I’ve not seen it in person, but I’ve heard and read often that many consider Mt. Fuji in Japan to be the most beautiful in the world, partly for its symmetry, and its pristine white top, when viewed from a distance.
The Maroon Bells, featured on countless calendars and tourism brochures, are fantastically picturesque, especially when reflected in Maroon Lake.
They’re just southwest of Aspen, Colorado. They’re actually connected by a long, narrow ridge, so some might consider them to be a single peak. But the summits of Maroon Peak and North Maroon are sufficiently far apart, and have sufficient vertical drop from the summit of one to the low point in-between, that they’re considered separate mountains.
From the Maroon Lake vantage, they appear to be bell-shaped, with pointed summits and graceful, wide bases, and horizontal striations that collect snow, formed in their fragile sedimentary rock. Sadly, their nickname is The Deadly Bells, as that fragile, crumbling rock, and tricky navigation needed to climb them, has resulted in many catastrophic deaths. Avalanches, too, which are among the most potentially destructive and deadly forces of nature. All mountains must be respected.
Both are Fourteeners, summits above 14,000 feet, of which Colorado has 54. If you ironed out the state of Colorado, it’d be bigger than Texas. Then again, Montana is a bigger state, and has quite a few mountains of its own, and it’s very name comes from “mountain!” Then there’s West Virginia, “The Mountain State!”
As I said, all mountains must be respected, and all are beautiful in their own way. The Matterhorn, which is foreboding and fascinating, and I was continually glancing at it on my one trip to Zermatt years ago, and while skiing beneath it, isn’t exactly “beautiful” to me, in the classical sense. Awesome, distinctive, but not quite pretty. Mt. Sneffels, in southwestern Colorado (whose name was inspired by Snaefel in Iceland), is spectacularly pretty. So is Sniktau, viewable from I-70, although neither has a very beautiful name!
I feel safe to say that whatever mountain you’re gazing at, or climbing, or skiing down at the moment, is THE most beautiful mountain, right then and there. How can one have a favorite child, or pet, or . . . mountain? This was a great posting, Lola, and thanks for the chance to consider mountains, far and wide. I hope we all have a Peak year in 2021.