On the edge of the centralasian desert in northwestern Himalaya the worlds second highest mountain range can be found, The massive Karakoram. It stretches almost 350 km towards the north-west south-east direction, and exists of 4 peaks that all reach 8000m: Mt. Godwin Austen (also called K2 and Dapsang) 8611m, Gasherbrum I (Hidden Peak), Broad Peak 8047m, and finally Gasherbrum II 8035 m.
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Mustagh Tower
Mustagh Tower

Karta Karakoram

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

The Karakoramien 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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