Lepontine Alps

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The Lepontine Alps are a mountain range in the central part of the Alps. They are located in Switzerland (Valais, Ticino, Uri and Graubünden) and Italy (Piedmont and Lombardy).On the north the upper Rhône valley separate them from the Bernese Alps and the Furka Pass and the upper Reuss valley separates them from the Urner Alps; on the west the Simplon Pass separates them from the Pennine Alps; on the north-east the Oberalp Pass and the Vorderrhein valley separate them from the Glarus Alps; on the east the Splügen Pass separates them from the Central Eastern Alps (Oberhalbstein Range).

The Lepontine Alps are drained by the rivers Rhône in the west, Reuss in the north, Rhine (Vorderrhein and Hinterrhein) in the east and Ticino and Toce in the south.

The Simplon rail tunnel, which leads from Brig to Domodossola, the St Gotthard rail and highway tunnels (from Andermatt to Airolo) and the San Bernardino Tunnel are important transport arteries.

The eastern portion of the Lepontine Alps, from the St Gotthard Pass to the Splügen Pass, is sometimes named the Adula Alps.



Following the line marking the division of the waters that flow into the Po from those that feed the Rhone or the Rhine, the main ridge of the Lepontine Alps describes a somewhat irregular curve, convex to the north, from the Simplon Pass to the Splugen Pass. With the single exception of the Monte Leone, overlooking the pass of the Simplon, the summits of this portion of the chain are much inferior in height to those of the neighbouring chains; but two peaks of the Adula group, culminating at the Rheinwaldhorn, exceed 11,000 feet in height.[1]

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