(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Two summers in the ice-wilds of eastern Karakoram; the exploration of nineteen hundred square miles of mountain and glacier"

Accessions 




Shelf No. 



frjOai the 



^lltUtpi; Jiumt 



Boston Public Library 

Do not write in this book or mark it with pen or 
pencil. Penalties for so doing are imposed by the 
Revised Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 



This book was issued to the borrower on the date 
last stamped bcloiv. 



iA 



mr^. 



w^ 



r^- 



FORM NO. 609; 6,12.33: B75H. 



TWO SUMMERS IN THE ICE- 
WILDS of EASTERN KARAKORAM 




Cloud from avalanche descending between two granite peaks on 
Bilaphond glacier. 

Frontispiece. 



TWO SUMMERS IN 
THE ICE-WILDS OF 

EASTERN KARAKORAM 

THE EXPLORATION of NINETEEN 
HUNDRED SQUARE MILES 
OF MOUNTAIN AND GLACIER 
By FANNY BULLOCK WORKMAN and 
WILLIAM HUNTER WORKMAN 

WITH THREE MAPS and ONE HUNDRED and 
FORTY-ONE ILLUSTRATIONS by the AUTHORS 



tJ^ 



^. Ji^J 



E. P. DUTTON & COMPANY J3to 
68 1 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK 



{All rights reserved) 



NOTE 

The outbreak of the European War in August 1914 
unavoidably delayed the publication of this book, which 
was to have appeared in the autumn of that year. 
The delay thus occasioned has not, however, in any 
way impaired the originality or geographical value of 
the material presented, no explorer having since visited 
the region described, the greater portion of which was 
first visited and explored by the authors. 



CONTENTS 

PART I 
EXPEDITION OF 1911 

CHAPTER I 

PAGE 

Introductory remarks — Rawalpindi to Srinagar — Details of 
preparation at Srinagar — The soldering-iron as an imple- 
ment of exploring outfit — Ordeal of securing servants — 
Members of expedition — Illness interrupts plans — Expedi- 
tion starts ..... 



CHAPTER II 



21 



The Zoji La — Snow-conditions in the Gumber valley — At Tolti 
—Fertility of Shyok valley— Wazir Abdul Karim meets 
us — Arrival at Kapalu — Camping places and medical aid 
to the sick — Raja Shere Ali Khan visits us — The Eastern 
contrasted with the Western point of view — Fine site of 
polo-ground — A curiosity . . . , .32 

■ CHAPTER III 

The Saltoro valley — Character of mountain-region between 
Saltoro and Baltoro glaciers — Sculptured rocks — Varieties 
of weathering — Unearthly desolation of Kondus nala — 
Granitic sand — Karmading — Korkondus nala and village . 46 

CHAPTER IV 

The Sher-pi-gang glacier — The tongue— Zogo— View — Three 
swas in twenty-five hours — On the glacier — Pathan ser- 
vant — Ascent of Dong Dong glacier — View-point on west 
wall — At head of Dong Dong — Lower portion of Kaberi 
glacier . . , . . , . .57 

T 



8 CONTENTS 

CHAPTER V 

PAGE 

The Hushe valley — Tree-growth on rock -mountains — Alter- 
nating fans — Stratified, clay-deposit — The Masherbrum 
glacier — Surface-moraines and configuration — Remarks on 
climbing rates — Ascent of Quartzite peak — No passage to 
Baltoro — Orescent glacier — Descent to camp . . .72 

CHAPTER VI 

Character of granite-boulders — Khondokoro glacier : ascent, 
trunk, sovirces, moraines — Formations at head of glacier — 
Incident of camp-life — Structure of Masherbrum — Chogo- 
lisa glacier — Aling glacier . . . . .89 

CHAPTER VII 

Visit to Siachen glacier decided upon — Heat in valleys — Oasis 
of Darasam and fan forming step in valley — Landslide of 
Talus — Resemblance of fan-remains to glacial deposits — 
Absence in mountain-curves of traces of former glacial 
epochs — An amusing visitor at Goma — Remarks on altitude- 
effects — Insomnia at high altitudes . . . .103 



PART II 

THE CONQUEST OF THE GREAT ROSE 
OR SIACHEN 

CHAPTER I 

" Whatever the hardships, whatever the difficulties, let me, 

O Allah, return thither again" .... 121 

CHAPTER II 
Ali Bransa and its tragedy ...... 133 

CHAPTER III 
The Bilaphond La and first ascent of Tawiz peak . .143 



CONTENTS 9 

CHAPTER IV 

PAGE 

Certain characteristics of the Rose glacier — The Tarim Shehr 

peninsula and glacier . . . . . .157 

CHAPTER V 
Teram Kangri — Peak 36 glacier — To the north watershed . 170 

CHAPTER VI 

On the north water-parting or Indira col — Discovery of and 

visit to the East col or Turkestan La . . .182 

CHAPTER VII 
Exploration of West Source glacier and its ice-barriers . 190 

CHAPTER VIII 

Camp-life and incidents on the great glacier — To the west 

water-parting ....... 199 

CHAPTER IX 

Descent from the Sia La to a new glacier — The Kaberi 
glacier — Earthquake — Return to valley life. Note 1 — 
Note 2 . . . . . . . .210 



PART III 

PHYSIOGRAPHIC AL FEATURES OF 
THE BILAPHOND, SIA CHEN, AND 
KABERI BASINS AND GLACIERS 

CHAPTER I 

Character of Ghyari nala and enclosing mountains — Surface- 
forniations of Bilaphond glacier — Pressure-effects — Ali 
Bransa ........ 227 



10 CONTENTS 

CHAPTER II 

PAQB 

Karakoram type of glacier — Rocks of Siachen basin — Extent 
and structure of enclosing walls — Relation of Gusherbrums 
to Teram Kangri — Structure of mountains between heads 
of Baltoro and Siachen glaciers .... 232 

CHAPTER III 

Snow-supply of Siachen — Sections or streams — Crowning and 
disappearance of white streams — Peculiarities of moraine- 
streams — Three principal moraines — Junction of Tarim 
Shehr with Siachen — Resulting phenomena — Tarim Shehr 
gives off true branch — Lakes connected with promontories 
— Comparison of five largest Karakoram glaciers — Melting 
phenomena — Pressure-sdracs — Ice-pinnacles due to pressvire 
and melting — Nieve and ice-penitente — Character of upper 
and lower halves of Siachen ..... 246 

CHAPTER IV 

Features at Kaberi Head — Moraines — Character of mountains 
and affluents —Surf ace-ice-pinnacles — Remarks on earth- 
quake ........ 267 

APPENDIX 

Notes on the rocks specimens collected on expeditions of 

1911-12 . . . . . . . .275 

Note on construction of Siachen map .... 279 

Diagram of triangulation ...... 285 

Details of Siachen or glacier-survey .... 286 

INDEX . . . . . . . .289 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



CLOUD FROM AVALANCHE ON BILAPHOND GLACIER Frontispiece 

FACING PAGE 

INSTRUMENT-COOLIE FROM SALTORO VALLEY . . .24 

OUR KHANSAMAH WITH COOLIES ON SHER-PI-GANG GLACIER . 28 

FACE OP NEVE-BED WITH VERTICAL STRIATION IN GUMBER VALLEY 32 
VERTICAL SECTION OF n6vE-BED IN GUMBER VALLEY SHOWING 



HORIZONTAL STRATA 

CROSSING SALTORO RIVER ON ZAK . 

WAZIR ABDUL KARIM 

CAMP ON MORAINE, TARIM SHEHR GLACIER 

ON A BOULDER IN KONDUS NALA . 

PORTION OP CHINO OASIS, SALTORO VALLEY 

SALTORO VALLEY AND OASIS OF HULDE 

SALTORO VALLEY WITH ALTERNATING FANS 

EROSION-SCULPTURE ON ROCK-FACE, SALTORO VALLEY 

PANORAMA OF SHER-PI-GANG AND DONG DONG FROM ZOGO 

BRIDGE OVER KONDUS RIVER, SALTORO VALLEY . 

VILLAGE OP KARMADING ..... 

TONGUE OF SHER-PI-GANG GLACIER 

ON SUMMIT OF RIDGE ABOVE ZOGO .... 

11 



32 
84 

36 
88 
38 
40 
46 
48 
50 
52 
54 
56 
58 
oS 



12 ILLUSTRATIONS 

FACING PAGE 
SHEEP AND GOATS ON SHER-PI-GANG GLACIER . . .60 

AMONG THE ICE-BIDGES OF SHER-PI-GANG GLACIER . . 60 

TEMPLE AT TAGAS, SALTORO VALLEY . . . .62 

PATHAN CAMP-SERVANT WITH CHILD . . . .62 

SUMMIT OF STEEP LATERAL MORAINE, DONG DONG GLACIER . 64 

CAMP ON LATERAL MORAINE NEAR HEAD OF DONG DONG . 64 

PANORAMA OF FOUR HEADS OF SHER-PI-GANG GLACIER . . 66 

SOUTH-WEST FACE OF PEAKS 35 AND 36 MASSIF HEADING DONG 

DONG . . . . . . . .68 

HEAD OF DONG DONG GLACIER . . . . .68 

ONE OF THE WESTERN RESERVOIRS OF SHER-PI-GANG GLACIER . 70 

PORTION OP NORTH-EASTERN RESERVOIR OF SHER-PI-GANG . 70 

FAN TRUNCATED BY RIVER IN HUSHE VALLEY . . .72 

FACE OF STRATIFIED CLAY-BED, HUSHE VALLEY . . .74 

ICE-CAVE NEAR END OF MASHERBRUM GLACIER . . .76 

TONGUE OP KABERI GLACIER WITH ICE-CAVE . . .78 

SOUTH-WEST FACE OF MASHERBRUM FROM QUARTZITE CAMP . 80 

PASSING THROUGH CORNICE OF QUARTZITE PEAK . . .82 

ON SUMMIT OF QUARTZITE PEAK . . . . .84 

CRESCENT GLACIER FROM SUMMIT OF MT. BULLOCK WORKMAN . 86 

KHONDOKORO NALA WITH LOWER END OF KHONDOKORO GLACIER 90 

NORTHERN AFFLUENT OF KHONDOKORO, GLACIER-TABLE . . 92 

NORTH AND EAST SOURCES OF KHONDOKORO GLACIER . . 94 

SOUTH-BAST FACE OF MASHERBRUM FROM KHONDOKORO GLACIER 98 

DAM8AM OASIS AND FAN FROM KONDUS-SALTORO JUNCTION . 104 

VERTICAL EDGE OF DAMSAM FAN SHOWING STRUCTURE . . 106 

WOMEN OP GOMA ....... 110 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



13 



124 
126 
128 
128 
130 
132 



FACING PAGE 

j OUR LADY-VISITOR AT GOMA CAMP . . . . .110 

! CAMP ON RIDGE OP ROCK-PBOMONTORY, PEAK 36 GLACIER . 122 

J 

I liBDGE CAMP AT 16,776 FEET, NORTH OP TARIM SHEHR 

JUNCTION . . 

TELEPHOTOGRAPH OF MT. GHENT FROM LEDGE CAMP 

ON SILVER THRONE PLATEAU 

CROSSING ICE-RIVER NEAR CENTRE OF ROSE GLACIER 

VIEW DOWN BILAPHOND GLACIER FROM BILAPHOND LA 

ALI BRANSA CAMP ..... 

MRS. BULLOCK WORKMAN AND CHENOZ ON SERAC JUST BEFORE 

ACCIDENT ....... 134 

RESCUE OP CHENOZ FROM CREVASSE, BILAPHOND GLACIER . 136 

ON SNOW-COVERED HEIGHT ABOVE ROSE-LOLOPHOND JUNCTION . 136 

CHENOZ AFTER RESCUE ON STRETCHER OF TENT-POLES . .138 

PEAKS 35 AND 36 FROM TAWIZ PEAK . . . .142 

CARAVAN MARCHING FROM BILAPHOND LA TO TAWIZ CAMP . 144 

TAWIZ CAMP, 19,000 FEET, ON FLANK OF TAWIZ MASSIF. . 144 

BILAPHOND PEAK AND TAWIZ CAMP FROM TAWIZ PEAK . . 144 

ON BILAPHOND LA . . . . . . . 146 

PANORAMA NORTH-WEST FROM BILAPHOND LA . . . 148 

TAWIZ PEAK WITH ROCK-CAIRN ..... 150 

ON SUMMIT OF TAWIZ PEAK. . . . . .150 

VIEW NORTH-WEST PROM TAWIZ PEAK . . . .152 

TAWIZ PEAK FROM LOLOPHOND GLACIER .... 154 

TELEPHOTOGRAPH OF TAWIZ PEAK AND PEAK 8 FROM EASTERN 

SIDE OF ROSE GLACIER . . . . . . 154 

PEAK 8 ACROSS ROSE, FROM 19,000 FEET ON JUNCTION MOUNTAIN 156 



U ILLUSTRATIONS 

FACING PAGE 
CAMP AND CAIBN ON SHOULDER OF JUNCTION MOUNTAIN. . 158 

VIEW SOUTH-WEST FROM JUNCTION MOUNTAIN OF GREAT BEND 

OF ROSE GLACIER ...... 160 

CAMP ON TARIM SHEHR AFTER STORM .... 162 

JUNCTION MOUNTAIN FROM TARIM SHEHR PROMONTORY . . 164 

APPROACHING SUMMIT OF JUNCTION MOUNTAIN . . . 164 

VIEW WESTWARD FROM TARIM SHEHR GLACIER SEVEN MILES 

ABOVE TARIM SHEHR PROMONTORY .... 166 
MT. LAKSHMI ON SOUTH SIDE OF TARIM GLACIER, NEAR HEAD . 166 
PANORAMA OF HEAD OF TARIM SHEHR GLACIER . . .168 

TEBAM KANGRI FROM HEIGHT OPPOSITE ON WEST SIDE OF ROSE 

GLACIER ........ 170 

CAMP ON NORTH MARGINAL MORAINE OF PEAK 36 GLACIER AT 

ITS JUNCTION WITH SIACHEN ..... 172 
PANORAMA OP HEAD OF PEAK 36 GLACIER . . . 174 

BENEATH VERTICAL WALL OF PEAK 36 AT 20,000 FEET . . 176 

MOSQUITO LAKE, TARIM SHEHR GLACIER . . . .176 

CROWS ON GLACIER-TABLE, ROSE GLACIER . . . 178 

SPUR CAMP, 18,400 FEET, ON BOCK-PBOMONTOBY . . 178 

PEAK AT NORTH HEAD OP ROSE GLACIER .... 180 
PANORAMA OF GUSHERBRUM REGION FROM INDIRA COL . . 182 

VIEW OF ROSE GLACIER FROM SUMMIT OF RIDGE ABOVE SPUR 

CAMP ........ 184 

VIEW DOWN ROSE GLACIER FROM GLACIER ABOVE SPUR CAMP . 184 
TURKESTAN COL, 19,209 FEET, WITH NEWLY-DISCOVERED 

MOUNTAIN-GROUP BEYOND EAST ROSE WALL . . . 186 

VIEW OF URDOK GLACIER FROM TURKESTAN COL . . 186 



ILLUSTRATIONS 15 

FACING PAGE 
CAMP AT 18,057 FEET, UPPER ROSE GLACIER . . . 188 

WEST SOURCE GLACIER WITH SILVER THRONE PEAKS . .190 

CAMP ON WEST SOURCE GLACIER AT 18,700 FEET . . 190 

ON SILVER THRONE COL, 19,614 FEET, ABOVE HEAD OP KABERI 

GLACIER ........ 192 

QUEEN MARY PEAK AND MT. HARDINGE FROM SILVER 

THRONE COL ....... 192 

TELEPHOTOGRAPH OF KING GEORGE V GROUP FROM LEDGE CAMP 194 
PANORAMA WESTWARD FROM SILVER THRONE COL ACROSS HEAD 

OF KABERI GLACIER . . . . . .196 

VIEW NORTH-WEST FROM SILVER THRONE COL . . . 198 

HEAD OP KABERI GLACIER PROM SILVER THRONE COL . .198 

LAKE IN CENTRE OF ROSE GLACIER WITH PENITENTE-PINNACLES 200 
BOULDER CAMP ON GREAT LIMESTONE MORAINE, ROSE GLACIER 200 
CAMP ON EAST MARGINAL MORAINE OF ROSE GLACIER, SEVEN 

MILES ABOVE TARIM SHEHR ..... 202 
PEAKS HEADING TRUNK OP PEAK 36 GLACIER . . . 204 

CHANNEL OP GLACIER-RIVER ENDING IN A CREVASSE . . 206 

CAMP ON EAST MARGINAL MORAINE OP ROSE OPPOSITE WEST 

SOURCE GLACIER . . . ,. . . 208 

CAMP ON WEST SOURCE GLACIER NEAR SI A LA . . .210 

CARAVAN ON SI A LA, 18,705 FEET, BEFORE DESCENT TO KABERI 

GLACIER ........ 210 

VIEW FROM 8IA LA DOWN ON HEAD OP KABERI GLACIER . 212 

VIEW FROM KABERI GLACIER UP TO SI A LA . . .212 

CAMP IN CENTRE OF KABERI GLACIER AT JUNCTION OF MIDDLE 

AND UPPER THIRDS ...... 214 



16 ILLUSTRATIONS 

FACING PAGE ' 
ABYSS IN GLACIER DESCENDING FROM SIA LA TO KABERI ' 

GLACIER . . . . . . . . 214 

CAIRN AND INSCRIPTION ON EAST WALL OP KABERI NALA . 216 

PEAK 26 (k7) from KABERI NALA ..... 216 

SMOKING MOUNTAIN, KABERI NALA ..... 218 

GRANITE-MONOLITH ON WEST WALL OP BILAPHOI^ GLACIER . 228 

GRANITE-SPIRE ON EAST WALL, KABERI GLACIER . . . 230 

MASSIF OF PEAKS 35 AND 38 FROM CENTRE OF ROSE GLACIER . 232 
TELEPHOTOGRAPH OF THE HAWK FROM TARIM SHEHR . . 234 

NORTH-EAST FACE OF HAWK FROM WEST SOURCE GLACIER . 236 

TELEPHOTOGRAPH OF TWIN PEAKS 35 AND 36, FROM TARIM BHEHR 238 
ON INDIRA COL, 20,860 FEET, AT HEAD OP ROSE GLACIER . 240 

PANORAMA OP THIRTY MILES OF SIACHEN GLACIER PROM JUNC- 
TION MOUNTAIN ....... 246 

WHITE ICE-STREAM, KABERI GLACIER, NARROWING UNDER PRES- 
SURE AND MELTING ...... 248 

EXTINCTION OF WHITE ICE-STREAM, KABERI GLACIER, BY 

PRESSURE BETWEEN TWO MORAINE STREAMS . . . 248 

SUMMIT OF DEBRIS-COVERED HILLOCK, CENTRE OP KHONDOKORO 

GLACIER ........ 250 

GREAT BLACK SLATE-MORAINE FROM TARIM SHEHR DESCENDING 

IN CENTRE OF ROSE GLACIER ..... 252 

LARGE GREY MEDIAN MORAINE-STREAM DESCENDING ALONG 

CENTRE OF ROSE GLACIER NEAR BLACK SLATE-MORAINE . 254 

TWO-LAKE CAMP, TARIM SHEHR ..... 256 

EXTREMITY OF ROCK-PROMONTORY WITH LAKE, PEAK 36 GLACIER 258 



ILLUSTRATIONS 17 

FAOINQ PAOB 

CONSTRUCTING TENT-TERRACES ON ROCK-PROMONTORY, PEAK 36 

GLACIER ........ 258 

ASCENDING SERACKBD RIDGE COVERED WITH ICE-PINNACLES . 260 

AMONG SERACS (s^IRAC-PENITENTe) OF ROSE GLACIER . . 260 
PARTY IN PASSAGE BETWEEN TWO GIGANTIC SERACS, ROSE 

GLACIER ........ 262 

PRESSURE-S^RAC, CENTRE OF ROSE GLACIER, SHOWING ICE-STRATA 262 

ICE-PINNACLES (pRESSURE-PENITENTe), TABIM SHEHR GLACIER . 264. 

GROUP OF ICE-PINNACLES IN CENTRE OF KABEBI GLACIER . 264 

POCKET-PENITENTE ON ROSE GLACIER .... 266 

SERACS SHOWING COLUMNS AND COMPRESSED STRATA OF ICE . 266 

BLACK SLATE HILLOCK-MORAINE, KABERI GLACIER . . 268 

TYPICAL VIEW OP KABERI SURFACE .... 270 

TENT AT EARTHQUAKE CAMP IN CENTRE OF KABEBI GLACIER . 272 

VIEW FROM GANZE LA TOWARDS KAPALU .... 272 



MAPS 

I. HUSHE AND KONDUS BASINS, EXPLORED IN 1911 . . 118 

II. BILAPHOND AND SIACHEN BASINS, EXPLORED IN 1911-12 . 289 

III. ROUTES TRAVERSED ON EIGHT EXPEDITIONS, 1898-1912 . 289 

All Illustrations are from Photographs taken by the Authors. 



PART I 

EXPEDITION OF 1911 

EXPLORATION OF THE SHER-PI-GANG, DONG DONG, 

MASHERBRUM, KHONDOKORO, CHOGOLISA, AND 

ALING GLACIERS, AND BASINS 



WILLIAM HUNTER WORKMAN, M.A., M.D. 

Honorary Member American Alpine Club, Appalachian fountain 
Club; Corresponding Member K.K. Geographische Gesellschaft, 
Vienna, Societe de Geographie d^ Alger et de P Afrique du Nord ; 
Fellow Royal Geographical Society ; {Member CMass. Medical 
Society, Alpine Club ; Medalist Societe de Topographie de France, 
Societes de Geographie d^ Alger et de V Afrique du Nord, de 
Marseille, de Rouen, de Rouhaix, etc. 



TWO SUMMERS IN THE ICE- WILDS 
OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

CHAPTER I 

Introductory remarks — Rawalpindi to Srinaqar — Details of pre- 
paration AT Srinagar — The soldering-iron as an implement of 

EXPLORING-OUTFIT — ORDEAL OF SECURING SERVANTS — MEMBERS OF 

EXPEDITION — Illness interrupts plans — Expedition starts. 

When two authors, who have jointly written up in book- 
form the experiences of six Himalayan expeditions, which 
though made in different regions were carried out under 
similar conditions, approach the task of describing a 
seventh and eighth, they realize that the field of incident 
and adventure as well as of other available matter has 
been greatly narrowed by the descriptions in their 
preceding volumes. 

Details of camp-life, however interesting in them- 
selves, coolie-peculiarities and escapades, anthropological 
customs, natural phenomena, and the various accidents 
to which explorers are exposed, having already received 
attention must be referred to again with caution in order 
to avoid repetition. Further, those who through long 
familiarity have become hlas4 to many incidents of ex- 
ploring life, may fail to notice as worth description 
occurrences that might be interesting to the reader, 
which a novice in exploration would seize upon at once. 



22 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

Intimate acquaintance with such incidents may induce 
one to regard them and their bearings in a less poetic 
and imaginative and in a more practical aspect, viewing 
a spade as a spade without transforming it into a 
rainbow. It may also teach one to detect the form of 
the spade in the colour-bands of the rainbow-creations 
that illumine the pages of travel. 

Endeavouring to steer a safe course among these 
shoals and currents, in Part I of this volume I will 
attempt to portray such features of the expedition of 
Mrs. Bullock Workman and myself to the Eastern Kara- 
koram in 1911 as seem to me worthy of record, leaving 
to her the task of recording the story of our exploration 
of the great Siachen and Kaberi glaciers in the latter 
portion of our 1911 and on our 1912 expedition, with an 
addition by myself of an account of some of the physio- 
graphical features of those glaciers and their basins. 

