Mount Wycheproof: Facts About the World’s Smallest Mountain

  • Located in Wycheproof (Victoria, Australia), Mount Wycheproof is the world’s smallest mountain.
  • It stands 148 metres above sea level, and it rises 43 metres above the land surrounding it.
  • Wycheproof is derived from an aboriginal word meaning hill with grass.
  • The settlement of Wycheproof is located on the southern slopes of Mount Wycheproof. It was founded in 1846.
  • A mineral called Wycheproofite (a hydrated sodium aluminium zirconium phosphate) is exclusively found around Mount Wycheproof.
  • Mount Wycheproof is a granite outcrop with a rocky conical peak. It is part of the Terrick Terrick range.
  • At the time of writing, Wycheproof town has a population of less than 800.
  • People have said that fewer people have reached the summit of Mount Wycheproof than have summited Mount Everest.
  • There are numerous tracks leading up Mount Wycheproof. Emus and kangaroos can often be seen in the region.
  • Mount Wycheproof is becoming an increasingly popular tourist attraction. The local Post Office provides certificates to prove that visitors have reached the summit.
  • Although in the UK and the US mountains traditionally have summits of at least 1000 feet high, there is no official difference between a mountain and a hill, and different countries have different criteria. Even though it might look like a hill, in Australia, Mount Wycheproof is recognised as a mountain.
  • Up until the late 1980s, a King of the Mountain event used to be held, with competitors racing each other up the slopes while holding a 60kg bag of wheat. Crowds numbering 7000 used to come and watch the event.
  • Mount Wycheproof is about 5 miles lower than Mount Everest.
  • The wildflower Correa Glabra (Wycheproof form) is exclusive to the region.
  • A globe-shaped sculpture made by Jimmy Johnson from recycled metal is located at the top of Mount Wycheproof.

Sugarloaf Mountain: Facts About the Peak in Rio de Janeiro

Here are some facts about Sugarloaf Mountain.

  • There are more than 400 hills, peaks and mountains called Sugarloaf, but this page refers to the one in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

  • It is located next to Guanabara Bay on an Atlantic Ocean peninsula.
  • Sugarloaf rises more than 390 metres above the bay.
  • It is thought to look like a sugarloaf, a concentrated domed block of refined sugar.
  • A cable car system can take more than 60 people at a time from a ground station to the peak as part of a 1.4 km route.
  • The cable cars were introduced in 1912.
  • The cable cars are bubble shaped and made in Switzerland. They allow passengers to get stunning views of the city.

Sugarloaf Mountain

  • Sugarloaf is very popular among rocks climbers.
  • The mountain appears in the James Bond film Moonraker.
  • Sugarloaf Mountain is formed from one block of granite (it’s a monolith) and supports very little vegetation on its upper slopes.
  • It is estimated that more than 35 million people have ridden the Sugarloaf Mountain cable cars since they were opened.

What next? Check out more mountain facts by visiting our mountains resources page.

Mount Elbrus: Facts About the Highest Mountain in Europe

Here are some facts about Mount Elbrus.

  • Mount Elbrus is a volcano located in the Caucasus Mountains in Russia. At 5,642 metres in height, it is the highest mountain in Europe.

  • It actually consists of two summits, one about 40 metres higher than the other. The higher peak was first climbed in 1874 by a British expedition led by F. Crauford Grove.
  • Although it is a volcano, it is dormant and there is no record of it ever erupting. However, there are about 260 square km of lava fields and volcanic debris on the mountain.
  • Mount Elbrus is one of the Seven Summits, the name given to the highest mountains on each of the seven continents.

