2009-2016 MOUNTAINS AND FLORA by Coin Invest Trust

2009-2016 MOUNTAINS AND FLORA by Coin Invest Trust 2016-11-05T06:34:21+00:00

Project Description

Most well known for their flagship coin series featuring Tiffany Art and Mongolian Wildlife, the Liechtenstein-based coin producer, Coin Invest Trust (CIT) has carved out quite a name for themselves on the back of them. They’re quite prolific releasers of coins under their own name and are admired for their willingness to experiment and do the unusual. While they aren’t always successful, they’ve inspired many within the industry to follow their lead and give us the breadth of choice we have today. Alongside all the flash and high profile releases, they do maintain several series of coins that are racking up some serious numbers. On the surface, these 20 or 25g sterling silver (0.925) coin series are unadventurous by CIT standards, but some are real gems and we think this series is certainly one of them.

Called ‘Mountains and Flora’, they depict some of the world’s most interesting mountains along with a small coloured image of flora most associated with it. What stands out the most is how well the representation of a mountain looks when clean struck in silver. The limiting of the coloured part of the coin to the flora has kept the designs very focused and unspoilt, something that colouring the sky for example, would have ruined. Each coin is limited to a run of 2,500 strikes and usually sell for under €50, although as was annoyingly usual for this mint, they’re supplied unboxed (but with a Certificate of Authenticity).

The series has now reached a staggering 61 releases, with no sign of a let-up and plenty more impressive peaks to cover. Anything from six to ten coins are released each year with 2014 bringing a hefty ten, so it’s no surprise that 2015 saw the series expand past even the ambitious America the Beautiful program. In fact, you could almost consider these coins a conceptually purer, more wallet-friendly version of the America the Beautiful range, especially given the latter is wandering off into some less than beautiful 2015/2016 designs (Saratoga anyone?).

There were two mini-series within this range released over its lifetime. Coins 09 to 15 from 2010 form a set of seven coins depicting what is known in mountaineering circles as The Seven Summits. This group includes the highest peak on each of the seven continents and is considered a real achievement to have ascended them all. The second set is from 2011 and encompasses coins 19 to 25. This is called The Second Seven Summits and as its name suggests, features the second highest peak on each continent. Considered more challenging than the tallest mountains, the challenge was only completed as recently as January 2013 by Austrian climber Christian Stangl whose conquering of not only the first and second Seven Summits, but also the third, make fascinating reading.

Quite a few dealers keep these in stock, although we’ve noticed that European dealer Numiscollect currently stocks the entire range. On the tabs below we’ve divided up the series into annual runs to make it easier to view and we’ve picked what we hope is the most interesting information on each coins mountain from Wikipedia for your enjoyment. Click any image to make it bigger.

01: ZUGSPITZE

2962m

The highest peak in the Wetterstein Mountains and the highest peak in Germany. The border between Germany and Austria runs over its western summit and of its three glaciers, two are the largest in Germany.

There used to be a border checkpoint at the summit, but this is no longer manned as both countries are part of the Schengen zone allowing free passage.

First ascended on 27 August 1820 by Josef Naus and Johann Georg Tauschl.

02: GROSSGLOCKNER

3798m

The highest mountain in Austria and the highest mountain in the Alps east of the Brenner Pass on the Austrian:Italian border.

Part of the Glockner Group of the Hohe Tauern range, the pyramid-shaped peak consists of two seperate pinnacles called the Grossglockner and the Kleinglockner, the latter being 28m lower in height.

From its peak you can apparently see 37 mountains taller than 3,000m, as well as 19 glaciers.

First ascended in 1800.

03: MATTERHORN

4478m

One of the tallest and deadliest peaks in the Alps, the Matterhorn is a mountain in the Pennine Alps on the border between Switzerland and Italy and one of the world’s most iconic.

Over 500 climbers are thought to have died on the mountain since the first climb in 1865, and its north face wasn’t conquered until 1931. The mountains name comes from the German for ‘Meadow Peak’.

While part of the Alps, the Matterhorn is an isolated mountain and exposed to rapid changes in weather.

First ascended in 1865 by a party led by Englishman, Edward Whymper.

04: DACHSTEIN

2995m

The second highest mountain in the Northern Limestone Alps. It is situated at the border of Upper Austria and Styria in central Austria, and is the highest point in each of those states. The Dachstein massif is famous for its caves and fossils.

Glaciers are uncommon in the Northern Limestone Alps, and those on the Dachstein — the Hallstätter Gletscher (“Hallstatt glacier”), the Großer Gosaugletscher (“great Gosau glacier”) and the Schladminger Gletscher (“Schladming glacier”) — are the largest, as well as being the northernmost and the easternmost in the whole of the Alps, although they’re all retreating quickly in recent years.

First ascended in 1832 by Peter Gappmayr.

05: MONT BLANC

4808m

The highest mountain in the Alps and the highest peak in Europe outside of the Caucasus range. It rises 4,810 m (15,781 ft) above sea level and is ranked 11th in the world in topographic prominence. The mountain lies in a range called the Graian Alps, between the regions of Aosta Valley, Italy, and Haute-Savoie, France.

Begun in 1957 and completed in 1965, the 11.6 km (7¼ mi) Mont Blanc Tunnel runs beneath the mountain between these two countries and is one of the major trans-Alpine transport routes.

First ascended on 08 August 1786 by Jacques Balmat and Michel Paccard in a climb that is generally thought to be the start of modern mountaineering.

06: WATZMANN

2713m

The Watzmann is a mountain in the Bavarian Alps south of the village of Berchtesgaden and inside Berchtesgaden National Park. It’s the third highest in Germany, and the highest located entirely on German territory. Three main peaks array on a N-S axis along a ridge on the mountain’s taller western half: Hocheck (2651 m), Mittelspitze (2,713m) and Südspitze (2,712m).