First-time visitors to Srinagar, the pearl of the poet's 
Paradise, in the Vale of Kashmir, especially those having 
slight acquaintance with India or the East, even at this 
late day, when the simplicity and charm of life in the 
valley have largely disappeared, partly through abuses 
that inevitably follow in the train of the tourist 
and partly through other causes, may be pardoned for 
exhibiting a considerable amount of gush and enthusiasm 
for such novelty as still remains. But when a person, 
who has made the tiresome and uncomfortable journey 
from Rawalpindi to Srinagar and vice versa twelve to 
sixteen times, who has become fully acquainted with its 
not increasingly pleasing accompaniments, and from 
whose horizon the novelty and glamour of its attrac- 
tion have mostly vanished, is obliged to pass that way 
again, that person may equally be pardoned for wishing 
to get in and out as speedily as may be, without stopping 



EXIGENCIES OF JOURNEY TO SRINAGAR 23 

to linger over any possible romantic charms or to note 
for the purpose of publication features, that have been 
minutely described by scores of first-time visitors to 
Kashmir. 

In 1911 and 1912 Srinagar lay in our way for the 
seventh and eighth time. It was with a feeling of aver- 
sion that almost counterbalanced the lure of the mag- 
nificent mountain-world beyond, that wo contemplated 
the journey over the two hundred miles of imperfectly 
constructed, badly kept cart-road constituting the only 
approach to it from Rawalpindi in the primitive, by no 
means luxuriously appointed, two- wheeled tongas drawn 
by half-broken, balky horses or still more fractious mules ; 
the over-filled dak bungalows, and the probability, if late 
comers, of being compelled to pass the night in the dining- 
room or on the veranda ; the delays and danger to life 
incident to the April tempests, with their destructive 
floods and landslides obstructing the road or carrying it 
away bodily ; to say nothing of the damage to one's 
luggage and effects from exposure to torrential rains 
and from friction caused by the pitching from side to 
side of the unwieldy transport-ekka among the atrocious 
inequalities of the road. With a knowledge born of 
experience and shorn of romance of the various exigen- 
cies which had been, and were likely to be again, encoun- 
tered on that route, that called for the exercise of a 
determination unknown to and unappreciated by a first- 
time visitor to Kashmir, we faced the music, and, after a 
repetition of certain trying experiences that need not be 
recorded here, arrived duly at Srinagar. 

In this connection it might, perhaps, be stated, that my 
experience has been, that the inconveniences arising from 
being herded in with numbers of human beings of various 
types in insufficient quarters have been infinitely more 



24 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

trying than many things associated with tent-life in 
trackless mountain-wastes, that would ordinarily be 
regarded as deprivations and hardships. 

The tonga, although a most bone-shaking vehicle, 
possesses the advantage that one endowed with the 
requisite amount of endurance of motion, dust, and mud 
can reach Srinagar in two to two-and-a-half days from 
Rawalpindi. Should the much slower landau be pre- 
ferred as being more comfortable, the traveller has to 
take the chances of the overcrowded bungalows for five 
or six nights, and the correspondingly greater chance of 
delay and danger from storms. Still more comfortable, 
though considerably more expensive, is the recently 
established motor-service, which covers the distance in 
two days ; but this, with its Indian chauffeurs, upon the 
narrow road congested by ekka and bullock-trains and 
with inadequate protecting wall, in places, along the 
precipices above the Jhelura river, presents special 
elements of danger from which many would shrink. 

On arrival at Srinagar in the early days of April 1911, 
with an enthusiasm sustained by the prospect of visiting 
once again the glorious regions beyond, we plunged into 
the tedious details of preparation for the proposed explor- 
ing expedition, which after the experiences of six pre- 
ceding ones had become unpleasantly familiar. These 
consisted, among other things, in writing and wiring in 
various directions to attempt to accelerate the movement 
of belated supplies delayed through uncertain and ill-regu- 
lated transport-facilities ; in the clearing at the customs- 
office, unboxing, listing, and repacking in cases containing 
a coolie-load each of different stores, some of which were 
ruined by exposure to rain in transit or by being pierced 
by strong four-inch wire-nails driven recklessly through 
the sides of the cases, presumably, during the process of 




Instniment-coolic from tlic Saltoro valley. 

To face page 24. 



THE SOLDERING-IRON 25 

customs-inspection at the ports of entry ; in examining 
and superintending the repair of tents and cami)-f urniture 
corrupted by moth and rust after a season of storage ; and 
in vain efforts to procure, properly made and serviceable, 
of Kashmir artisans, the thousand and one small articles 
essential to the comfort and convenience of members of 
the expedition. 

On this and the 1912 expedition, as a result of the 
teaching of past experience, one implement was added to 
the outfit, which, though not, we believe, usually in the 
list of those essential to exploring and mountaineering 
expeditions, proved itself of great value. This was a 
soldering-iron. Previously, we had suffered much incon- 
venience from the loss of petroleum owing to leaks 
occurring, not only in the soldered joints but as well in 
the continuity of the sides of the tins, in which small 
checks were developed from bending caused by the fre- 
quent contraction and expansion of the contents under 
changes of temperature. Oil would escape quite freely 
from checks so small as to require careful examination 
for their detection.^ 

The coolies who carried the oil did not appear to mind 
in the least the saturation of their clothing with it, and 
were more than once seen marching serenely along with 
oil dripping freely from their backs. Indeed, there was 
reason to believe, that they regarded an occurrence of this 
kind in the light of a godsend, as supplying a means of 

' This offers a possible explanation of the shortage of oil at his 
depots complained of by Captain Scott on his return from the South 
Pole, provided the oil was contained in the tin cases usually employed, 
and that the variations of temperature were sufficient to give rise to 
expansion and contraction. Checks in the tin might occur here even 
more readily than at higher temperatures, the metal becoming more 
brittle under the great cold to which it was exposed. 



26 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

ridding themselves of a multitude of small beings that led 
a riotous existence in the folds of their garments. It was 
impossible to find any one, even at the largest villages, 
who could repair the defects in the tins, and, in spite of 
all possible makeshifts, much oil was lost that was indis- 
pensable to successful work above the snow-line. The 
soldering-iron changed all this. As soon as a leak was 
discovered it was quickly and completely stopped. 
Scarcely a pint of oil was lost on either of these 
expeditions. Water-tins, so often rendered useless 
through rust-holes, also shared in the benefit conferred 
by the soldering-iron, and were easily restored to a 
serviceable condition. 

One of the most exhilarating features of such pre- 
parations is the attempt to secure a corps of servants 
on whose services any reliance can be placed. It may 
be imagined, that we put our hands with joyous and 
sanguine anticipations to the plough to turn over the 
soil of this arid desert, that had several times already 
been ploughed with worse than indifferent results. 
Kashmir servants are not paragons. Many of those 
offering themselves at high wages have had no training 
whatever, and know little or nothing of the duties 
they engage to perform, not only being guiltless of 
even a smattering of the technical knowledge per- 
taining to the positions of bearer, kitmagar, or tent- 
servant, but being unable to stretch a tent-cord with 
approximate correctness, to drive a nail straight, to 
turn a screw into a box-cover, or even to dust a blanket 
with an approach to thoroughness. 

From such material one makes the best selection 
possible — in almost every instance a poor one — on the 
best available terms, knowing that constant supervision 
will be required to secure even the semblance of perform- 



SELECTION OF SERVANTS 27 

ance of duties which the servants agree to undertake. 
In the course of an expedition, as in many other 
experiences in life, one finds that a fool is worse to 
deal with than a knave — though many Kashmiri servants 
are a combination of both — as is shown by the amount 
of destruction of camp-outfit caused by the mishandling 
of the ignoramus. However, this inconvenience as well 
as others must be accepted and endured as a part of 
the game, which, as circumstances go, cannot be avoided. 

There are exceptions to all rules, and sometimes a 
servant turns up who fulfils his duties with a degree 
of efficiency. On this occasion and again the following 
summer, we, fortunately, had no difficulty in filling 
the most important position of all, that of khansamah- 
Our old khansamah, Khudu, who has accompanied us 
on every expedition we have made except one, when 
he was elsewhere in service — in all seven times — having 
been apprised of our coming, stood ready to take up 
his customary duties on the usual terms without making 
the preposterous demands as to wages, outfit, and 
advanced payment, so common among Kashmiri servants. 

He knew our camp and marching customs to a hair's 
breadth, and fitted into his place in the camp-economy 
as if there had been no break in the continuity of his 
service. From the moment of starting his department 
was managed to our satisfaction, which was a great 
assistance, as considerable attention had to be given to 
the other servants to train them to the required 
routine. 

We have considered it good policy, in general, after 
setting out on an expedition to hold on to such servants 
as have been secured, incapable as some of them have 
proved, on the principle of the inadvisability of changing 
horses when crossing a river, and we have managed 



28 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

to keep them with us throughout the expeditions, taking 
them to all points where they could be of any service, 
and to some where they could not. This has not, I 
think, been the experience of every Himalayan expedi- 
tion. We remember some years ago meeting the 
servants of a large expedition returning in a body from 
Skardo, having been discharged, it was said, for cause, 
before difficult regions were reached. 

The agreeable and stimulating occupation of prepar- 
ation, some of the rainbow-tints of which have been 
outlined above, required a month to bring to completion, 
and everything was ready for the start on the arrival 
of the other European members of the expedition to- 
wards the end of April. These consisted of Ote. Dr. 
Cesare Calciati, who was to act as topographer ; an 
Italian assistant, Dante Ferrari ; Cyprien Savoye, guide ; 
Simeon Quaizier, Cesar Chenoz, and Emile Glery, porters, 
the last four from Courmayeur. In addition to these 
T. Byramji of Srinagar, speaking fluently English, Persian, 
Urdu, and Balti, was engaged to fill the important posi- 
tion of agent, to precede us in charge of extra supplies, 
and to arrange for coolies and the collection and transport 
to the base-villages of rations for them to be on hand 
on our arrival. He was also to, and did, remain at the 
base-station to forward supplies of all available kinds 
as needed, to replace coolies who gave out or were 
discharged, and to transmit our mails to and from 
Skardo, the last post-village, by a service of dak or 
post-coolies, as had been done on all our expeditions. 

We had planned to explore the glaciers draining into 
the Kondus and Hushe nalas, situated in the little-known 
region south of the Baltoro between the Siachen watershed 
on the east and the tributaries of the Hushe on the west ; 
and in the case any pass, such as had been reported to 




&, 



T3 






ILLNESS CAUSES CHANGE OF PLAN 29 

exist over to the Baltoro, should be found, to cross it, 
descend to the Baltoro, ascend to and explore the 
Punmah region. 

Early in May the advance-caravan, in charge of 
Byramji accompanied by Dr. Calciati and his assistant, 
left Srinagar with orders to proceed directly to Kapalu 
in Baltistan, where Byramji was to arrange for Dr. 
Calciati to go on to the Kondus region, while he himself 
remained at Kapalu to complete, with the Raja's 
assistance, the preparations for the movements of the 
main portion of the expedition. We were to follow 
eight days later, to allow [time for the coolies in the 
Indus valley, whose numbers are limited, to become 
available after the passage of the advance-caravan. 

Just here occurred one of those unforeseen events, 
that upset the best laid schemes of mice and men. One 
of the leaders of the expedition was suddenly struck 
down by a severe attack of influenza, with symptoms, 
which for the next three weeks made it doubtful whether 
the expedition could be undertaken at all. Those in 
advance were wired to halt in the Indus valley near 
the Shy ok junction to await developments. A delay 
of nearly a month thus occasioned, before a decision to 
go forward could be reached, curtailed the available time 
and necessitated a considerable change of plan during 
the summer. This last, together with the loss of time 
and cloudy weather which later supervened, prevented 
Dr. Calciati from being able to map a large portion 
of the region visited or to do justice to those portions 
that came under his inspection, the fixed peaks and 
higher summits being hidden for considerable and some- 
times critical periods behind heavy clouds. 

In the preparation of Map I published with this 
volume covering the district west of the Siachen to 



30 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

the Hushe glaciers, the Indian Survey map had therefore 
to be taken as a basis, the positions of its fixed peaks 
being adjusted to the latest values assigned to the 
Madras Observatory, and such changes made as appear 
to be warranted by the sketches of Dr. Calciati in 1911, 
and by our own personal observations during the 
expeditions of 1911-12, aided by photographs and compass- 
bearings. The result is a great improvement on the 
Survey map, and gives a fair idea of the general topog- 
raphy of this region. No claim is made to topographic 
accuracy of all details, especially those of distance, 
which had, largely, to be made to accord with those 
shown on the Survey map, which appear to be inadequate 
in places. Under the circumstances such accuracy would 
be impossible, and it could only be secured by a sys- 
tematic survey, to which the general conformation offers 
serious obstacles. Changes have been made only in 
those portions actually visited and observed, and no 
responsibility is admitted for unaltered portions of the 
Survey map. 

By the first days of June recovery, though by no 
means complete, had proceeded so far that, though with 
considerable misgiving, it was decided to chance a start, 
travel by easy stages, and allow our final movements 
to be determined by the effect of the journey on the 
health of the invalid. The Sind valley was ascended in 
a leisurely manner to Sonamarg, where a halt of three 
days was made. Here the pure mountain-air and 
brilliant sunshine worked more beneficially and rapidly 
than had been expected. At the expiration of this time 
it was found possible to advance henceforth by regular 
marches. 

At Sonamarg we camped among the moraine-ridges 
that ramble over its surface, deposited by ancient glaciers 



SONAMARG A MUCH-USED CAMPING GROUND 31 

which made the marg their camping ground ages ago, 
and left behind by them when they took their depar- 
ture. The rock-debris, that, probably, formed the surface 
of these ridges, has been thoroughly disintegrated by 
time and weather, and converted into a thick mould 
that supports a growth of coarse grasses and other 
vegetation, and furnishes a camping ground to innumer- 
able field-mice, whose burrows honeycomb it in every 
part. That the marg was destined by Nature to serve 
as a camping ground seems to have been recognized 
not only by glaciers and mice but by other animals 
and human beings as well, as is indicated by its con- 
stant employment for this purpose, when free of snow, 
by multitudes of ponies and cattle, by trading caravans 
moving up and down the Sind valley, and by hordes 
of summer visitors whose tents occupy every available 
spot. 



CHAPTER II 

The Zoji La— Snow-conditions in the Gumber valley — At Tolti — 
Fertility of Shyok valley — Wazir Abdul Karim meets us — 
Arrival at Kapalu — Camping places and medical aid to the 
sick — Kaja Sherb Ali Khan visits us — The eastern contrasted 

•WITH the western POINT OF VIEW — FiNB SITE OF POLO-GROUND — 
A CURIOSITY. 

The route from Sonamarg over the Zoji La, down the 
Gumber, Dras, and Indus valleys, towards Skardo, as 
far as the Indus-Shyok junction, has been so often 
described that little remains to be added. The Zoji La, 
although a low pass of only some 11,300 feet, with an 
excellent pony-path over its steeper, western side, and 
easy to cross in summer, serves as a geographical pons 
asinorum to many tourists in Kashmir, being regarded 
by them as a supreme limit, beyond which it is rash to 
venture and the very name of which is to be mentioned 
with bated breath. To reach it, in their opinion, involves 
dangerous adventure, hair-raising hardships, and the 
conquering of enormous altitudes. 

I remember at a dinner at Srinagar listening to a 
glowing account by a gentleman — one of those endowed 
with the delightful faculty of relieving others of the 
burden of conversation — of his experiences, sensations, 
and of the wonderful view he had at an altitude of 
"over 20,000 feet" which he and his wife had reached 
during their summer outing. Later in the evening his 

32 





T'^ i 













/-i V-J4 -;.>^) .-.v.-r/- 

CC-f- . V- S^ yK -",f .-v' X 





, 


bo 




'u 


a 




O 






bC 


s 




^ 


















^ 


Oj 




O 
to 


3 




, 


s 


4-> 




>, 

^ 


1/1 




t:) 




<D 


"o 


li 


O^ 




> 


^ 


OJ 


05 


1; 
> 




X^ 








^ 


-d 


CH 




(U 


o 


Cfi 






vQJ HJ 



O g3 



<D en 



> 


<; 


Td 
fl 
rt 


u 






<u 




V-. 


^ 


4_) 


<U 


a 


"^ 




=! 


be 


<t> 


o 




T3 


> 

o 


O 
Cm 

a 

8 


O 



NI^Vl^-FORMATIONS IN GUMBER VALLEY 33 

good lady mentioned to me, that the Zoji La was the 
highest and most distant point they had attained. As 
is well known, the Zoji La can be in winter and spring 
a very unpleasant as well as dangerous pass. This 
redoubtable pass we crossed on the 13th June, and, as 
late as this, the whole bed of the Gumber valley, almost 
as far as Matayan, was covered to an unusual extent 
with a continuous sheet of neve and avalanche- beds, the 
latter shed down from the steep mountain-flanks on 
either side. This surface, worn by passing caravans inta 
deep ruts and softened by the sun's heat, was fatiguing^ 
to travel upon and, in places, treacherous. At certain 
spots great care was required to bring the ponies safely 
over and prevent them from disappearing with their 
loads through the softened neve into the depths beneath. 
The river, which during the winter had been buried 
deep out of sight, had tunnelled under and cut away 
the supports of the n^ve along its course, which had 
now fallen in and been carried o£P, leaving on both 
sides vertical neve-cliffs rising from the river-banks. 
The surface of these cliffs, at first smooth, had been 
sculptured out by melting into projecting vertical columns^ 
from a foot to a yard or more apart, extending through 
the whole thickness of the beds irrespective of the 
horizontal strata which they cut across and giving the 
surfaces a fluted appearance, and into scalloped forma- 
tions, both of which were frequently continuous with 
similar formations and with lines of nieve penitente 
scoring the horizontal surfaces above. Horizontal and 
oblique lines of demarcation running through the vertical 
cliffs indicated beautifully the areas occupied by different 
n^ve and avalanche-deposits, which had contributed from 
time to time to augment the neve-masses. Vertical 
surfaces thus sculptured, which I have since noted 

3 



34 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

elsewhere as existing extensively both in neve and ice, 
demonstrate the internal structure of these substances 
in certain respects, which I am not aware have been 
previously recognized, and furnish an important clue to 
the mode of development of nieve and ice-penitente 
and other allied formations.' 

At Tolti we were welcomed by our old friend the 
Raja, whose dominions we were now passing through 
for the fifth time. We camped in the familiar, boulder- 
strewn, grass-covered meadow adjoining the polo-ground, 
on the bank of the mountain-torrent of crystal clear- 
ness, which plunges down from the granite-peaks above. 
He greeted us with his usual courtesy, and saw to it 
that all our needs in the way of transportation and 
supplies were attended to. 

An offered game of polo, the chief spectacle provided 
in this region for the entertainment of visitors, was, 
at our suggestion, omitted. We rested a day, while the 
Raja sent a coolie ahead with a letter to the Raja of 
Kiris, who was a relative by marriage, to meet us on 
our arrival at the Indus crossing opposite Kiris with 
zaks, ponies, and coolies to take us over the river and 
on to Kiris. The Indus at this point was swelled to 
double its ordinary size, and the rapidity of its current 
considerably accelerated by flood incident to the rapid 
melting of the unusual quantity of snow fallen the 
previous winter, but everything was taken over without 
accident. 

The Shyok valley from Kiris to Kapalu, aside from 
the broad, sandy flood-bed of its river and from some 

' Foi' a detailed account of the phenomena here presented vide 
Zeiischinft fiir Gletscherkunde, Band VIII, pp. 289-330, 1914, 
"Nieve Penitente and Allied Formations in Himalaya" (William 
Hunter Workman). 



W, CD ■:r 







O 



CULTIVATION IN SHYOK VALLEY 35 

stretches of rough hill-country even more desert, blasted, 
and desolate, if possible, than the Indus valley, is carpeted 
with a succession of extremely fertile and thoroughly 
cultivated oases, which support a large population. For 
the greater portion of three marches the path passes 
through luxuriant orchards, waving grain-fields, and 
extended villages. The inhabitants utilize every foot 
of arable land, and get good crops from many areas 
that would in most countries be discarded as unpro- 
ductive and worthless. They carefully wall in and 
terrace their fields in such a manner that these can be 
irrigated to their utmost confines, for irrigation here, 
as in most Himalayan valleys, is the key to agricultural 
success, which means the maintenance of life itself. They 
lay out areas devoted to the cultivation of vegetables in 
plots of various shapes arranged with almost mathe- 
matical accuracy, an accuracy the more remarkable in 
view of the simplicity of their intellectual status and 
the rudeness of their implements. The care bestowed 
on the land is rewarded by abundant harvests, and 
the impression produced on one traversing this region 
in summer is, that the inhabitants are, in proportion to 
their needs, exceedingly prosperous. 

Two crops in a season are obtained, the first consist- 
ing of wheat and barley, which ripen and are garnered 
in June or early in July, and the second of maize, peas, 
buckwheat, millet, and other grains. Among vegetables, 
besides peas, are beans, cabbages, egg-plant, marrow, 
onions, and turnips. Fruits consist of mulberries, apri- 
cots, apples, cherries, pears, plums, melons, currants, 
grapes, and walnuts. The warm colouring of the ripen- 
ing crops in early autumn is enhanced by the brilliant 
tints of rows of green, salmon-coloured, and deep mauve 
amaranth. 



36 THE ICE- WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

On entering the territory of the Raja of Kapalu, a 
short distance before the wide-spreading village of 
Dubani, we were met by the Wazir Abdul Karim with 
a small escort. He was clothed in spotless white from 
head to foot. As we rode up he dismounted from his 
lively pony, and salaaming low, held out his hand, in the 
palm of which rested two rupees, and presented a letter of 
welcome from the Raja. Following the Eastern custom, 
with a few words of greeting we touched the money 
with the tips of our fingers and saluted him. He said 
he had instructions from the Raja to take charge of all 
transport arrangements and provide any required sup- 
plies, and we need give these matters no further thought. 
He was immediately sent ahead to find a convenient 
camping place, while we followed at our leisure. 

Abdul Karim was not a great man, nor was he pos- 
sessed of much executive ability. He was good-natured 
and bustling, but, in spite of his assurance that he would 
handle all details, left to his own initiative he did not 
accomplish much. Still, he represented authority — a sine 
qua non with coolies — and in virtue of this he proved a 
valuable acquisition to the expedition. It did not take 
us long to size him up and to see that he would be of 
little value to us except under careful supervision. He 
was at once taken in hand and given instructions daily 
as to what he was to do. As first he was somewhat 
dense, but after a time, having learned what was ex- 
pected of him, that he must act promptly and have 
preparations for all movements complete at times 
specified, he improved, and was very useful in managing 
the coolies, to whom all orders were issued through 
Jaim. He stuck to us manfully through all the vicissi- 
tudes of this and the following expedition, going to all 
high points to which coolies were taken. 




Wazir Abdul Karim, who accompanied expeditions of 191 1 and 
1912 in charge of transport-coolies. 

To face page 36. 



VILLAGE CAMPING GROUNDS 37 

The next day's march was short, but it was followed 
by the inevitably long zak-crossing of the lower Shyok, 
with all our people and luggage, to Kapalu. On the 
river-bank below that village we were met by Raja 
Shere Ali Khan and his nephew, Raja Nasir Ali Khan, 
the heir-apparent, with ponies caparisoned with elabo- 
rately ornamented native saddles and bridles, to take 
us to camp. After greeting-formalities had been ex- 
changed, the Raja proposed to escort us to a camping 
ground in the higher part of the oasis 600 feet above 
the river near his palace, but we declined his proposal, 
and sought out a quiet, clean place on the outskirts of 
the oasis free from the presence of the villagers, where 
by four o'clock p.m. we settled ourselves. 

