Words! Words! Words!

Mountaineering and Prospecting Vocabulary Test

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Feb 28, 2017 7:30:00 AM


Rocky MountainsOn February 28, 1861, with the region’s population booming because of the Pike’s Peak gold rush, Congress creates the new Territory of Colorado. When the United States acquired it after the Mexican War ended in 1848, the land that would one day become Colorado was nearly unpopulated by Anglo settlers. Ute, Arapaho, Cheyenne, and other Indians had occupied the land for centuries, but the Europeans who had made sporadic appearances there since the 17th century never stayed for long. It was not until 1851 that the first permanent non-Indian settlement was established, in the San Luis Valley.

Try your mountaineering and prospecting word skills out today. 

1. alpenstock:

  1. an isolated mountain;
  2. an alloy of copper and zinc used especially to imitate gold in jewelry;
  3. a long iron-pointed staff used in mountain climbing;
  4. a chief mountain ridge, range, or system.

2. intermontane:

  1. a cable railway ascending a mountain;
  2. associated with or induced by the presence of mountains;
  3. situated between mountains;
  4. a region whose limits are naturally defined by topographic and biological features (as mountain ranges and ecosystems).

3. carabiner:

  1. the securing of a person or a safety rope to an anchor point
  2.  something to hold on to (as in mountain climbing);
  3. a Jamaican mountain climber;
  4. an oblong metal ring with one spring-hinged side that is used especially in mountain climbing as a connector and to hold a freely running rope.

4. pogonip:

  1. a dense winter fog containing frozen particles that is formed in deep mountain valleys of the western United States;
  2. a rich medieval silk fabric interwoven with gold or silver;
  3. a warm dry wind blowing down the side of a mountain;
  4. the language of the Kootenai people.

5. piedmont:

  1. a system of mountain ranges often consisting of a number of more or less parallel chains;
  2. lying or formed at the base of mountains;
  3. a prehistoric American Indian people inhabiting the mountains of southwestern Colorado and northern New Mexico;
  4. an isolated hill or mountain with steep or precipitous sides usually having a smaller summit area than a mesa.

6. Chinook: 

  1. a warm dry wind that descends the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains;
  2. a reddish glow seen near sunset or sunrise on the summits of mountains;
  3. an anchor (as a metal plate) buried in snow and used (as in mountain climbing) to secure a rope;
  4. a native or inhabitant of a mountainous region.

7. arete:

  1. an alluvial, marine, or glacial deposit containing particles of valuable mineral and especially of gold;
  2. a chief mountain ridge, range, or system;
  3. a sharp-crested ridge in rugged mountains;
  4. a region whose limits are naturally defined by topographic and biological features (as mountain ranges and ecosystems).

8. cirque: 

  1. a deep steep-walled basin on a mountain usually forming the blunt end of a valley;
  2. any of several old gold coins of Europe of approximately the same value;
  3. a steep mountain railroad that has a rail with cogs engaged by a cogwheel on the locomotive to ensure traction;
  4. the summit of a mountain.

9. pyrite:

  1. glass of a deep red color containing selenium, an oxide of copper, or a chloride of gold;
  2. fool’s gold;
  3. a covering cap of snow (as on a mountain peak);
  4. a substance held capable of changing base metals into gold.

10. philosopher’s stone:

  1. an ancient gold or silver coin of the Denver city-states;
  2. the part of the superego in psychoanalysis that transmits commands and admonitions to the ego;
  3. the philosophic premise that one's existence is demonstrated by the fact that one thinks;
  4. an imaginary stone, substance, or chemical preparation believed to have the power of transmuting baser metals into gold and sought by alchemists.



Correct Answers:











Rate Yourself: 

# Correct Message
All 10 Molly Brown would marry you.
7-9 Jeremiah Johnson's sidekick.
4-6 Stuck on I-70 somewhere.
2-3 Not exactly John Deutschendorf.
0-1 Still living in an abandoned ghost town.


"Now sing along with Up With People and head to the Mile High State!"

Intro source: History.com

Definition source: Merriam-Webster 11th Collegiate Dictionary



Topics: vocabulary test

Subscribe to Email Updates

Sign up for our emails!

Sign Up

Search Our Blog

Recent Posts