The Old Man of the Mountain collapsed 15 years ago today

Word of the Day – Thursday, May 3rd



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CRAG (krag)

A steep rugged mass of rock projecting upward or outward
clues: Rugged rock; Jagged rock; Mountain goat's perch; Rocky outcrop; Climber's challenge; Projecting rock; Bluff; Steep rugged cliff
Crossword puzzle frequency: 2 times a year
Frequency in English language: 12998 / 86800
News: The Old Man of the Mountain, gone 15 years now, will be celebrated Thursday
Steve McClure climbing Northern Exposure ext. 9a+, Kilnsey Crag

A crag (sometimes spelled cragg, or in Scotland craig) is a rocky hill or mountain, generally isolated from other high ground. Crags are formed when a glacier or ice-sheet passes over an area that contains a particularly resilient chunk of rock (often a granite plug or some volcanic structure). The force of the glacier erodes the surrounding softer material, leaving the rocky block standing proud from the surrounding terrain. Frequently the crag serves as a partial shelter to softer material in the wake of the glacier, which remains as a gradual fan or ridge forming a tapered ramp (called the tail) up the leeward side of the crag.

In older examples, or those which are latterly surrounded by the sea, the tail is often missing, having been removed by post-glacial erosion.

Examples of such crag and tail formations include:

  • The Castle Rock in Edinburgh, Scotland, the rock on which Edinburgh Castle stands.

  • Three in or near Stirling, Scotland, including the rock on which Stirling Castle stands.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Crag".