Mount Elbrus

  • The name Elbrus probably comes from a legendary mountain in Iranian mythology.
  • One of Europe’s highest outhouses, or toilets, is located on Mount Elbrus. It is covered in snow and ice and perched at the end of a large lump of rock.
  • In 1956, a group of 400 mountaineers climbed Mount Elbrus at the same time.
  • About 30 climbers die on the mountain each year, making it one of the deadliest.
  • A cable car built in the 1960s takes visitors to a height of 3,800 metres. From there it is a simple climb to the summit and there are several refuges, or mountain huts, offering shelter.
  • In 1997, a Russian team tried to drive a Land Rover to the summit. They used a winch and chains to pull it the last few metres to the summit and constantly had to replace the parts.
  • Mount Elbrus is important in Greek mythology. It is the place where Zeus imprisoned Prometheus and sent an eagle with long wings to eat his liver.
  • The Elbrus world race first took place in 1990. It is a series of winter sporting events on and around the mountain and in 2014 attracted over 350 athletes from 16 countries.

What next? Discover more mountain facts by visiting our mountains resources page.

K2: Facts and Information About the Famous Mountain

Here are some facts about K2.

  • K2 is the second highest mountain in the world, after Mount Everest. It is 8,611 metres high and is located in the Karakoram range on the border of China and Pakistan.
  • The mountain’s name comes from a survey made of the region in the 19th century. It is also known as Mount Godwin-Austen, Chhogor and the Savage Mountain, because of its difficult ascent.

  • K2 has the second highest death rate among mountains over 8,000 metres in height. An estimated 25 percent of those who try to climb it are killed in the attempt.
  • It is considered to be the world’s most dangerous mountain for several reasons. It is very remote, very steep and sudden, strong storms are common in the area.
  • Several attempts to climb K2 were undertaken in the early 20th century.  An Italian team was the first to reach the summit in July, 1954. It was 23 years until the summit was next reached.
  • During a 1953 American attempt on K2, several climbers were saved from death with ropes and an ice axe. The ice axe is on display in a Colorado museum.
  • One of the oldest people to reach the top of the mountain was a 65 year old Spanish climber in 1965. Several people have tried to ski down the mountain although nobody has succeeded.
  • In 1986, 13 climbers died while trying to reach the top of K2. Five climbers died in a severe storm, while the others died because of falling rocks, avalanches and falls.
  • In 1986, a Polish climber was the first woman to reach the summit of K2, although she died soon afterwards. Many climbers believed that the mountain was cursed for women climbers.
  • The mountain is the subject of several mountaineering books. There are also several films featuring K2, including the 2000 film, Vertical Limit starring Chris O’Donnell.

What next? Find out more mountain facts by visiting our mountains resources page.

Mount Fuji: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Mount Fuji.

  • Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan, at 3,776 metres. It is located on the island of Honshu, about 100 km from Tokyo and is visible from the city on clear days.
  • Partly because of its symmetrical cone, it has become a symbol of the country. It has been featured in many drawings and paintings, as well as in numerous books and poems.

  • The first ascent was probably by a local monk in the 7th century. The first European to climb Mount Fuji was Rutherford Alcock in 1868, who took 8 hours to reach the top.
  • Over 100,000 people climb Mount Fuji every year, making it the world’s most climbed mountain. Many climbers time their ascent to see the sunrise from the summit.
  • Mount Fuji is actually a volcano. It last erupted in 1708. The crater is about 273 metres deep and measures about 530 metres across.
  • The season for climbing Mount Fuji is short, and only happens during July and August. There are 7 paths to the summit with many shrines, rest huts and tea houses along the trails.
  • The mountain is Japan’s most popular tourist attraction and many people make pilgrimages there. Buddhists and other religious groups believe it to be a sacred place.
  • Until the late 19th century, women were forbidden from climbing the mountain because of its religious associations. The first European woman to reach the summit was Fanny Parkes, in 1867.
  • A Japanese artist, Hokusai Katsushika, created a series of 36 woodblock prints showing the mountain in different seasons. He started work on the project in 1830 at the age of 70.

Mount Fuji

  • A forest named Aokigahara lies at the foot of the mountain and is said to be haunted by ghosts and goblins.

What next? Discover some more facts about some of the world’s most famous mountains by visiting our mountains resources page.

Sir Edmund Hillary: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Edmund Hillary, the famous mountaineer.

  • Edmund Hillary was a New Zealand-born mountaineer. He is famous for being the first person to climb the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest – located on the Nepal / Tibet border.