The Watzmann massif also includes the 2307 m Watzmannfrau (Watzmann Wife, also known as Kleiner Watzmann or Small Watzmann), and the Watzmannkinder (Watzmann Children), five lower peaks in the recess between the main peaks and the Watzmannfrau.

First ascended in 1799 (Mittelspitze) by Valentin Stanic, chaplain of Salzburg via Hocheck.

07: ÖTSCHER

1893m

The Ötscher, at 1,893 metres (6,211 ft), is a prominent peak in south-western Lower Austria. Its name has Slavic roots and translates approximately as a diminutive of “father”.

The Ötscher area belongs to the Ybbstal Alps, which are part of the Northern Limestone Alps. The boundary between the districts of Lilienfeld and Scheibbs lies directly on its peak.

No record of first ascension, but certainly many centuries ago.

08: PIZ BUIN

3312m

Piz Buin is a mountain in the Silvretta range of the Alps on the border between Austria and Switzerland. It forms the border between the Swiss canton of Graubünden and the Austrian state of Vorarlberg and is the highest peak in Vorarlberg.

Its original name in the Romansh language is Piz Buin Grand. A similar but smaller summit nearby is called Piz Buin Pitschen at 3,255 m (10,680 ft).

First ascended on 14 July 1865 by Joseph Anton Specht and Johan Jakob Weilenmann. Piz Buin Pitschen was climbed three years later.

09: MOUNT EVEREST

8848m

Mount Everest, also known in Nepal as Sagarmāthā and in Tibet as Chomolungma, is Earth’s highest mountain. It is located in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas. The international border between China and Nepal runs across the precise summit point. Its massif includes neighboring peaks Lhotse, 8,516 m (27,940 ft); Nuptse, 7,855 m (25,771 ft) and Changtse, 7,580 m (24,870 ft).

Euophrys omnisuperstes, a minute black jumping spider, has been found at elevations as high as 6,700 metres (22,000 ft), possibly making it the highest confirmed non-microscopic permanent resident on Earth. It lurks in crevices and may feed on frozen insects that have been blown there by the wind.

First ascended on 29 May 1953 via the South Col Route by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.

10: KILIMANJARO

5895m

Mount Kilimanjaro, with its three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira, is a dormant volcanic mountain in Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world.

Mawenzi and Shira are extinct, while Kibo is dormant and could erupt again. The last major eruption has been dated to between 150,000 and 200,000 years ago. Kibo has gas-emitting fumaroles in its crater. Several collapses and landslides have occurred on Kibo before, one creating the area known as the Western Breach.

First ascended on 06 October 1889 by Hans Meyer and  Ludwig Purtscheller.

11: ELBRUS

5642m

A dormant volcano located in the western Caucasus mountains, in Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay–Cherkessia of Russia, near the border with Georgia, Mt. Elbrus’s peak is the highest in the Caucasus Mountains and in Europe.

Mount Elbrus was formed more than 2.5 million years ago. The volcano is currently considered inactive, as no eruptions have ever been recorded. Elbrus was active in the Holocene, but according to the Global Volcanism Program, the last eruption took place between 0 and 100 AD.

Evidence of recent volcanism includes several lava flows on the mountain, which look fresh, and roughly 260 square kilometres (100 sq mi) of volcanic debris.

First ascended in 1874 by an English expedition led by F. Crauford Grove.

12: CARSTENZ PYRAMID

4884m

Also called Puncak Jaya, Carstensz Pyramid is the highest summit of Mount Carstensz in the Sudirman Range of the western central highlands of Papua Province, Indonesia.

At 4,884 metres (16,024 ft) above sea level, Puncak Jaya is the highest mountain in Indonesia, the highest on the island of New Guinea (which comprises the Indonesian West Papua region plus Papua New Guinea), the highest on the continent of Australia (which comprises New Guinea, the country of Australia, Timor, other islands, and submerged continental shelf), the highest in Oceania, and the 5th highest mountain in political Southeast Asia. It is also the highest point between the Himalayas and the Andes, and the highest island peak in the world.

First ascended in 1962 by the Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer (of Seven Years in Tibet fame, and climber of the Eiger North Face) with three other expedition members – the New Zealand mountaineer Philip Temple, the Australian rock climber Russell Kippax, and the Dutch patrol officer Albertus (Bert) Huizenga.

13: MOUNT McKINLEY

6195m

The highest mountain peak in North America, at some 18,000 feet (5,500 m), the base-to-peak rise is considered the largest of any mountain situated entirely above sea level. Measured by topographic prominence, it is the third most prominent peak after Mount Everest and Aconcagua. Located in the Alaska Range in the interior of the US state of Alaska, McKinley is the centerpiece of Denali National Park and Preserve.

In September 2013, Alaska’s government announced Mount McKinley is 20,237 feet (6,168 m) tall and not 20,320 feet (6,194 m) as measured in 1952 using photogrammetry.

First ascended on 07 June 1913 by by climbers Hudson Stuck, Harry Karstens, Walter Harper, and Robert Tatum, who went by the South Summit.

14: ACONCAGUA

6962m

Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the Western and Southern Hemispheres at 6,960.8 metres (22,837 ft). It’s located in the Andes mountain range, in the province of Mendoza, Argentina, and lies 112 kilometres (70 mi) northwest of its capital, the city of Mendoza. It is considered the tallest non-technical mountain in the world.

