Pyramidal peak

Pyramidal peak

A pyramidal peak, or sometimes in its most extreme form called a glacial horn, is a mountaintop that has been modified by the action of ice during glaciation and frost weathering. If the use is unambiguous within a mountain context, then the simple terms peak or horn may be used.


Ice fields at the head of glaciers develop U- or bowl-shaped basins in the sides of a mountain called cirques (sometimes called corries or cwms). These encroach on each other to produce ridges known as arêtes. The joining together of three or more arêtes forms a peak. A peak has a sharp summit and steep slopes on at least three sides. They are a common shape for mountain tops in well glaciated areas.

A glacial horn takes the process to its limits, producing near vertical faces on all sides. In the Alps, "Horn" is also the name of very exposed peaks with slope inclinations of 45-60° (e.g. Kitzbüheler Horn).


Examples of horns include:

See also


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