France houses some of the most spectacular mountains and terrains in Europe such as Mont Blanc. About 2977 peaks are located in France, most of them in the Alps and the Pyrenees ranges. Mountains dominate the eastern, south-central and southern regions forming varied landforms and terrain. Here we look at the most prominent mountains in France.
Mont Blanc is the most prominent mountain in France and rises to 4,808 meters, making it the highest mountain in the Alps. By ranking according to topographical prominence, it is the 11th highest peak in the world. Mont Blanc’s name means ‘white mountain’ derived from nearly 40 square miles of glaciers that cover the mountain. The white domed Mont Blanc is seen as a classical symbol of mountaineering, skiing, hiking and snowboarding. The summit of the mountain is on the watershed line between the Italian valleys of Ferret and Veny and the French valleys of Arve and Montjoie. It towers over the Aosta Valley, in Italy and the Haute-Savoie. Mont Blanc is a popular tourist destination with an average of 20,000 mountaineer-tourists each year. However, it poses a great risk to new climbers, requiring 12 rescue missions each year for climbers who get stuck while in the normal route or other challenging and technical routes.
Barre des Ecrins
Barre des Ecrins is the highest peak in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region including all of Occitania and the Southern Alps. It is the second highest mountain in France and rises to 4,102 meters. It is easily recognizable when seen from the north since it is the most southerly 4000m peak in the Alps. Barre des Ecrins is the only mountain in France that lies outside the Mont Blanc Massif. It was also considered the highest mountain in France before the annexation of Savoy in 1960. The first ascent to the summit was on 25 June 1864.
The Grande Casse is the highest mountain of the Vanoise Massif in the Graian Alps in the region of Savoie, France. It is located in the heart of the Vanoise National Park, southwest of the nearest town, Moûtiers. It has one of the finest summits and famous north face. It considered the easiest mountain to climb despite its high rise of 3,855 meters. There are many easy routes to take climbers to the summit with relative ease. The right part is a 600 m wall very steep beneath the summit and becoming gentler towards the west. The other sides of the mountain are mainly made up of broken rocks, not much of an attraction.
The second highest peak of the Massif de la Vanoise is the Mont Pourri. It is found in the Graian Alps and located in Vanoise National Park. This mountain can be climbed all year and is popular with skiers. Mont Pourri means rotted mountain.
Other prominent French mountains include; Dent Parrachee, Aiguilles d'Arves, Aiguille de Scolette, Pic Bayle, Pic de Rochebrune and Vignemale all rising above 3200 meters.
Breathtaking Beauty Of French Alps
The French mountains provide breathtaking scenic views that have led to thousands of tourists visiting the national parks around them. Skiing and mountain climbing are the most popular activities for tourists visiting the Alpine mountains.