I orally presented this quiz as evening entertainment at the 2016 ICA Mountain Cartography Workshop, Berchtesgaden Alps, Germany. The two best teams (there were four people on each team representing a mix of countries) managed to score 16 out of 22 possible points.

Can you beat the mountain experts? Give yourself one point for each correct answer—your spelling need not be perfect. Answers are at the end.


2016 Mountain Trivia Challenge


1) Mainland Australia’s highest mountain is named for a Polish general who fought in the American Revolutionary War. What is the name of this mountain?


2) What type of rock will you find on top of Mount Elbrus, Europe’s highest peak?

  1. Igneous
  2. Metamorphic
  3. Sedimentary


3) When an outdoor enthusiast in the UK mentions a “Munro,” what are they talking about?


4) Which mountain range is the highest?

  1. Japanese Alps
  2. Julian Alps
  3. Transylvanian Alps


5) Besides maps and panoramas, what else did Austrian panoramist Heinrich Berann paint?

  1. Museum dioramas
  2. Baroque religious art
  3. Matte backgrounds for movies


6) What mountain partly named for a famous explorer and which is a country high point lost 30 meters from its top after a 1991 landslide?


7) Traveling due east from Paris, what are the first 4,000-meter mountains that you will encounter?


8) Which of these tropical islands was NOT glaciated during the last glacial period (110,000- 12,000 B.P.)?

  1. Borneo
  2. Madagascar
  3. Sri Lanka
  4. Hawaii


9) What mountain summit is the farthest point on the Earth's surface from the Earth’s center?


10) Identify the mountain in the photograph below:


Photo source


11) Alpinist Reinhold Messner was the first person to do which of the following?

  1. Climb the “seven summits,” the highest point on every continent.
  2. Climb the 20 highest mountains in the Alps in one winter season.
  3. Climb Mount Everest without using bottled oxygen.


12) The deadliest avalanches ever killed an estimated 10,000 people on December 13, 1916, in South Tyrol. Besides heavy snow and steep slopes, what triggered these avalanches?


13) What mountain has the world’s greatest purely vertical drop?


14) What is the longest continuous time that anyone has spent on top of Mount Everest and survived?

  1. 21 hours
  2. 31 hours
  3. 41 hours


15. Identify the mountains circled on the natural color map below:


16) According to Newsweek magazine, the average active career of a wingsuit flier lasts for how many years after which it is generally curtailed by death, injury, or prudence?

  1. Two years
  2. Four years
  3. Six years


17) The same mountain is the second highest in both Canada and the United States. What is the name of this mountain?


18) What modern African mountain range is the widely accepted location of the fabled Mountains of the Moon described by Ptolemy in 150 A.D.?


19) True or false. The most dangerous avalanches occur on slopes steeper than 45 degrees.


20) Name the northernmost range of the Andes, which some geographers claim as the highest coastal mountains in the world.


Extra Credit (2 points, 1 point for each correct answer):

What is the name of Mount Everest in Nepalese and Tibetan?



1)xxMount Kosciuszko.

2)xxA. Igneous. Mount Elbrus is a volcano.

3)xxThe 282 mountains in Scotland over 3,000 feet.

4)xxA. Japanese Alps, 3193m

5)xxB. Baroque religious art.

6)xxAoraki / Mt. Cook, New Zealand.

7)xxThe Altay Mountains of China, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Mongolia.

8)xxC. Sri Lanka.

9)xxChimborazo (6,268m), Ecuador, because of Earth’s equatorial bulge.

10)xxMonte Cervino, Italy. Also acceptable: Matterhorn (Monte Cervino and the xxxxxMatterhorn are one and the same).

11)xxC. Climb Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen.

12)xxMilitary bombardments.

13)xxMt. Thor, Baffin Island, Canada, at 1,674m.

14)xxA. 21 hours by Babu Chiri Sherpa in 1999.

15)xxTibesti, northern Chad.

16)xxC. Six years.

17)xxMount St. Elias, 5,489m.

18)xxRuwenzori, Uganda and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

19)xxFalse. The most dangerous avalanches occur on slopes between 28 to 45 xxxxxdegrees. Slopes steeper than 45 degrees usually hold less snow.

20)xxSierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia (5,730m). Also acceptable: Pico xxxxxCristóbal Colón.

Extra credit answers: Sagarmāthā (Nepalese) and Chomolungma (Tibetan)



At the 2016 Mountain Cartography Workshop, Bjørn Sandvik, Alex Tait, Sebastián Vivero, and Roger Wheate won the trivia challenge in a tiebreaker by correctly answering this question:

Antarctica’s highest mountain is named for Carl Vinson. Who was he?

  1. British scientist
  2. American politician
  3. Norwegian explorer


Answer:xB. Carl Vinson was a US congressman from Georgia who supported xxxxxxxxAntarctic research.


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