Aconcagua is bounded by the Valle de las Vacas to the north and east and the Valle de los Horcones Inferior to the West and South. The mountain and its surroundings are part of the Aconcagua Provincial Park. The mountain was created by the subduction of the Nazca Plate beneath the South American plate during the geologically recent Andean orogeny; but it is not a volcano.

First ascended in 1897 by Swiss guide Matthias Zurbriggen on an expedition led by British climber Edward FitzGerald.

15: MOUNT VINSON

4892m

Vinson Massif is the highest mountain in Antarctica, lying in the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains, which stand above the Ronne Ice Shelf near the base of the Antarctic Peninsula. The massif is located about 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) from the South Pole and is about 21 km (13 mi) long and 13 km (8.1 mi) wide. At 4,892 metres (16,050 ft) the highest point is Mount Vinson.

The climate on Vinson is generally controlled by the polar ice cap’s high-pressure system, creating predominantly stable conditions but, as in any polar climate, high winds and snowfall are a possibility.

First ascended in 1966 by four members of the American Antarctic Mountaineering Expedition 1966/67.

16: EIGER

3970m

Located in the Bernese Alps, overlooking Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen in the Bernese Oberland. It is the easternmost peak of a ridge crest that extends across the Mönch to the Jungfrau at 4,158 m (13,642 ft), constituting one of the most emblematic sights of the Swiss Alps.

The legendary and deadly North Face of the Eiger was first climbed on July 24, 1938 by Anderl Heckmair, Ludwig Vörg, Heinrich Harrer and Fritz Kasparek in a German–Austrian party. There had been several attempts in the years prior that had led to many deaths.

First ascended on 11 August 1858 by Swiss guides Christian Almer and Peter Bohren and Irishman Charles Barrington.

17: AYERS ROCK

863m

A large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory in central Australia, it lies 335 km (208 mi) south west of the nearest large town, Alice Springs, 450 km (280 mi) by road. The Aboriginal name for the mountain is Uluru.

Uluru is an inselberg, literally “island mountain”. An inselberg is a prominent isolated residual knob or hill that rises abruptly from and is surrounded by extensive and relatively flat erosion lowlands in a hot, dry region.

Uluru is notable for appearing to change colour at different times of the day and year, most notably when it glows red at dawn and sunset.

First ascended in antiquity as it’s an easy climb.

18: ALPSPITZE

2628m

Alpspitze is a mountain of Bavaria, Germany. At its base is the ‘AlpspiX Viewing Platform’, 2 curved metal walkways reaching out 13 metres (42 feet) over a cliff, crossing over each other, making the shape of an X.

It is apparently possible to see 400 mountain peaks in four countries from one just vantage point, the countries being Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland, and the peaks include the Grosglockner and three others around 4,000m high.

First ascended in in 1946 by Richard Weber and Kaspar Jocher.

19: MOUNT KENYA

5199m

Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. Located in central Kenya, just south of the equator, around 150 kilometres (93 mi) north-northeast of the capital Nairobi, Mount Kenya is the source of the name of the Republic of Kenya.

Mount Kenya is a stratovolcano created approximately 3 million years after the opening of the East African rift. Before glaciation, it was 7,000 m (23,000 ft) high.

First ascended in September 1899 by Sir Halford John Mackinder, Cesar Ollier and Josef Brocherel.

20: MOUNT LOGAN

5959m

Mount Logan is the highest mountain in Canada and the second-highest peak in North America, after Mount McKinley (Denali). The mountain was named after Sir William Edmond Logan, a Canadian geologist and founder of the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC).

Logan is believed to have the largest base circumference of any non-volcanic mountain on Earth (a large number of shield volcanoes are much larger in size and mass), with the massif containing eleven peaks over 5,000 metres (16,400 ft).

Due to active tectonic uplifting, Mount Logan is still rising in height.

First ascended on 23 June 1925 by Albert H. MacCarthy (leader), H.F. Lambart, Allen Carpé, W.W. Foster, N. Read and Andy Taylor.

21: MOUNT TYREE

4852m

Mount Tyree (4852m) is the second highest mountain of Antarctica located 13 kilometres northwest of Vinson Massif (4,892 m), the highest peak on the continent. It surmounts Patton Glacier to the north and Cervellati Glacier to the southeast.

Mt. Tyree was discovered in January 1958 during reconnaissance flights by the United States Navy VX-6 squadron, and mapped later that month by the Marie Byrd Land Traverse Party.

As of 2012, the summit has only been reached on five occasions, by a total of ten people, via three different routes:  firstly in January 1967 by John Evans and Barry Corbet.

22: DYKH-TAU

5204m

Dykh-Tau (which means Jagged Mount), is a mountain located in Kabardino-Balkaria, Russia; its peak stands about 5 km (3 mi) north of the border with Georgia. The mountain is the second highest of the Caucasus Mountains, after Mount Elbrus.

It is located in the western end of the Northern Massif in Bezengi and is famous for it’s many avalanches and sheer technical difficulty. There are no easy routes to the summit.

First ascended in 1888 by an Austrian team under the command of John Garford Cokkin.

23: OJOS DEL SALADO

6893m

Nevado Ojos del Salado is a massive stratovolcano in the Andes on the Argentina–Chile border and the highest active volcano in the world at 6,893 m (22,615 ft). It is also the second highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere and the highest in Chile. It is located about 600 km (370 mi) north of Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere at 6,962 m (22,841 ft).

Due to its location near the Atacama Desert, the mountain has very dry conditions with snow usually only remaining on the peak during winter, though heavy storms can cover the surrounding area with a few feet of snow even in summer. Despite the generally dry conditions, there is a permanent crater lake about 100 m (330 ft) in diameter at an elevation of 6,390 m (20,960 ft) on the eastern side of the mountain. This is most likely the highest lake of any kind in the world.

