The Karakoram meaning black stone is thought to be an extension of greater Himalayan mountain system from the northwestern side. It covers the borders between the regions of Xinjiang in China, Ladakh in India, and Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan. Karakoram is about 300 miles (500km) bound in the Northeast by the famous Tibetan Plateau and Pamir Mountain in the North. The topography of the range is characterized by long slopes, steeps cliffs, and taluses. The field is separated from the Himalaya range by three rivers namely Indus, Gilgit, and Shyok Rivers. The Karakoram is home to some of the highest peaks on earth. Its average elevation is 20,000 feet with the highest peak exceeding 28,000 feet.
The Tallest Peaks In The Karakoram Range
K2, commonly referred to as Mount Godwin Austen by the residents is the world’s second highest mountain peak after Mount Everest. K2 is 28,251 feet above the sea level lying in the northwest of the Karakoram Range. It is heavily glaciated and tough to climb causing a high number of fatalities. As such, it is usually referred to as the savage mountain. The name Godwin-Austen was given to K2 in honor of an early explorer since K2 had no local name. There are several routes used to climb K2 Mountain. Some of the successful routes used so far include Abruzzi Spur and North Ridge.
Gasherbrum I meaning shining wall also known as K5 or Hidden Peak rank second highest peak in Karakoram Range and 11th highest mountain in the world. It measures 26,510 feet above the sea level. It is in between the Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan and Chinese Xinjiang border. It is part of the Gasherbrum group of five peaks located at the northeast end of Baltoro glacier. Gasherbrum is the least famous peaks and has less than 200 ascents to date and with the least number of deaths since only the experienced climbers explore it.
Broad Peak ranks 12th among the world’s highest mountains reaching a height of 26,414 feet above sea level. It stands at the border of Pakistan and China about 5 miles from K2. Broad Peak has four summits namely the main peak, Rocky, North Peak, Central peak and Kharput Kangri.The mountain was first ascended on in 1957 by Austrian explorers and since then despite the several casualties Mountaineers have continued to climb the four summits.
The Effect Of Climate Change On The Glaciers Of Karakorum
The Karakoram is the world’s most geologically and glaciated range. Due to climate change and emission of harmful gasses from the neighboring industries, the ice has considerably melted away into the rivers and changed the precipitation pattern. The main valley glacier that was once 430 miles has been reduced to only 47 miles, a further indication of the severe climate change. There is the need to address the climate change to preserve this range. However, the range has continued to attract more explorers who are eager to take up the challenge of climbing the rugged and steep peaks.