ARĘTE (O. Fr. areste, Lat. arista, ear of corn, fish-bone or
spine), a ridge or sharp edge; a French term used in Switzerland
to denote the sharp bayonet-like edge of a mountain (such as the
Matterhorn), that slopes steeply upward with two precipitous
sides meeting in a long ascending ridge. Hence the word has
passed into common use to denote any sharp mountain edge
denuded by frost action above the snowline, where the consequent
angular ridges give the characteristic “house-roof
structure” of these altitudes.
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