Mont Blanc First Ascent: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know mont blanc mountain facts

Mont Blanc First Ascent: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know 236 Views 301 S osndvsks. pens hockeyhares 6 Comments By Laura Amato Published Aug 7, 2015 at 4:12pm Updated Aug 8, 2015 at 11:52am
mont blanc mountain facts

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pens scoreboard Mont Blanc Mont Blanc môN bläN [ key ] , Alpine massif, on the French-Italian border, SE of Geneva. One of its several peaks, also called Mont Blanc (15,771 ft/4,807 m), is the highest peak in France and the second highest in Europe. The southeastern (Italian) face is a massive wall on the northwestern slopes are numerous glaciers, the largest of which (the Mer de Glace) flows into the valley of Chamonix , a famous French resort region and starting point for mountain climbers. There are many hotels and hostels along the base of Mont Blanc. The first successful ascent of Mont Blanc was made in 1786. In 1965 a highway tunnel (7.5 mi/12.1 km long) under Mont Blanc, linking Chamonix with Courmayeur, Italy, was opened to traffic. It provides a short, year-round route between Paris and Rome, as well as a link between the Geneva region and Italy. It was closed as a result of a fire from 1999 to 2002. The tunnel is one of the longest vehicular tunnels in the world. The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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  Geography of France (#2)   Facts & Figures about the country Table of contents Home page Email me   Facts & Figures about France       Basic facts French kids know - or should know - about their country

The 5 mountain ranges : the Alps, on the border with Italy with the hightest mountain in Europe (Mont-Blanc 4,810 meters i .e. 15,781 ft.), the Pyrénées, on the border with Spain with several summits above 10,000 ft., the Massif Central a spectacular chain of extinct volcanoes (see an unexpected picture ), in the very center of the country, the Jura along the Swiss border and the Vosges not far from the German border

The 5 main rivers : the Loire (the longest : 1,012 kilometers i.e. 629 mi.), the Rhine (the Franco-German border), the Rhône (coming from Switzerland through the Lake of Geneva), the Seine (crossing Paris) and the Garonne in the South-West

The four seas : the Mediterranean, the North Sea, the Manche (British Channel) and the Atlantic Ocean. Being both continental and open to the ocean explains the historical hesitation of the French policy between a purely European and a global policy.

The climate is mild (monthly averages between 3°C i.e. 38°F and 19°C i.e. 66°F), often changing with clouds and rain coming from the Atlantic Ocean, except in the Center and the East where it can be relatively cold (but temperatures as cold as ­10°C i.e. 10°F or +40°C i.e. 104°F are considered unusually cold or hot)

Population 66 million including 2 million in overseas territories; France is among the 4 most populated European countries (with Germany in the 80s, UK and Italy in the 60s) ; with its 550,000 square kilometers (i.e. 212,000 sq. mi.), it is one of the least dense countries in Europe.

The 8 neighbors (clockwise from SW to North) : Spain (including small Franco-Spanish Andorra), tiny Monaco, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium (+ the neighbors in overseas territories : Brazil, Surinam and Netherlands : guess where!)

DID YOU KNOW THAT..... In 2011, a cable-stayed bridge was built between France and Brazil . You think I'm bragging and you don't believe me? You should : it is not across the Atlantic but across the Oyapock river, between Brazil and French Guyana !   (credit) The Chateau de la Bretesche (Brittany)


The main cities are Paris (10,5 million), Lyon (1,6 m), Marseille (1,4 m), Lille (1,1 m), Toulouse and Bordeaux (0,9 m), Nantes and Strasbourg (0,7 m), Nice and Grenoble (0,6 m)

Administratively , the country is divided into 22 regions (13 after the 2015 reform) composed of 95 " Départements " (including more than 36,000 " Communes ", local authorities) + (overseas) 4 regions and 6 territories. More about French administrative organization .

Thanks to its overseas territories, France has the second largest maritime economic area in the world.

More to come

DID YOU KNOW THAT..... You may be surprised to observe that the French " départements " (the equivalent of a large US county) have mysterious names, which are the names of (sometimes) unknown rivers for most of them (like "Dordogne") and mountains for a few. Why don't they bear the names of well-known regions which have been around since the Middle Ages (like "Perigord", almost the same area as Dordogne) ? The reason is that in 1790, the revolutionary law-makers wanted to destroy everything that could revive the former regime (names of regions, languages, specific laws, ...) to build a new an united country. A perfect illustration of "Jacobinisme".

To related pages : more about provinces (#1), the French society , etc... To table of contents To top of the page   Back to home page Harriet Welty Rochefort writes articles and books about France and the French. Order her books : "Joie de Vivre" , Secrets of Wining, Dining and Romancing like the French, St.Martin's Press, New York, 2012 " French Toast , An American in Paris Celebrates The Maddening Mysteries of the French ", St.Martin's Press, New York, 1999 " French Fried , The Culinary Capers of An American in Paris ", St.Martin's Press, New York, 2001 More on Harriet's books (excerpts, upcoming events, testimonials, etc..) To email me   If you like this site, please bookmark it or create a link!