  • Hillary was born in 1919, and, after leaving university, he became a beekeeper. As a boy he was shy and liked to read and daydream about having exciting adventures.
  • In 1939, he completed his first major climb to the top of Mount Cook in New Zealand’s Southern Alps. At 3,754 metres it is the country’s highest mountain.

Edmund Hillary

  • Hillary’s 1953 expedition to Everest was a huge undertaking. The team consisted of 362 porters, 20 local guides and about 4,535 kg of baggage and equipment.
  • Along with Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa, Hillary reached the summit of Everest during his second expedition there, on May 28, 1953. News reached Britain on the same day as the Queen’s coronation.
  • In 1953, he became a Knight of the British Empire and was known as Sir Edmund Hillary. He found this out from a messenger while leaving Everest, after his successful climb.
  • In 1958, Edmund Hillary reached the South Pole, as one of the leaders of a Commonwealth expedition. It was the first successful attempt to reach the pole in motor vehicles.
  • Hillary led another expedition to the Himalaya Mountains in 1960 to search for the legendary yeti. That same year, he was late for a flight which later crashed, killing all on board.
  • Edmund Hillary was the first living New Zealander to appear on that country’s currency. The 5 dollar note showed him along with a tractor of the type he used to reach the South Pole.
  • The ‘Hillary Trail’, a hiking trail near Auckland, is named after him, as is a difficult section of Everest, which is called the Hillary Step. In 2008, Lukla Airport in Nepal was named Tenzing-Hillary Airport.

What next? Learn about George Mallory, another mountaineer who attempted to climb Mount Everest, or visit out mountains resources page.

10 Table Mountain Facts

Here are ten facts about Table Mountain.

  • Table Mountain is a flat mountain overlooking the city of Cape Town in South Africa. It is one of twelve well-known flat topped mountains around the world.

  • The sandstone mountain is about 3,563 feet high. The flat summit offers spectacular views over the Atlantic Ocean and the city and measures about 2 miles across. Many people climb the mountain in order to watch sunrise or sunset from the summit.
  • Much of the mountain is thought to be around 600 million years old. Although it is mainly sandstone, it also contains shale and granite and is, as a result, relatively resistant to erosion.
  • Hiking, climbing and caving are all popular on Table Mountain. The cableway, which was opened in 1929, is an easy and popular way to reach the summit.
  • At least one wedding takes place every week on the summit of Table Mountain.
  • The chemical toilets at the summit of the mountain were originally designed for Boeing aircraft.
  • Table Mountain has a diverse range of plant and animal life, many of which are only found there. There are almost 1,500 species of plant, including several hundred different species of daisy.

Table Mountain
Table Mountain (Source)

  • The first European to climb Table Mountain was a Portuguese explorer, in 1503. He carved a huge cross into a nearby rock, which can still be seen today.
  • The first woman known to have climbed Table Mountain was Anne Barnard in 1790. Today, about 800,000 people visit the mountain every year to enjoy the view, said to be one of the best in Africa.
  • Table Mountain is the only feature of Earth to give its name to a constellation. The constellation of Mensa (meaning table) can be seen in mid July in the southern hemisphere.
  • It is also the only mountain to be included in the list of 7 natural wonders, and one of the few mountains to be situated within a major city.

George Mallory: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about George Mallory, the famous English mountaineer.

  • George Herbert Leigh Mallory was born on 18th June 1886 in Mobberley, Cheshire.
  • He first started to become interested in rock climbing during his last year at Winchester College.

  • He studied history at Magdalene College, Cambridge, and he was a keen sportsman. He rowed for his college at Cambridge.
  • Mallory was good friends with the poet Robert Graves.
  • He married to Ruth Turner in 1914 (just before the outbreak of WW1) and they had two daughters and son.
  • George Mallory fought in World War 1 as part of the Royal Garrison Artillery.
  • Mallory climbed Mont Blanc in 1911 and in 1913 he climbed Pillar Rock in the Lake District.

