Ellsworth Mountains
The Ellsworth Mountains are the highest mountain range
Mountain range
A mountain range is a single, large mass consisting of a succession of mountains or narrowly spaced mountain ridges, with or without peaks, closely related in position, direction, formation, and age; a component part of a mountain system or of a mountain chain...

s in Antarctica, forming a 360 km (224 mi) long and 48 km (30 mi) wide chain of mountain
Image:Himalaya_annotated.jpg|thumb|right|The Himalayan mountain range with Mount Everestrect 58 14 160 49 Chomo Lonzorect 200 28 335 52 Makalurect 378 24 566 45 Mount Everestrect 188 581 920 656 Tibetan Plateaurect 250 406 340 427 Rong River...

s in a north to south configuration on the western margin of the Ronne Ice Shelf. They are bisected by Minnesota Glacier
Minnesota Glacier
Minnesota Glacier is a broad glacier in Antarctica. It is about 64 km long and 8 km wide, and flows east through the Ellsworth Mountains, separating the Sentinel and Heritage ranges. It is nourished by ice from the plateau west of the mountains and by the Nimitz and Splettstoesser...

 to form the northern Sentinel Range
Sentinel Range
The Sentinel Range is a major mountain range situated northward of Minnesota Glacier and forming the northern half of the Ellsworth Mountains in Antarctica. The range trends NNW-SSE for about and is 24 to 48 km wide...

 and the southern Heritage Range
Heritage Range
The Heritage Range is a major mountain range, long and wide, situated southward of Minnesota Glacier and forming the southern half of the Ellsworth Mountains in Antarctica...

. The former is by far the higher and more spectacular with Vinson Massif
Vinson Massif
Vinson Massif is the highest mountain of 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 from the South Pole and is about long and wide. At the highest point is Mount...

 (4,892 m) constituting the highest point on the continent.


The mountains were discovered on November 23, 1935, by Lincoln Ellsworth
Lincoln Ellsworth
Lincoln Ellsworth was an arctic explorer from the United States.-Birth:He was born on May 12, 1880 to James Ellsworth and Eva Frances Butler in Chicago, Illinois...

 in the course of a trans-Antarctic flight from Dundee Island
Dundee Island
Dundee Island is an ice-covered island lying east of the northeastern tip of Antarctic Peninsula and south of Joinville Island.On January 8, 1893, during the Dundee Whaling Expedition, the island was named by Captain Thomas Robertson of the Active and named for the home port, Dundee, Scotland,...

 to the Ross Ice Shelf
Ross Ice Shelf
The Ross Ice Shelf is the largest ice shelf of Antarctica . It is several hundred metres thick. The nearly vertical ice front to the open sea is more than 600 km long, and between 15 and 50 metres high above the water surface...

. He gave the descriptive name Sentinel Range.


The mountains were mapped in detail by USGS
United States Geological Survey
The United States Geological Survey is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, and the natural hazards that threaten it. The organization has four major science disciplines, concerning biology,...

 from ground surveys and U.S. Navy aerial photography, 1958-66. When it became evident that the mountains comprise two distinct ranges, the US-ACAN
Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names
The Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names is an advisory committee of the United States Board on Geographic Names responsible for recommending names for features in Antarctica...

 restricted the application of Sentinel Range to the high northern one and gave the name Heritage Range to the southern one; the Committee recommended the name of the discoverer for this entire group of mountains.


Temperatures in the Ellsworth Mountains average around -30 °C (-20 °F). The best months for expeditions are November through January, mid-summer in the Southern Hemisphere
Southern Hemisphere
The Southern Hemisphere is the part of Earth that lies south of the equator. The word hemisphere literally means 'half ball' or "half sphere"...

. However, arranging an outing here is a difficult task, requiring either official scientific sponsorship or considerable financial resources.

External links

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