The spur on which it stands is thickly wooded with oak and other trees; behind it the pine-clad slopes of the mountain tower towards the jagged peaks of the higher range, snow-clad for half the year; while below stretches the luxuriant cultivation of the Kangra valley.
Nowhere in the world can there be found another such assemblage of snow-clad peaks, several of which are active volcanoes.
The snow-clad peaks of the main Caucasus, descending by short, steep slopes, fringe the valley on the north, while an abrupt escarpment, having the characteristics of a border ridge of the Armenian highlands, fronts it on the south.
The department includes an arid, sand-covered region on the coast traversed by deep gorges formed by river courses, and a partly barren, mountainous region inland composed of the high Cordillera and its spurs toward the coast, between which are numerous highly fertile valleys watered by streams from the snow-clad peaks.
Snow is seldom seen either in the Chin or Shan hills, but there are snow-clad ranges in the extreme north of the Kachin country.
Its summit comprises a group of eight snow-clad peaks, and its crater is surrounded by a steep and jagged wall of rocks.
The central agricultural provinces are traversed by several important rivers, all of them rising on the western slopes of the snow-clad Andes and breaking through the lower coast range to the Pacific after being extensively used to irrigate the great central valley of Chile.
The climate is mild in summer, fitful in autumn and spring, and very cold in winter, as even the plains are high and shut in on three sides by mountains snow-clad during several months.
Local winds form an important feature in nearly all the coast climates of the Mediterranean, especially in winter, where they are primarily caused by the rapid change of temperature from the sea to the snow-clad hinterlands.
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.