Wednesday, February 6, 2013

BALTORO GLACIER (Gilgit- Baltistan, Pakistan)

Located in Pakistan in the Gilgit-Baltistan region Baltoro Glacier is one of the longest glaciers outside the Polar Regions. It is 62 kilometers long and. runs through part of the Karakoram mountain range. Baltoro Glacier is the world 4th longest glacier outside the Polar Regions.

Baltoro glacier is situated on the southern slopes of the central Karakoram range in the Baltistan area of Jammu and Kashmir. Large tributary glaciers include a glacier from the southwestern slopes of the Gasherbrum peak and a tributary glacier from the northwestern slope of the Masherbrum peak, both in the Karakoram, are fed into Baltoro stretching its length about 62 kms.

Several large tributary glaciers feed the main Baltoro glacier, including the Godwin Austen Glacier which flows towards south from K2. Abruzzi Glacier and various Gasherbrum Glaciers flows from the Gasherbrum group of peaks. the Vigne Glacier, flows from Chogolisa, and the Yermandendu Glacier flows from Masherbrum.

The confluence of the main Baltoro Glacier with the Godwin Austen Glacier is known as Concordia.  Concordia is popular trekking destinations because it provides view of renowned and highest peaks of the world. Out of which four peaks are included in eight thousander, which are, the K-2 (8611 m.) 2nd highest peak of the world, Gasherbrum- l (8,080m) 11th highest of the world, Broad Peak (8047 m.) 12th highest of the world, Gasherbrum- ll (8,035m) 13th highest of the world  and other highest and notable peaks such as Gasherbrum Group peaks, Marble Peak,  Golden Throne (7312 m.), Chogolisa (7654 m.) and Mitre Peak (6038 m.) lies in Baltoro Glacier.

A list of notable peaks adjacent to or near the Baltoro Glacier includes:

  • K2, 2nd highest of the world at 8611m
  • Gasherbrum I, 11th highest of the world at 8,080m.
  • Broad Peak, 12th highest of the world at 8,047m.
  • Gasherbrum II, 13th highest of the world at 8,035m.
  • Gasherbrum III, 7,946m. (Often regarded as a subpeak of Gasherbrum II.)
  • Gasherbrum IV, 17th highest of the world at 7,932m.
  • Masherbrum (K1), 22nd highest of the world at 7,821m.
  • Chogolisa, 36th highest of the world at 7,665m.
  • Muztagh Tower, 7,273m.
  • Snow Dome, 7,160m.
  • Biarchedi, 6,781 m
  • Uli Biaho Tower, 6,417m.
  • Trango Towers, 6,286m. (Their vertical faces are the world's tallest cliffs.)
  • Mitre Peak, 6,010m.

The trek on the Baltoro Glacier provides with ultimate mountain scenery of well known mountains such as Masherbrum (7852 m.), Uli Biaho Tower (6190 m.), Trango Towers (6300 m.), the Grand Cathedral (5228 m.) and Muztagh Tower (7273 m.)

Baltoro Glacier’s trough is very wide. Small valley glaciers form icefalls where they meet the trunk glacier. The sidewalls vary from very steep to precipitous. Moving ice has formed depressions, which serve as basins for numerous glacial lakes. There are rocky moraines and ablation valley .This glacier is enormous reservoirs of fresh water and its melted water is an important resource which feed the river Baltoro Glacier is one of the sources of Shigar River, a tributary of the River Indus.

Baltoro Glacier Provides breathtaking scenic beauty  and excellent views of peaks.the sight of Baltoro pinnacles and Paiyu Peak is astounding

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