Siachen Glacier

An awe inspiring feature in our unique planet is a glacier which is a persistent massive body of ice covering a large area and formed over a long period of time. Many mountain glaciers are present in the Karakoram ranges of the Himalayas. The Siachen Glacier is one such mountain glacier at an altitude of over 18,800 feet at its head (Indira Col pass) falling to some 11,800 feet at its terminus. At around 70km in length, it is one of the longest glaciers in the world’s non-polar regions.
The conflict for control over the region between India and Pakistan has made the Siachen Glacier the highest battlefield in the world. It is a tough terrain and has icy cold weather all the year round. Thoise Air Base at 10,000 feet id the gateway to Siachen.
Late in the last decade India opened up limited mountaineering and trekking expeditions to Siachen. For years now, the Indian Army has held all the dominating heights of Saltoro Ridge in these ranges. The Indian Defence personnel deserve our admiration and salutation for performing their duties under such inhospitable conditions. The Indian Army’s Army mountaineering Institute functions out of this region. Helicopters are widely used for transportation and surveillance.

Just 7,000 feet below Everest!

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The propeller on my side was right outside the window behind me and to see the machine cutting through some fierce icy winds sent shivers down my spine – the very thought of anything going wrong at this point. No rescue team will ever reach these most glaciated mountain ranges on earth.

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