On our first expedition we camped, as those visiting 
Himalaya for the first time usually do, in the villages 
at places set apart for this purpose, or, as often happened, 
where no such places existed, on any spot where tents 
could be placed — on occasion, in the village graveyards or 
even on the roof of a native habitation. Early impressed, 
however, with the inconvenience and undesirability of 
such unromantic locations — which, although swept and 
garnished for our occupation, were none too clean, where 
privacy was out of the question, the camp being sub- 
jected to the constant observation of curious villagers 
who crowded around and watched with stolid gaze every 
movement made, where our nerves were set on edge and 
sleep was banished by the cries, cackling of harsh, dis- 
cordant voices, ear-splitting coughing, night-howling, and 
general complex of noises that render the air of native 
villages vocal day and night — we learned to select our 
camping places on the outskirts of or at some distance 
from the villages, where a pied-a-tei^e, if not always com- 
fortable, at least reasonably quiet could be secured. This 



38 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

custom we have followed in all our succeeding expeditions 
with comparatively satisfactory results. 

Another unnecessary annoyance is thus largely obvi- 
ated, to which those camping in the village-centres are 
subjected, viz. a constant importunity to heal the sick. 
The people seem to be imbued with the idea that 
Europeans are endowed with healing powers, or, at 
least, carry with them panaceas for all the ills that 
flesh is heir to. No sooner has one become settled in 
camp than they bring up the lame, halt, and blind, mal- 
formed children, adults afflicted with incurable, organic 
diseases, and the aged staggering under the burden of 
senile, degenerative processes, a procession that would 
tax in vain the physical and intellectual resources of 
a thoroughly up-to-date hospital and staff of trained 
specialists, and ask for dawei, or medicine that shall 
restore the sufferer to a state of health. 

Incidents of this kind described in Holy Writ as 
occurring in Palestine two thousand years ago are 
almost exactly reproduced here to-day, so many thousand 
miles away. Habits, customs, and modes of thought 
and action, which have remained practically the same, 
irrespective of time and distance, over a large portion 
of the vast continent of Asia, when thus personally 
encountered, impress one vividly with the stationary 
character of the unchanging East in contrast with the 
rapid evolution of human activity in the progressive 
empire of the West. 

I mention the presentation of deformed and incurably 
diseased persons to the notice of the traveller as an 
unnecessary annoyance. This term I regard as quite 
justifiable, for however much one may pity such poor 
creatures, as one must pity and sympathize with those 
similarly afflicted everywhere, or desire to aid them, no 








/? . J5^^ 






^t;^ 



^'-. 



•1M 



ji_^ 



.^.Mm,\ ■\'^ 



*rcj*^ 














Vh 




W) 


s-T 


o 








IH 


"S) 


M 




A 




a 




ci 




O 





TREATMENT OF DISEASED NATIVES 39 

medicine could benefit the great majority of these 
patients, and nothing is to be gained by spending time 
or effort upon them, not even on the part of a skilled 
physician, who would be the first to see the uselessness 
of any attempt at treatment. 

Some patients are brought forward who, under favour- 
able conditions, could be benefited or cured by a properly 
administered course of treatment, but would not be 
affected by a dose or two of such emergency remedies 
as a traveller could administer. The absurdity of leaving 
any remedies with the ignorant patients or their friends 
to be taken for a length of time is too manifest to be 
seriously considered. Even so simple a proceeding as the 
application of surgical dressings to wounds is not always 
attended with a satisfactory result. I remember on more 
than one occasion, after wounds of coolies had been 
dressed carefully with adhesive plaster and bandages, 
to have seen the coolies a few hours later with the 
dressings removed and replaced by rags soaked in some 
filthy substance. 

An occasional case of acute functional disturbance or 
uncomplicated abnormality requiring surgical aid might 
be relieved by such means as a traveller could apply, or 
some temporary alleviation might be afforded through 
the effect produced on the mind by the administration of 
a remedy, since these people have a blind faith in the 
efficacy of dawei as such, irrespective of its actual pro- 
perties or classification in the pharmacopoeia. For this 
last purpose the bread-pill is, probably, as efficacious as 
the most searching purgative or powerful anodyne, and 
has the advantage of being devoid of danger, especially 
if given into the patient's charge to be taken repeatedly. 
If a traveller, from philanthropic or other motive, chooses 
to play the part of Good Samaritan and set up a clinic, he 



40 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

will always find plenty of material at hand upon which 
to expend his efforts. 

To return to our Kapalu camp. No sooner were the 
tents pitched than the customary afternoon-sand-storm 
of this region set in, in this case later than usual. It 
begins with a strong wind from the west, at any time 
after midday, raising a cloud of dust from the sand- 
430vered flood-plain of the river, which fills the whole 
valley, obscures the sun, sifts into every crevice, and coats 
everything with a pulverulent deposit. It continues to 
make life miserable until sunset, when it subsides, and 
a night of calm can be counted on. 

Whether the Raja had any knowledge of that popular 
feature of English life, five o'clock tea, we did not learn, 
but the same afternoon at that hour he appeared with his 
nephew and another young man of the higher class to 
pay us a visit of ceremony and welcome. They were 
accompanied by servants bearing plates of red cherries, 
dried apricots, currants, fried cakes, and a large pot of 
hot Ladakh tea with teacups. We received them in our 
largest tent, where the whole party were seated on our 
two camp-chairs, a camp-bed, and provision-boxes. 

Tea and cakes were then served. The tea resembled 
cocoa in colour. It was prepared with goat's milk, was 
strongly sweetened, and its flavour was not unpleasant. 
We could understand that one might soon learn to like it 
in spite of the goat's milk. It may be stated that the 
milk of the Himalayan goat is more delicate and less 
offensive than that of the European animal. Our guides 
were very fond of it, and could never get too much. 

After tea had been disposed of, we returned the 
compliment with Egyptian cigarettes and chocolate 
bon-bons. The Raja showed due appreciation of both, 
although he indulged in them in moderation, but the two 




2 
o 


g 


4-> 








"rt 


,13 


C/5 


o 




S 


d 


^ 


n 




2 




o 





O S 



g - 5 
f1 .23 '^ 



c 


rt 


•^ 


rs 


o 


_^ 


o 




^*- ''"' 


a 








'w 


M 60 


-i-> 


O 
Oh 


^1 


a 

o 


1^ 




o 


oS 



CD .^ 2^ ■« 

> '-' 5 



•^ •• -"^ 



RAJA SHBRE ALI KHAN 41 

younger men, acting, perhaps, on the principle that the 
proof of the pudding is in the eating, helped themselves 
liberally, taking considerably more than they could dispose 
of at this interview, and transferring to pockets in the 
folds of their robes the excess for future use. They had, 
evidently, never seen such bon-bons before, as, at first, 
they put them into their mouths without removing the 
tinfoil-wrappers. They seemed to be more pleased with 
these than with the knives, silver cigar-cases, plush, and 
gold- trimming for coats, etc., we had brought them, in 
consequence of which boxes of cigarettes and Cadbury'a 
assorted chocolates were added to the other, gifts, greatly 
to their satisfaction. 

It has been our experience in the course of our 
wanderings that, sometimes, men of gentlemanly instincts 
are met with in lands and under circumstances where 
they would least be looked for, and, on the contrary, that 
such instincts fail to be shown by those who from their 
education, position, and surroundings might be expected 
to possess them, from which it might with some reason 
be inferred, that a gentleman, like a poet, is born, not 
made. In Raja Shere All Khan, allowance being made 
for Eastern customs and the distance of his dominions 
from civilized centres, we recognized the gentleman. 

He was a man somewhat past native middle age, tall 
and slender, with refined, delicate features and quiet, 
affable bearing. He was clad in white as befitted his 
rank. He received us with great courtesy, and in an 
open, straightforward manner said he would do all in his 
power to promote the interests of the expedition. And 
he kept his word to the letter. He was never found 
w^anting. We saw before the close of the expedition, that 
he was possessed of considerable strength of character 
in carrying out what he had promised to do, and such 



42 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

success as we achieved was due in no small degree to hie 
efforts and influence with his subjects, who, evidently^ 
liked and respected him. 

In the course of discussion of the question of transport 
the Raja mentioned, with apparent amusement, that two 
sahibs had, two years previously, arrived in Kapalu carry- 
ing their own luggage, having come from Kharmang 
over the Ganse La, and said that would not be our 
experience while in his territory. One of these sahibs 
himself has related this incident in print with evident 
and, perhaps, according to European standards, not 
unnatural pride, stating that when their four coolies 
"struck work" and deserted them above Kharmang they, 
with the assistance of two orderlies, shouldered the loads 
and continued on to Kapalu. He adds : " As usual this 
lenient treatment " (i.e. permitting the striking coolies to 
depart) '* of the local people aided us in our future dealings. 
A traveller gains far more by showing his own superiority 
over these people than by coercing them, and we never 
had any more trouble." 

To those acquainted with existing conditions in 
Baltistan the details related admit of a somewhat different 
interpretation. The Kharmang coolies struck work, not 
under circumstances of special stress or danger, as has 
sometimes been the case in lofty, ice-bound regions, but 
on a frequented route, a thing that rarely happens after 
a march on such a route is begun, and, having refused 
to go on, probably no amount of persuasion or attempted 
coercion, with the possible exception of the offer of a 
fat bakhshish, that most potent persuader of coolies as 
well as of other human beings, would have prevented 
them from deserting, since under the new regime in 
India a coolie cannot be forced to work unless he 
elects to do so. He cares nothing for any opinion a 



WESTERN VERSUS EASTERN POINT OF VIEW 43 

European may form of his delinquencies. The "lenient 
treatment,' therefore, seems to have consisted in accepting 
the inevitable. The fact of the Sahibs showing " their 
own superiority over"' and independence of these 
Kharmang coolies could have had nothing to do with 
their not having had " any more trouble," as they had 
no further relations with Kharmang coolies, and later 
employed those of an entirely different district, who 
acted under the direction of Raja Shere Ali Khan. 

The above-quoted remarks present the Western point 
of view of a traveller on his first visit to Baltistan. It 
is interesting to contrast with it the Eastern point of 
view, with which our agent was later made cognisant 
at Goma. When he was engaging coolies there for our 
first visit to the Siachen glacier in 1911, the zemindars 
related that a small party of sahibs had gone over the 
Bilaphond La two summers previously, but that they 
were not hara (or important) sahibs with a numerous 
following, and they had even arrived at Kapalu doing 
the (to the native mind) unseemly and unheard-of thing 
of carrying their own kit. It goes without saying, in the 
East, that a person's importance is rated in accordance 
with the number of servants he employs, and that a 
European doing any manual labour which a native 
considers his own proper task loses prestige at once in 
the estimation of that native and of those to whom 
such action becomes known. Thus the arrival at Kapalu 
of sahibs carrying their own kit impressed the people, 
not with their " superiority," but with their inferiority. 
The force of native opinion in this regard is well shown 
by the dissimilarity between the mode of life of Euro- 
peans in their own countries and that they universally 
adopt in India. 

This incident affords a good illustration of the differ- 



44 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

ence in the points of view from which many of the 
affairs of life are regarded by Occidentals and Orientals, 
making mutual understanding and sincere, effective 
co-operation between them matters of extreme difficulty. 
Lying, theft, and murder, which are said to be con- 
sidered cardinal virtues among Pathans, ill consort with 
justice, security of person and property, and regard for 
the rights of others, supposed to animate the proper 
conduct of affairs according to Western standards. 

As a matter of fact, without regard to the degree 
of estimation in which he may be held by the native 
population, the explorer learns from experience, that it 
is advisable to employ the least number of coolies that 
his projected movements will admit of, for the smaller 
the number of coolies the more mobile will his caravan 
be, the greater his personal influence, and the less the 
danger of mutiny or desertion, with the consequent 
interruption or overthrow of his plans. Unfortunately, 
if these last are ambitious and involve a prolonged investi- 
gation of unknown and uninhabited territory, he has 
little choice and is obliged to take on a larger number 
than he might wish, thereby placing himself nolens volens 
in the position of a bara sahib. 

Byramji having already made arrangements with 
the Raja for supplying coolies and for the collection 
and transport to specified points of grain with which 
to feed them, no business-details remained to be dis- 
cussed with him except a few relating to the movements 
of our personal caravan, which were quickly disposed of. 

Before taking leave with his suite the Raja invited 
us to tea the following day at his palace, as his abode 
should, perhaps, be termed, and afterwards to witness 
a game of polo. As we were remaining that day at 
Kapalu to complete some necessary arrangements, we 



SITUATION OF POLO-GROUND 45 

accepted his invitation. He proved an excellent host 
and entertained us well. 

The polo-ground, on a level portion of the slope below 
the palace, has a situation of rare beauty, the selection 
of which would have done credit to the good taste of 
the most eminent of the builders of ancient Greek 
theatres. Behind it, in nearly a semicircle, rise sheer 
cliffs of rugged mountains enclosing a gorge. In front, 
the broad, green expanse of the Kapalu fan, covered 
with luxuriant fruit-trees and grain-fields, sweeps down- 
wards some 700 feet to the Shyok river bordered on 
the farther side by cultivated oases backed by barren 
mountains. Beyond these, above a wide opening in 
their walls, rises a shadowy vista of castellated Hushe 
and Saltoro peaks, their pointed summits partly capped 
with snow towering high into the deep blue of the sky. 
For variety of detail the view from this spot, though 
not so extended, can compare favourably with that from 
Darjeeling toward Kinchenjunga. 

After the polo, which was played with the native 
dash and spirit, the Raja accompanied us some distance 
downward toward our camp. On the way he took us 
into one of his gardens to show us what he said vv^as a 
curiosity, and such indeed it proved to be. It was a small 
walnut-tree about two feet high, which had sprung up 
from the seed three years before. Now in its third 
summer it was bearing three, well-grown walnuts not 
yet ripe. The Raja said the first year it bore one nut, 
and in the second two. We should scarcely have thought 
the statement credible, had we not seen with our own 
eyes the tiny tree with its trio of nuts. 



CHAPTER III 

ThB 3ALT0E0 VALLEY — ChABACTHE OF MOUNTAIN-REGION BETWEEN SALTORO 
AND BALTORO GLACIHES — SCULPTURED EOCKS — VaRIHTIHS OF WBATHBE- 

ING — Unearthly desolation of kondus nala — Granitic sand — 

KaEMADING — KOEKONDUS NALA AND VILLAGE. 

Arrangements being completed, and small tents, heavy 
boots and clothing, ropes, and other accessories necessary 
for glacier work having been added to the light march- 
ing outfit heretofore in use in the valleys, we left Kapalu 
on the morning of the last day of June to proceed directly 
to the glaciers draining into the Kondus valley. The 
route led up over a ridge east of Kapalu, the summit of 
which, some 1,300 feet above the river, consists of a large, 
fertile, well-irrigated and cultivated maidan, and thence 
down on the other side to a group of three or four 
villages near the Shyok river, beyond Chogrogon, near 
the last of which we crossed the river on two zaks 
sent by the Raja from Kapalu. 

From here a route passes east up the valley to the 
Chorbat La, and another west to the Hushe and Saltoro 
valleys. We followed the latter, which brings one in 
about two hours to a large amphitheatre enclosed by 
mountains, the east side of which consists of a long- 
drawn-out oasis, on which a line of some dozen villages, 
one following another, embowered in mulberry, apricot, 
and apple-trees, stretches out under the collective name 

46 



OASIS OF HULDE: SALTORO VALLEY 47 

of Gourtse. From the last of these the route leads up 
the Hushe valley to Hulde. 

Hulde is picturesquely situated upon a tongue of 
arable and well-cultivated land, overhung on both sides 
by high, broken hills, at the junction of the Saltoro valley 
running east and west with the Hushe running north and 
south. The Saltoro narrows shortly before the junction 
to a gorge, through which rushes the Saltoro river, 
spanned by a wooden bridge thrown across to a great, 
projecting boulder directly below Hulde. From Hulde 
paths run up the Saltoro valley on both sides and north 
up the Hushe valley. 

We arrived at Hulde at noon of the second day, 
lunched beneath the mulberry-trees bending under a 
heavy load of fruit, which furnished an excellent dessert 
to our al fresco repast, and, as there was no convenient 
camping place, took a new set of coolies and went on 
over rock-strewn and desert mountain-wastes to the 
village of Tagas. On these and succeeding marches 
Abdul Karim, the Wazir, after having made all necessary 
preparations for the day's movements, as soon as the 
caravan was under way would ride ahead on his spirited, 
black, mountain-pony, speedily disappearing behind a 
halo of dust and sand thrown up by its active heels, to 
the village at the end of the stage, where he would 
announce our approach, look up a camping place, procure 
supplies, and order coolies for the next march. In this 
manner no time was lost after our arrival, and we could 
move on at our convenience without delay. 

The Saltoro valley from Hulde to the entrance of the 
Kondus nala presents little of special interest, its features 
resembling those of many other similar valleys. It is 
wide and has a broad flood-plain, over which the river 
courses in various, shifting streams, enclosing areas of 



48 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

stones rounded and polished by the friction they have 
undergone during transport. Projecting into the valley 
on both sides in front of gorges are irrigated and fertile 
fans, upon which villages are situated. Its immediate 
walls on either side are, largely, composed of shale mingled 
with decomposing or incompletely formed crystalline 
schists. They are topped by rounded summits and ridges. 
They are channelled by water and scored by ravines. 

Great, granite boulders are scattered over mountain- 
sides and valley, many consisting chiefly of feldspar in 
large crystals, which, the cementing substance between 
them having been weathered away, project in abundance 
from the surface like barnacles upon tide-washed rocks. 
The north wall of the valley from Tagas eastward for 
about a march to the Kondus opening consists of granite- 
mountains with pointed tops and sheer sides striated with 
broad, white, wavy bands, apparently, of feldspar and 
quartz. These peaks are separated from one another by 
narrow, irregular gorges. They are the southern foot- 
hills of a vast assemblage of larger and more savage 
mountain-masses behind them. 

Between the villages of Brakor and Damsam the 
Kondus nala enters from the north, leading into and 
typical of the region lying between the Saltoro valley 
and the Baltoro glacier and extending westward from 
the Siachen watershed to the western barriers of the 
glaciers, draining into the Hushe valley. 

This region, which we were now about to explore, 
possesses characteristics that make it almost a region 
apart, and distinguish it from any other of equal area in 
the Karakorara. Its mountains are high, seven having 
been triangulated by the Indian Survey at from 23,900 to 
25,676 feet. They have precipitous, often vertical, bare 
rock-walls, and their summits are serrated and jagged to 




c 




CHARACTER OF REGION EXPLORED 49 

a marvellous degree, rising in ense^nhles of pointed apices 
of fantastic shapes that in complexity of outline, size, 
altitude, and airy grace greatly surpass any combination 
to be found in the far-famed Tyrolean Dolomites. Many 
of the most remarkable of these are granite and gneissoid 
peaks, consisting of parallel, jointed columns vertical or 
very sharply inclined, the arrangement of which closely 
resembles in appearance that of bedded rocks. The 
upper portions of many of these columns, having become 
detached along the lines of jointing from their original 
positions by frost, water, or earthquake, have fallen out, 
and are now to be found on the lower mountain-flanks 
and valley-bottoms as large granite-blocks. Ragged 
depressions are left on the skyline where they stood, 
above which rise their former neighbours still remaining 
in situ as the multiform apices above mentioned, the con- 
tinuity of which can, in many cases, be traced directly 
down into the columns of which they form the upper 
extremities. Their axes usually make the same angle 
with the vertical as those of the columns of which they 
form a part. 

Where the mountain-structure passes over into gneis- 
soid and crystalline schist, the surfaces are profusely 
striated with dark and light grey, brown, and white 
bands, often folded and twisted in intricate curves, which 
give them a highly ornamented appearance. 

The valleys are narrow and deep with abrupt walls, 
many, in fact, being little more than gorges. Except 
where the hand of man has introduced irrigation in their 
wider portions, resulting in the creation of fertile oases, 
they are arid and desert, covered with enormous boulders, 
or choked with gigantic tali and fans, the last formed of 
debris poured out by floods from the side-gorges. Their 
higher portions are occupied by shaggy glaciers that, 

4 



50 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

originating in reservoirs lying far up among the wild and 
storm-torn peaks, descend the steep gorge-slopes in 
broken, crevassed, and tangled ice-masses. Lower down 
the ice is crowded up by pressure into great hillocks, 
-which convert the glacier-surfaces for long distances into 
billowy ice-streams. These glaciers bring down vast 
quantities of rock-detritus from the rapidly decaying 
mountains, which cover the ice so completely as, over 
large areas, to bury it from sight. 

Glaciers in Himalaya, usually, afford the only avenues 
of approach to the higher mountain-recesses. Those of 
this region are not particularly useful in this respect, 
since they are exceedingly difficult to follow up. Filling 
the valley-beds, as they do, from wall to wall, no pathway 
can be found by their sides, in most cases, and one is 
obliged to ascend directly over their surface, clambering 
up and down the slopes of great hillocks and ridges 
heavily covered with rocks, interrupted by crevasses and 
chasms, or broken into ice-precipices, a fatiguing under- 
taking neither agreeable nor, by any means, devoid of 
danger. Moreover the upper, steeper, crevassed, and 
broken portions are wholly inaccessible. 

From these considerations it is not difficult to under- 
stand that the exploration and mapping of such a region, 
where the explorer is mostly confined to the deep, narrow 
valleys from which the higher fixed peaks cannot well be 
seen, and where access to favourable observation-points 
is well-nigh impossible, is attended with difficulties not 
encountered in regions having wide valleys, great glaciers, 
and extended vistas. 

The vertical surfaces of the granite-mountain-walls 
on both sides of the Saltoro valley at and opposite the 
Kondus opening are extensively excavated into small 
depressions of various forms separated from one another 



SCULPTURED ROCK-SURFACES 51 

by thin, sharply defined ridges, both depressions and 
ridges being arranged in diagonal rows and lines following 
the trend of what appear like strata in the rocks. The 
general effect of these excavations, seen from a little 
distance, is such as might warrant the name of sculptured 
rocks as applicable to these surfaces. 

The question of their mode of origin is one of some 
interest. The extent and position of the surfaces in- 
volved, the configuration of the valley at this point, the 
sizes, shapes, and arrangement of the depressions, and 
the sharp outlines of the ridges between them, preclude 
the idea that they could have been produced by the 
erosive action of rivers, flowing water, or glaciers. Nor 
does the view that they are the beds of concretions which 
have fallen out appear any more tenable. Had concre- 
tions existed here in numbers sufficient to give rise to 
this phenomenon, some of them would be still remaining 
in situ, which is not the case. Not one such was seen, nor 
were any found lying at the bases of the walls. Further, 
the long spindle-shape of many of the alveoli and the 
dumb-bell-shape of others, which were so hollowed out 
that the diameters of their interiors were greater than 
those of their openings, were such that concretions, had 
they existed in them, would not have fallen out. 

The most probable explanation appears to be, that the 
depressions were caused by erosion from exposure to 
weathering agents. Heat, frost, water from storms or 
trickling down from above, and, probably, sharp sand, of 
which there is much in the vicinity, driven by strong 
winds, have attacked the softer and less resisting parts, 
causing them to crumble and yield, while the harder ones, 
having resisted to a greater degree, have remained as 
intervening ridgelets, thus giving rise to the sculptured 
surface in question. 



52 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

In some places the alveoli are less definitely marked, 
their surfaces sloping away gradually from the ridges to 
their centres, thus creating a scalloped'appearance exactly 
reproducing that seen on vertical surfaces of melting 
glacier-ice. In both cases the structure of the mass is 
revealed during its disintegration as consisting of denser, 
more resisting, and of softer, less resisting areas and 
strata. 

The above view recognizes weathering agents as acting 
here in the same manner as elsewhere, the peculiar result 
being determined by variations in density of the rock- 
surfaces on which they act. 

