Géographie du Cachemire
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Introduction to Siachen area
Glacier de Siachen
Bilafond (Saltoro Pass/ Peak 36 glacier pass) -c5,550m-
Italia pass (passo italia) -c6,096m- (c5,920m)
Gyong La -5700m-
Indira Col -c5,840m-, India Saddle -c5,776m-, col de Turkestan -c5,810m-
Singhi & Stagar glaciers
Teram Sher Plateau -~c6,000m-
Vallée de Shaksgam
Ghent I -c7,401m-
Ghent II -c7,342m-
Abale -c6,360m-
Amale -c6,312m-
Argan Kangri -c6,789m-
Apsarasas group -c7,130/c7,245m-
Apsarasas Kangri I -c7,245m-
Apsarasas Kangri II -c7,239m-
Apsarasas Kangri III -c7,236m-
Apsarasas Kangri IV -c7,226m-
Apsarasas Kangri V -c7,181m-
Apsarasas Kangri VI -c7,184m-
Apsarasas Kangri VII -c7,000m-
Apsarasas Kangri, South West Peak -c7,117m-
Junction Peak -c6,352m- (c6,350m)
Mercury Peak -c7,195m-
Padmanabh (Terong Tower) -c7,030m-
Pyramid peak (Main S.) -c7,123m-
Pyramid peak (Thyor peak/Pathibara) -c7,058m-
Rimo group (Rimu group) -c7,233/c7,385m-
Rimo I (Rimu I) -c7,385m-
Rimo II (Rimu II) -c7,373m-
Rimo III (Rimu III) -c7,233m-
Rimo IV (Rimu IV) -c7,169m-
Saltoro Kangri group -c7,495/c7,742m-
Saltoro Kangri I -c7,380m-
Saltoro Kangri II (K35) -c7,705m-
Saltoro Kangri II, East summit -c7,518 m-
Saltoro Kangri III -c7,495 m-
Sia Kangri Group -c7,422/c7,273m-
Sia Kangri I (Queen Mary peak) -c7,273m-
Sia Kangri II -c7,325m- (c7,303m)
Sia Kangri III -c7,273m-
Sia Kangri IV -c7,315m-
Hardinge Peak (Sia Chhish) -c7,024m-
Sherpi Kangri I -c7,380m-
Sherpi Kangri II -c7,303m-
Singhi Kangri (Mont Rose) -c7,202m- (c7,751m)
Tawiz Peak (Amulet Peak)
Teram Kangri group -c7,195/c7,410m-
Teram Kangri I -c7,422m-
Teram Kangri II -c7,406m-
Teram Kangri III -c7,382m-
Teram Kangri IV -c7,300m-
Thugu Peak -c6,158m-

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Here joint maps of Siachen area and around :

It is common that mountains books finish the Karakoram borders to the basin of Baltoro, being unaware all the Eastern part of the Karakoram range which is surely the rochest part of Karakoram in curiosities. In spite of the Siachen war, the exploration of the Siachen area continues, with various successes, encouraged by the Indian authorities. A military road crosses Khardung la today (5602) and in 144 km link Leh to Panamik. By interposed climbers, India is on the ground.
The access is strictly regulated: expeditions by groups is authorized and Indians members must be associated, the responsibility were necessarily entrusted to the one of them; the rights prices about around 4000 USD (changes every year). The major attempts and success in the area were made between 1955 and 1978.

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Siachen glacier:

"Sia" means " wild Rose ": many in the valley of Nubra downstream from this glacier, the glacier of Siachen is the glacier of the wild roses.
With a 72 kilometers length, it is the longest glacier of Karakoram. A line of peaks surounded the glacier: Baltoro Kangri and Saltoro Kangri, Chumik and Theram Shehr, Terong and Apsarasas Groups. The glacier was much longer in the past. Bullock will baptize in 1912 the Indira Pass in the extreme North-West of the glacier (obviously without relation with the former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi). Til 1984, there were much more expeditions of 7000 as now. Since, , India encouraged the visits of international expedition. The first was a British Indo expedition lead by Harish Kapadia, which explored the Rimo group in 1985. Writing in Himalayan Newspaper in 1993, Aamir Ali recommends the withdrawal the troops and the introduction of an international Peace park under the guard of the United Nations. It quotes a certain number of other sectors protected in the world where that functioned successfully, like demilitarized zones between South & North Korea, Nicaragua and Costa Rica or Greece and Turkey.
Contrary to the popular belief, the Siachen glacier has been visited by many since more than a Century. The glacier, originally known as 'Saicher Gharni' was place of interest and several Baltis from the western valleys visited the glacier. Many decades ago it is believed that a small Yarkandi village existed at the entrance of the Teram Shehr glacier. (Bullock-Workman found the walls of such a settlement in 1912 and it was seen and photographed by the Indian expedition in 2002). Here on the glacier Yarkandis met the Baltis and traded with them.
In 1980, an American team led by Galen Rowell traversed the Siachen glacier during the Karakoram Ski Traverse of major glaciers.
In 1996, after closer of almost ten years (since1986) the first civilian team was given permission to climb on the upper Siachen glacier. A team from Bombay, led by Harish Kapadia climbed in the Terong valley at first. As they were about to enter the upper Siachen glacier, army cancelled their permits without assigning any reason and they were turned back. Their critical report made a serious impact.
The Siachen Glacier has been a well-known battleground for Indian and Pakistan troops for the last 19 years and with recent infiltration of armed militants into Kashmir, the December 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament, the subsequent threat of all-out nuclear war and the May 2002 murders in Jammu, hopes for a solution have faded. The pollution in, and degradation of, this wonderful mountain environment is appalling. Virtually nothing can be burnt, destroyed or packed out and the remains of abandoned war material, garbage and human waste is both huge and extensive. All this will finally end up in the Nubra River and subsequently in the waters of the Indian Plains. There is also the human and financial cost of the war, the latter estimated at one million dollars a day for India alone.
One solution that could enable both armies to withdraw in conditions of honour and dignity would be to turn the whole region into at Transboundary Peace Park. It would save many lives, huge costs and a magnificent area that is of little real use to anyone except mountain visitors and climbers. There are currently around 170 Transboundary Parks in the world and it would be fitting if this number was joined by the Siachen Glacier region. However, at the time of writing talk of peace seems as remote as ever.
Most of the peaks were first christened by Sahib Afraj, indian officer during Visser expedition in 1835.

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Bilafond (Saltoro pass) -c5,550m- :

In 1976, Japanese expedition led by H. Misawa made the first ascent of Apsarasas I, crossing over Bilafond (Saltoro Pass) Crossed by seven mountaineers from Tohoku University, Japan.
In 1980, Bilafond pass was as part of the American east to west traverse of the Karakoram. Skiing westward from the Bilafond Glacier, Asay, Gillette, Rowell and Schmitz took six weeks to complete the amazing journey to Hispar via Askole. However, the starting point now lies in a disputed area and the route taken in 1980 could not currently be attempted because of the Indo-Pakistan border conflict. This is the longest ski tour yet achieved in the Karakoram, though two other major journeys are worthy of note.
In 1983, few trekking parties crossed over Bilafond (Saltoro pass) from the west.
In 1997, The Indian Women's team, with Ms. Bachendri Pal as leader, traversed the Siachen glacier and reached the India Saddle in early September.
Seven mountaineers from Tohoku University, Japan climbed the North Face and North West Ridge of Singhi Kangri above the Staghar Glacier having crossed both the Bilafond and Turkestan La from Pakistan (the area of today's disputed territory).
Boundaries_Shaksgam.pdfThe pass is today's disputed territory and close. 1972 'Shimla Agreement' was signed between India and Pakistan. It failed to clearly demarcate the border along this glacier. (PDF Border Liner)
In 1981, Indian Army expedition led by Col. N. Kumar reached the upper glacier via the Nubra valley. They climbed Saltoro Kangri I, Sia Kangri I, reached Indira Col (West), Sia la, Turkestan la and Saltoro Pass (PK 36 glacier pass).

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Italia pass (passo italia) -c6,096m- (c5,920m) :

The pass is today's disputed territory and close.
In 1929 an Italian expedition led by Professor Dainelli visited the Siachen Glacier but was subsequently unable to reverse its approach from the south via the Nubra Valley, when the river was found to be in serious flood. Instead the team members were forced to re-ascend the Siachen and find an escape east from the top of the Teram Shehr Glacier. The high pass leading to the Central Rimo Glacier and crossed by Dainelli's team with almost 400 porters, was dubbed Col Italia. Although it had been reached once since, in August 2000 from the Central Rimo by members of Harish Kapadia's joint Indo-French Expedition, a complete crossing had never been repeated.
Col Italia was reached again for the first time in 70 years on the 23rd August 2000 by Electricwala, Kapadia and Mistry with two Sherpas, Karma and Pemba Tsering. This Indian team established four camps on the glacier before reaching the col, which was found to be a seven kilometre-square plateau. During their return down the glacier, Electricwala and Sherpas, Karma and Nima Dorje, climbed the previously virgin Migpa (5,935m) via the South East Ridge.
Tragically, as the Central Rimo team were returning on the 27th, an accident took place. While crossing a knee-deep tributary of the Shyok, Dan Singh, Electricwala, Kapadia and Mistry were swept off their feet. All except Mistry managed to get to different banks of the river and some had to wait for almost three cold hours before being rescued by the Sherpas. For Mistry, however, there was no such luck. Unable to throw off his heavy rucksack he was carried almost three kilometres downstream, where his body was found by the South Rimo climbers who were crossing the Shyok at the time. Thirty two years old Mistry was an enthusiastic mountaineer from Bombay and was making his ninth expedition to the Himalaya/Karakoram. A lighting engineer for the theatre world, he was very well-known in both climbing and art circles.
In 2002, an the Indian-Japanese Expedition (Harish Kapadia and Hiroshi Sakai) traversed the Shyok valley and reached Karakoram Pass, the first international team to stand there in 5 decades. They crossed 'Col Italia' (first crossing after 1930) to reach the Siachen Glacier and made the first ascent of peak Padmanabh (7030 m) on the west of the Siachen Glacier. They explored the Teram Shehr Ice-Plateau fully reaching its head. After crossing the pass in June 2002, the Indo-Japanese team descended the far side and set up a camp at 5,650m east of Padmanabh.

