gmhTODAY 23 gmhTODAY Dec Jan 2018 - Page 95

A Hiker’s Lexicon Cabane Large mountain hut or inn that often has dorm style sleeping areas and group dining halls. Chamois A bovid, or goat-antelope native to the European Alps. It’s an elusive creature, only about three feet tall and 100-120 pounds, and clocks up to 30 mph or more when escape is the objective. Col A “pass” through a mountain range area, or low, sometimes protected area on a massif. Ibex A species of large goat, native to the European Alps. Easy to spot with its impres- sive, ridged horns that grow up to three feet long or more. The ibex was nearly driven to extinction by the 19 th century before being reintroduced to much of its historical range. Lac A lake. The Alps are chock full of cold, clear glacial lakes, breathtaking in color due to mineral content of the mountain water. Massif A mountain range, as in Mont Blanc Massif. Mont Blanc White Mountain. Mont Blanc is “co-owned” by France and Italy under the terms of a bi- lateral agreement. Neve Not the fluffy snowflake variety but loose granular snow, more like ball bearings, that unfortunately lends itself to avalanches. Pas Like a col, it’s a “pass” through a mountain range area. Because the Alps stretch 750 miles through eight countries from France to Slovenia, different terms are used to mean the same thing. Scramble A hike classifies as a scramble when it involves climbing through a rocky area where there’s little to no trail and you have to make your way around boulders and use your hands. Val A valley, and in the context of the Alps, a beautiful alpine valley. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN december 2018-january 2019 95