In addition to ordinary, granular wasting, weathering of 
many granite-surfaces causes an exfoliation of their super- 
ficial substance in scales and large flakes, the grain, so to 
speak, of the rock running parallel to the surface. In 
other instances, as will later be mentioned, weathering 
eats into the texture of granite, and especially of gneiss, 
along veins of softer material, leaving a series of denser 
laminae lying upon one another. In still others the whole 
mass of a fragment may be so penetrated and dis- 
integrated that its crystals lose their cohesion, and it falls 
into a heap of gravel. Of this I have seen many instances 
on glaciers, frost and water being here, probably, the 
chief agents involved. 

As the Kondus nala is ascended, the appearance of the 
landscape changes markedly. It becomes more com- 
pletely and intensely desert. At point after point not a 
living thing is visible. Even burtsa and other low orders 
of vegetation that manage to exist in ordinary deserts 
are here absent. Rock-tali slanting __a way from the bases 
of tremendous precipices, great rock-masses piled together 
in promiscuous confusion, protruding ledges, and bare 
rock-surfaces blackened and weathered by time and 



Peak 33. 



Peaks 35-36, 
25,280-25,400. 




View north-east from ridge above Zogo. In foreground Siier-pi-gang glacier ascendin^ 



i^ Uong glacier ascends from Sher-pi-gang to Peaks 35 and 36. 



PROFOUND DESOLATION OF KONDUS NALA 53 

tempest, reflect the fierce heat of the summer sun in 
dancing air-waves. Parched columns, buttresses, and 
ragged ridges, often hundreds of feet high, composed of 
boulders and rocks of every size and shape cemented 
together by sand and dried mud, occupy considerable 
portions of the valley-bed, bearing eloquent testimony to 
the destructive energy of mountain-floods which have 
come and passed like whirlwinds, washing out and rending 
into fragments the massive fans formerly covering the 
nala, leaving these grim and uncanny skeleton-remains 
as sign-posts to point out the devastation they have 
wrought. 

Above, rise gigantic, sheer walls of scarred and 
splintered granite, surmounted by a multitude of jagged 
points. Flood, frost, and weather have played havoc with 
everything in sight, and converted the face of nature into 
a scene of arid, unearthly, diabolic desolation. As one 
gazes awe-struck upon the dead and ghastly landscape, 
one may easily imagine that the earth's crust has been 
rent asunder in various directions by an irresistible force, 
and that the resulting elevations and depressions have 
been swept by the fiery breath of an all-devouring con- 
flagration, which has blasted and consumed the substance 
of the rocks, seared their surfaces, and reduced them to 
masses of fissured and crumbling ruins. 

The sand of the north side of the Saltoro valley, 
particularly east of the village of Tagas, and of the 
Kondus nala and its tributaries, where the mountains are 
largely composed of granite, is peculiarly sharp and 
gritty. Its grains as well as those of the gravels consist 
of the constituents of granite, and are evidently derived 
from the disintegration of the granite-debris covering the 
valleys. In many places, where it has been distributed 
by water or wind in smooth surfaces, it presents the 



54 THE ICE- WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

appearance of fine-grained granite, the dark mica-par- 
ticles showing very effectively among those of quartz 
and feldspar. 

No noteworthy incidents occurred during the marches 
in this region. There were plenty of coolies at the villages 
where we stopped. The Wazir had them on hand at the 
hour appointed for leaving in the morning. They 
shouldered their loads and went on without troubling 
us in any way to the end of their stage, when they were 
paid off and discharged. One curious custom was noted, 
which we do not remember to have observed elsewhere. 
We frequently met coolies employed as messengers to 
carry letters from one village to another. These letters 
they carried inserted in the split end of a stick two or 
three feet long, which they held upright so that the 
nature of their mission was apparent to every one. 

Six miles up the Kondus nala is the large village of 
Lachit at the opening of the Lachit nala, the upper part 
of which is occupied by a glacier leading up towards the 
Peak K6 or Peak 27, 23,890 feet, as triangulated by the 
Indian Survey. Two miles above Lachit the path, which, 
up to this point, lies on the west or right bank of the 
river, crosses the latter to the left bank by a picturesquely 
placed and constructed cantilever-bridge of willow-logs, 
which was converted into a leafy bower with green willow- 
branches in honour of our passage over it. Two miles 
beyond, about ten miles north of the Saltoro valley, the 
Kondus nala divides, one arm running north-east as the 
Korkondus nala, and the other more important one, 
the Kaberi, leading north-west. Shortly before its 
bifurcation the nala widens into a basin occupied by a 
fertile and well-cultivated oasis, in the centre of which, at 
an altitude of 9,709 feet, is the prettily situated village of 
Karmading, its houses, embowered in green, nestling 



KARMADING AND KORKONDUS NALA 55 

among enormous granite-boulders scattered in profusion 
over the oasis. Directly over it rises an impressive 
mountain-mass standing between the opening of the 
Kaberi and Korkondus nalas, crowned with a multitude 
of needle-summits. 

Karmading, on accovmt of its situation at the entrance 
of these two nalas, served as a convenient base for 
movements in both directions. Here Byramji, who had 
preceded us, had brought up supplies and coolie-rations 
sufficient for the time we expected to devote to this 
region. The Wazir, Abdul Karim, had also collected from 
several villages the coolies, who were to go beyond this 
point as a permanent corps. No delay was therefore 
occasioned here by incompleteness of preparation. We 
camped in a grassy meadow on the outskirts of the 
village, and remained one day to organize the coolies. 

On the second morning we ascended the Korkondus 
nala on the right bank of the river to the tongue of the 
Sher-pi-gang glacier. This nala is narrow at first, but 
widens out at the upper portion. It is quite as wild as 
any part of the Kondus, and is walled in on both sides 
by steep, serrated peaks. The path wound among granite- 
blocks fifty to sixty feet in diameter, over high tali and 
rock-packed fans, also covered with boulders and gashed 
by water-washed ravines, giving us a rough scramble. 

Near the upper end lies the small, forbidding village 
of Korkondus on the left side of the river, resembling 
a collection of shepherd-huts. Being at an altitude of 
over 11,000 feet, it cannot boast of trees of any kind, and 
the vegetation of its cultivated fields was rather scanty. 
Still, its inhabitants are industrious, and many spots 
among the rocks were in the process of being reclaimed, 
although they seemed to us to promise small returns 
for the labour spent on them. The village reminded 



56 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

us in a way of Hispar, situated only a few hundred 
feet lower. 

We intended to camp on a level space in front of 
the extremity of the glacier, but a steady, cold wind 
descending from the ice was so disagreeable that we 
retreated to a rock-strewn, gullied hill, where, after 
half an hour's search, passably protected, scattered spots 
were found sufficiently level to place tents on. 



CHAPTER IV 

The sher-pi-gang glacier — The tongue — Zogo — View — Three swas in 

TWENTY-FIVE HOURS — On THE GLACIER — PaTHAN SERVANT — AsCENT OF 
DONG DONG GLACIER — ViEW-POINT ON WEST WALL — At HEAD OF DONG 

DONG — Lower portion of kaberi glacier. 

The Sher-pi-gang glacier is formed by the junction of the 
ice-streams from four large reservoirs lying among the 
high peaks and ridges between the fixed Peaks 33 and 35, 
and those to the west constituting the watershed between 
it and the Kondus basin. It runs nearly north-south 
with a length of ten to eleven miles. About four miles 
from its lower end it receives, on the east, the Dong 
Dong tributary springing from the high Peaks 35 and 36, 
another small one on the same side just below, and a 
third directly opposite on the west. The union of these 
forms a large tongue a mile or more in width. Above the 
Dong Dong junction all portions of the Sher-pi-gang, even 
to the upper limits of its reservoirs, descend in sharp 
gradients, and are crevassed and broken into seracs to 
such an extent as to be inaccessible. 

The tongue, on the contrary, descends in a much 
gentler gradient, and, although its surface is rendered 
very uneven by pressure and below Zogo is also greatly 
crevassed and covered with seracs and ice-hillocks, 
between Zogo and the junction of its three large 
affluents it can be traversed without especial difficulty. 

57 



58 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

It is loaded on both sides, for some distance from the 
edges, with large quantities of mud and sand piled in 
heaps and with rock debris, which, constantly sliding 
down its high, precipitous flank, has built a massive, 
lateral moraine along its west edge. The central half 
is comparatively free from detritus. 

The tongue terminates in an abrvipt, curving, some- 
what spreading front about 500 feet high, which 
occupied at that time the whole width of the nala. It 
was covered with seracs quite to its end, and fissured by 
numerous, longitudinal crevasses extending in a direction 
varying from that of the central glacier-axis, according to 
the spread of the portions where they occurred. Its 
colour was dark grey from the admixture of mud and 
sand, but it bore no great amount of large debris, and 
had no terminal moraine. Nor was there any moraine in 
the nala in front to indicate that it had extended in 
recent time farther down than at present. The debris 
upon it was collected at several points along its brow, 
which, sliding down, had formed small moraine-heaps at 
the base of its final wall. The condition and positions of 
these showed the tongue to be stationary. Also around 
its margin lay great blocks of black ice, the remains of 
seracs that had fallen and been precipitated to the nala- 
bed. No special ice-cave was noted. The water issued 
from several points of the end, and the streams combined 
to form the Korkondus torrent. 

Leaving camp early, we ascended the sharply rising 
nala in a furrow, in places, only a few feet wide, between 
the massive, west lateral moraine and the overhanging 
mountain-wall. This was often obstructed by rock- 
fragments, tali, and dense clumps of rose-bushes bristling 
with sharp, white thorns, to get over and around which 
necessitated a sufficient amount of effort to vary the 




On summit of ridge above Zogo. 



To face page 58. 



CAMP AT ZOGO 59 

monotony of the march. After three hours' hard work 
we reached a gorge or recess in the mountain-wall, 
covered with rocks and boulders and washed by floods, 
called Zogo. A torrent, descending from glaciers far 
above, flowed through its centre around the base of a 
hillock, upon which stood a collection of stone-huts used 
by native shepherds as shelters for themselves and their 
animals, which they drive up to pasture on a grass- 
covered hill-side just above during July and August. 

A small, sandy terrace safe from stone-avalanches lay 
at the base of this hill-side of sufficient size to hold our 
tents, while the guides and servants found a convenient 
camping place beyond a projecting shoulder nearer the 
glacier, and the coolies, as soon as they were free of their 
loads, betook themselves, like ducks to water, to the filth- 
laden huts, where they speedily made themselves at home. 
The black flank of the glacier, bordered by its great 
moraine, shot in a straight line across the mouth of the 
gorge, a barrier of debris and ice, the top of which stood 
at an angle of 45° above the camp. Debris constantly fell 
from the ice upon the moraine with a harsh growling 
that did not cease for many seconds at a time day or 
night. 

We remained at this camp the two following days, 
during which Savoye and a porter made a reconnaissance 
on the glacier above to discover where the next move 
could best be made, while we ascended the heights above 
Zogo to an altitude of 15,000 feet for photography and 
study of the region. From these an impressive and 
magnificent view opens up. The barren mountains, on 
all sides, riven and gullied, surmounted by myriad towers 
and needle-spires, and separated from one another by 
deep gorges, present a scene of savage and desolate 
grandeur of a kind seldom approached in other regions 



60 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

even of the Karakoram, in the midst of which the glaciers 
occupying the beds of the gorges of the lower half of the 
basin stand forth prominent. The Dong Dong, as shown 
on the Indian Survey map, is seen in size and position to 
be almost wholly a product of the imagination, being 
represented by a much smaller glacier, which makes little 
impression on the eye, while the Dong Dong, so called by 
and known to our coolies, descends as a glacier of powerful 
proportions from the flank of the high, twin Peaks 35 and 
36, which dominate the region. 

At this camp we had the singular experience of 
witnessing three swas or mud-floods, which occurred at 
the same point within a period of twenty-five hours. We 
have seen sivas at close quarters several times, and on 
one occasion only escaped destruction by a hair's breadth ^ ; 
but we never saw this phenomenon presented as it was 
here, and know of no similar recorded instance. 

The first sivas occurred at 12 o'clock noon, the second 
at 4 p.m., and the third at 12.30 p.m. the following day. 
They all began with rock-avalanches crashing down from 
the top of the rear wall of the gorge between two sharp 
aiguilles, leaping from point to point with resounding 
roar, and sending up clouds of dust. No water was seen 
to accompany these, but soon a cascade of rocks of all 
sizes, some of many tons weight, mixed with mud, 
appeared, which descended in a rolling, tumbling mass of 
dark-brown colour that followed the windings of the 
torrent-bed with the greatest facility. After a time the 
flowing mass would diminish in size, to be succeeded by 
recurrences of similar character. The mobility of these 
composite streams and the ease with which they adapted 
themselves to the course of the pre-existent torrent-bed 

' Vide In the Ice- World of Himalaya, p. 156 ; also The Call of 
the Srioioy Hispar, p. 109. 






^1 



f 







in 



d^ 



THREE SWAS IN TWENTY-FIVE HOURS 61 

were, as always, marvellous to behold. Each S2vas 
continued for twenty to thirty minutes, and was followed 
•hy streams of muddy water of ordinary size. There 
appears to be no doubt that barriers damming back 
water gave way on each occasion, but the relation of the 
rock-avalanches to these, and the question whether they 
dammed different bodies of water, or were so disposed as 
to hold back portions of the same body must remain 
matters of speculation. 

The results of Savoy e's reconnaissance and of our 
observations from the heights above the camp showed 
that the Sher-pi-gang above the entrance of the Dong 
Dong could not be ascended on account of its extensively 
crevassed and seracked condition, and that not even a 
view of its upper portions from the west side could 
be obtained except by scaling a steep, 2,000-foot 
ravine-wall swept by falling stones. The Dong Dong 
offered the only chance of any investigation above our 
present position, and its appearance was none too 
inviting. 

Leaving Zogo with sixty coolies and a flock of sheep 
and goats, we continued for half a mile in the narrow 
space between the glacier and mountain-wall, then 
mounted and crossed the lateral moraine at a point 
where its height measured 260 feet, cut our way some 
70 feet higher up the side of the glacier to its upper 
surface, and traversed it diagonally to the Dong Dong 
junction. The glacier-surface was thrown up by the 
pressure developed by the junction of the four rapidly 
falling glaciers into a succession of great, undulating, 
parallel ridges separated by deep furrows, and some 
ravines, up, down, over, and through which we had to 
find our way. Many glacier-tables and ice-pyramids 
covered with mud and sand were seen. The sheep and 



62 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

goats, as we had on numerous occasions previously 
observed, w^ere quite at home at this sort of work, and 
made nothing of these and later difficulties encountered 
in this region. 

We had with us a Pathan servant, who on the march 
had charge of the tiffin-basket. He was possessed of a 
demonstrative and rather officious disposition, which 
often required curbing, but which we turned to good 
account by entrusting him, when moving through the 
valleys, with the duty of going ahead, wherever we met 
pony or yak-caravans, or cattle, sheep, or goats, which 
were obstructing the path, and seeing that they moved 
aside so that we could pass. This was a task of greater 
importance than those unaccustomed to Himalayan travel 
might imagine, for, during the marching season, the 
narrow paths in all the inhabited regions are frequently 
blocked by long, laden caravans, numberless cattle, and 
large flocks of sheep and goats driven to and from 
pasture, which in dry weather raise a stifling dust and 
are by no means easy to pass. 

This task suited his talents exactly, which could not 
be said of some of his other duties, and he performed it 
admirably, not only by vigorous use of voice and stick 
forcing the pony-wallahs and shepherds to drive their 
animals forthwith from the path, sometimes on to 
declivities of dangerous gradient and character, but also 
with an air of great authority compelling native travel- 
lers, mounted or on foot, of any rank lower than that of 
a Raja or Tehsildar, to step aside till we had passed. His 
zeal in the performance of this office proved a great 
convenience and also a source of considerable amusement 
to us. 

He had never, up to this time, seen a glacier. When 
we reached the rough ice of the Sher-pi-gang a change 



-. "^fmSB^Z^' :^ 1 


'^ 


•^n^. m 




;v/f'*^; ^..-^ 




' ^jfe^It!'' ft »I . 




' Tim Mjsi!^' "" 


:-. . ^ vi^ ■'^.4, •■■.•'«*■ 


^H ^a^'^'^ ^^^^ 


r^mssoTJixaK^ 




f^-^Sl^ 


w^ . . 


g-X vi'^i't 


t- :^jr\ 


^■^ 




*■•>>* '?Sf^ 


M^ 


^i^— i 




*'"",* 


■*, \ .. '"'^ 


K^;i^'*SHH^L 


' 1 , 




x«if jj^^^^^^HD^^I 


( 




a^:,*'' :r .;^:r!C 


;;ilP^ 


■•( 


!>'■ 


MR ^viSV^' 




^^■PC- 


^iK^ 


^ '^9 


(f^' ^'r'^^^fc 


IHH •' JSH 



S-- 



L 


H 


fv 


K 






^1^ 


S 


^- 


B 


^ 


""■l 


^P 






r 


> 


y^'^ ;, 


■E 


fe 


rHSoP 



f 






(j3 






tei; 



THE PATHAN SERVANT 63 

came over him. He became unusually quiet, and his 
face assumed an earnest, thoughtful expression. He no 
longer wandered to the side, but, permitting others to 
take precedence in the marching line, followed strictly in 
their track. 

He was soon observed to be engaged with devout 
bearing in actively fingering the beads of a rosary pro- 
duced from some fold of his garment, meanwhile 
muttering prayers constantly in an audible whisper. 
This occupation he continued to the end of that day's 
march, and repeated on subsequent marches till we 
returned to less dangerous environment. One accustomed 
to the exploration of the glaciers of this region can quite 
understand, how the glacier-features encountered on that 
and the following days might tend to develop religious 
fervour and call forth in the mind of a novice the exercise 
of all the faith he might possess in the protective power 
of amulets and prayers. 

The ridged surface was succeeded by a labyrinth of huge 
seracs, among which we had to thread a tortuous way. 
On the farther side of these lay a large and very steep 
moraine leading up the left side of the Dong Dong. 
Getting on to the lower end of this we paused to rest and 
look around. In front of this spot the converging trunks 
of four glaciers met, all falling at sharp inclines to the 
eeracked amphitheatre we had just come through, and all 
so crevassed and broken as to be inaccessible. The 
moraine we were on offered the only avenue of approach 
to the upper Dong Dong. The trunk of this glacier, 
although a powerful one descending in a massive ice-fall, 
did not force its way into the tongue below as one of its 
component streams, as under ordinary conditions it would 
be expected to do, but stopped short against the Sher-pi- 
gang, being apparently swallowed up by it, a phenomenon 



64 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

similar to one we have recorded as occurring on the 
Shafat glacier in the Nun Kun.^ The west affluent, 
which after its entrance into the tongue formed its west 
marginal ice-stream, brought down the whole of the 
debris of which the great, west lateral moraine was 
composed. 

After a rest the caravan started up the moraine. In 
addition to its excessive steepness this was covered with 
a profusion of vast boulders and rough, angular, sharp- 
edged rock-fragments, one piled upon another in utter 
disorder, to get up, over, and around which taxed to the 
utmost the energies of the strongest. Every one speedily- 
realized that ascending it was no child's play, and was one 
of those experiences that one did not desire to repeat. It 
was certainly the most strenuous and fatiguing effort of 
the kind we remember to have made, and, while it lasted, 
was comparable to that of ascending a steep and rugged 
mountain. The coolies were over two hours in reaching 
its top. An exception should be made of the sheep and 
goats. The terrain suited them to perfection. They 
sprang from rock to rock, and perched themselves upon 
projecting points with an agility, which quite put in 
the shade the movements of their less active human 
companions. 

Above this moraine rose a high, vertical rock-wall, 
the source of many of the rock-masses we had to scramble 
over. This continued on as the south-east barrier of the 
Dong Dong till it was merged in the precipices of Peak 36 
at the head of the glacier. The proximity of this wall 
directly overhanging the moraine was a source of anxiety 
and danger, since, from time to time, detached rocks came 
crashing down from it upon the glacier-edge, bringing 

' "Vide Peaks and Glaciers of Nun Kun, p. 44. 

















i > 



\ L 




Camp among boulders on ancient, lateral moraine beneath verti- 
cal rock-wall near head of Dong Dong glacier. 

To face page 64. 



CAMPS NEAR DONG DONG HEAD 65 

with them showers of splinters and dust. Fortunately, 
none of them fell sufficiently near to injure any one. 

Above the brow of the moraine the gradient was 
easier. About three p.m. a sandy maidan thinly covered 
with grass was reached, from which an unobstructed 
view opened up of the south-west face of the massif 
of the twin Peaks 35 and 36, heading the nala and soar- 
ing in impressive majesty high above all surrounding 
elevations. This was the only view we obtained of their 
entire south-west face, which is hidden from all points 
below by intervening mountain-walls, and during the 
remainder of our stay on the glacier it was partly covered 
by clouds. 

After a further scramble of half an hour over a rough 
talus we came to a sloping surface, between the high 
moraine and the rock- wall, clothed with grass and stunted 
willows, one to three feet high, growing between granite 
blocks fallen from the heights above. This was as far as 
one could go on that side of the nala. Beyond, stretched 
only vertical precipices and, directly beneath them, the 
crevassed, impassable glacier. As the afternoon was 
waning and we had made a fatiguing march of nine 
hours with a rise of 2,500 feet, in the course of which 
we had encountered a succession of unusually difficult 
and dangerous obstacles, the surmounting of which had 
required sufficient effort for one day, especially for the 
Pathan, the fervency of whose prayers had not been 
abated for many minutes at a time, and to the efficacy 
of which, perhaps, the caravan owed its escape from 
accident, we camped among the boulders. The following 
morning, descending somewhat, we crossed the furrowed 
glacier and camped again in a hollow of a large surface- 
moraine near the north-west glacier-edge, at an altitude 
of 15,000 feet. This served as a base from which the 

5 



66 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

exploration of the neighbourhood during the next three 
days was carried out. 

The west Dong Dong wall consists of a triangular 
contrefort of Peaks 35 and 36 massif running at first west 
and then south, its upper, broader portion rising into 
serrated peaks the highest of which closely resembles Peaks 
35 and 36 in shape, while its lower half narrows into a 
tapering ar^te separating the Dong Dong from the Sher- 
pi-gang and ending at their junction. We ascended this 
arete to a point on its skyline 1,600 feet above the camp, 
higher than which we could not go, being stopped by the 
vertical wall on one of the lower peaks of the contrefort. 
We had reason, however, to be satisfied with having 
reached this spot, for it was, by far, the best observation- 
point attained in this region, being situated in the centre 
of the basin directly between and above the two principal 
glaciers, and sufficiently high, 16,604 feet, to command a 
bird's-eye view of the whole length of the Sher-pi-gang 
and down the nala to beyond the village of Korkondus. 
From it with the aid of compass-bearings we were able to 
obtain a fairly accurate idea of the intricacies of this 
basin and also a series of satisfactory photographs of 
the four Sher-pi-gang reservoirs and of the ice-streams 
issuing from them, which had not previously been seen 
from any other point. 

While the general mountain-view, similar in character 
to that seen from the heights above Zogo, was grand in 
the extreme, and that of the glaciers and of the bizarre, 
lofty, inaccessible reservoirs of the Sher-pi-gang, at the 
head of which Vigne located his Ali Bransa pass to 
Yarkand, framed in shattered peaks and ridges of black 
rock, was more immediate and impressive, perhaps, the 
most remarkable feature was the view obtained by 
leaning over the edge of the precipice, on which we 




Panorama north-west from arete between Sher-pi-gang and Dong Dong glaciers, showing four heads of Sher-pi-gang, from which steep, crevassed ice-falls descend to glacier-trunk. 



