Mont Ross is the highest mountain in the Kerguelen Islands. It stands tall at the height of 1850m. Mont Ross is not a mere mountain but a volcano. The volcanic activities have been said to be active during the late Pleistocene period. The eruptives are either 2 million or 100,000 years old. Likewise, Mont Ross is also known as one of the youngest volcanoes. As for the exact location of the volcano, it is situated in the Massif Gallieni range, which is east of Baie Larose on the main island of Grande Terre.
If you want to know more about Mont Ross, make sure to read till the end of this article!
What is Mont Ross?
Mont Ross is a strato volcanic mountain in the Kerguelen Islands. While it is the youngest known volcano on the island, it is also the highest mountain there. Since the volcanic eruptions in the peak have long stopped, Mont Ross is now known as a mountain. The mountain is at the Massif Gallieni range and is east of Baie Larose on the main island of Grande Terre.
As for the name of the mountain, it was named after adventurer Sir James Clark Ross. There have been several expeditions of the mountain. There is no doubt that the mountain is completely safe to climb for mountaineers and trekkers as there is no risk of eruptions. Hence, the first person to ever step on the mountain’s summit was French military engineer Henri Journoud. He went to the top of Mont Ross through a helicopter. This was during the early 1960s.
As for the first climb, Jean Afanassieff and Patrick Cordier ascended the mountain in 1975. With this, there has been a great increase in the number of people who visit the mountain everywhere for exploration, hiking, and mountaineering. In 2016, there was a debate in relation to the adventurous activities in the mountains by the Socialist Republic of The Kerguelen Archipelago. The debate was whether to put up a skiing and snowboarding range down the Mont Ross. The decision was, whatsoever, postponed as of that year.
The name behind Mont Ross
Mont Ross is named after Sir James Clark Ross, who was elected the leader of an expedition group to measure the Antarctic. Ross was chosen as the leader because of his previous expertise with the British Magnetic Survey from 1834 and prominent physicists and geologists such as Humphrey Lloyd, Sir Edward Sabine, John Phillips, and Robert Were Fox.
Geology of Mont Ross
Mont Ross is a part of the Kerguelen Islands, a further part of the submerged Kerguelen Plateau. The island stretches to 949,000 km2 (366,000 sq mi). All the peaks on the island are a result of volcanic eruptions, including Mont Ross. There was a track rock formation around 35 million years ago in the peak. The volcanism on the island is shaped as pyramid stairs, which is also considered a natural monumental relief.
There was a creation of gulfs at the north and east of the archipelago, which formed during the time of glaciation. Glacial and Fluval activities in the peak led to erosion. This further led to the creation of conglomerate detrital complexes and the plain of the Courbet Peninsula. The geology in which Mont Ross is situated has always been said to be a great resource for researchers to prove a theory behind the breaking up of India, Australia, and Antarctica.
Furthermore, the mountain might have been a habitat for tropical flora and fauna in the older times, several thousands or even millions of years ago.
Which mountains are close to Mont Ross?
Other mountains close to Mont Ross that you can explore, given you have the time and flexibility, are Anzac Peak, Mawson Peak or Heard Peak, Helmet Peak (Antarctica), Mount Kjerringa, Rumdoodle Peak, Armstrong Peak, Mount Elkins, Mount Maines, Mount Breckinridge, and Mount King (Antarctica).
Mountaineering on the Mont Ross in the Kerguelen Islands
The Kerguelen Islands are a result of volcanic eruptions in the Kerguelen hotspot. The island now lies in the Antarctic Plate. If you are planning to go on a mountaineering trip to Mont Ross, then you must keep in mind the climatic condition of the peak, which is cold, oceanic, and windy. You can also compare the climate of Mont Ross in the Kerguelen Islands with that of the Aleutian Islands, Campbell Island (New Zealand), Falkland Islands, Iceland, northern Kamchatka Peninsula (Russia), Labrador (Canada), and Wollaston Islands (Chile).
Several glaciers have disappeared throughout the years. Likewise, there is rain and snow all around the year in the mountains. It is, however, wise not to hike to the mountaintop during the rainy season due to unnecessarily difficult trails, which are almost always the result of slippery paths. Snow, however, cannot be avoided as you are going to a mountain. Make sure to layer yourself up with adequate thermal clothes before you make your hike up to this peak. Also, since you are climbing the tallest mountain in the Kerguelen Islands, chances are you are going to need additional hiking and mountaineering equipment. It is just as important to carry along plenty of snacks so that you can take a break and have something to eat. Staying hydrated throughout your climb is important as well. Hence, always consider carrying a water bottle.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Has anyone ever climbed Mont Ross?
Afanassieff and Patrick Cordier climbed the Mont Ross in 1975.
How do you get to the Kerguelen Islands?
You can get to the Keguelen Islands with the aid of the support ship Marion Dufresne.
Can a normal person climb Mont Ross?
It is not easy for a person with almost no skills and expertise in mountain climbing to make an attempt to climb Mont Ross. However, if you have a fair amount of experience in doing so, you can climb Mont Ross.
What country owns Kerguelen Island?
France owns Kerguelen Island.
Which is the last French mountain to have been climbed?
Mont Ross is the last French mountain to have been climbed.