The name Karakoram is Turkish and means "black rock". Originally the name only stood for the 5671m high passage with the same name in the mountain ranges south-eastern end. Through this passage caravans made their way from Tibet to Turkestan. It was a feared passage were skelettons could be seen along the roadside the last kilometers due to exaustion, thurst or cold weather.
Karakoram contains the worlds largest continues ice layer besides the Arctic and Antarctic. On the central ridge both sides the worlds longest glacier stretch out: Siachen (73 km), Baltoro (66 km), Hispar (61 km) and Biafo (61 km).
The glaciers of Karakoram
glaciers can move very fast. For example the Hasanabad
glacier during 1904 moved apx. 7 km within 2 months, an
average of 5m/hour. 1953 Kutiah glacier moved with a
speed of 113m /day. The special conditions surrounding
the glaciers that cause these incredible speeds. More ice
and snow are added to the glacier than melts away. The
added amounts come from lavines that come crashing domw
from the mountain walls which are too steep for the ice
and snow to be able to hold on.
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