First ascended on 26 February 1937 by Polish mountaineers Justyn Wojsznis and Jan Szczepanski.

24: PUNCAK TRIKORA

4750m

Puncak Trikora, until 1963 Wilhelmina Peak, is a 4730 or 4,750 m (15,584 ft) high mountain in the Papua province of Indonesia on New Guinea.

Behind Puncak Jaya (Carstensz Pyramid) at 4,884 m (16,024 ft), it is either the second or third highest mountain on the island of New Guinea and the Australasian continent. As such it appears on some Seven Second Summits lists, although SRTM-data support that Puncak Mandala (Juliana Peak) in the Jayawijaya (Orange) Range is higher with 4,760 m (15,617 ft).

First ascended on 21 February 1913 by Alphons Franssen Herderschee, Paul Francois Hubrecht and Gerard Martinus Versteeg.

25: K2

8611m

K2, also known as Chhogori/Qogir, Ketu/Kechu, and Mount Godwin-Austen, is the second highest mountain in the world at 8,611 metres (28,251 ft), after Mount Everest. It is located on the border between Baltistan, in the Gilgit–Baltistan region of northern Pakistan, and the Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang, China.

K2 is known as the Savage Mountain due to the extreme difficulty of ascent and the second-highest fatality rate among the eight thousanders. One in every four people who have attempted the summit have died trying. It is more difficult and hazardous to reach the peak of K2 from the Chinese side; thus, it is usually climbed from the Pakistani side. Unlike Annapurna, the mountain with the highest fatality-to-summit rate (246 summits, 55 deaths), K2 has never been climbed during wintertime.

First ascended on 31 July 1954 by Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni.

26: MOUNT FUJI

3776m

Mount Fuji , located on Honshu Island, is the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776.24 m (12,389 ft). An active stratovolcano that last erupted in 1707–08, Mount Fuji lies about 100 kilometres (60 mi) south-west of Tokyo, and can be seen from there on a clear day.

The volcano is currently classified as active with a low risk of eruption. The last recorded eruption was the Hōei eruption which started on December 16, 1707 (Hōei 4, 23rd day of the 11th month) and ended about January 1, 1708 (Hōei 4, 9th day of the 12th month) during the Edo period. The eruption formed a new crater and a second peak, named Mount Hōei (after the Hoei era)), halfway down its southeastern side.

Possibly first ascended in 663 by an anonymous monk.

27: TABLE MOUNTAIN

1087m

Table Mountain (Afrikaans: Tafelberg) is a flat-topped mountain forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town in South Africa. The main feature of Table Mountain is the level plateau approximately 3 kilometres (2 mi) from side to side, edged by impressive cliffs.

The flat top of the mountain is often covered by orographic clouds, formed when a south-easterly wind is directed up the mountain’s slopes into colder air, where the moisture condenses to form the so-called “table cloth” of cloud. Legend attributes this phenomenon to a smoking contest between the Devil and a local pirate called Van Hunks.

No record of first ascension, but certainly many centuries ago.

28: AMA DABLAM

6856m

Ama Dablam is a mountain in the Himalaya range of eastern Nepal. Ama Dablam means “Mother’s necklace”; the long ridges on each side like the arms of a mother (ama) protecting her child, and the hanging glacier thought of as the dablam, the traditional double-pendant containing pictures of the gods, worn by Sherpa women.

For its soaring ridges and steep faces Ama Dablam is sometimes referred as the “Matterhorn of the Himalayas.”

On the night of 13/14 November 2006, a large serac collapse occurred from the hanging glacier, which swept away several tents at Camp 3, killing six climbers (3 European, 3 Sherpa). Eyewitness testimony indicates that Camp 3 had not been sited in an unusual or abnormally dangerous spot, and that the serac fall was of such magnitude as to render the specific placing of the tents at Camp 3 irrelevant.

First ascended on 13 March 1961 by Mike Gill (NZ), Barry Bishop (USA), Mike Ward (UK) and Wally Romanes (NZ)

29: DREI ZINNEN

2999m

The Tre Cime di Lavaredo (Italian for “the three peaks of Lavaredo”), also called the Drei Zinnen (German, literally “three merlons”), are three distinctive battlement-like peaks, in the Sexten Dolomites of northeastern Italy.

Until 1919 the peaks formed part of the border between Italy and Austria. Now they lie on the border between the Italian provinces of South Tyrol and Belluno and still are a part of the linguistic boundary between German-speaking and Italian-speaking majorities.

First ascended on 21 August 1869, by Paul Grohmann with guides Franz Innerkofler and Peter Salcher.

30: HALF DOME

2693m

Half Dome is a granite dome in Yosemite National Park, located in northeastern Mariposa County, California, at the eastern end of Yosemite Valley — possibly Yosemite’s most familiar rock formation.

On March 28, 2009, a large rock slide of 1,500,000 cubic feet (42,000 m3) occurred from Ahwiyah Point. The slide happened at 5:26 a.m and damaged a large area under the dome. No one was injured but hundreds of trees were knocked down and a portion of the Mirror Lake trail was buried. The slide registered on seismographs as an earthquake reaching 2.5 on the Richter Scale.

First ascended in October 1875 by George G. Anderson.

31: WEISSHORN

4505m

The Weisshorn (German, White Peak) is a mountain in the Pennine Alps, in Switzerland. With its 4,506 m (14,783 ft) summit, it is one of the major peaks in the Alps and overtops the nearby Matterhorn by some 30 metres.

The Weisshorn has a pyramidal shape and its faces are separated by three ridges descending steeply from the summit. Two of these are nearly in a straight line, one running approximately north and the other south. The third ridge is nearly at right angles to these two, running almost due east. In the compartment between the northern and eastern spurs lies the Bis Glacier (Bisgletscher).