VERTICAL VIEW OF SHER-PI-GANG SERACS 67 

stood, of the face of the absolutely perpendicular, indeed 
rather overhanging rock- wall, which fell away 1,500 to 
2,000 feet to the trunk of the Sher-pi-gang, and of the 
long, curving ice-fall directly beneath, pressing hard 
against it, and split up from wall to wall by wide 
crevasses into ribbon-like sections covered with gigantic 
seracs. We had, for years, been familiar with crevasses, 
seracs, and ice-falls. We had seen them from various 
view-points. We had traversed them, ascended them, and 
descended into their recesses, but this was the first 
opportunity we had had of looking down vertically from 
an overhanging height upon them collectively. 

The seracs, as might be expected from the position of 
our observation point, appeared flattened, and conveyed 
to the eye no adequate impression of their actual height, 
but the circumference of their masses and the irregularity 
of their arrangement were plainly visible. Through the 
gaping mouths of the crevasses between them we could 
see far into the glacier-depths, in fact, into its very bowels 
and into abysses which lost themselves in blue darkness 
beneath. Some of the shallower openings were partially 
filled with the splintered ruins of seracs that had fallen, 
and, in places, the bluish green ice served as a setting for 
tiny lakelets reflecting the sapphire blue of the sky. 

We also ascended the nala to see if any passage over 
its barriers near its head could be discovered. The 
moraine on which the camp stood was followed for 
some distance, till the glacier became too broken to 
permit of further passage on it. We then descended to 
the narrow interval bordering its west edge. This was 
choked by boulders, tali, and projecting rock-shoulders, 
and following it up was rough, grinding work. After 
three hours a narrow grass-covered maidan overhanging 
the glacier was reached, the last spot showing vegetation, 



68 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

beyond which lay the desert of rock and ice which had 
stopped our progress on the other side and was equally 
impenetrable from this point on. 

Since this maidan commanded a view of the upper end 
of the nala, it answered the purpose for which we had come, 
so we proceeded to examine the surroundings, took boiling- 
point and temperature-readings and photographs, after 
which, seated on the grass, a rare jDroduct in this region, 
and sheltered from wind by boulders, we ate our tiffin 
spiced by the grand panorama before us. The altitude 
here worked out at 16,100 feet. The cascaded glacier rose 
sharply in ice-falls 1,500 feet higher before it merged into 
two initial reservoirs upon the flank of Peaks 35 and 36. 
Its upper limit as a glacier may be stated as lying at 
approximately, 17,500 feet. 

What was here seen proved the Dong Dong nala to be 
a cul-de-sac, its upper end enclosed by Peaks 35 and 36, 
25,280 and 25,400 feet high, and its sides by two great 
contreforts extending south-west from the main massif, 
with no opening or passage at any point above its mouth. 
These barriers rise in sheer, dizzy precipices, unscalable 
except at the place where we ascended the arete between 
the Dong Dong and the Sher-pi-gang. 

The same is true of the Sher-pi-gang, the upper 
portion of which is larger, more complicated, and more 
snow-bound than the Dong Dong. The whole basin 
draining into the Korkondus nala forms a great, scalloped 
cul-de-sac, in which the explorer, even were the contained 
glaciers accessible, would find himself cut off from the 
Bilaphond and Siachen basins on the east and from that 
of the Kaberi on the west by impassable mountain-walls. 
In character the peaks resemble those of the Hoh Lumba 
and Sos Bon more closely than those enclosing any other 
Karakoram glacier we have explored, but that region is 




% 






o. 


s 


<a 


o 





HANDICAP OF UNFAVOURABLE WEATHER 69 

more open, its glaciers larger, and its grand mountains 
are seen to better advantage. ^ Not a single peak of this 
basin is elimbable. 

The weather on this day, as had been the case for 
several days, was lowery, and the heads of the twin peaks 
that dominate the glacier and form its most impressive 
adjunct were veiled in heavy clouds, which obstinately 
refused to move during three hours we waited with 
cameras ready for instant use, should even their 
momentary parting grant an opportunity to secure a 
picture of what lay behind them. Experiences of this 
kind are not at all unusual, and the explorer can seldom 
succeed in accomplishing all he has planned to do. It is 
certainly most disappointing and exasperating ; after he 
has devoted perhaps a whole season of time, been at much 
expense, and undergone deprivation and hardship in order 
to attain some supreme goal in a region he can never 
visit again, to be prevented by unfavourable weather 
from carrying out his object or even seeing what lies 
behind a curtain of cloud that will not rise. 

Monsoon atmospheric conditions as well as the influ- 
ence of unknown factors in unexplored districts are likely 
to interfere with the complete success of undertakings in 
Himalaya, however carefully the details of preparation 
for their attainment may have been arranged. After 
some experience, one learns to realize, that exploration in 
these mountains is decidedly a game of chance, in which 
the stakes must be put up without any assurance of 
success, with a willingness to accept failure and to be 
satisfied with whatever prizes circumstances permit one 
to carry away. 

We had now accomplished all that could be done here. 

I Vide illustrations of Hoh Lumba and Sos Bon in Ice-bound 
Heights of the Mustagh. 



70 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

A stone-cairn was built on the top of a large boulder, 
which rested on the brow of the glacier behind the camp, 
and was visible from the lower parts of the Sher-pi-gang 
and from the nala to below Korkondus. We then 
crossed the glacier and descended to Zogo by the only- 
available route, that taken in coming up, and the next 
day returned to Karmading. 

During this time Dr. Calciati had been on the Kaberi 
glacier. About six miles above the end of its tongue he 
found the glacier divided into two streams, an easterly 
and westerly, each running, approximately, north and 
south. He followed the easterly stream about four miles 
upward, but did not see its end nor establish the relation- 
ship of the upper portions of either stream to known 
points above. His report of his observations, with topo- 
graphical sketch of the glacier as far as he went, was not 
forwarded to us till late in the summer of 1912, and we 
did not receive it until after we had finished the expedi- 
tion of that year, during which we had discovered and 
crossed the, previously, unknown and unsuspected glacier- 
passage leading from the Siachen to the Kaberi basin, 
and descended the whole length of the Kaberi glacier, 
having had no suggestion from his report that might 
have been of value in determining our movements after 
reaching the Kaberi. 

Savoye and a porter with ten coolies, leaving the main 
party at the upper Dong Dong camp, went ahead and 
made a reconnaissance of the Kaberi tongue and of the 
western arm for some distance above the bifurcation, 
after which they rejoined us at Karmading. They 
reported, that the glacier filled the entire nala-bed 
between the mountain-walls, which rose above it on 
both sides, and were constantly sending down rocks upon 
it, and that its surface consisted of a confused mass of 



SURFACE OF KABERI GLACIER 71 

large, debris-covered hillocks difficult to traverse, upon 
which camps would have to be made, as no safe spots 
existed along the sides. In short, attempting to ascend it 
with a coolie-caravan would be a hazardous undertaking, 
full of unpleasant possibilities. As will later be men- 
tioned, we had opportunity the following year to learn 
by experience that they had not overdrawn the picture. 

In view of this report, supposing that Dr. Calciati 
would be able to obtain an idea of the northern extension 
of the glacier and its relation to the fixed points to the 
north, and in view of the time already lost, we decided 
not to attempt to ascend it, but to go at once to the Hushe 
region and pursue our further personal investigations 
there. 



CHAPTER V 

The hushe valley — Tree-growth on rock-mountains — Alternating 
FANS — Stratified clay-deposit — The masherbrum glacier — Sur- 
face-moraines AND configuration — EeMARKS ON CLIMBING-RATES — 

Ascent of quartzite peak — No passage to baltoro — Crescent 
GLACIER — Descent to camp. 

Leaving Karmading early on the 18th July we returned 
through the Saltoro valley in two days to Hulde, at 
the junction of the Saltoro with the Hushe valley, and 
without stopping there passed on up a steep, sandy 
hill-side into the Hushe and camped beyond the first 
village, about two hours' march above. After coming 
from the Sher-pi-gang and Kondus, the Hushe valley 
is at first disaj)pointing, but later it presents plenty 
of points of interest. For the first five miles above 
the Saltoro junction it is wide. Its eastern side to left 
of river is an uninteresting, stony wilderness, while the 
side west of the river is carpeted with a succession of 
fertile oases with many fruit-trees. The mountain- 
walls on both sides consist of uniform ridges with 
rounded tops of fragile, brown shale, breaking up easily 
into small fragments. These slope back gradually, and 
do not rise into high peaks. 

Farther up, the valley becomes narrower and wilder. 
Granite-ledges appear among the shales and sedimen- 
tary rocks, and granite-peaks come into view right 
and left, which become more numerous, more pointed, 

72 



TREES ON LOFTY ROCK-FACES 73 

and more picturesque the higher one goes, till in the 
upper portion they rival those of the Sher-pi-gang 
and Kondus. From their fla-nks massive tali, 1,000 
feet or more in height, project, over which the 
path passes. The sand of the Hushe is not coarse and 
gritty like that of the Kondus and Saltoro, but has 
small, smooth grains, and mingled with them a large 
proportion of alluvium, so that it feels soft under the 
feet. 

A curious phenomenon occurs in the upper Hushe 
and its tributary nalas, as well as in those farther 
east, in the growth of evergreen trees, probably mostly 
cedars, of rather large size, high up, at altitudes we 
estimated at 13,000 feet and over, in niches upon pro- 
jecting rocks, and even upon vertical or nearly vertical 
rock-faces of mountains and along the skylines of their 
ridges, where no soil, apparently, exists and where no 
water could lodge and remain. They strike their roots 
into the crevices and joints of the rocks, to which they 
hold firmly. Here they flourish with a vitality and 
luxuriance of growth that would do credit to trees 
planted in good, well-watered soil. How they can 
derive nourishment from dry, sun-baked rocks seems 
a mystery. I have nowhere seen trees approaching 
them in size at similar altitudes in the nala-beds. 
Also, deciduous trees, resembling mulberry-trees as 
much as anything, were seen in similar positions, but 
they were so high above that we could not distinguish 
their nature with certainty even with field-glasses. 
Such trees, torn off and brought down into the nalas 
by winter-avalanches, supply the inhabitants with fuel 
where no other wood is to be obtained. 

Among the interesting features of the Hushe are 
its fans, composed of debris poured out by floods from 



74 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

gorges on both sides. They spread out at the widest 
portions from half a mile to a mile. The vast amount 
of material in them seems to have been well held 
together so as to give them great thickness, often 
of many hundred feet. Some of them shoot entirely 
across the valley to the opposite side, and most pass 
far over beyond the central line. At several places they 
occur in pairs, coming from gorges nearly opposite one 
another, in which cases they overlap each other, often 
with only a narrow interval between, so that they 
present to the eye of one ascending the valley the 
appearance of a continuous raised barrier, extending 
across from mountain to mountain. Owing to these 
the valley-bed seems to rise in a series of steps or 
terrace, several hundred feet high, one above another. 
They might be called alternating fans. 

The river has cut its way down, through, and around 
their ends, leaving high, vertical precipices composed of 
mixed debris, much of which, on their faces, loosed by 
weather, has fallen out and formed tali of considerable 
size at their bases. On account of the obstruction 
offered by the fans the river runs in a serpentine 
course from side to side of the valley between them, 
and, where alternating fans occur, its curves are sharp. 
The debris composing these fans, like that of many 
elsewhere, is stratified in horizontal sections of varying 
thickness, showing that they were not formed to their 
present thickness by the outpouring of any single flood, 
but were built up in successive layers by repeated 
floods occurring at various intervals of time. The 
character of the strata varies, one being composed of 
gravel and pebbles, another of alluvium alone or 
mingled with stones and boulders, and still another, 
perhaps, of stones only. 



STRATIFIED CLAY DEPOSIT 75 

Not far below the village of Hushe we passed along 
the front of a semicircular amphitheatre many hundred 
feet long and running back into the mountain-side a 
considerable distance — how far we did not stop to trace — 
composed entirely of light grey, fine clay mingled with 
some sand without any stones. Its vertical face, about 
150 feet high, was weathered so as to show a structure 
of horizontal stratification in thin layers, some no 
thicker than card-board. How this great body of fine 
clay without admixture of coarser debris came to be 
deposited here in this striated form I leave to those 
better versed in geology than myself to explain. No 
othe:;^ similar formation was seen in this region. 

We reached Hushe village at 9 a.m., and, after a brief 
rest, continued on up the valley, crossed the river to 
its west side by a bridge a short distance above Hushe, 
and followed a path leading through a luxuriant 
growth of rose and currant bushes, willows, tamarisks, 
juniper, and cedars, to a level, grassy, park-like maidan 
two miles beyond, which was well watered and sprinkled 
with larches, in addition to the growths mentioned. 
Here we camped at an altitude of 10,817 feet. 

The valley here expands into quite a large basin » 
out of which three nalas lead, one east to the Khondo- 
koro and Chogolisa glaciers, another, the direct prolon- 
gation of the Hushe valley north, to the Masherbrum,, 
and a third west to the Aling glacier. 

The next morning rain fell from four to half-past 
seven o'clock. At eight-thirty we broke camp with the 
caravan to push up the Masherbrum nala, which leaves 
the basin a mile above. A mile and three-quarters up 
the nala we encountered a mass of dark-coloured 
granite and gneissoid debris lying over the nala-bed in 
front of and deposited by the receding tongue of the 



76 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

glacier. A quarter of a mile farther the first ice 
appeared beneath the debris on the west side of the 
nala, and from here the tongue slanted steeply upward 
in a ragged, irregular, rock-covered mass to a high 
brow on a level with the glacier-surface. The ice 
projected down on the west considerably farther than 
on the east side. Near the centre was a large cave, 
from which a good-sized stream of water issued. 

By the time we had begun the arduous ascent of the 
tongue the weather again thickened, and a steady rain 
set in. In this we struggled on till noon, when the 
brow of the tongue was gained. Here we ate tiffin, 
sitting without shelter on the wet rocks and drenched 
by the pouring rain, after which, as there appeared no 
prospect of improvement in the weather, and we did 
not know when, or where, or what kind of a camping 
place could be found above, we descended again and 
camped on sand among the cedars and willows in the 
nala, a short distance below the end of the tongue, at 
an altitude of 11,300 feet. The rain continued until 
evening. 

The following morning, starting again, we ascended 
the tongue to the west bank of the glacier, clambered 
over large tali, among the rocks of which cedar roots 
and splintered fragments of trunks fallen from above 
were scattered, and came to a gigantic, ancient moraine 
several hundred feet wide, towering 200 to 300 feet 
above the glacier-surface, clothed with vegetation and 
dwarf-willows. This furnished an easy pathway, which 
we took advantage of. Five miles above the glacier- 
end a grassy maidan was found on this moraine, 
where camp was pitched at an altitude of 13,633 feet. 
The dwarf-willows, on which we relied for fuel, grew 
to the altitude of 13,400 feet. The glacier-surface, 







>. 






o 



^^ 






>. 



ii rt 



^ I 

r« OJ 






DETAILS OF MASHERBRUM GLACIER 77 

from somewhat below this point upward, was crowded 
up into hillocks and broken into seracs, both heavily 
loaded with detritus. 

Two miles below this camp a short nala opens out 
to the west leading to a cirque of snow-clad peaks, 
which sends down a glacier into the nala. At its 
entrance there was quite a large, shallow lake. Later 
in this season, after our departure, Dr. Calciati ascended 
over the eastern moraine of the Masherbrum glacier 
for two miles and then crossed the glacier diagonally 
to the south side of the entrance of this nala, where 
he camped at an altitude given as 13,808 feet, apparently, 
on a spur considerably above the glacier-surface at 
or near a point indicated on the Indian Survey sheet 
44a, S.W., by the figure 13,985. He places the extremity 
of the glacier-tongue at the altitude of 11,705 feet, which 
accords well with the altitude we obtained for our 
camp, somewhat below, of 11,300 feet. He ascended a 
height west of his camp, to which he assigns an 
altitude of 16,905 feet. 

Our camp commanded a fine view of the glacier 
above to its end and of the southern face of Masher- 
brum and neighbouring peaks. We much enjoyed such 
fleeting glimpses of these as the monsoon-conditions 
permitted. The moraines of this glacier contain, in 
addition to granite and gneissoid debris, quartzite, 
sedimentary rocks, shales, limestones, and much ser- 
pentine in large masses, which would make a fine 
showing if polished. Serpentine also exists in quantity 
in the rocks of the west wall. All these rocks were 
laminated. 

Colonel Godwin-Austen, in the Journal of the Royal 
Geographical Society, 37, 1864, pp. 20-21, mentions his 
" survey work " of the Khondokoro and Masherbrum 



78 THE ICE-WILDS OF* EASTERN KARAKORAM 

glaciers in 1860 very briefly, devoting only seventeen 
lines to the description of them both, the first under 
the name of "Atoser." He does not state that he 
ascended the Masherbrum any appreciable distance, 
but on the Indian Survey sheet 44a, S.W., on which 
this region is shown, what appears like a route-line 
runs up the nala on the west side of the glacier to 
a point marked 13,985, three miles above the end of 
the tongue, which, presumably, represents his route or 
that of some other surveyor and the point where it 
ended. That he did not go beyond this point would 
also appear from his statement : " Some five miles up, 
this glacier forks, each branch being about seven 
miles in length." This statement does not accord 
with his own map, or with the Survey sheet, or 
with the conformation of the glacier as we found it 
in 1911. 

Masherbrum glacier consists of a single trunk, 
which, nowhere dividing in such a manner as to con- 
stitute a fork, broadens as it ascends, and, at the 
point where it is said to fork, viz. five miles up 
opposite our camp, attains a width of at least three- 
quarters of a mile, becoming even wider above. It 
receives on both sides a number of small affluents, 
very small as compared with the size of its trunk, 
descending from the enclosing walls, none of them 
having a length approaching " seven miles." No indica- 
tion was discovered, that the form either of the 
glacier or of its basin has undergone any essential 
alteration within the last hundred years. 

The next day presented a variety of weather, 
frequent snow-squalls with intervals of sunshine. We 
went up the west side of the nala, partly over 
lateral moraines and partly over mountain-slopes, to 



ASCENT OF SHOULDER OPPOSITE MASHERBRUM 79 

its upper end, where it expands into a basin enclosed 
by the flank of Masherbrum and a sheer, ice-covered 
wall running from it north-west and curving around 
to join the nala-wall. The bed of this basin, in the 
walls of which no opening was found, was entirely- 
filled by the much broken and seracked head of the 
glacier, fed by an uninterrupted succession of cascaded 
glaciers and ice-falls descending from the overhanging 
barriers. At the south-west side of the basin-entrance 
five large moraines lay between the glacier and the 
mountain-wall. 

The second morning broke clear and bright. Taking 
camp-outfit, we went up again to the base of a pro- 
jecting shoulder on the west side next the basin, 
which led up by a steep incline to a snow-summit 
directly opposite the south-west face of Masherbrum. 
This was ascended. The first 12,000 feet of this 
shoulder consisted of sharply rising, grass - covered 
slants, such as are rather frequently encountered in the 
Alps though rarely here, that prove fatiguing on 
account of their unvarying gradient, without presenting 
any especial obstacles. Having remained behiT.'^ the 
caravan at its base to attend to a matter of detail, 
I hastened my pace somewhat to overtake it. At the 
end of an hour I found I had ascended by measure- 
ment 1,150 feet. 

This is not mentioned as a particularly noteworthy 
feat, for many a younger and stronger climber would, 
undoubtedly, have made a better showing under the 
same conditions. Yet, considering the gradient and 
character of the slant, that its altitude was above 
14,000 feet, and that I was carrying something of a 
load of cameras and other instruments, it seems a fair 
performance that may be taken as a statistical point 



80 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

for what it is worth. In actual altitude-distance made 
it is quite in contrast with the less than 300 feet per 
hour to which step-cutting on steep ice-slants or deep 
snow has, on occasion, restricted the movements of our 
parties. The upper part of the mountain was climbed 
the next day by us and guides at the rate of 500 feet 
per hour. 

Within the past few years the rate of climbing per 
hour accomplished by mountaineers has been rather a 
favourite topic of discussion in certain quarters. I am 
not one of those, who consider it profitable to spend 
time and effort in attempting to draw from such dis- 
cussions deductions as to the altitude or accessibility of 
summits that have been gained or that may be attempted, 
or as to whether a high summit should be attacked from 
a high or low camp. 

So many factors enter into the determination of 
possible rates on different pathless mountains, and even 
on the same mountain on different occasions, such as 
the age, strength, condition, and endurance of altitude 
of the climber, temperature, state of the weather, the 
gradient and character of the slopes, whether of rock, 
ice, or snow, smooth or rough, hard or soft, with surface 
continuous or interrupted by crevasses or precipices, 
exposed to avalanches or themselves liable to become 
detached and slide, that each instance must stand by 
itself. Its result cannot be forecast by results obtained 
in other instances under dissimilar conditions, and no 
one can foresee what obstacles may be encountered on 
an untried mountain. 

In the course of the discussion of a paper by Dr. 
A. M. Kellas at the Alpine Club on February 4, 1913, 
as reported in the Alpine Journal, vol. xxvii.. Dr. Long- 
staff placed himself on record as quoting an opinion 



A POSSIBLE COAL-MINE AT 21,000 FEET 83 

that descended the reservoir for more than a mile till 
finally swallowed up by crevasses and abysses, and the 
ice on the leeward side of the moraine was blackened 
for a considerable distance by dust, seemingly, derived 
from the pulverization of soft, black fragments falling 
from the shoulder. Such a condition I have not else- 
where noticed in connection with black slate-moraines, 
the outlines of which are usually sharply defined; 
but it would be likely to occur in case the shoulder 
were of coal. If this could be proved to be coal, it 
would be an interesting geological discovery, for the 
shoulder stands at a height of 21,000 to 22,000 feet. 
The moraine appeared to lose itself completely in the 
abysses of the ice-fall. It was not seen to crop out 
again, nor was coal observed in the lateral moraines 
lower down. 

The next day we continued the ascent to the summit 
above. The slant was steep and entirely covered with 
angular, sharp-edged fragments of various sizes and 
shapes piled thickly upon one another, the majority 
being under two feet in diameter, of light grey, hard 
quartzite. Ascending this was somewhat hazardous, and 
was rendered more so by the covering of soft snow, 
which, while concealing the irregularities of the rocks, 
did not prevent one's feet from crushing through it into 
the interstices between them. The whole surface-rock of 
this peak was shattered to a degree I do not remember 
to have seen elsewhere. The snow-mantle made it diffi- 
cult to form a definite opinion at the time as to the cause 
of this condition, but, viewing this and various, similar 
instances in the light of experience and observations 
the following year, I am inclined to attribute it to the 
disruptive effect of earthquakes. 

After a three hours' scramble we approached the 



84 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

summit, which consisted of a thick snow-plateau with 
corniced edge. The cornice was cut through, and we soon 
emerged on the upper surface, where a gentle incline led 
to the highest point, the altitude of which, as determined 
by the hypsometer, was 16,839 feet, though from the depth 
and solidity of the snow-cap we should have judged it to 
be higher. This was named Quartzite peak. 

This summit was the highest point of a ridge project- 
ing from the western barrier of the Masherbrum basin. 
From it the whole sweep of the basin enclosed by steep 
walls of jagged mountains with pointed apices, as well as 
the glacier and its affluents could be seen. Vis-di-vis 
across the glacier towered the mighty form of Masher- 
brum, 8,000 feet above where we stood, the monarch of 
the region, its two summits crossing each other, as they 
appear from points to the south to do, like the mandibles 
of a cross-bill. It figures large in the background of views 
northward from the glacier and from the Hushe valley to 
its lower end, lifting its hoary head high above all sur- 
rounding elevations. Beyond the immediate glacier- 
barriers rose on all sides a forest of sombre, savage 
peaks, the greater portion too pointed to hold even a 
capping of snow. Among them could be recognized, 
looming above their neighbours to the east, the fixed 
peaks 6, 7, 9 (Peaks 27, 26, 25 of the Survey degree-sheets 
respectively). 

