Curiosity about 4000

A four thousand "mirage": the Mont Iseran

The Mont Iseran, modest peak of 3237 meters, which is located just beyond the Italian-French border, was in the Alpine literature of the '700 described as a colossal mass from which they were born three rivers: the Arc, the Isere and the Orc. In mid dell'800 interest in this mountain it was remarkable, judging by the attention that the surveyors devoted to that particular alpine zone. A lot of care, you might say, but poor accuracy, because the sheet n 37 of the "Great Charter of Sardis States mainland" of 1852, Piedmontese specialists in the quotarono 4045 meters. This caused an incredible confusion that was repaired only twenty years later, as a result of complaints and criticisms of the British climbers who found themselves in the paradoxical situation of wanting to climb a 4000 that did not exist! The measurement error was originated by a curious reason: the Mont Iseran nineteenth century was not placed where they believed the cartographers; it was nothing but the result of the distance vision - a "mirage" perspective, we would say - of the two massifs of Levanne and Gran Paradiso, Italian observer from the Piedmont side seemed one big mountain. Curiosity in curiosity: today the Mont Iseran, unequivocally 3237 meters high, is also known as "Signal de l'Iseran", because it is used as a benchmark for measuring topographic and cartographic: when you say the irony of fate!

(Source: Claudio Colombo Il Giornale, 27.12.2005, in his review of the book "the Great Alps cartography 1482-1885" Laura and Giorgio Aliprandi, Priuli and Verlucca, 2005)

Fletschhorn (3993 m)

This Swiss mountains, the canton Valais was listed 4001 m on maps up to 1956, then new measurements (and probably the consequences of one or more landslides) have downgraded. The inhabitants of Saas Grund, in the territory of which there are more than 13 4000 m peaks, however, are not resigned to the nearest mountain to the country and characterizing its landscape is high "only" 3993 m .: "mountaineers seeking the 4000 "i say in the town hall. But more than the fear of losing tourists, there is perhaps the envy towards the nearby Saas Fee, in whose territory they rise well 23 four. From here the spring project to raise the summit of Fletschhorn at least 7 meters, Carrying with helicopters around 300 tons of material. Fortunately, however, also as a result of the protests of the WWF, the Swiss Alpine Club and the Alpine Guides of the area, the project has been rejected by both the Construction Commission of the Canton of Valais, both the Council of State of the Confederacy.
(Source: "La Stampa", November 7 1990)

Collections of peaks less than 4000 m

The peaks collections exceed a certain quota is not unique to the "8000" Himalayas and "4000" of the Alps. Because of the strange and magnetic attraction exerted by the numbers, it can be said that in every mountainous region where alpinism has said it has developed for decades, the fashion of salirne "all" of the summit whose share begins with the highest possible figure. And this even though the altitude itself does not seem to represent an achievement so extraordinary. For example, in Scandinavia, there are those who has collected hundreds of peaks over 2000 meters, where the share, due to the high latitude, offers truly a similar plot to that we have between the 3000 and 4000 meters.
In Britain, where the highest share is limited to modest 1343 m Ben Devis, collectors are certainly not resigned to a miserable collection of "1000": where the market share is measured in "foot", the "3000" abound, and all freeclimb is a prestigious goal.
The Pyrenees, which boast a mountaineering tradition asserted simultaneously with that of the Alps, the collection of the many "3000" (here, in meters) was held in high regard. The Catalan Magda Sales of 38 years, 16 September 2001, crowned his dream of climbing all 161 three thousand of the Pyrenean chain, becoming, as far as we know, the first woman to be successful in the enterprise, company started in 1984 with the highest peak, the Pico de Aneto 3404 meters; later, Magda has come not only normal routes, but often tours of a certain commitment. As you can imagine, and as it was done in the Alps, to determine what should be counted as a true top tops and which are not is not so 'simple, and different criteria also lead to different results. Magda Sales made reference to the list of "3000" drawn up by the "Centre de Lleida Hiker", to which it belongs, among whose members the collection is highly coveted. However, there is another list, drawn up by '' Equipo de los tresmiles the perineum "directed by Jian Buyse -and approved UIAA (the same international body has formalized the list of 82 four of the Alps) - which counts 212 peaks over the magic height, distributed on a 140 km away. In the men's collection that has already been completed for some time by Miquel Capdevila who has made an extraordinary ride continues for ridges in only 30 days, while in the summer of 2000 Hipolito Maeso has done it in just 34 days .
But if you neglect the "3000" factor, were carried rides well other entities: for example, the complete crossing of the Pyrenean mountain range along the watershed by Louis Audobert and Guy Panazzo, in 1986, during which have been well-touch 930 tops!
(Source: "Magazine of the Mountain", No. 252, 2001 November, heading "Nuvolaria")

Bietschhorn (3934 m)

Mountain overlooking Lotschental in the Bernese Oberland: it is said that Captain Edmund von Luge, Swiss topographer, guest of a hotel in the area, in love with Rosa Ebner, and daughter of the the most beautiful girl of the valley, to curry favor with his father and obtain his daughter's hand in order to prevent the Lotschental was overlooked by climbers and tourists, had hidden the Topographical Bureau in Bern that the share of the Bietschhorn, 4003 meters from the previous cards It was lowered by well 69 meters. Other surveyors would later correct "the inexplicable" error, until, just in 1969, the truth came to light, when it was opened a sealed envelope on which Rosa had written "to open a hundred years after my death."
(Source: "The real share of Bietschhorn", Alberto Paleari, CDA, Torino, 1989)

Collections to do or complete

No shortage of collections still to be done. The most challenging is that of 415 "seven" (but the exact number is disputed) Himalaya and Karakorum. And why not think even more accessible to a challenge, but our local, as, for example, the slope of 215 the peaks that exceed the share of 2.000 meters?
(Source: "Four thousand Quote", by Stefano Ardito, "Heron", September 2000) In this regard, potential collectors of 2000 meters peaks point out the book by Alberto Osti Guerrazzi entitled "2000 of the Apennines", published by "Editions the Wolf and c. " Pereto (Eagle) in which they counted all the peaks of the Apennines that exceed 2000 meters, which are 223. The author describes the ascent of these peaks in 99 believing the other of anticime or secondary peaks