First ascended in 1861 by John Tyndall,  J.J. Bennen and Ulrich Wenger.

32: ARARAT

5137m

Mount Ararat is a snow-capped, dormant volcanic cone in Turkey. The Ararat massif is about 40 km (25 mi) in diameter. The Iran-Turkey boundary skirts east of Lesser Ararat, the lower peak of the Ararat massif.

Mount Ararat in Judeo-Christian tradition is associated with the “Mountains of Ararat” where, according to the book of Genesis, Noah’s ark came to rest. It also plays a significant role in Armenian culture and nationalism. The mountain can be seen on the coat of arms of Armenia.

First ascended in modern times in 1829 by Dr. Friedrich Parrot, with the help of Khachatur Abovian.

33: BIBERKOPF

2599m

The Biberkopf lies on the main crest of the Allgäu Alps on the border between the Bavarian district of Oberallgäu and the Tyrolean district of Reutte.

Its fascinating shape makes the Biberkopf (“beaver’s head”) one of the most striking mountains in the German Alps. Geologically the body of the summit is made of severely folded dolomite, which is the reason for the lack of vegetation on the mountain, because the content of clay minerals in the weathering products is insufficient for the formation of soil.

First ascended in 1853 during a topographical survey.

34: LHOTSE

8516m

Lhotse is the fourth highest mountain in the world and is connected to Everest via the South Col. Lhotse means “South Peak” in Tibetan. It is located at the border between Tibet (China) and the Khumbu region of Nepal.

The South Col is a vertical ridge that never drops below 8,000m. Lhotse has three summits: Lhotse Main 8516m, Lhotse Shar 8383m and Lhotse Middle or East 8413m.

First ascended in 1956 by Ernst Reiss and Fritz Luchsinger, although it was only in 2001 that a Russian team conquered Lhotse Middle.

35: CHIMBORAZO

6310m

Chimborazo is a currently inactive stratovolcano in the Cordillera Occidental range of the Andes. Its last known eruption is believed to have occurred around 550 AD. It is the highest peak near the equator. Chimborazo is not the highest mountain by elevation above sea level, but its location along the equatorial bulge makes its summit the farthest point on the Earth’s surface from the Earth’s center.

Chimborazo is a dominantly andesitic-dacitic stratovolcano. About 35,000 years ago a collapse of Chimborazo produced a debris avalanche, the deposits of which underlie the city of Riobamba. Chimborazo then erupted several times during the Holocene, the last time around 550 AD ± 150 years. Today Chimborazo is considered inactive.

First ascended on 4 January 1886 by Edward Whymper and the brothers Louis and Jean-Antoine Carrel.

36: MUSALA

2925m

At 2925 m Musala is the highest mountain in Bulgaria and in fact the highest of all Balkan mountains. It was given its current name in the 15th century by the Ottoman. The Bulgarians themselves originally called it “Tangra“ after their god of the sky and between 1949 and 1962 it was named Stalin, after the Soviet dictator.

Conquering the mountain does not require special equipment or skills. Temperatures stay below 0 °C for about 8 months each year. Due to this about 45% of the annual precipitation on Musala is snow, and snow cover lasts for about 200 days.

First ascended in antiquity, in legend by the father of Alexander the Great, Philipp II of Macedonia.

37: PIZ PALÜ

3900m

A mountain in the Bernina Range of the Alps, located between Switzerland and Italy, it is a large glaciated massif composed of three main summits, on a ridge running from west to east. The main (and central) summit is 3,900 metres high and is located within the Swiss canton of Graubünden. The western summit (3,823 m; on the international border) is named Piz Spinas and is the only one not covered by ice. The eastern summit (3,882 m; within Switzerland) is named Piz Palü Orientale.

The name Palü derives from the Latin palus, meaning a swamp, and the mountain is said to be named after the Alpe Palü, a high alpine pasture some 4 km to its east.

The highest peak was likely first ascended in 1866 by Kenelm Edward Digby.

38: MOUNT WHITNEY

4421m

The highest summit in the contiguous United States and the Sierra Nevada, it is on the boundary between California’s Inyo and Tulare counties, 84.6 miles (136.2 km) west-northwest of the lowest point in North America at Badwater in Death Valley National Park at 282 ft (86 m) below sea level.

Mount Whitney is above the tree line and has an alpine climate and ecology. Very few plants grow near the summit: one example is the Sky Pilot, a purple cushion plant that grows low to the ground.

First ascended on 18 August 1873 by Charles Begole, A. H. Johnson, and John Lucas of nearby Lone Pine.

39: POPOCATEPETL

5426m

Popocatépetl is an active volcano, located in the states of Puebla, State of Mexico, and Morelos, in Central Mexico, and lies in the eastern half of the Trans-Mexican volcanic belt. According to paleomagnetic studies, the volcano is about 730,000 years old. Popocatepetl is the most active volcano in Mexico, having had more than 15 major eruptions since the arrival of the Spanish in 1519. A major eruption occurred in 1947.

The stratovolcano contains a steep-walled, 400 m × 600 m (1,300 ft × 2,000 ft) wide crater. At least three previous major cones were destroyed by gravitational failure during the Pleistocene, producing massive debris avalanche deposits covering broad areas south of the volcano. The modern volcano was constructed to the south of the late-Pleistocene to Holocene El Fraile cone.

The first Spanish ascent of the volcano was made by an expedition led by Diego de Ordaz in 1519.