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Gyong La -c5,700m- :

The pass is today's disputed territory and close.
In 1939, Lt Peter Young visited Gyong la on shikar.

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Indira pass -c,5840m-, India Saddle -c5,776m-, Turkestan La -c5,810m-:

The pass is today's disputed territory and close.
In 1998, the Indian team, led by Harish Kapadia, returned to the glacier. They reached Indira Col (West), India Saddle and Turkestan la (East). The team also made the first ascent of Bhujang Peak (6560 m) on the Teram Shehr Plateau, the first ever peak to be climbed on this vast plateau.
In 1986, Sia Kangri was climbed by the Indo-American expedition led by Maj. K.V. Cherian and Leo Lebon. They traversed the glacier. Seven Indians reached the summit and Americans reached Indira Col (West).
In 2002, an indian expedition climbed Teram Kangri I (7,464m), II (7,407m) et III (7,382m). They also climbed the famous India Pass.

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Teram Sher Plateau -~6000m-:

Once some of the Yarkandis descended the Ghyari nala and took away a Balti woman with them to their glacier village. To take revenge, Baltis contacted an important mullah, who gave them a tawiz (amulet) which was to be placed on the Bilafond (Saltoro pass). Mullah instructed them to return via the Nubra valley. However the Baltis, after placing the tawiz on the pass returned the way they had come. Soon afterwards a great storm visited the Siachen glacier and destroyed the settlements and only the rocky desolation remained. The priests say that the calamity would have been greater had they followed the directions fully. Because of this lapse in following the instructions wild roses were not destroyed by the storm, Teram mean "Destroyed city".
Teram Shehr Plateau, is a 16km by 10km quasi-level icefield at around 6,000m surrounded by beautiful snowy peaks. Only one of these had previously been climbed. Bhujang (6,560m) on the western rim had seen an ascent from the Siachen Glacier in 1998 by Indians. Starting on the 21st June 2002, Hayashibara and Kapadia climbed south on to the upper reaches of the plateau, the first humans to do so, and made an exploration of various cols on the rim. In the meantime the rest of the party were making an attempt on the virgin Padmanabh.

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Singhi & Staghar glaciers

Image satellite de la haute vallée de ShaksgamIn 1929, an expedition led by the duke of Spolète finished the exploration of the high valley of Shaksgam and discovered the glaciers of Staghar & Singhie. In 1930, the Giotto Dainelli expedtion studied Siachen glacier. This bewitching valley is one of the sorriest places in the world, it was formerly attended only by baltis people who were going to look for work in Chinese Turkestan and by the Hunzakuts thieves in route to yarkand. The first European who have been there, was Francis Younghusband in 1887.

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Shaksgam valley:

In 1929, an expedition lead by the duke of Spolète finished the exploration of the high valley of Shaksgam and discovered the Staghar and Singhie glaciers (in 1930, the Italian expedition of Giotto Dainelli studied the glacier of Siachen). This bewitching valley is one of the closest places in the world, it was formerly attended only by the baltis groups which were going to search work in Chinese Turkestan by the highs Karakorams passes in the central Karakoram and the Hunzakuts brigands who made incursions into the Yarkand valley. The first European who ventured there in 1887 was Francis Younghusband. Today, it is crossed only in its lower part, by the mountaineers joining the northern slopes of K2, Gasherbrum and Broad Peak.
To reach the Aghil pass and the Shaksgam valley, it is necessary to borrow the valley of Surukwat, an interminable ribbon of stone where it is possible to meet the last wandering pastors who, during the summer, take along their herds in the high mountain pastures. What attracts certain climbers or hikers towards the Northern face of the k2 is the feeling of insulation in the heart of an immense desert landscape. Without the camels, the complex gorges and of Shaksgam torrents could not be borrowed during summer.

To the same topics:
Himalaya du Cachemire
Hindu Raj : Description géographique
Hindu Kush : Description géographique
Cartes géographiques du Cachemire
Images satellites du Cachemire
Statistiques géographiques
Index géographique

Révision B - 23/02/08 (http://blankonthemap.free.fr)

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