As mentioned in the early pages of this book, a tradi- 
tion has existed of a pass from the Hushe region across 
the northern ridge to the Baltoro. In 1903 Mr. Sillem, 
a Dutch traveller, visited the Hushe valley, and on his 
return, reported that he had found at the head of the 
Masherbrum glacier a snow-pass leading over to the 
north, which he wished to attempt to cross, but was 
prevented from so doing by the refusal of his Kashmiri 



NO PASS FROM HUSHE TO THE BALTORO 85 

shikari and coolies to go. When at Kapalu we asked 
Raja Shere Ali Khan about this tradition. He said a 
pass was reported to exist, but further than that he 
knew nothing regarding it. The view from the glacier 
of the steep mountain-wall extending north-west from 
Masherbrum and then around the head of the basin 
without a break was fully verified by the more com- 
prehensive panorama obtained from this summit, reveal- 
ing its features in their truer and more formidable pro- 
portions with no interruption nor attainable depression 
in their solid phalanx, which puts to rest the question 
of a passage northward from the Masherbrum glacier. 

Mr. Sillem may have thought, that a passage might 
exist at the summit of a large feeder, greatly fore- 
shortened as seen from the glacier, entering the 
Masherbrum on the west, which descends from an 
extensive, high reservoir, one arm of which extends 
north to a slight depression in the skyline, that might 
be called a col. This is the only place where a passage 
could by any possibility be supposed to exist. If this was 
the case, and he proposed to try to ascend that feeder 
with only native companions, both the shikari and the 
coolies showed practical wisdom in refusing to make the 
attempt, whether their judgment as to its accessibility 
was worth anything or not. Every part of it, from the 
Masherbrum glacier to its highest limits, a distance of 
some three miles, is so seamed by crevasses and chasms 
curving among huge seracs that a traverse of it, espe- 
cially for a loaded coolie-caravan, would be impossible. 
As Mr. Sillem lost his life two years later on the Col du 
Geant, and I am not aware of any publication in print 
of his experiences, further details are not available. 

One object we had in view in ascending this peak 
carries us backward to the summer of 1899, when, from 



86 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

the summit of Mt. Bullock Workman east of the Skoro 
La, we discovered a large glacier, which, coming from 
many miles to the east in the direction of Masherbrum, 
turns to the north in a crescent around the south and 
west sides of Mango Gusor between that mountain and 
Mt. Bullock Workman, and ends about three miles from 
the opening of its nala into the Braldoh valley just west 
of the termination of the Biafo tongue. This glacier filled 
the whole bed of a verdureless nala, the smooth, desolate, 
ice-covered walls of which, as we remember them, slanted 
up sharply from the ice. We named it Crescent glacier. 
(Vide In the Ice Wm^ld of Himalaya, p. 152 and illus- 
tration.) 

To avoid confusion as to the localization of the portion 
of this glacier seen, it may be stated, that Mango Gusor is 
a peak situated seven miles south of the extremity of the 
Biafo tongue and of the head of the Braldoh valley, 
shown on the Indian Survey sheet 44a, S. W., as " Snowy 
Peak No. 13," triangulated by the Survey at 20,635 feet. 
It is the culminating point of a mountain-ridge extending 
directly south from the head of the Braldoh valley. Its 
immediate relations to the neighbouring heights are not, 
however, correctly represented on the Survey map. It is 
not only the highest but the most southerly elevation 
of the ridge which turns eastward from it, being cut off 
from Mt. Bullock Workman on the west and from the 
mountains on the south, with which it may at one time 
have been connected, by the curving Crescent glacier and 
nala. (Vide In the Ice World of Himalaya, map.) The 
ridge terminates at its northern extremity in a handsome, 
pyramidal peak considerably lower than Mango Gusor, 
facing the extremity of the Biafo tongue, which almost 
abuts against its base. This last peak has been mistaken 
by several explorers of this region for Mango Gusor. 



CRESCENT GLACIER AND MANGO GUSOR 87 

When we descended the Biafo from the Hispar glacier 
in 1908, we intended to ascend and explore Crescent glacier 
from Askole as a base. Preliminary examination of the 
outlet of the Crescent glacier-nala into the Braldoh 
valley, indicated on the Survey sheet as Stokpa Cho, 
showed access to it to be impossible. Smooth, vertical 
walls guard both sides of the entrance, across and against 
which flows the swift, powerful torrent from the Baltoro 
and Biafo glaciers, swelled still more in volume by the 
junction of the Crescent glacier-torrent. The stream was 
too deep to be forded. There were no boats, and had 
there been, they could not have been used on account 
of the rapidity of the current. There was also no bridge 
nor any other way of access to the nala. So, to our 
disappointment, the undertaking had to be abandoned. 

In this connection I would call attention to two state- 
ments in Karakmrim and Westeivi Himalaya regarding 
our work in this region, which do not quite accord with 
the facts, and which the author would, doubtless, not 
object to have corrected. (1) On page 166 is written, 
" The Workmans on their return to the region in 1908 
noted the Biafo [tongue] ^ as practically in the same 
position in which they had found it in 1899." As to 
this I may say, I am not aware that we have anywhere 
made any statement regarding the position of the Biafo 
tongue or lower extremity in 1908. (2) On page 335 is 
also written that we " climbed the two peaks nearest the 
Skoro La, 18,600, 18,450 feet high." What we did climb 
were the nearest peak, named by us the Siegfriedhorn, 
18,600 feet, and the sixth east of the Skoro La, Mt. Bullock 
Workman, 10,4.50 feet, next to and west of Mango Gusor, 
from the summit of which Crescent glacier was dis- 
covered. The second high peak, apparently, the highest 
' " Tongue " inserted by myself to make meaning clear. 



88 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

of the group, was at that time unclimbable, its steep slopes 
being cleft by numerous, huge chasms extending deep into 
the mountain. 

As a last resort, we hoped on the present expedition 
to be able, at least, to see the source of Crescent glacier 
from some height in this vicinity, but our hopes were 
again doomed to disappointment, for, from the one we 
now stood on, the only one accessible, although openings 
between the mountains to the west were visible, nothing 
definite could be determined. We can therefore only 
call attention again to the existence of a large glacier 
flowing west from the vicinity of Masherbrum to the 
south side of Mango Gusor and turning north along its 
western side, and leave to others, in the future, the 
possible exploration of it. 

At the north end of the snow-cap of Quartzite peak 
where it overhangs the upper amphitheatre, a narrow 
rock-ledge jutted out of the snow. From this a narrow, 
ragged couloir descended almost vertically to the snow- 
slope beneath. Although it had a very ugly appearance, 
it offered the shortest return-route, so we decided to 
descend by it. We roped in two parties of three each. 
On account of the broken and loosened condition of the 
surface-rocks, fragments of which were certain to be 
detached, the second party waited till the first had 
passed through the couloir. The descent was decidedly a 
matter of rock-work, involving the use of hands and feet. 
The leaders, held by those above on the rope, tested all 
hand and foot holds before trusting themselves to them, 
and these were carefully noted by those following. 
Progress was slow, but by the exercise of caution all 
got safely down and returned to camp. 



CHAPTER VI 

•OhaRACTBR of GRANITH-BOULDBRS — KhoNDOKOEO glacier : ASCENT, TRUNK, 
SOURCES, MORAINES — FORMATIONS AT HEAD OF GLACIER — INCIDENT OF 

CAMP LIFE — Structure of masherbrum — Chogolisa glacier — Aling 

GLACIER. 

Having finished with the Masherbrum glacier, we 
descended to the maidan at the head of the Hushe 
valley, camped there for a night, and the next morning, 
<;rossing the bridge above Hushe, ascended the east river- 
bank to the nala leading to the Khondokoro and Chogo- 
lisa glaciers. From the south-east side of the opening 
of this nala into the Hushe valley Masherbrum is seen 
through the opening between the bare rock- walls, which 
guard the entrance to the Masherbrum nala, towering 
more than 15,000 feet above. 

The valley-bed and bases of the mountain-flanks here 
were strewn with immense blocks and slabs of a pinkish 
brown granite fallen from the heights above, which, 
on account of their warm tint and size, formed striking 
objects in the landscape. On casual inspection they 
appeared to have a dense, fine-grained, even structure, 
that was not only handsome in itself, but promised to 
be resistant to weather-action and suitable for archi- 
tectural purposes. Closer examination did not bear out 
this appearance. The masses were found to be veined 
^nd banded, in places, with cleavage from weathering 



90 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

along the lines of the veins, which placed this rock in 
the gneissoid category. Also its substance was every- 
where intersected by small joints, and, instead of being 
dense, it was comparatively soft and brittle. 

This rock showed the tendency, noticeable in Kara- 
koram granites and granite- gneisses in general, to be 
much veined, of friable texture, extensively divided into 
small sections by jointing, and to offer relatively slight 
resistance to weathering influences. Indeed, a laminated 
structure in them is often rendered apparent by weather- 
ing. I observed a large gneissoid block on the river-edge 
at Hulde which presented the appearance of a partly 
opened book resting on its back, the leaves radiating 
from the back upward and outward. In the Saltoro valley 
large blocks of biotite-granite, twelve or more feet cube, 
were seen, which were being split into slabs by weathering 
along veins. In some cases the lines of fission ran 
entirely through the blocks. 

A block was met with in the Saltoro valley with a 
diameter of above 50 feet, split into two portions, seem- 
ingly, by the weathering away of a soft vein running 
through its centre. It is possible that frost may have 
assisted in producing this result. The opposed surfaces 
of the two parts, separated by an interval of a few 
inches, were parallel throughout their whole extent. 
The only other available supposition, that the boulder 
was split in two by falling from above, appears unlikely 
from the exact parallelism of the surfaces of the two 
fragments, which, had it been fractured in falling, would 
probably have been inclined towards each other at an 
angle in consequence of the fragments separating or 
bedding themselves unequally in the earth. As it w^as^ 
they rested on an even base. 

During our marches through the Saltoro, Hushe^ 



/? 






^*. 








THE KHONDOKORO NALA 91 

Shyok, and Indus valleys I examined granite-blocks 
along the route with especial reference to the question 
whether any could be found showing a clean, firm, 
crystalline structure, free from veins and joints, 
sufficiently large to supply material for a good-sized 
architectural detail or a statue, but was unable to find 
one. Perhaps such did exist, but none fell under my 
observation. 

The bed of the nala leading to the Khondokoro 
glacier-tongue was covered with an abundance of cedars, 
roses, willows, and tamarisks growing among the rock- 
debris. The rough path ran, now over tali, now over 
stone-paved bottoms shaded by cedars, and now over 
the flood-plain of the river loaded with heaps of cobbles 
and rounded boulders brought down by floods. The 
river, fed by water from the Khondokoro and Chogolisa 
glaciers, had about double the volume of that from the 
Masherbrum glacier. After a six-hour march we reached 
a sandy maidan east of the end of the Khondokoro 
tongue and about on a level with it, where we camped 
at 11,207 feet. Dr. Calciati places the end of the tongue 
at 11,653 feet. The sky on this day was cloudless, and 
the sun's heat rendered the nala too warm for comfort. 
The temperature in the sun at 12.30 p.m., as measured 
by black-bulb thermometer, was 192° F. 

The tongue of the Khondokoro glacier, descending 
in a mass of hillocks heavily coated with debris, ended 
in a bold front near the centre of the nala. It had, 
apparently^ been stationary for a considerable time, as 
it had deposited quite a strong terminal moraine before 
its front in heaps, which were heavier at some places 
than at others. 

The ascent of the Khondokoro nala took us at first 
up the crest of a long and massive ancient moraine, 



92 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

well-clothed with cedars, currants, roses, and smaller 
vegetation, and later over mountain-slopes. The glacier 
was too broken to afford a pathway. At the time of 
our ascent the roses were aflame with all the luxuriant 
splendour that characterizes the flowering of the Hima- 
layan rose, stems and leaves being scarcely perceptible 
among the masses of blossoms. 

Although the glacier has great volume and thickness, 
it does not fill its nala on the eastern side. At some 
distance up the nala there existed between the sheer 
rock-wall and the ice, first a rather wide river-bed, well 
cut out and stone-packed ; second, the ancient moraine 
we were ascending ; third, a deep furrow, 100 feet or 
more wide ; fourth, a small moraine ; fifth, another 
furrow, succeeded by, sixth, a strong moraine then 
forming against the high glacier-side which rose 50 feet 
or more above it. Somewhat higher the nala widens out 
at the entrance of a side-nala, but the glacier follows 
a straight course across the interval at a distance of, 
perhaps, 800 feet from the mountain-wall. 

We made two camps in the Khondokoro nala, one four 
miles up beneath a vertical, striated wall of gneiss at an 
altitude of 13,573 feet, and the other four miles higher 
opposite the entrance of its larger affluent coming from 
Masherbrum at an altitude of 14,270 feet. From these 
our investigations were carried out. 

The Khondokoro originates, mostly, in the Masherbrum 
ridge east of that mountain, and the Masherbrum glacier 
in the same ridge west of it, both receiving large tribu- 
taries also from the main massif. Both have about the 
same length, twelve miles more or less, but the Khondo- 
koro has the greater volume. Colonel Godwin-Austen 
calls this the "Atoser" glacier,^ " Atosur" on the Indian 
' Vide Joum. Royal Geog. Soc, 37, 1864, p. 20. 



KHONDOKORO GLACIER 93 

Survey sheet, but all our coolies and the Wazir spoke of 
it as the Khondokoro. I inquired of the Wazir to what 
the name of Atosur referred. He replied, to the first, 
small, east nala entering the Khondokoro above its 
lower end. 

Colonel Godwin- Austen ^in his brief mention of the 
glacier writes: "This glacier is continued for 6 miles 
further up to the ridge, which on its northern face gives 
off another great glacier some 15 to 18 miles in length." 
The ridge he refers to is, evidently, the Masherbrum ridge 
6 miles, as he reckoned the distance, north of the point in 
the Khondokoro nala which he reached ; but the great 
glacier, 15 to 18 miles in length, he states it gives off is 
not so evident, for this ridge runs also at a distance of 
6 miles and less from, and parallel to, the Baltoro glacier, 
to which all the glaciers given off from its " northern 
face " are tributary at, approximately, right angles. No 
glacier approaching a length of 15 to 18 miles could be 
crowded into a 6-mile space, and none such appears on 
Colonel Godwin-Austen's own map or on other existing 
maps. 

While marching and camping in this nala supplied 
no unusual experiences or adventures, the glacier proved 
very interesting in a glaciological sense, presenting many 
structural peculiarities which need not be described in 
detail here, though some of the more obvious may be 
mentioned. 

Seven miles above the glacier-end the largest and 
most powerful of its affluents enters on the west, 
originating in the lofty south-east wall of the Masher- 
brum massif. The glacier above and below the entrance 
of this tributary presents quite different features, those 
of the portion below it being conditioned on the pressure 
exercised by it on the main trunk. This portion, with its 



94 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

very irregular, crevassed, and debris-covered surface, is 
not easily traversed, but on the upper portion, just above 
the entrance of the tributary, white ice, comparatively 
free from debris and with relatively smooth surface, 
exists, which furnishes an easy pathway upward to the 
glacier-head. 

The Khondokoro originates in several reservoirs, the 
ice-masses from which unite in one channel to form its 
trunk, in which the different ice-streams, some white and 
some moraine-laden, move downward side by side, the 
weaker ones being compressed and either amalgamated 
with the stronger or extinguished. A short distance 
above the Masherbrum affluent I counted seven promi- 
nent ice-streams — first, on east side a crevassed one 
covered with dark gneissoid moraine ; second, one of 
white ice ; third, a dark moraine-stream ; fourth, one of 
white ice ; fifth, another of dark moraine ; sixth, one 
of red moraine ; seventh, one of dark grey moraine, 
forming west edge of glacier. The moraine-streams were 
much larger than the white, and the largest, a huge one 
carrying reddish-brown debris, began at the eastern 
head of the glacier, and ran its whole length to its 
termination. 

When the glacier-trunk thus composed came within 
the range of the powerful pressure of the Masherbrum 
affluent great changes occurred. The two white streams 
were snuffed out and swallowed up. The remaining five 
moraine-streams were crowded together, compressed to a 
third of their former width, considerably mingled with 
one another, and pushed over to the east side of the 
glacier-bed, the red moraine being pressed up into a line 
of great hillocks laden with detritus, which continued 
down to the end of the tongue. 

Meanwhile the affluent entered and occupied the 



VIEW FROM MASHERBRUM RIDGE 95 

portion of the glacier-bed from which it had driven the 
trunk, and henceforth descended with the others as one 
of its streams, forming nearly half its width. Above the 
Masherbrum affluent many glacier-tables were seen, some 
•of them capped with large blocks of dark grey gneiss 
banded with quartz and feldspar veins ; also many ice- 
pinnacles, the remains of seracs pointed off by melting. 
For a considerable distance the free ice-surface was 
forced up by pressure into long, transverse, parallel 
ridges, their tops rounded by melting. 

In pursuance of our object in seeking for possible 
passes, the peaks and ridges between them were care- 
fully scrutinized without the discovery anywhere of a 
passage. The walls were everywhere inaccessible except 
at one place above the northern head, where a lower 
portion of the ridge was reached after a strenuous climb. 
From this no passage downward on the northern side 
■existed. Beyond to the north a high rock-wall with 
sharp peaks was seen running east and west, seemingly, 
connected with the northern side of the Masherbrum 
massif, and intervening between the ridge our party 
stood on and the Baltoro. A glacier of considerable 
size lay between the two. This view-point was nearly 
seven miles east of the Masherbrum summits, and corres- 
ponds almost exactly to the position of the head of the 
Stachikyungme affluent on Sir Martin Conway's Baltoro 
map. This was undoubtedly the glacier seen, and the 
wall was its northern barrier. Clouds in the direction 
of Masherbrum veiled the opening shown on Sir Martin 
Conway's map as existing between this barrier and the 
Masherbrum massif through which the glacier turns. 
Even had the sky been clear, the opening might not 
have been observable from that distance and position. 

At our upper camp, at 14,270 feet, flies were exceed- 



96 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

ingly troublesome, reminding us of our experience at 
Chalt above Gilgit in the summer of 1908.i The heat 
was also oppressive in the tents, which were fully exposed 
to the sun till 5.30 p.m. On July 30th, which was cloud- 
less, the sun-temperature at 12.30 p.m. was 196° F., not so 
high as temperatures ranging from 200° to 208° which our 
black-bulb thermometers have often registered, and 219° 
on one occasion, but sufficiently so to render the interior 
of our tents unendurable till the sun sank behind the 
mountains. 

I venture here to describe an incident of a some- 
what personal character involving a moral and certain 
humorous features, which, had circumstances varied but 
slightly, might have had a tragic termination. 

The incident occurred not at this camp but at a later 
one on the same expedition, at well over 16,000 feet, and 
its interest centres on the precaution the explorer in these 
regions is obliged to adopt, if he wishes his food-supplies 
to hold out for the required time, of keeping them under 
lock and key, and serving them out himself as needed. 

One evening, after we had settled ourselves in camp, 
our bearer came to my tent shortly before dinner-time 
saying the khansamah had not received any soup-ration 
with the other articles sent to him for that evening's 
dinner. 

It so happened I had taken a small tin of concen- 
trated pea-soup (er-bstvurst) wrapped in paper from the 
serving box with other things, and laid it with them 
on the tray of an opened yakdan at the front of my 
tent, where it was overlooked when its companions 
were forwarded to the khansamah. 

When the bearer applied for it, being busily occupied 
in making and noting down observations due at this 
' Vide The Call of the Snowy Hispar, p. 19. 



INCIDENT OF CAMP-LIFE 97 

hour, I, mechanically, took what I supposed to be the 
tin of pea-soup from the tray and handed it to him. 

When the soup was served, we both noticed that it 
was thinner, darker in colour, and had a more greasy 
surface than erbswurst usually presents. Mrs. Bullock 
Workman, eyeing it askance and tasting it with great 
caution, declined to have anything to do with it and 
sent it out forthwith, while I, having dusted a liberal 
quantity of celery-salt into my portion, which effectually 
disguised any peculiar flavour it might possess, and 
remarking that the khansamah probably prepared it 
in a saucepan previously used for cooking meat or 
some greasy food, with that disregard for trifles which 
the " simple life " is apt to beget in explorers, consumed 
almost the entire quantity in my plate. 

Before the meal was half finished I began to ex- 
perience an unusual and unaccountable dryness of 
mouth and throat, associated with a strong desire to 
swallow. In spite of frequent draughts of water these 
symptoms increased to such an extent that by the 
time the eritreinets, consisting of an excellent custard 
pudding, was served, my interest in the dinner had 
entirely vanished. 

Feeling that something must be wrong with the 
viands and strongly suspecting the soup, of which I 
alone had partaken, I sent for the khansamah and asked 
him what he had done to that soup. He replied that he 
had prepared in the ordinary manner the soup he had 
received, and that the saucepan had been used for 
nothing else. 

With the mystery still unsolved, fortified with a 
flask of water, I, at length, betook myself to my camp- 
bed in a temperature falling to 3°F. before morning, 
but not to sleep. By this time my mouth and throat 

7 



98 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

had become as parched and dry as a bone. The constant 
impulse to swallow had become irresistible, and the 
numerous efforts to effect this process painful. Water 
sipped every few moments from the flask afforded no 
relief to either condition. There was also a marked 
stimulation of the nervous system, which of itself 
would have prevented sleep had the other distressing 
symptoms been absent. The hours dragged slowly on 
till after two o'clock in the morning, without bringing 
any relief. The lonely midnight -vigil afforded full 
opportunity for the excited imagination to disport itself 
with suggestions of various unpleasant possibilities as 
to the causation and outcome of these abnormal phe- 
nomena. About three o'clock the symptoms began 
to abate, and toward daylight subsided sufficiently for 
existence to become more bearable. 

After breakfast the khansamah was again summoned 
and questioned. He adhered to his assertion that he 
used nothing but the soup he had received. I then 
asked him, " Have you kept the tin that contained the 
soup ? " He said, " Yes, here it is," drawing forth from a 
pocket and handing to me a china gallipot about the 
size of the erbsivurst-tin labelled " Belladonna Ointment." 
The mystery was explained. The gallipot of ointment, 
also wrapped in paper, had been thrown into my yakdan 
before the expedition started, and had remained unnoticed 
there till this incident brought it to light. 

Neither the dissimilarity in appearance between it 
and the ordinary soup-tin nor the red danger-label with 
which it was adorned had suggested to the khansamah, 
who could neither read nor write, the desirability of 
making inquiries regarding it before using its contents. 

As circumstances turned out no serious harm resulted, 
but I have always felt, that they led me that night 




South-east face of Masherbrum from east bank of Khondokoro 
glacier. Section of latter seen in foreground. 

To face page 98. 



1 B L I C 

•4 ,' 



SOUTH-WEST FACE OF MASHERBRUM 99 

close along the brow of a precipice towering above an 
abyss of destruction, for, as might easily have happened, 
had an additional plate of that soup been taken, 
another heretofore unheard of cause of danger to life 
in mountain -exploration would doubtless have been 
added to the list embracing sudden storms, avalanches, 
falling stones, floods, precipices, crevasses, gathering 
edelweiss, earthquake, and lightning. 

The moral is so evident as scarcely to need stating : 
Never carry a poisonous substance in such a manner 
that it can, under any circumstances, be mistaken for 
an innocuous one. 

The view from this camp of the high, precipitous, 
south-west face of Masherbrum surmounted by its two 
summits, 25,610 and 25,660 feet, still presenting the 
cross-bill appearance already noted, and of the long 
ridge sloping away from it into the distance to the east, 
both extensively ice-clad, was most impressive. Beneath 
the summits a sheer precipice descends far down to the 
head of the Masherbrum affluent. The lofty mass from 
which the summits rise is separated from the highest 
part of the ridge by a great rift, the depth and full 
extent of which we could not see from any point that 
could be reached. 

