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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ A col was reached at the ridge base and we ate.
▪ But the view from the col was decisive and I stayed to indulge my vanity.
▪ Each of the cols traversed by the peloton is harder than the one before.
▪ This error is like climbing below a col, and coming up on the wrong side of it.
▪ Two hours later I collapsed on to the col, long after Enrique had got there, and every step a struggle.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Col \Col\, n. [F., neck, fr. L. collum neck.] A short ridge connecting two higher elevations or mountains; the pass over such a ridge. [1913 Webster] ||


abbr. Colima, a state of Mexico.


n. a pass between mountain peaks [syn: gap]

Col (game)

Col is a pencil and paper game, specifically a map-coloring game, involving the shading of areas in a line drawing according to the rules of Graph coloring. With each move, the graph must remain proper (no two areas of the same colour may touch), and a player who cannot make a legal move loses. The game was described and analysed by John Conway, who attributed it to Colin Vout, in On Numbers and Games.


In geomorphology, a col is the lowest point on a mountain ridge between two peaks. It may also be called a notch, a gap or a saddle, although the last-named usually has a wider meaning and may contain a mountain pass. Moreover, the term col tends to be associated more with mountain, rather than hill, ranges.

The height of a summit above its highest col (called the key col) is effectively a measure of a mountain's prominence, an important measure of the independence of its summit. Cols lie on the line of the watershed between two mountains, often on a prominent ridge or arête.

Particularly rugged and forbidding cols in the terrain are usually referred to as notches. They are generally unsuitable as mountain passes, but are occasionally crossed by mule tracks or climbers' routes.

For example, the highest col in Austria, the Obere Glocknerscharte ("Upper Glockner Col", ), lies between the Kleinglockner and Großglockner mountains, giving the Kleinglockner a minimum prominence of 17 metres. The notch is about 8 metres wide and links the two peaks with a usually corniced, often only two foot wide, narrow, snow-covered ridge. The col is on the normal climbing route from the Adlersruhe to the summit of the Großglockner; it acts as the exit from the Pallavicini Couloir (Pallavicini-Rinne) (an ice gully lying at up to 55 ° to the horizontal) from the north and has never been climbed from the south. Hardly anyone has ever considered crossing the Glockner massif via this col.

The overwhelming majority of cols are, however, unnamed and are either never transited or only crossed in the course of negotiating a ridge line. For example, every Gratturm ("ridge pinnacle", e.g. the Gendarm) has a col. Many double summits are separated by prominent cols. The number of cols gave rise to the name of the Lyskamm (Lauskamm).

The distinction with other names for breaks in mountain ridges such as saddle, wind gap or notch is not sharply defined and may vary from place to place.

Other well-known cols are:

  • South Col between Mount Everest and Lhotse
  • Langkofel Col (Langkofelscharte) in the Langkofel Group
  • Kopské Col (Kopské sedlo) between High Tatras and Belianske Tatras
  • The notches of the Peuterey ridge on Mont Blanc
  • Hohe Dachsteinscharte between the Hoher and Niederer Dachstein.
  • the cols between the five points above 4,000 metres on the ridge of Teufelsgrat on the Mont Blanc du Tacul
  • Brèche de Roland in the Pyrenees

Usage examples of "col".

The long obsession had died with Maynard, and he had been dead before he hit the peat, like Cascade and Cotopaxi, Abseil and Col.

I reached the Col de la Faucille at sunset, when, for a few minutes, the Mont Blanc and Aiguille Verte showed themselves in dull red light, but were buried again, before the sun was quite down, in the rising deluge of cloud-poison.

Il prete, col volto di bragia, stringeva col braccio destro la fanciulla e con tutta la sua forza cercava di trascinarla avanti, ad onta degli sforzi di lei per non avanzare.

An abrupt turn then led over rough ground, the lower folds of the Umm Furut, where a great granite gorge, the Nakb Abu Shar, ran up to a depression in the dorsum, an apparently practicable Col.

Col began his career, earning his bed and board took a whole evening of songs, with all profits from increased business going to the innkeeper.

Pethwick, who before her marriage to the late Sir Lionel Pethwick was, of course, Miss Diana Gyrth, is the sister of Col.

He made no comment, but she col Ild almost feel how closely he listened to her.

In leaving the Pedee, with still some doubts of the newly converted loyalists of that quarter, he left Col.

CAPITOLO LXI VENEZIA ED IL BUCCINTORO Le macchie del servaggio e le rughe della miseria il popolo alla fine le lava e le spiana col suo sangue.

Col du Marchairuz, a pass about seven kilometers away from Mont Tendre, before the search hovers came swarming.

French, who ascended the Vesabia, drove the allies back to the Col de Finisterre, and General Serurier cleared the valley of the Tinea and established a communication with the army of Savoy by Isola.

Ingiuriarlo, maltrattarlo, batterlo, era poca cosa: un giorno il vecchio fu trovato col cranio fracassato sul lastrico del cortile interno di casa sua.

Irene, avea col racquisto del luogotenente trovato refrigerio al suo dolore e si sentiva mosso dalla smania di udire le avventure di lui che credeva perduto per sempre.

Well, Colmer thought gloomily, facing up to it, most writers were nuts anyway, or else they would be real estate salesmen, where the big money was, or editors De Wike kept pestering him about heading their science fiction department.

E dopo essersi passata la mano sul mento con compiacenza, il Cardinale accennando col dito faceva segno a Gianni di andare.