Attraction on Mt. Rwenzori
THE MAJOR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS ON MOUNTAIN RWENZORI
Mountain Rwenzori is the highest mountain in Uganda. It is situated at the boarder of Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo in south western Uganda. The major tourist attractions on Mountain Rwenzori were formed as aresult of Glaciation.
Glaciation refers to the flowing of ice down slope due to influence of gravity. When the mass of ice (Glacier) flows down slope, the following tourist attractions were formed on the slopes of Mountain Rwenzori:
Aretes – they are formed by plucking of the back walls of the cirques resulting into the tearing away of the rocks that freeze in valley sides of the cirque forming steep sided and sharp edges called arêtes, separating two cirques.
Cirques – Due to basal sapping, rocks in glaciated highlands breaks up by alternating freezing and the thawing of water in joints of the rock between the glaciers and the valley sides. These frozen rock tear away by plucking leading to formation of cirques which are semicircular and in sharp of arm chair like Bujuku, Butaha, Lac Blanc.
Pyramidal peak- This is a radial pattern or focal point of the many arêtes and is formed when three or more cirques are eaten back by plucking into the mountain peak, forming a jagged peak in the shape pf the pyramid. Examples include Margerita peak, Stanley peak and Speke peak.
RocheeMountannee – This is the outcrop of the uniformly resistance rock whose upstream slope is smoothed and polished by the moving glacier through abrasion while the downstream slope is rougher and steepened by plucking. Rocks embedded in the glacier smoothen and polished the upstream side while rocks that freeze between glacier and valley side are broken away to give rise to steep and jagged slope like the Roche Mountainnee on the upper Mobuku Valley.
Crag and tail are formed of both resistance and soft rocks. The hard rock protects the softer rock from glacial erosion and it forms the crag which is steepened by plucking while the protected softer rock forms the tail after glaciation.
Glacial trough (U-shaped Valley)- This is a valley with aflat floor whose side are steepened due to plucking and abrasion. The glacier erodes the valley sides and bottom with the rocks embedded in the glacier. Thee frozen rocks in the valley sides break away hence widening and deepening the valley, forming a U-shaped Valley like Mobuku, Kamusoso and Bujuku-Valley.
Hanging valley – This is a tributary valley left hanging above the U-shaped valley. It occupies the small glacier compared to the main valley such that it is not able to deepen and widens its valley like the U-shapped valley. It is formed by the small processes of Abrassion and plucking.
Rock Basin – This is a small depression or basin caused by unequal vertical erosion through glacier abrasion on the floor of the U-Shaped valley. The unequal vertical erosion is caused due to different rock resistance on the valley floor. Rock Basin may contain lakes like Kitandara Lake on Kamusoso valley.
Rock steps – These are caused by intrusion like dyke ina U-shaped Valley, which causes uneven vertical erosion. This uneven abrasion occurs if the intrusions are of different resistance with the surrounding rocks in the valley like on the floor of upper Mobuku valley.