George Mallory

  • In 1921 Mallory was part of an expedition to explore routes up to the Mount Everest‘s North Col (a pass formed by a glacier). In 1922 Mallory, Howard Somervell and Edward Norton reached the crest of the North-East Ridge of Mount Everest (a height of more than 8,000 ft). They didn’t use any bottled oxygen.
  • In June 1924, Mallory attempted to climb Mount Everest again. On 8th June, Noel Odell, another member of the expedition, saw George Mallory and his climbing partner, Andrew Irvine, for the last time. They were climbing a rock step high on the mountainside. They never returned home and it thought that they died late on 8th June or early on 9th June. It is not known whether or not they reached the summit of Mount Everest before they died.
  • Following several attempts, Mallory’s body was finally discovered in 1999 by Conrad Anker. It was very well preserved and it revealed that he had probably died from a puncture wound to the head (possibly caused by his own ice axe). Although the location of their final campsite has been located, the body of Mallory’s climbing partner, Andrew Irvine, has yet to be found.
  • Two peaks – Mount Mallory and Mount Irvine – in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California were named in honour of the two climbers.

What next? Learn more about mountains.

Mount McKinley: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Mount McKinley.

  • Mount McKinley is the highest mountain in North America, at 20,320 feet. It is located in the Alaska Range in Alaska.
  • The mountain is also known as Denali, and is the centerpiece of the Denali National Park and Preserve. The park covers over 6,000,000 acres, making it larger than the state of New Hampshire.

  • Denali National Park contains about 12,000 lakes and about 16 percent of the park is covered by glaciers. There is only one 90 mile road through the entire park.
  • The mountain was named in 1896 for the Presidential nominee, William McKinley. In 1975, the State of Alaska officially changed its name to Denali, which means the High One.
  • Mount McKinley has a weather station on its slopes, at a height of almost 19,000 feet, which measures temperature, pressure and wind speed. Wind chill temperatures here can be a s low as minus 118 degrees F.
  • The mountain was first climbed in 1913. In 1910, 2 Alaskan prospectors almost reached the top, armed with hot drinks, donuts and home made snowshoes.
  • In a typical year, about 1,275 people try to climb Mount McKinley; about half of them succeed. Every year about 14 people need to be rescued from the mountain.
  • Because of its location so far north, Mount McKinley has a lower barometric pressure than other mountains, which affects climbers. There is less oxygen at the summit, than on other mountains.
  • The slopes and surrounding area are home to bears, foxes and caribou as well as about 450 species of flowering plants. Many fish species found in the region are smaller than normal because of the cold waters.
  • In November, 2012 a 25 cent piece depicting the mountain and the park was released by the US Mint.

What next? Find out more facts about mountains by visiting our mountains resources page.

Mount Kenya Facts

Here are some interesting facts about Mount Kenya.

  • Mount Kenya is 17,057 feet high. It is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second highest in Africa, after Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • An area of 276 square miles around the mountain’s centre is designated as a National Park, as well as a World Heritage site. The park attracts over 16,000 visitors each year.

  • The several peaks on the mountain were formed by volcanic eruptions, and the mountain is made from different types of volcanic rock. However, the last eruption was over 2 million years ago.
  • Because Mount Kenya is located on the equator, the sun rises and sets at almost exactly the same time each day, 5:30 am and 5:30 pm.
  • Four different ethnic tribes live around the mountain. The Gikuyu tribe builds their huts with doorways facing the mountain, as they believe it to be God’s throne on Earth.
  • The mountain is home to several unique species of animals, including the Sykes Monkey, Cape Buffalo and Bongo Antelope.
  • Above 7,000 feet, the trees on the slopes of Mount Kenya are covered by high altitude moss.
  • There are several glaciers on Mount Kenya, although they are retreating quickly and no new ice is forming. In less than 30 years the mountain may be completely free of ice.
  • The first recorded ascent of Mount Kenya was in 1899. Today, there are several mountaineering routes, and the south side is best climbed in January and February, while August and September are best for the north side.
  • Although hiking and mountaineering are popular here, wildlife viewing and bird watching are also popular. About 340 species of birds can be seen here.

What next? Discover more mountain facts by visiting our mountains resources page, or learn more about volcanoes.