From the camp, distant about four miles from the 
Masherbrum summits and about three from the pro- 
jecting portion of the massif, as well as from the junction 
of the Masherbrum affluent with the main glacier a 
mile nearer to both, I spent considerable time studying 
the rock of the south-west face through a Zeiss field- 
glass magnifying eight times. Owing to the abundant 
covering of ice, and the weathering and staining of 
the exposed surface, it was difficult to determine the 
exact nature of the rock. 



100 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

So far as could be seen, its colour was light brown 
or yellowish brown interrupted with streaks of grey, 
which latter resembled staining rather than strata of 
a different formation. The general appearance was 
that of a massive, sedimentary rock, though in places 
more or less stratified, the strata lying vertical. It had 
a dense, fine-grained aspect, and was, apiDarently, harder 
and more resistant to degrading influences than most 
of the rocks of the region, giving off very little debris. 
In this respect it contrasted strongly with the granite 
and gneissoid formations bordering the glacier, which 
had thrown off a vast amount of debris, much of it 
in large blocks that covered the glacier and lateral 
moraines, as well as the mountain-slopes. 

The Masherbrum affluent springing from this face 
had no visible moraines and bore almost no detritus. 
I was unable to secure at its line of contact with the 
main trunk any rock-specimens, that could be identified 
as derived from the Masherbrum massif. This, like 
other affluents coming from the Masherbrum side, 
descended sharply from its origin in a tumultuous mass 
of seracs and crevasses. After it had forced its way 
into the trunk-bed, the crevasses mostly closed and 
it flowed on as a clean, undulating, white stream forming 
the western side. Another large affluent from the 
ridge not far above this was one of the wildest, most 
chaotic ice-streams imaginable. 

To describe the Chogolisa and Aling glaciers in detail 
would involve a repetition of much that has been said 
of the other glaciers of this region, which is scarcely 
warranted by the comparatively small size of these 
glaciers. The Chogolisa is considerably smaller and less 
complicated in form than it is shown to be on the Survey 
map. It has a singular shape, and consists of a strong 



CHOGOLISA GLACIER 101 

trunk flowing from north to south, which unites at a 
right angle with another of about the same size flowing 
from east to west. It occupies a deep, irregular basin 
enclosed between the Masherbrum ridge on the north, 
the Kaberi watershed on the east, from which rise the 
two high, fixed Peaks 26 and 27 of the Indian Survey- 
degree sheet 25a, an unexplored region to the south, 
and the Khondokoro watershed on the west. This 
basin is walled in on all sides by the roughest and most 
savage type of mountains, ribbed with aretes bounding 
gorge-like recesses and rising sheer to sharp skyline- 
ridges and turreted summits bearing little snow. 

The Peaks 26 and 27 overhanging the east and south 
ends of the glacier, as fantastic and typical as those of 
any other portion of this region and topped by clusters 
of pointed rock-needles, appear to be composed, mainly, of 
dark grey slate with vertical strata, permeated by bands 
of granite and gneiss. No outlet appears at any point 
except the narrow nala leading to the Khondokoro. 

The glacier fills the entire bed of the basin, between 
the opposing sides of which it is tightly jammed. Its 
tongue abuts against a high hill that has to be crossed 
to reach it, on the southern side of which a narrow ravine 
conducts the water from the tongue to the Khondokoro 
stream. The obstruction to further advance offered by 
this hill renders the rate of flow of the glacier very 
slight, and reduces the glacier itself, practically, to the 
condition of a stagnant glacier. From the hill, the tongue 
from the junction of the two portions to its end is seen 
to be well laden with grey detritus and thrown up into 
hillocks on its southern side, while the eastern part 
beyond the junction is white and seracked, stretching 
from mountain to mountain with no apparent chance 
of a passage anywhere. The northern arm is also 



102 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

extensively seracked, and, like every portion of the 
glacier, dangerous to venture on. 

At first the most available route up the glacier was 
along the base of the north lateral moraine, down which 
rocks were showered by the ice towering above it. One 
sharp fragment struck Savoye above the knee, cutting 
his trousers and bruising the skin, but, fortunately, 
doing no serious damage. From half-way to the entrance 
of the northern arm the edge of the mountain-slope 
could be followed. The north arm was crossed to the 
east slope, and the glacier again resorted to at the 
entrance of a side-affluent. Well up the north arm, 
the upper end of which was much crevassed, the skyline 
of a descending arete afforded a view of the upper end 
of the basin, which bore no near relation to any known 
points. 

The Aling glacier and its basin, the walls of which 
have a similar, sheer, wild character, and over which no 
chance of a passage at any point could be discovered, 
was also examined. A rough march of five miles up the 
Aling nala brought one to the tongue of the glacier. 
This was difficult to get upon from the steep rocks 
surrounding it, but by using the rope in the descent of 
a cliff for some 50 or 60 feet the glacier-surface was 
gained. This was considerably broken and its gradient 
steep, but it was followed up for about two-thirds its 
length to a hill which commanded a view of the upper 
portion. The glacier is shorter than it appears on the 
Survey map and of somewhat different shape. It 
presented no features of unusual interest. 



CHAPTER VII 

Visit to siachen glacier decided upon— Heat in valleys— Oasis of 
damsam and fan forming step in valley — landslide of talus — 
Resemblance of fan-remains to glacial deposits — Absence in 

MOUNTAIN-CURVES OF TRACES OF FORMER GLACIAL EPOCHS — An AMUSING 
visitor AT GOMA — REMARKS ON ALTITUDE -EFFECTS — InSOMNIA AT HIGH 
ALTITUDES. 

It was now the 7th of August. We had finished the 
examination of the Sher-pi-gang region and of, prac- 
tically, the whole line of the great ridge running east 
and west from Peak 25 (Bride Peak) to several miles 
west of Masherbrum without finding any passage over 
it from south to north. A month of the season suit- 
able for mountain-work still remained, and the question 
arose how it should be employed. It was too late to 
think of transferring our base via Shigar to Askole and 
attempting to carry out the original plan of exploring 
the Punmah. So after consideration it was decided to 
retrace our steps through the Saltoro valley to Goma, 
the last village, which could be done in four marches, 
and from there as a base ascend the Bilaphond glacier, 
cross the Bilaphond La, and have a look at the Siachen 
glacier. 

On the 8th and 9th we descended the Hushe valley, 
arriving at Gourtse on the afternoon of the 9th. On 
both days the sun burned from a cloudless sky, and we 
suffered greatly from its heat, which was the more 

103 



104 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

unbearable on account of the sudden change from the 
ice-cooled air of the glacier-districts to which we had 
become accustomed. At 12.50 p.m. of August 9th the 
black-bulb thermometer registered 207*5° F. It was 
a noticeable peculiarity of this season's work that, when 
moving through the valleys where cloudy weather 
would have been a godsend to shut out the scorching 
rays of the sun, we were always favoured with clear 
skies accompanied by singeing heat, while on the glaciers^ 
w^here clear weather was necessary for successful obser- 
vation, rolling monsoon-clouds too often obscured the 
mountain-summits and other important features. 

The next day was again cloudless and hot. A march of 
three and a half hours from Gourtse, first some 1,200 feet 
up a ridge between Gourtse and the Saltoro valley and then 
gradually down over the side of the ridge, brought us 
to Pharon, or Parao, as the coolies pronounced it, and 
after a further two hours over the cobble-strewn river- 
bed, meadows, and hill-sides we reached Damsam, where 
we camped on a sandy maidan near the bank of the 
Saltoro river, shaded by tall, slender poplars. 

From some of the gorges at the bases of the fans of 
the Saltoro and other nalas from which torrents issue, 
the water of which is utilized to convert the fans into 
fertile oases, so far as one could see into them, the 
debris which naturally collects in them from the decay 
of their enclosing walls had been entirely swept out 
by floods, leaving their rock-surfaces bare and clean. 
In others debris had accumulated to an appreciable 
extent, indicating that a considerable time had elapsed 
since any powerful flood had passed through them. 

The village of Damsam is interesting, chiefly on account 
of the physical characteristics of its surroundings. It 
is situated on a fan, projecting like a tongue from the 



■^ 



-J. ,: ■:• KJj'^^Jk^J^' 



I 




THE DAMSAM FAN 105 

apex of the mountain-mass separating the Saltoro from 
the Kondus opening due west for some distance into 
the flood-plain, at the confluence of the Saltoro and 
Kondus rivers. Its northern edge is washed by the 
stream of the Kondus, and its southern edge by that 
of the Saltoro. From its base, which has a thickness 
of several hundred feet and is continuous with the 
descending mountain-flank, it slopes gradually down to 
a pointed end 30 to 50 feet above the level of the flood- 
plain. When formed it must have extended out farther 
than at present, for its area has evidently been curtailed 
by the erosive action of the rivers on either side. Its 
edges have been cut away so as to present a vertical 
cliff around the projecting tongue, which affords ample 
opportunity to observe its structure. 

The fan is composed of a mass of rock-fragments and 
boulders of various sizes mingled with alluvium, sand, and 
gravel, of which the rocks form a conspicuous portion 
and extend close to the upper surface, where there is 
little soil to cover them, which renders more remarkable 
the great fertility of the oasis, that produces an abun- 
dant growth, not only of poplars and fruit-trees, but, in 
summer, of such crops as are necessary to the sustenance 
of the inhabitants. 

This fan, though lying directly in front of the Kondus 
opening, did not originate in that nala, but is composed 
wholly of debris derived from and poured out of the 
Saltoro. Its light grey material, stratified in places, can 
be traced upward along the northern bank of the river- 
gorge, of which it forms a part, for a mile or more to a 
broad and high massif on the northern nala-wall with 
gullied front and serrated summits of the same light grey 
rock, from which the accumulated debris was swept down- 
ward during, probably, more than one flood. Directly 



106 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

opposite this massif another fan, much shorter but of 
considerable depth and of more alluvial character, con- 
nected with a gorge behind it, occupies the south side of 
the valley, and helps to raise its apparent bed, but it does 
not extend to Damsam. 

Just above Damsam the Saltoro valley suddenly 
narrows, turning south-east through a gateway, the 
pillars of which are formed by two opposite, massive, 
smooth-faced, steeply slanting, brown granite-mountains. 
Through this gateway the Damsam fan issued, its base 
or higher portion spreading nearly or quite across the 
interval between its two pillars, and forming a high step 
in the valley at this point. This has mostly persisted to 
the present time, and its upper surface is largely covered 
by a huge talus of dark brown granite-debris derived 
from the face of the northern mountain. This talus has 
overridden the north-west edge of the fan next the 
mountain. Meanwhile the Saltoro river cut its channel 
through or along the weaker southern edge of the fan 
not far from the base of the southern pillar. 

Just here an event occurred in the not very distant 
past that has left its traces in an unequivocal and in- 
teresting manner. A large talus had also formed upon 
the smooth, rather sharply inclined surface at the base 
of the southern pillar, which it covered to a considerable 
depth. Owing to its increasing size and weight the 
anchorage of a large portion of this, at last, proved 
insufficient to hold it longer in place, or was weakened 
by some convulsion of nature, such as flood or earth- 
quake, and the vast mass was precipitated downward as 
a landslide against and over the edge of the base of the 
pre-existing fan, blocking the passage previously exca- 
vated by the river and completing, probably for the 
second time, the continuity of the step across the valley. 





1 s 



O £ 



VALLEY-STEP AT DAMSAM 107 

The smooth, sharply sloping granite -surface of the 
mountain-flank thus denuded is very conspicuous. The 
easterly portion of the same slope is still covered by 
talus in situ, which has remained unaifected by the 
causes which operated to dislodge the rest from its 
position, the line of demarcation between the two being 
sharply drawn. 

The river thus dammed must have risen behind the 
obstruction and formed a lake, that increased in depth 
and extent till its water reached the top of the barrier, 
which it overflowed, and through which it soon began 
to hollow out a channel. The river has since cut its way 
along the line of lowest and least resistance nearly or 
quite to the former level of the valley, completely drain- 
ing the lake and excavating a deep, narrow, ragged 
gorge, the bottom and sides of which are encumbered 
by immense blocks of brown granite derived from the 
overhanging mountain. It should be noted that all the 
debris at this point, with exception of the debris of the 
fan, appears to be of local origin, being identical with 
and derived from the rocks of the mountain immediately 
above. 

For the next eight miles the valley runs south-east. It 
is narrow, walled in by steep, bold mountains pierced by 
gorges, is everywhere V-shaped and choked by great tali 
and fans descending sharply to the river, which occupies 
a narrow bed at the apex of the V. Many of the fans and 
some of the tali have been deeply furrowed and cut into 
fragments by floods. Remains of fans thus destroyed 
may be mistaken for glacier-moraines. Undoubtedly, they 
have been so mistaken more than once by travellers, who 
have brought back reports of glacier- deposits in places 
where the deposits mentioned may have had no connection 
with glacier-action. 



108 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

A source of liability to error of this kind lies in the 
fact that fans often contain rounded boulders similar to 
those seen in glacial deposits. Rocks and boulders may 
have their angles rounded off in other ways than by 
glacier-activities. Those found in the fans of this section 
of the Saltoro valley have, too evidently, been transported 
to their present positions by floods to admit of the suppo- 
sition of glacier-agency. It is possible that some such 
boulders may have been rounded by ice-movements back 
among the mountain-heights and have found their way 
into the gorges, whence they, with other detritus, were 
swept out by floods. If this section of the Saltoro was 
ever occupied by a glacier, no traces of such occupation 
now remain either in moraines or in marks on the 
rocks, so far as I was able to discover by careful obser- 
vation of its whole length on the three occasions we 
passed through it. Its bed was, evidently, at a former 
time considerably lower than at present, but how much 
lower and whether it was V or U-shaped it is now very 
difficult to determine on account of the enormous 
quantity of debris accumulated in the fans and tali, 
which cover it. 

During our movements in various parts of this region 
I sought in the valleys and nalas for evidence of former 
glacial epochs in the curves of the opposing mountain- 
flanks without definite result. At the outset at several 
places, as seen from a distance, symmetrical, concave 
contours converging from both sides appeared to indi- 
cate, that at least two such epochs had occurred. I 
secured photographic evidence of these contours, and 
went forward with sanguine anticipations of obtaining 
interesting results from closer inspection. When the 
places were reached, the appearance of symmetrical 
curves was found to be due to the enchantment lent 



APPARENT GLACIER-EROSION 109 

by distance to the combined effect, as seen in profile, of 
several projecting shoulders considerably removed from 
one another, they and the intervening slopes being com- 
posed of broken and shattered rocks showing no vestiges 
whatever either of the excavating or smoothing action 
of ice, or in any other way, of the previous presence of 
glaciers. Even where glaciers may formerly have occu- 
pied valleys, the brittle and friable condition of the 
rocks, leading to the rapid breaking up of their surfaces 
from weathering, might easily destroy all traces of any 
sculpturing effects that had been produced on them. 

I do not wish, from the relation of the above experi- 
ence, to be understood as implying, that there have been 
no glacial epochs in the Karakoram previous to the 
present. I am merely pointing out conditions unfavour- 
able to the preservation of records, that might have been 
left on the rocks by glaciers of former ages. 

When one takes note of the incredible amount of 
debris, which has been and is being brought down by 
the myriad glaciers of these great mountains and ex- 
creted by them as gigantic moraines ; which lies piled 
up everywhere throughout the valleys in huge rock- 
heaps or tali, 1,000 feet or more high, against the faces 
of the cliffs ; which, accumulated in, has been washed 
out of the gorges by floods and deposited on the valley- 
beds as vast fans hundreds of feet thick and with a 
spread of more than a mile ; all of it within recent 
geological time having formed portions of solid mountain- 
walls, one can understand how evidence left on rock- 
surfaces by former glaciers might be totally obliterated. 

Above the village of Mandik the valley again widens 
and turns east. Its bed is covered with fans, some allu- 
vial and cultivated, others composed of rocks and arid. 
Another four miles brought us to Goma, opposite the 



no THE ICE- WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

mouth of the Ghyari nala, which served as the base for 
our future movements. 

The expedition of 1911 up to this point and the last 
days of that of 1912 resulted in the exploration and 
bringing v^ithin the range of definite [knowledge of 
the fantastic and super-savage region partly described 
in the foregoing pages occupying the southern flank of 
the great divide between the Baltoro and the Hushe, 
Kondus, and Saltoro basins. 

Although this region adjoins on the south the Hushe 
and Saltoro valleys with their travelled routes, it 
appears, before our exploration, to have attracted little 
attention, and large portions of its inner recesses 
remained unvisited and unknown. While it does not 
possess the kind of geographical interest attaching to 
regions traversed by distant or historic trade-routes, its 
peculiar conformation and the character of its glaciers give 
it a geographical, physiographical, and glaciological interest 
of no slight moment, and makes its delineation and the 
linking up of it with the adjoining portion of the Eastern 
Karakoram a matter of geographical importance. 

After we had settled ourselves in camp on the hill-side 
west of the village, an extraordinary visitor came to pay 
a call in the person of a gaunt, wrinkled woman no longer 
young. Her feet bare, she was clad in a round, close-fitting 
cap, jacket, and short, tattered skirt, made of ragged patches 
of many textures sewn together with an equally miscel- 
laneous collection of thread and twine, one fragment 
superposed upon another to a number and extent that 
would quite put in the shade the completeness of the 
scaly epidermis of any fish that, probably, ever swam in 
the waters of this earth. ^ As to colour, if Joseph's 

' Patchwork-garments made of any rags available regardless of 
size, shape, colour, or texture, sewn together one upon another 




o 






ih -^ ''-'[ 




y. 




g 
o 
O 

c 

H 
o 



LADY-VISITOR AT GOMA 111 

historic coat in any measure approached the multiplicity 
of colours displayed in the scanty draperies of this lady, it 
must have been a marvellous garment, the fame of which 
was worthy of being handed down in tradition to future 
generations. In chromatic complexity the rainbow had 
no chance in the comparison with the modern imitation 
now before us. 

Her jewels, which were suspended upon her breast by 
a cord around her neck, consisted of a wooden comb of 
native fabrication shaped like a hand with spread fingers 
and handle tapering to a point, the mouth and neck of a 
soda-water bottle, and four blue Birmingham beads. 

She approached without fear or timidity, a somewhat 
unusual circumstance with native women so far from 
civilization, many of whom are as shy as ibex of Euro- 
peans, and, without asking leave, seated herself in a 
confidential manner beside me in front of my tent where 
I was resting, much as a domesticated monkey or petted 
house-cat might have done. She brought with her two 
turnips in a wilted, wrinkled condition that had, evidently, 
had no acquaintance with the nourishing embrace of 
mother-earth for a considerable period. These she 
presented to me as a gift-oifering. 

We gave her some biscuit-tins and a cigarette-box, of 
which she eagerly took possession. Such tins, as well as 
bottles, are greatly prized by the inhabitants of these 
distant villages as household utensils, and well they may 

without seams, with tattered edges hanging free, or so often repaired 
in the same manner that the original fabric is no longex^ discernible, 
are frequently worn by Baltis, particularly children. This does not, 
apparently, indicate that the wearers are paupers or socially inferior 
to their neighbours. Another instance is seen in the short shirt 
worn by the child in the photograph with the Pathan facing 
p. 62 and in that of "The Maid of Askole " in The Ice- World of 
Himalaya, opposite p. 128. 



112 THE ICE- WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

be, for they are superior to any of the simple utensils of 
their own manufacture. The smaller tins, such as pea- 
soup, tobacco-tins, and the like, provide them with 
drinking cups of convenient size. After due inspection 
of some Huntley and Palmer biscuits, which were given 
her, she proceeded to nibble them in a leisurely manner 
with evident relish, displaying none of the aversion 
almost invariably shown by these people to European 
foods, which leads them to refuse to touch them. Her 
appearance, manner, and actions were so contrary to 
those of the ordinary native woman as to make her an 
amusing and interesting study, and also to give us the 
impression that her mental condition was not wholly 
normal. 

After we had observed her odd ways for a sufficient 
time, we tried to convey to her mind, by words and signs, 
that it was not necessary for her to further prolong her 
friendly visit, but she did not take the hint and would not 
stir. Repeated admonitions and even forcible gesticula- 
tions produced no effect. She calmly remained seated 
nibbling a biscuit, eyeing us meanwhile with a self- 
satisfied air. 

The Pa than servant was whistled up, and ordered to 
try to induce her to depart by the use of some of the 
persuasive measures he had ^employed so effectively in 
clearing the path of obstructors on the march. It did not 
take long for him to make her understand that her presence 
was no longer desired, so, gathering up her treasures of 
empty tins and several other presents, she took her 
departure, followed by the Pathan, who accelerated her 
pace by stern exhortations till she disappeared from 
sight. 

In both seasons when the coolies who volunteered for 
the expeditions were lined up at Goma for inspection and 



GREY-HAIRED COOLIES 113 

registration, a number with grey hair and beards, who 
appeared too old to be able to endure the rough life in 
prospect, were told to stand aside. This they did very 
unwillingly, and they returned to the line two or three 
times, pleading to be included among those who were to 
accompany us. They were, however, definitely rejected, 
as we did not wish to take any chances of their becoming 
ill or giving out under circumstances where they could 
not receive adequate attention, or of our being made 
responsible in the case of their death, or of the disturb- 
ing effect such incidents might have on the freedom of 
movement of our caravans. 

When we left Ali Bransa, three marches above Goma, 
to cross the high Bilaphond La, four or five of them, who 
had been sent up a march after us with grain, were 
noticed in the caravan. Two of them gave out two days 
later and had to be sent back, but the others continued 
with us throughout the expedition and were never found 
wanting, so far as strength and marching ability were 
concerned. It is difficult to judge of a coolie's actual age 
after his youth is passed, and grey hair does not always 
indicate lack of energy. As we have previously pointed 
out, some of our most energetic and enterprising coolies, 
who have carried the heaviest loads and been among the 
first to arrive at the day's goal, have been grey-haired 
men who would have been rejected, had there been 
opportunity for choice. 

In our preceding volumes we have noted certain 
disturbances of physiological function which came within 
the range of our observations at high altitudes. During 
the expeditions of 1911-12, while no startling deviations 
from the normal occurred among the members of our party, 
such as did occur accorded with those previously described. 
They will be briefly mentioned later. Personally, above 

8 



114 THE ICE- WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

17,000 feet my experiences were the same as they have 
always been above that altitude, viz. accelerated respira- 
tion on slight exertion, insufficiency of ordinary respiratory 
movements in the recumbent position, necessitating 
frequent deep inspirations, sensation of lassitude, indis- 
position to exertion, and inability to sleep well. These 
were not sufficiently marked to interfere with the 
performance of daily work, but, especially during the 
expedition of 1912, when we passed six weeks at heights 
of 16,000 to 21,000 feet, they produced a feeling of 
discomfort that constantly suggested the relief which a 
return to lower altitudes would give. 

I would here call attention more in detail to one of 
these, viz. insomnia. Having regard to the experience 
of ourselves and European companions, in all ten 
Europeans, at high camps at the head of the Chogo 
Lungma and upon the Nun Kun plateau, I expressed the 
opinion, or made the suggestion, that in attempts to scale 
the higher Himalayan peaks insomnia might be found an 
obstacle to success. No claim was made that all or a 
definite proportion of mountaineers would suffer from 
insomnia. The implication plainly was that, judging from 
our experience, a greater or less number of mountaineers 
might be affected by insomnia at higher altitudes than 
have yet been camped at, and that the loss of sleep for a 
number of nights, which would, probably, have to be 
passed at such altitudes, would so weaken them as to 
greatly handicap their efforts, if it did not entirely 
prevent success.^ 

In the course of quotation, through some inadvertence, 
this suggestion became twisted into " Dr. Woi^kman believes 

' For grounds on which this suggestion was based vide Ice-Boiind 
Heights of the Mustagh, p. 297 ; also Peaks and Glaciers of Nun 
Kun, pp. 81, 89, 90, 



ALTITUDE-INSOMNIA 115 

it impossible to sleep at heights of over 20,000 feet," in which 
form it has been widely published, and was used by 
Dr. de Filippi in lectures and in his book Karakoram and 
Western Himalaya, p. 316, where he cites the experience 
of the Duke of the Abruzzi and guides as contradicting 
this sweeping belief. 

