In the steep and rocky peak of Mount Cynthus, which, though overtopped by several eminences in the neighbouring islands, is very conspicuous from the surrounding sea.
But although the crests of its component ranges reach altitudes of 21,500 to 22,000 ft., they are not as a rule overtopped by individual peaks of commanding and towering elevation, as the Himalayas are, but run on the whole tolerably uniform and relatively at little greater altitude than the lofty valleys which separate them one from another.
To the south is the valley of the Arve (descending from the snows of the Mont Blanc chain), which unites with that of the Rhone a little below the town; while behind the Arve the grey and barren rocks of the Petit Saleve rise like a wall, which in turn is overtopped by the distant and ethereal snows of Mont Blanc. Yet the actual site of the town is not as picturesque as that of several other spots in Switzerland.
In the Kalta-alaghan, which is the culminating range of this part of the Kuen-lun, and is overtopped by towering, snow-clad peaks, the passes climb to considerably higher altitudes, namely, 14,560, 1 4,47 0, 1 4,43 0 and 14,190 ft., while the pass of Avraz-davan ascends to 15,700 ft.