, stone, Klapf
  • Sharp or very steep pyramid summit often hot tip ( rätorom. Piz ), corner, horn or Switzerland. Gorner / Italian Corno (Latin Cornu ), Eng. Peak, also: First, Riffel
  • Summit Solid, wide formations with flat summit plateau and little pronounced main peak denominated in Stock
  • Detached Massive with approximately vertical terminations called pinnacle ( tines ), needle, Italian Cima, French Dent ( tooth ') or Aiguille ( from the Latin word acus, needle ), with plateau tower, Italian Torre
  • With striking rock crashes with wall, Rock, Pulpit, Fluh
  • A round summit area is referred to in geomorphology as a knoll, the name may be suffixed with tip / ka ( probably to Latin cuppa cup '), also Staff, Stauf ( MHG, drinking cups ' as in Staufen ), or Kogel / Kofel, Head / Köpfel, Nock, Gupf (see above), or Kulm (Latin culmen, culmination ' or slaw * chlm, rock ') are called, also massive Massive Cathedral
  • A flat summit area with height, Alpe or chair, even heaven, or with special local names such as rock face, Eibl ( Älpl )
  • As a plateau Table Mountain

The transition between two adjacent peaks is called a saddle or pass in the Alps also saddle, yoke are used in names, depending on its shape and slope. In fact, it is believed that many of the mountain names originally from the - are then passed over mountain passes or amount corridors on the ausbildenen summit and the mountain formations, such as total basis in the discussion of the Tauern and the Alps, and also in - historical landschaftskundlich much more significant find yoke ( Hochjoch ).


In the geo- sciences, there are many specialties that deal with mountains and peaks, the following sequence attempted to portray a meaningful hierarchy:

  • Geography
  • Cartography
  • Geodesy
  • Physical Geography
  • Geomorphology
  • Orography