40: 60 YEARS EVEREST

8848m

Mount Everest, at 8848 m the highest mountain in the world, belongs to the Himalayan mountain range and is located in Nepal near the Tibetan border. It was named after the British land surveyor George Everest. Its Nepali name “Sagarmatha (forehead of the sky)“ is far more poetical, as is its Tibetan name “Qomolongma (mother of the universe).“

60 years ago, on May 29th, 1953 to be precise, the New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay succeeded in the first ascent to the peak. After his return, Hillary pleased with himself first said to his friend of many years George Lowe: “Well George, we finally knocked the bastard off.“

Although no summit photo of Hillary exists, the Western world insists that he was the first man on Mount Everest. Norgay and Hillary themselves always stressed that the conquest of the mountain was achieved as a team and stayed friends throughout their lifetimes.

41: BAEKDU MOUNTAIN

2744m

At 2744 metres Baekdu Mountain is the highest mountain on the Korean Peninsula and is situated on the border between the North Korean Province Ryanggang-do and the Chinese Province Jilin. The mountain is an active volcano, which had its most violent eruption around the year 969 registering a magnitude of 7 on the Richter scale. The volcano explodes to life every 100 years or so, the last time in 1903.

The “Heaven Lake” is situated in the caldera about 5 km (3.1 mi) wide and 850 m (2,789 ft) deep, created in the 969 AD eruption and ash from which has been found as far afield as Northern Japan. Although surrounded by two hot springs, it’s one of the coldest lakes in the world due to it’s altitude.

First ascended in 1799 (Mittelspitze) by Valentin Stanic, chaplain of Salzburg via Hocheck.

42: KANGCHENJUNGA

8598m

The main peak of Kangchenjunga is the second highest mountain in Nepal after Mount Everest, and the third highest peak in the world. Until 1852, Kangchenjunga was assumed to be the highest mountain in the world, but calculations based on various readings and measurements made by the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India in 1849 came to the conclusion that Mount Everest, known as Peak XV at the time, was the highest. Allowing for further verification of all calculations, it was officially announced in 1856 that Kangchenjunga is the third highest mountain.

The Ötscher area belongs to the Ybbstal Alps, which are part of the Northern Limestone Alps. The boundary between the districts of Lilienfeld and Scheibbs lies directly on its peak.

First ascended on 25 May 1955 by Joe Brown and George Band. They stopped short of the summit as per the promise given to the Chogyal that the top of the mountain would remain inviolate. Every climber or climbing group that has reached the summit has followed this tradition.

43: MAKALU

8463m

Located in the Mahalangur Himalayas 19 km (12 mi) southeast of Mount Everest, on the border between Nepal and China, it is an isolated peak whose shape is a four-sided pyramid. Makalu has two notable subsidiary peaks. Kangchungtse, or Makalu II (7,678 m) lies about 3 km (2 mi) north-northwest of the main summit. Rising about 5 km (3.1 mi) north-northeast of the main summit across a broad plateau, and connected to Kangchungtse by a narrow, 7,200 m saddle, is Chomo Lonzo (7,804 m).

Makalu is one of the harder eight-thousanders, and is considered one of the most difficult mountains in the world to climb. The mountain is notorious for its steep pitches and knife-edged ridges that are completely open to the elements. The final ascent of the summit pyramid involves technical rock/ice climbing.

First ascended on 15 May 1955 by Lionel Terray and Jean Couzy of a French expedition.

44: NANGA PARBAT

8126m

Nanga Parbat (Naked Mountain) is the ninth highest mountain in the world and is the western anchor of the Himalayas around which the Indus river skirts before it debouches into the plains of Pakistan.  An immense, dramatic peak rising far above its surrounding terrain, Nanga Parbat is also a notoriously difficult climb. Numerous mountaineering deaths in the mid and early 20th century lent it the nickname “killer mountain”. Along with K2, it has never been climbed in winter, despite 22 attempts.

Willy Merkl led an expedition in 1934 but early in the expedition Alfred Drexel died, probably of high altitude pulmonary edema. The Tyrolean climbers Peter Aschenbrenner and Erwin Schneider reached an estimated height of (7,895 m / 25,900 ft) on July 6, but were forced to return because of worsening weather. On July 7 they and 14 others were trapped by a ferocious storm at 7,480 m (24,540 ft). During the desperate retreat that followed, three famous German mountaineers, Uli Wieland, Willo Welzenbach and Merkl himself, and six Sherpas died of exhaustion, exposure and altitude sickness, and several more suffered severe frostbite. The last survivor to reach safety, Ang Tsering, did so having spent seven days battling through the storm. It has been said that the disaster, “for sheer protracted agony, has no parallel in climbing annals.”

First ascended on 3 July 3 1953 by Austrian climber Hermann Buhl who actually climbed the last 1,300m solo. The ascent was made without oxygen, and Buhl is the only man to have made the first ascent of an 8000 m peak alone.

45: FINSTERAARHORN

4274m

The highest mountain in the Bernese Alps and the highest mountain in the canton of Berne. It is also the highest summit in the Alps lying outside the main chain, or watershed. The Finsteraarhorn is the ninth highest and third most prominent peak in the Alps.

The mountain is completely surrounded by un-inhabited glacial valleys and by the summits of the Schreckhorn and Lauteraarhorn to the north, the Gross Fiescherhorn, Grünhorn and Gross Wannenhorn to the west and the Oberaarhorn to the east.

First ascended on 10 August 1829 by Jakob Leuthold and Johann Währen.

46: MANASLU

8163m

The eighth highest mountain in the world it’s located in the Mansiri Himal, part of the Nepalese Himalayas, in the west-central part of Nepal. Its name, which means “Mountain of the Spirit”, comes from the Sanskrit word Manasa, meaning “intellect” or “soul”.

