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When you have finished this section, try the Mountains Quiz

Mountains are places that are much higher than the land around them. They also taper and have a peak. They are different from plateaus because plateaus have flat tops, although they can be as high as mountains.

Mountains have had an important place in history as they have offered protection from invading armies and are frequently the boundaries between countries. If they are crosswise to the winds of the areas, mountains have an important role in affecting the climate of an area. The side of the mountain that faces the wind. the windward side, is apt to have heavier rainfall as the wind drops the moisture before going over the mountain. The other side called the leeward side is much drier as the rain has already been deposited on the windward side of the mountain. Mountains also protect valleys from extremes in weather.

A mountain range is a group or chain of mountains that are close together.

Mountains are made in several ways.

The highest mountains in the world are in the Himalayas that were formed when the areas of India and the rest of Asia came together. The very highest peak is Mount Everest, which is 29. 028 feet. The next highest is K-2 which is 28, 250 feet. The highest peak in South America is Aconcagua which is in the Andes and is 23,081. The highest peak in North America is Mount McKinley (Denali) which is in Alaska and is 20,269 feet. The highest in Africa is Mount Kilimanjaro which is 19, 340 and the highest is Europe is Mount Blanc at 15, 781 feet.


A Scene from the Swiss Alps
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