1902 Encyclopedia > The Alps > Rhaetian Alps

The Alps
(Part 15)



(B) MAIN DIVISIONS OF THE ALPS

(i) Rhaetian Alps


The older geographers included under the term Rhaetian Alps a vast mountain region extending over 6° of long., from the east side of the Lago Maggiore to the left bank of the Salza, and through 2_°of lat., from the neighborhood of Brescia to the plain of Bavaria. There is no assignable reason for uniting in a single division mountain groups so distinct as many of those included within this wide space- scarcely less than that occupied by all the divisions hitherto enumerated- save the fact that at an early period they received a common designation from writers who had a most imperfect acquaintance with their topography. It might be expedient to discard a term to which it is difficult to assign a limited meaning without incurring the risk of confusion; but general usage has so constantly applied the term Rhaetian to the mountain region of Switzerland lying east of the Rhine, with the adjoining portion of Tyrol, that it seems best to preserve the ancient name while endeavoring to restrict it within juster limits. With that object it is necessary to take account of one of the most remarkable features in the orography of the Alps- the great breach in the continuity of the main chain shown in the upper valley of the Adige. On a general view of western Tyrol it is apparent that the lakes which feed the head of that stream lie on the northern side of the axis of elevation of the main chain, and in fact several streams draining the northern slopes of the central mass are borne southward to the Adriatic through the opening. This is not the place to take into consideration the important influence that this breach in the line of defense between Italy and the north, and the equally deep opening of the Brenner Pass at the head of the other main branch of the Adige, has had on the history of Europe, nor to discuss the geological significance of the same depression throughout an incalculably longer period; but it is sufficiently clear that this should be taken as the eastern limit of the group to which the term Rhætian Alps most properly applies. On the west limit as we have already seen is marked by the valley of the Rhine, and the line of depression over which the Splügen road is curried to the head of the lake of Como. In the space between this boundaries the chief mountains of the Rhaetian Alps appear as islands of crystalline rock, divided by intervening masses of palaeozoic and older secondary strata; but on the south side lies a district which differs considerably in geological structure, and is cut off by a distinct orographic boundary. A straight line drawn from the head of the lake of Como to Cles in Tyrol, will throughout lie close to a trench formed by the valley of the Adda, the low pass of Africa, the head of Val Camonica, the Tonale Pass, and the Tyrolese Val di Sole. On the south side of this trench, and parallel to it, extend in succession a broad of palæozoic rock and a still broader zone of trias, bordered on the southern slope by a narrow girdle of Jurassic rocks which decline towards the plain of Lombardy. Towards the east these are interrupted by a great mass of very peculiar granite, the most considerable tract of true granite to be found in the Alps. Beyond this the ridges and the valleys no longer preserve the direction from east to west, but become parallel to the lake of Garda and the valley of the Adige. The district thus limited is enumerated hereafter as a distinct division under the designation Lomabard Alps, the boundary between this and the Rhætian division being the trench above described, which is prolonged from near Cles over the low Gampen Pass to the neighborhood of Meran. On the northern side the Rhaetian Alps are divided from the Vindelician by a well-marked trench closely corresponding with the northern limit of the crystalline rocks of the Silvretta group, formed by the valley of the Ill, the Vorarlberg Pass, and the course of the Rosanna. Within the limits here assigned the Rhaetian Alps occupy an area measuring about 80 miles by 60. The entire mass is divided into two nearly equal proportions by the upper valley of the Inn, known in Switzerland as the Engadine.