The mountain’s long ridges and valley glaciers offer feasible approaches from all directions, and culminate in a peak that towers steeply above its surrounding landscape, and is a dominant feature when viewed from afar.

First ascended on 09 May 1956 by Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu, members of a Japanese expedition.

47: TEIDE

3718m

Mount Teide is a volcano on Tenerife in the Canary Islands and is the highest point in Spain, and the highest point above sea level in the islands of the Atlantic.

At 7,500 m (24,600 ft) from its base on the ocean floor, it is the third highest volcano on a volcanic ocean island in the world after Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa in Hawaii. Its elevation makes Tenerife the tenth highest island in the world.

It remains active and its most recent eruption occurred in 1909 from the El Chinyero vent on the northwestern Santiago rift. It’s listed as a Decade Volcano.

First ascended many centuries ago.

48: CHO OYU

8188m

The sixth highest mountain in the world, Cho Oyu is located on the Tibet:Nepal border and its name means ‘Turquoise Goddess’ in Tibetan.

The mountain is the westernmost major peak of the Khumbu sub-section of the Mahalangur Himalaya 20 km west of Mount Everest. A failed attempt to conquer the mountain in 1952 included Edmund Hilary, the man who went on to climb Everest for the very first time.

First ascended on 19 October 1954, via the north-west ridge by Herbert Tichy, Joseph Jöchler and Sherpa Pasang Dawa Lama of an Austrian expedition.

49: MONCH

4107m

The Mönch (German: “monk”) is a mountain in the Bernese Alps, in Switzerland. Together with the Eiger and the Jungfrau it forms a highly recognisable group of mountains visible from far away. It’s the most climbed of the three peaks of the Berner Trilogy.

The Jungfrau railway tunnel runs right under the summit at a height of approximately 3,300 metres.

First ascended on on 15 August 1857 by Christian Almer, Christian Kaufmann, Ulrich Kaufmann and Sigismund Porges.

50: MOUNT RAINIER

4392m

Located 54 miles (87 km) southeast of Seattle in the state of Washington, it’s the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous United States with a prominence of 4,027m, even greater than the world’s second tallest mountain, K2, whose prominence is 10m less.

Mt. Rainier is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, and is on the Decade Volcano list, a list of 17 volcanoes deemed worthy of particular study in light of their history of large, destructive eruptions and proximity to populated areas.

If Mt. Rainier were to erupt as powerfully as Mount St.Helens did in its May 18, 1980 eruption, the effect would be cumulatively greater, because of the far greater amounts of glacial ice locked on the volcano, and the vastly more heavily populated areas surrounding Rainier.

First ascended in 1870 by Hazard Stevens and P. B. Van Trump.

51: ANNAPURNA I

8091m

The tallest of six peaks over 7,200m that make up the Annapurna Massif and the world’s tenth highest peak, Annapurna I holds the dubious distinction of being one of the deadliest mountains in the world. A staggering one in three climbers that attempt the ascent perish in the attempt.

In particular, the ascent via the south face is considered, by some, the most difficult of all climbs. In October 2014, at least 39 people were killed as a result of snowstorms and avalanches on and around Annapurna, in Nepal’s worst-ever trekking disaster.

Annapurna is a Sanskrit name which literally means “full of food” (feminine form), but is normally translated as Goddess of the Harvests.

First ascended in 1950 by Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal, it was the first 8,000m peak to be conquered.

052-27013-2014-CIT-M&F---Dhaulagiri

52: DHAULAGIRI

8167m

The Dhaulagiri is located in the Himalayas. At 8167 meters it is the seventh highest mountain worldwide. Because it was “discovered” as the fist eight-thousander at the beginning of the 19 th century it was considered the highest mountain on our planet for almost 30 years.

First ascended on 13 May 1960 by a Swiss/Austrian/Nepali expedition.

53: BROAD PEAK

8051m

The 8051 meter high Broad Peak is located on the border of Pakistan and China. In the absence of an indigenous name, the English researcher William Martin Conway simply named the mountain in Karakoram according its shape.

The first ascent of Broad Peak was made on June 9, 1957 by Fritz Wintersteller, Marcus Schmuck, Kurt Diemberger, and Hermann Buhl of an Austrian expedition led by Marcus Schmuck.

053-27014-2014-CIT-M&F---Broad-Peak
054-27015-2014-CIT-M&F---Shishapangma

54: SHISHAPANGMA

8013m

At 8013 meters the Shishapangma is the lowest eight-thousander and therefore, the fourteenth highest mountain worldwide. At the same time, because of its location in Tibet, which restricts access for it, it is also the last eight-thousander which has yet to be climbed.

Up to 2014, 27 people have died climbing Shishapangma, including Alex Lowe and Dave Bridges (both US) in 1999, and veteran Portuguese climber Bruno Carvalho. Nevertheless, Shishapangma is one of the “easier” eight-thousanders to climb.

Shishapangma was first climbed via the Northern Route on 2 May 1964 by a Chinese expedition led by Xǔ Jìng 许竞. In addition to Xǔ Jìng, the summit team consisted of Zhāng Jùnyán 张俊岩, Wang Fuzhou (Wáng Fùzhōu 王富洲), Wū Zōngyuè 邬宗岳, Chén Sān 陈三, Soinam Dorjê (Suǒnán Duōjí 索南多吉), Chéng Tiānliàng 程天亮, Migmar Zhaxi (Mǐmǎ Zháxī 米马扎西), Dorjê (Duōjí 多吉) and Yún Dēng 云登.

55: MATTERHORN 150TH

4478m

One of the tallest and deadliest peaks in the Alps, the Matterhorn is a mountain in the Pennine Alps on the border between Switzerland and Italy and one of the world’s most iconic.

