Glaciers in the
Karakarams possess above 40 glaciers the longest and important
being (Siachen) 46.6 miles, Batura 34 miles and Baltoro 32.5 miles
and other glaciers named Godwin Austin, Biafo Hisper, Chogolisa,
Godogoro, Biarchedi Kaberi, Vigne, Hispar, Bilafond, Virjerb, Yazgil, Khuany others.
The Siachen measures
approximately 75km in length and 4.8km in width, and rises to
about 4,800m. The glacier originates near the Indra Koli Pass on
the Pakistan-China border, about 70km southeast of K-2 , the
second highest peak in the world. this glacier is discovered in
1907 and is the largest glacier in the world outside the polar
regions. This glacier lies in the extreme north-central part of
Jammu and Kashmir near the border of India and Tibet, on the
north-facing slopes of the Karakoram range. Large tributary
glaciers like the Shelkar Chorten and Mamostang feed into the main
glacier. The central part of this glacier is a vast snowfield,
however, the sides of the glacier are strewn with rocks.
glacier consist of three glaciers ( North , Central and South)
lies to the east of the Siachen and located at an altitude of
between 6,000 and 7000 m above sea level. Between them, these
glaciers have almost 700 square kilometers of ice which at places
is 100 m deep. Thus the Siachen glacier contains about 2,000
square kilometers of ice surface and almost 200 cubic kilometers
of ice. This tract is more or less devoid of a vegetative cover
due to its high elevation as well as its latitude. It feeds the
Mutzgah or Shaksgam River that flows parallel to the Karakoram
range before entering into Tibet.
glacier can be approached via Skardu in Ladakh.
Pass, also known as Bilafond La ("Pass of the Butterflies") has a
unique history. In early 14th century, it was traversed by the
Muslim saint Syed Ali Hamadani, who traveled from Kashmir through
Shigar to Kashgar in Central Asia, spreading Islam en route. In
the 16th century, a Turkish Sultan, Abu Sayid, invaded Ladakh from
China through this pass. Domination of these strategic passes is a
key to control the surrounding areas. The Saltoro Range inside
Pakistan provides access to Siachen through five passes, i.e., Sia
La (7,300m), Bilafond La (6,160m), Gyong La (5,640m), Yarma La
(6,100m) and Chulung La (5,800m). These heights and passes, remain
snowbound throughout the year.
The second largest
glacier in the Himalaya, the Baltoro glacier is situated on the
southern slopes of the central Karakoram range in the Baltistan
area of Jammu and Kashmir. Large tributary glaciers include a
glacier from the southwestern slopes of the Gasherbrum peak and a
tributary glacier from the northwestern slope of the Masherbrum
peak, both in the Karakoram, are fed into Baltoro stretching its
length about 62 kms.This glacier is one of the sources of Shigar
River, a tributary of the River Indus.
glacier has a length of about 60 km and is located on the
south-facing slopes of the Karakoram range in the Baltistan and
Ladakh. It is fed by small glaciers at different points. No
vegetation is seen on this tract. The main stream of this glacier
rises the Shigar River. The Biafo glacier can be approached via
Skardu in Ladakh.
The Nubra glacier is
a large glacier and is located on the southern slopes of the
Karakoram range in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. Large
tributary glaciers include valley glaciers from the northwestern
slopes of the Sasser La massif and the southeastern slopes of the
Karakoram range feed this glacier. also some small glaciers are
fed into it. The central part of this glacier consists of a vast
snowfield. while lateral moraines are found along the flanks and
at the main glacier.This glacier gives rise to the Nubra River
which in turn flows into the Shyok river.
This glacier is
located on the lower slopes of the Karakoram range in Gilgit . It
is tenanted on the north-facing slopes of the Rakaposhi massif.
The Rakaposhi glacier feeds an eastern tributary of the Hunza
River, which in turn flows into the Indus River. The Rakaposhi
glacier lies in a trough whose bottom gently slopes towards the
north and northwest. This glacier can be approached via Gilgit in
the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir.
Chong Kumdan Glacier
Kumdan glacier is situated on the lower slopes of the Karakoram
range. It is located in a trough that is surrounded by high peaks
on all sides. The melt-water falls into the Shyok River which at
the end goes into the Indus River. The Gapshan lake was formed as
a result of the blockade of the Shyok river by the glacier but
later it drained away due to melting of the ice. This glacier can
be approached via Skardu in Ladakh.
glacier is located on the southern slopes of the Karakoram range
in Ladakh. This glacier feeds one of the two main streams of the
Saltoro River, which falls into the Shyok River.
Lying at the
base of the Gasherbrum peak, the Gasherbrum glacier having the
length of 26 kms, is located on the southern slopes of the
Karakoram range in the Baltistan area of Ladakh. Small
valley Glaciers open into the main glacier. No vegetative cover is
found due to extreme weather conditions. This glacier can be
approached via Skardu in Ladakh.
glacier is the third largest glacier in the Himalayan region
situated on the southern slopes of the Karakoram range in the
Baltistan area of Ladakh. This large glacier is fed by a number of
small glaciers stretching its length into about 60 kms. The
central portion of this glacier is a vast snowfield while its
sides contain debris eroded by the huge body of moving ice. This
glacier feeds the main stream of the Shigar River that falls into
the mighty Indus River. No vegetation is found on the entire
tract. The Hispar glacier can be approached via Skardu in
The meeting place of
the Godwin-Austin Glaciers, Baltoro and Upper Baltoro is called
the Concordia. Mountain loving people and climbers consider it the
most worth seeing and most impressive point vis a vis mountain
environment on earth.
is a small glacier provides a base for approaching Baltoro glacier.
This glacier feeds the main lower Baltoro glacier. it provides very
beautiful view of surrounding mountains. A very beautiful camp site
is at the base of huge granite slabs rising thousands of feet above
a small lake!