Chief Peaks of the Rhaetian Alps

Piz d’Emet………………… 10,502 Ofen Wand………………… 11,558
Pizzo Stella………………... 10,266 Venezia Spitze…………….. 11,095
Pizzo della Duana………… 10,279 Hasenohr………………….. 10,673
Piz Margna……………….. 10,355 Pallon della Mare…………. 12,038
Piz Guz……………………. 11,066 Tresero…………………….. 11,636
Piz Tremoggia……………. 11,326 Monte Confinale………….. 11,076
Piz Roseg…………………. 12,936 Monte Sobretta……. about 11,000
Piz Bernina……………….. 13,294 Piz Curver…………………. 9,761
Piz Cambrena……………. 11,835 Piz Starlera………………... 10,001
Punta Trubinesca………… 11,106 Piz Platta………………….. 11,109
Cima del Largo…………… 11,162 Gravasalvas(Piz Lungen)… 10,421
Monte della Disgrazia……. 12,074 Piz d’Aela…………………. 10,893
Pizzo di Verona…………… 11,358 Piz d’Err……………………11,139
Corno di Campo………….. 10,843 Cima da Flix………………. 10,947
Monte Foscagno………….. 10,148 Piz Munteratsch…………... 11,106
Piz Languard …………….. 10,715 Piz Ott………………………10,660
Piz Quatervals……………. 10,359 Piz Uertsch………………… 10,738
Piz Murterol……………… 10,424 Piz Kesch………………….. 11,211
Pizzo di Sena……………... 10,099 Piz Vadred………………… 10,610
Corno di Dosde…………… 10,597 Schone Bleise ……………... 9,794
Piz Pisoch…………………. 10,427 Scesa Plana………………... 9,738
Piz Scesvenna …………….. 10,568 Blankahorn………………... 10,382
Piz Umbrail………………. 9,954 Piz Linard…………………. 11,208
Monte Cristallo…………… 11,370 Fluchthorn………………… 11,142
Orteler Spitze…………….. 12,814 Muttler…………………….. 10,824
Konigs Spitze……………… 12,646 Piz Mondin………………… 10,377
Monte Cevedale…………… 12,505 Vesulspitz………………….. 10,154
Pederspitz (highest peak)…. 11,349



Chief Passes in the Rhaetian Alps

Passo di Madesimo(Campo Dolcino to Avers Thal), footpath….. 7,480
Passo della Duana (Casaccia to Avers Thal), glacier……………. 8,720
Septimer Pass (Casaccia to Molins), bridle-path………………… 7,582
Maloya Pass (Casaccia to Silvaplana), carriage road…………… 5,942
Passo di Zocca (Casaccia to Val Masino), glacier……………….. 8,957
Muretto Pass (Casaccia to Sondrio), snow……………………….. 8,616
Bernina Pass (Pontresina to Poschiavo), carriage road………… 7,658
Passo di Canciano (Chiesa to Poschiavo), footpath……………… 8,366
Lavirum Pass (Ponte to Val Livigno), snow……………………… 9,249
Passo di Val Viola (Poschiavo to Bormio), footpath……..about.. 7,900
Foscagno Pass (Bormio to Zernetz), bridle-path………………… 6,329
Ofen Pass (Zernetz to Santa Maria), carriage road…………….. 7,070
Umbrail Pass (Bormio to Santa Maria), footpath………………. 8,342
Stelvio Pass (Bormio to Prad), carriage road…………………… 9,213
Passo Cevedale (Sta Catarina to Latsch), glacier………………. 10,765
Passo di Vios (Sta. Catarina to Pejo), glacier…………………… 10,868
Passo di Sforzellina (Val Gavia to Pejo), glacier……………….. 9,950
Gavia Pass (Sta. Catarina to Val Camonica), bridle-path about 8,600
Hohenferner Joch (Martell Thal to Val della Mare), glacier…… 9,904
Saent Pass (Martell Thal to Rabbi), glacier……………………… 9,954
Kirchberger Joch (Ulten Thal to Rabbi), footpath……………… 8,134
Julier Pass (Molins to Silvaplana), carriage road……………….. 7,503
Albula Pass (Bergun to Ponte), carriage road…………………… 7,589
Sertig Pass (Scanfs to Bergun), footpath………………………… 9,062
Strela Pass (Coire to Davos), bridle-path……………………….. 7,739
Laret Pass (Bergun to Klosters), carriage road………………… 5,338
Scaletta Pass (Davos to Scanfs), snow…………………………… 8,613
Fluela Pass (Davos to Sus), carriage road………………………. 7,891
Vereina Pass (Klosters to Sus), footpath………………………… 8,133
Silvretta Pass (Klosters to Guarda), glacier…………………….. 9,928
Cavell Joch (Bludenz to Seewis), footpath………………………. 7,562
Schweizerthor (Vadans to Schiersch), footpath…………………. 7,120
Drusenthor (Schruns to Schiersch), footpath……………………. 7,822
Schlappiner Joch (St Gallenkirch to Klosters), bridle-path(?)…. 7,185
Fermunt Pass (Pattenen to Guarda), glacier…………………….. 9,206
Bieler Joch (Montafun to Paznaun Thal), bridle-path…. About.. 6,000
Fimber Joch (Ischgl to Remus), snow……………………………. 8,547
Vignitz Pass (Kappel to Samnaunthal), snow……………………. 8,855





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