Over 500 climbers are thought to have died on the mountain since the first climb in 1865, and its north face wasn’t conquered until 1931. The mountains name comes from the German for ‘Meadow Peak’.

While part of the Alps, the Matterhorn is an isolated mountain and exposed to rapid changes in weather.

First ascended in 1865 by a party led by Englishman, Edward Whymper.

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056-27200-2015-CIT-M&F---Maedelegabel

56: MADELEGABEL

2645m

Together with the Trettachspitze and the Mädelegabel, the Hochfrottspitze forms the famous triumvirate on the main crest of the Allgäu Alps. By the way, the name Mädelegabel has nothing to do with girls but with «Mähdele», which means small hay meadow in Allgäu.

It is one of the best-known and most-climbed high peaks in the German Alps, Within the Allgäu Alps it is the fourth-highest summit, with rock faces up to 400 metres high.

First ascended in 1818.

57: TRETTACHSPITZE

2595m

The ascent of the 2645m high Mädelegabel is relatively easy compared to the 2595m  Trettachspitze, also known as the «Matterhorn of the Allgäu Alps». The pioneer and mountaineer Hermann von Barth wrote in 1869: “If a peak is unclimbable, it must be this one!”

It is the only high rocky summit in the Allgäu Alps that lies entirely on German soil. It is situated north of the Mädelegabel and usually ascended from the Waltenberger Haus.

The Trettachspitze was first climbed in 1855 by the brothers Urban, Alois and Mathias Jochum from the Birgsau in the Stillach valley. The youngest was just 13 years old.

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058-27300-2015-CIT-M&F - Hidden Peak

58: HIDDEN PEAK

8080m

The Hidden Peak, also known as Gasherbrum I is, at 8080 meters, the eleventh highest peak on earth. It owes its name to the fact that it cannot be seen from any inhabited settlement and during the ascent it remains hidden behind Gasherbrum VI for a long time.

Gasherbrum is often claimed to mean “Shining Wall”, presumably a reference to the highly visible face of the neighboring peak Gasherbrum IV; but in fact it comes from “rgasha” (beautiful) + “brum” (mountain) in Balti, hence it actually means “beautiful mountain.”

Gasherbrum I was designated K5 (meaning the 5th peak of the Karakoram) by T.G. Montgomerie in 1856 when he first spotted the peaks of the Karakoram from more than 200 km away during the Great Trigonometric Survey of India. In 1892, William Martin Conway provided the alternate name, Hidden Peak, in reference to its extreme remoteness.

First ascended on 05 July 1958 by an American team led by Pete Schoening and Andy Kauffman, it was only climbed for the first time in winter as recently as 09 March 2012.

59: GASHERBRUM II

8035m

At 8035 meters, the Gasherbrum II is also among the fourteen eight-thousanders worldwide. Both mountains belong to the Gasherbrum group which is located in Karakorum on the border between China and Pakistan. Also known as K4,  it is the 13th highest mountain in the world at 8,035 metres (26,362 ft) above sea level.

The mountain was first climbed on July 7, 1956, by an Austrian expedition which included Fritz Moravec, Josef Larch, and Hans Willenpart.

059-27301-2015-CIT-M&F-Gasherbrum II

60: JUNGFRAU

4158m

Together with the Eiger and Mönch, the Jungfrau forms a massive wall overlooking the Bernese Oberland and the Swiss Plateau, one of the most distinctive sights of the Swiss Alps.

The wall is formed by the alignment of some of the biggest north faces in the Alps, with the Mönch (4,107 m) and Eiger (3,970 m) to the east of the Jungfrau, and overlooks the valleys to its north by a height of up to 3 km. The Jungfrau is approximately 6 km from the Eiger; with the summit of the Mönch between the two mountains, 3.5 km from the Jungfrau. The wall is extended to the east by the Fiescherwand and to the west by the Lauterbrunnen Wall.

First ascended on August 3, 1811 by J. Meyer, H. Meyer, A. Volken, and J. Bortis. The ascent followed a long expedition over the glaciers and high passes of the Bernese Alps.

61: MOUNT COOK

3724m

Aoraki / Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand. Its height since 2014 is listed as 3724m (12,218 ft), having earlier been measured at 3754m. It lies in the Southern Alps, the mountain range which runs the length of the South Island. It consists of three summits lying slightly south and east of the main divide, the Low Peak, Middle Peak and High Peak, with the Tasman Glacier to the east and the Hooker Glacier to the west.

The mountain is in the Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park, in the Canterbury region. The park was established in 1953 and along with Westland National Park, Mount Aspiring National Park and Fiordland National Park forms one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The park contains more than 140 peaks standing over 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) and 72 named glaciers, which cover 40 percent of its 700 square kilometres (170,000 acres).

The first known ascent was on 25 December 1894, when New Zealanders Tom Fyfe, John Michael (Jack) Clarke and George Graham successfully reached the summit via the Hooker Valley and the north ridge.

PALAU OBVERSE

Utilising a standard Palau coat-of-arms/emblem depicting a trident-wielding Poseidon and mermaid. Despite the use of many artistic variants of this emblem by Coin Invest Trust, the design on this one has remained unchanged throughout the series, with even the coin date being carried on the reverse side.

For an example of some of the alternative designs applied to the series Marine Life Protection, check out CIT’s last coin in that series in our round up of their Berlin 2014 releases.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $5 PALAU
COMPOSITION 0.925 STERLING SILVER
WEIGHT 20 g
SIZE 38.61 mm
FINISH PROOF
MINTAGE 2,500
BOX / C.O.A. NO / YES
COIN INVEST TRUST

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