Reviewing our own experience and that of the 
Europeans with us on various expeditions, I do not con- 
sider that my suggestion, as above stated, needs any 
qualification. The fact that the Duke of the Abruzzi with 
three ^ companions " spent nine days at a height of over 
20,700 feet" does not invalidate its force nor obliterate 
the experience it was based on, nor prove that all moun- 
taineers would be exempt from insomnia or mountain- 
sickness at great altitudes, any more than the immunity 
of some persons to enteric fever and variola proves that 
these diseases have lost their power to scourge mankind. 

While some climbers may be able to sleep at any 
altitudes that may in the future be reached, sufficient 
evidence, even at altitudes considerably below 20,000 feet, 
has been recorded, to show a strong probability^ against 
every one being able to do so. As in the case of mountain- 
sickness, it could not be determined beforehand what 
climbers might thus suffer, whether the strongest or the 
weakest. As confirming our experience in this regard, I 
would state, a number of young and vigorous sportsmen 
in Himalaya have told me they could not sleep well at 
15,000 feet, and have felt other altitude-effects. One said 
he was used up at 13,000 feet. I have known several 

' Dr. de Filippi asserts on p. 364 of work cited that seven Europeans 
spent nine days at a height of over 20,700 feet, but on p. 317 he states 
that three porters descended on July 13th to the base camp 16,637 
feet, and did not return till July 16th, thus reducing the number who 
remained nine days to four. 



116 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

apparently healthy persons, who have suffered so much 
from insomnia, circulatory and respiratory disturbances 
at 10,000 feet that they have been obliged to descend to 
louver levels. I have known of two instances and heard 
of others where for the same reason an altitude of 5,000 
feet could not be endured. 

In addition to the above a good deal of confirmatory 
testimony to the occurrence of insomnia at comparatively 
low altitudes (13,000 to 15,000 feet) has been brought 
to my notice during the past seven years in conversation 
with persons having a practical acquaintance with high 
mountain-regions. Without any allusion to insomnia on 
my part, it has been asked of me time after time with 
surprising frequency, whether we could sleep at the 
altitudes at which we have done much of our work. 
This question has invariably been followed by the remark 
that the questioner, having attained some such moderate 
altitude as that mentioned, had either been unable to 
sleep at all, or, at best, but little. 

Supj)orted by so much independent testimony as to the 
occurrence of insomnia at rather low altitudes as well as 
by our own experience at camps above 19,350 feet, the 
suggestion, that in attempts on the highest peaks at 
considerably greater altitudes it might prove an obstacle 
to success, appears to be well within the bounds both of 
experience and probability. Two facts, at any rate, 
appear to have been established by the evidence already 
available, of which the above is only an indication : (1) that 
insomnia, as well as other physiological disturbances, is 
caused in many persons by altitude, and (2) that insomnia 
and other disturbances manifest themselves in different 
persons at different altitudes. How far my suggestion 
may be borne out by the experience of those who may in 
the future camp at altitudes of over 23,000 feet remains 



CAUSE OF ALTITUDE-INSOMNIA 117 

to be seen. It is possible that those liable to be thus 
affected might suffer so much before reaching that 
altitude that they would be eliminated from a climbing 
party, and that those who remained to camp higher 
would be immune to this affection. 

So far as I have been able to analyse my own personal 
experiences and sensations at high altitudes, I am inclined 
to attribute the occurrence of altitude-insomnia, largely 
if not wholly, to the insufficiency of ordinary respiratory 
movements in the recumbent position, and to the dis- 
turbing effect of the constant, forced, compensatory 
respiration demanded to relieve the distress caused by 
deficiency of oxygen in the air. Insomnia under these 
conditions does not necessarily imply that drowsiness and 
inclination to sleep may not be present. They certainly 
have been at times in my own experience, but, if yielded 
to, the attendant diminution in the force and frequency 
of respiration very shortly causes one to gasp violently 
for breath, and even, at very high altitudes, to start up 
into the erect position in order to breathe more easily, 
thus preventing sleep that might otherwise be obtained. 

The ultimate effect of respiratory insufficiency at high 
altitudes resembles closely that produced by a mild attack 
of asthma, though the underlying conditions are quite 
different, the effect in the former case being due, 
apparently, to a deficiency of oxygen in the air, and in 
the latter to deficiency of the same gas in the blood in 
consequence of spasm and congestion of the respiratory 
tract. 

In either case, when one is sitting still one may not be 
conscious of any marked deviation of respiration from the 
normal, but as soon as movement is attempted, especially 
sudden movement, one becomes conscious of a painful 
sensation of respiratory oppression or deficiency, a 



118 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

so-called want of breath, that necessitates gasping and 
strongly accelerated respiratory efforts for its relief. 

In both cases the effect of the recumbent position on 
the respiration is similar to that of movement. One 
cannot breathe so well in this as in the erect position, 
and the disturbance of respiration thus induced would 
appear to be the chief factor in the production of 
insomnia in both. 

Leaving Goma on the 14th of August, we ascended the 
Bilaphond glacier, crossed the Bilaphond La at its head, 
a glacier-pass of 18,370 feet altitude, and descended 
another large glacier leading down east to the Siachen 
glacier, of which last we explored a portion and two of 
its largest affluents. This served as a preliminary to the 
more thorough and important exploration of the great 
Siachen glacier in 1912, which will be described in 
Part II. 



CHAPTER I 

"Whatever the hardships, whatever the dififlculties, let me 
O Allah, return thither again." 

The Siachen or Rose glacier is situate between latitude 
35° 11' 20" and 35° 43' 30" north, and longitude 76° 45' 
and 77° 17' 30" east. It was first seen by Colonel Henry 
Strachey, who in October 1848 ascended its tongue for 
two miles. It was thought by Thomson and Strachey 
to end in a mountain-wall about twenty miles above 
the end of its tongue, and the Survey map gives it that 
length, approximately. Dr. T. G. Longstaff first crossed 
the Bilaphond La from Baltistan in 1909, and descended 
into the Siachen basin, remaining one day and taking 
angles with clinometer to various peaks. The same 
autumn he ascended the tongue of the glacier from 
Nubra for about nine miles. As a result of his visit it 
was decided the glacier extended farther north than 
had been supposed. 

This was all that was known of the great glacier 
until 1911, when, as previously stated, Dr. W. Hunter 
Workman and I at the close of our summer's exploring 
work crossed to the Siachen, and made as much of a 
reconnaissance of its basin as the short days, variable 
weather, and glacier-conditions at the advanced season 
would admit of. Two of its largest affluents were also 
explored, and a peak of near 21,000 feet climbed. But 

121 



122 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

the exploration of the great Rose ^ was as yet only- 
begun, and to nie the most important sensation of the 
time passed there in 1911, the one that, in spite of 
hardships and obstacles encountered, was ever tightening 
its grip on my soul, was, that I must return to it, further 
examine its basin, force a way to and cull the secrets of 
its high sources, and have the glacier completely surveyed 
and its important peaks triangulated. 

This was an ambitious project for a private explorer 
without Government assistance, as one was faced with 
the undeniable fact that the Rose was not only the 
longest and widest in Asia, but incomparably more 
inaccessible from any proper base of supplies than any 
other great Karakoram glacier. Those who, like our- 
selves, have investigated glaciers such as the Hispar, 
Baltoro, and Chogo Lungma, all of which may be 
ascended from their tongues, will experience the shudder 
which the thought produces of visiting in its entirety 
a 46-mile-long glacier with a useless tongue. I say 
useless tongue for the following reasons : The sparsely 
inhabited Nubra valley, devoid of large villages that can 
supply the needs of an explorer's caravan, winds its wild, 
uncultivated way north of Ladakh to the Rose glacier- 
tongue. From this tongue issues the Nubra river, which 
in ever-increasing volume from the melting of glaciers 
above bears down upon the valley, cleaving it in the 
centre with its seething torrent. Some three or four 
fordings have to be made, from one side of the valley 
to the other, before the glacier-snout is reached, and 
these, between May and September 15th, because of the 
height of the water and the numerous quicksands existing 
in the river-bottom, cannot be made by man or beast. 

' I use both the name Siachen and the English translation, Rose, 
for this glacier. 








3 a 



W) s 



■^ J -c 

m <4-i -^ 



^ 


nj 


►* 


d 


^ 


^3 




03 


3 


H-t 


-d 


a> 


O 


a 


X> 


TJ 


rt 




OJ 


g 


tj" 


<D 


d 


Ji 


r> 


3 


i^ 


H 


O 


0) 




fe 


c! 




_i 




4J 




>. 


J 


^ 




bo 


TJ 



•^1 

O -in 



o cu 

»-i 0) 



M J-( -^ 



0) 

be 



0) ^ 



t^ O +-" 



a 

O 



rt 
fX 



ROSE GLACIER DIFFICULT OF ACCESS 123 

Thus has Nature rendered the Rose glacier-tongue 
" useless " and impervious to human approach during 
the five summer months. 

Hence the exploration of the Rose resolves itself at once 
into solving the problem of making a last base at Goma, 
in the Saltoro valley, Baltistan, which is separated from 
the Rose by the five-mile-long Ghyari nala, the thirteen- 
mile-long, difficult Bilaphond glacier, the 18,370-feet-high 
Bilaphond La, and the Lolophond glacier descending for 
seven miles. When this has been done, and the little 
feat of traversing these intervening stretches performed, 
you are there, and have tapped the Siachen at about 
16,000 feet, where you may next make a new receiving 
base for the hundreds of maunds of flour, stores, sheep, 
and wood required by a large contingent of men for 
several weeks. 

"No, I won't come again," I said, as I sat snowed in 
in my tent for two days before returning over the 
Bilaphond La in September 1911. But no sooner had I 
turned my back to the Rose and reached again the top 
of the pass on that brilliant September 16th, than my 
mountain-ego reasserted itself, saying tant pis to the 
obstacles, "Return you must." 

Thus April 1912 again found us at Srinagar. Byramji 
was re-engaged as agent, and dispatched at once to 
Kapalu and Goma, where he was to take charge of 
collecting the large quantity of grain required to feed 
the caravan, of selecting coolies, buying sheep, and 
making general arrangements. Dr. Hunter Workman 
accompanied me, this time, in charge with me of com- 
missariat and as photographer and glacialist, but I was 
the responsible leader of this expedition, and on my 
efforts, in a large measure, must depend the success or 
failure of it. 



124 THE ICE- WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

Through the kind assistance of Mr. E. A. Reeves, 
F.R.A.S., I secured the services of Mr. C. Grant Peterkin, 
diploma-holder of the Royal Geographical Society, as 
surveyor. Col. Sir Sidney Burrard, R.E., C.S.I., Surveyor- 
General of India, most kindly loaned me a native plane- 
tabler, Sarjan Singh, of Party No. 1 Indian Survey, to 
assist Mr. Peterkin. This man rendered great assistance 
by his work, without which it would not have been 
possible for one person working alone to produce a 
fairly accurate map of the region in a single season. 
He was most painstaking and diligent, hardy of body 
and of obliging and agreeable disposition. I have also to 
express my sincere thanks to Col. Sir Sidney Burrard for 
the loan of theodolite, plane-tables, chronometer watch, 
and other instruments. My best thanks are also due to 
the Royal Geographical Society for the loan of plane-table, 
chronometer watch, and other instruments. Major Pirrie, 
in charge of Party No. 1, selected Sarjan Singh for the 
work, and I have to thank him for seeing that instru- 
ments were ready at Srinagar and for doing all he could 
to assist the expedition. 

Of late, it has not been the custom of the Government 
of India to assist private explorers visiting outlying 
districts of Kashmir, beyond giving them a permit to 
do so, but I have, nevertheless, to thank the Hon. Stuart 
Eraser, C.I.E., C.S.I., for kindly notifying the native 
authorities of my needs, and for doing what was con- 
sistent with his position as Resident in Kashmir. Two 
reservist Sepoy orderlies from the Indian Army, Pindi 
Division, accompanied the expedition, and were very 
useful in leading coolie-caravans to and from the Goma 
base. Cyprien Savoye of Pre St. Didier, Italy, came for 
the fifth time as chief guide, and with him the guides 
Quaizier Simeon, Rey Adolf. The two latter are first- 



T! 












c g 

CO , - 

^ o 



ip f3 <D 



03 



I ••-I 



cd 






(D O "l* 

bo oj TJ 

U 03 

■^ ^ Ph 






c3 .y 






m4 



-' o 



4J 



THE COOLIE-RAJA 125 

class Italian guides, but agreed on this journey to act 
as porters or guides as occasion demanded. Ohenoz 
Cesare and Rey Julian, porters of Courmayeur, were 
also attached to the expedition. 

We left Srinagar, Kashmir, on June 5th, Mr. 
Peterkin, Sarjan Singh, and Quaizier preceding us by 
two weeks for Baltistan. Raja Shere Ali Khan, the 
intelligent, charming man who assisted us so greatly 
the previous year, had died in January and been 
succeeded by his nephew, Nasir Ali Khan, a young- 
man who appeared to lack all the tact and force of 
character of his uncle. I dubbed him the " Coolie 
Raja," for while we stayed at Kapalu two days for 
preparatory purposes, after making his salaams to us 
he passed most of his time drinking tea and tavia- 
shing with the servants in their tent. 

The Resident, Mr Eraser, had requested the Wazir 
Wazirat at Leh to ask this small Raja, or more 
accurately, Jagadir, so far as was in his power, to 
procure enough coolies and grain for the work on the 
glaciers. This the Raja told me he had done, and 
perhaps he had, although we never saw much evidence of 
this assistance, and, from what we later learned, his 
power to move the inhabitants of the Saltoro valley to 
visit the Rose was practically nil. However, he gave me 
our old headman, the hardy, good-natured, little Wazir 
Abdul Karim, who hung to our camp from start to 
finish, always working in our interest, trying his best 
to lead the coolies and prevent their absconding in 
batches, which at times they elected to do. 

Dr Longstaff had this same man on his short visit 
to the Rose glacier, and gave him a chit of highest 
praise. He was, certainly, the best of the Kapalu 
Court retainers with whom we had to do, the others 



126 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

being most egregious rascals, and when not handling 
coolies for weeks on glaciers was capable of fair work. 
But after two weeks on the Rose, according to 
my observations, both the Kondus and Saltoro men 
under his leadership regarded his presence with as 
much interest as they might that of the harmless 
little denizen of that glacier, the mouse-hare. Dr. Long- 
staff in 1909, assisted by the former Raja, had, because 
of his short stay on the Rose and the limited number 
required, no trouble in retaining coolies. In 1911, 
ordered by the same Raja, the Saltoro zemindars were 
willing enough to return to the Rose, because they 
supposed our sojourn would be short. 

When they saw the amount of grain collected at 
Goma, they remarked scornfully to the agent, that 
there was small need for all that flour, which would 
not be used, as the Sahibs, meaning Dr. Longstaff and 
party, remained only one day on the Siachen, and surely 
a Memsahib would not stay longer. In 1912 Byramji 
found on his arrival at Goma, that the zemindars, or 
coolies, were perturbed at our return and at the prospect 
of a still longer sojourn than the previous one of 
three weeks on the Rose. The mullahs, or priests, of 
the valley had been doing a lucrative business in 
exhorting the gods and preparing amulets, for which 
they were paid by the coolies. After our arrival I 
noticed the odd little tawiz, or magic amulets, hanging 
by bits of cord from the coolies' necks. They were 
said to contain petitions to the gods to bring storms 
or other calamities, that might limit our stay in the 
snows, and force us to return and leave the Saltoro 
valley. This the mullahs told the agent were the 
facts, and they doubtless spoke the truth. 

The Baltis, being Mohammedans, might not be sup- 




O O 



(/) ^ 



S 



Oh 



o 

•a 



TAWIZ AMULETS 127 

posed, like the Hindus, to worship deities, but from what 
one observes and hears of their habits, the ignorant rurals 
of the mountain-districts when in difficulty appeal to their 
so-called gods. These may, possibly, be regarded as inter- 
mediaries, or be appealed to in the same way as the people 
of Roman Catholic countries address petitions to special 
patron saints. Whatever the more erudite mullahs may 
know of the tenets of the Prophet, or however much they 
may bow in the direction of Mecca, in no way interferes 
with their exercise of priestcraft in fostering belief in 
the power of magic and gods in the simple minds of 
the villagers. 

After three weeks, the weather-god having shown 
himself to be decidedly on our side, many Saltoro men 
disappeared, hiding in the hills behind their villages, as 
they found the taiviz-amulets had not exerted the power 
expected of them. Coolies from the Hushe and Kondus 
nalas were then requisitioned by Byramji to take their 
places. Some twenty-eight of the Saltoro coolies, how- 
ever, remained faithful, and stayed on to the close of 
the expedition, some of these being grey-haired and old, 
as natives go. 

An amusing remark from one of the recalcitrants was 
that, probably, we ate too much bacon, which neutralized 
the effect of the magic contained in the amulets. These 
experiences, however disagreeable to us, brought to light 
some of the fanciful superstitions which pervade the 
minds of the Kapalu district Baltis, and show that faith 
in the power of magic is as strong to-day among the 
semi-barbarous natives of India as it was centuries ago. 
Indeed, one need not travel to Asiatic wilds to find 
examples of such superstitious belief. In a tragic motor- 
car-smash, which cost the lives of a Spanish Count and 
Countess in Auvergne in 1913, their chauffeur, who 



128 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

miraculously escaped, had in his coat-pocket amulets 
placed in it by his wife to safeguard him against accident, 
as his employer was known to travel at a reckless speed. 

At Goma, the last village of the Saltoro valley, I took 
on a zemindar named Mullah Halira as grain-basha, who 
is mentioned by Dr. Longstaff as "a very fine fellow." 
In 1911 we tried to get him for the same service, but 
he was then held in jail at Skardo by the Tehsildar, 
because of complaints against his conduct by men of 
his village. In 1912 the agent, Byramji, found him again 
retained at Skardo under suspicion of like offences. I 
was determined to have this " fine fellow " at all hazards, 
and, as nothing positive could be learned in his disfavour, 
I requested the Tehsildar to give him leave of absence for 
eight weeks, after which time I agreed to return him to 
answer the charges against him. 

My request was complied with, and he entered my 
service, his duties being to escort coolies carrying grain 
to and from the Rose glacier. Six weeks later, in order 
to put an end to the delivery to us of nearly empty grain- 
sacks, and the prolonged detention on the wrong side of 
the Bilaphond La of squads of coolies, and to prevent the 
breaking up at a critical moment of the expedition, we 
were obliged to curtail our visit to the lower Rose 
glacier, return to where Halim had arrived with an 
overdue caravan, and send him forthwith under escort 
to Goma, where he was dismissed from service. On one 
occasion, when flour for the coolies was at a low ebb, 
and our caravan on the Rose was stalled, threatened by 
famine, this native paragon sat feasting with the coolies 
in his charge for seven days on the Bilaphond glacier, 
burning out our scanty, treasured supply of wood, and 
busy in forwarding back to his home for sale numerous 
sacks of grain paid for by me, which were sorelj^ needed 
by the expedition. 




o 



Rv-iywiQ •aasr. 




MULLAH HALIM 129 

Perhaps, native morals, like the weather, vary with the 
seasons, or, perhaps, some in our employ become possessed 
of the " evil eye," for, on different occasions men we have 
employed, praised for character by other persons, have 
proved harmful and even dangerous to the furtherance 
of our interests. 

Two days at the end of June were passed at Goma 
arranging for the main caravan that was to accompany 
us. I had arranged before this with Byramji to send a 
large quantity of wood to Naram, six miles up the 
Bilaphond glacier, and to Ali Bransa, two hours below 
the pass, as it was easier to take wood from Baltistan 
over the Bilaphond La than to send down the Siachen 
for it. On July 2nd, with sixty coolies and twenty sheep, 
we left to ascend the Ghyari nala, which runs nearly 
north by east from the Saltoro valley to the tongue of 
the Bilaphond glacier. This number of coolies was not 
sufficient to carry the necessary loads even for two 
weeks, but a start had to be made, and Byramji pro- 
mised to secure forty more to follow the next day with 
the remainder. 

At the foot of the Bilaphond snout, at about 12,500 feet, 
a grassy maidan shaded by small willows was found for 
camp. This was the last place where trees were seen, 
until the Kondus valley was reached at the end of 
August. The five-mile-long Ghyari nala, said by tradi- 
tion to have been formerly densely populated to the end 
of the glacier, is now deserted, and used only by goat- 
herds, who pasture their live stock there in July and 
August. 

The Bilaphond glacier was first ascended for six miles 
by Vigne in 1835, and again in 1909 by Dr. LongstafP, 
Dr. Neve, and Mr. Slingsby on a search for the " Saltoro 
pass." Judging from the appearance of its snout in both 

9 



130 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

1911 and 1912, it may be said to be advancing slightly. 
For the first seven miles this glacier is a most tiresome 
one to negotiate from the condition of its jumble of huge, 
rickety moraines, which extend from side to side of its 
boundary-walls. Even the large boulders, in spite of 
their size, are seldom firmly placed, and topple about 
when stepped upon. This " moraine hopping," aptly so 
called by Colonel the Hon. C. G. Bruce, is not a rapid 
process, and a mile an hour may be called fairly good 
time for a laden caravan. At Naram, 14,700 feet, six 
miles up the glacier, where the large east and west 
affluents enter, we made two substantial tent-terraces 
with stone retaining walls on the grass and rock-covered 
mountain-slope. 

It is not well to attach too much importance to names 
given by coolies to glaciers, particularly when making 
rapid journeys through a region where one is forced to 
accept names given by any coolie who is at hand. But 
when one goes, as I did, with the idea of securing data 
for a map that will stand, it is necessary to inquire into 
the traditions of a name, and, so far as the meagre 
opportunities offer, get at the meaning it conveys to 
the zemindars' minds, if possible. 

As the nomenclature of this glacier and of the pass 
at its head is of no small importance to the geography 
of this region in the future, I must expand somewhat 
on this subject. When in 1911 we inquired through our 
polyglot Parsee agent of the zemindars or coolies what 
they called this glacier, one and all said, " Bilapho," and 
spelled it without " nd." They said the word was a 
Balti one, meaning a small, bright-coloured butterfly. 
Not satisfied with this explanation I told the agent, in 
1912, that he must go farther into the question of this 
name as well as others, and consult the mullahs and 





h-1 

O 

a, 
o 



o 



DEFINITION OF BILAPHOND 131 

oldest inhabitants, which he did. It happened that 
several intelligent, native settlement-officers, a part of 
whose business it is to get at the ins and outs of local 
names, were in the Saltoro valley, and they went care- 
fully into the matter with the Parsee, with the following 
conclusion, viz. that Bilaphond thus spelled, but with 
" d " silent in pronunciation, in Balti means butterfly ; 
that the reason for calling it thus was not because 
many butterflies were seen on it, as had been said by 
the coolies, but that, in former days, this name was given 
on account of the shape which the glacier assumes at 
Naram, the main glacier running south towards Ghyari 
and north towards the pass forming the trunk or body 
of the butterfly, and the branch entering east, which 
descends from the vicinity of Peak 8, and the one 
entering west, forming the wings, hence completing to 
the Eastern eye the image of a butterfly. 

This definition of the meaning of the name Bilaphond 
presupposes an intelligence and poetic fancy, certainly, not 
to be found among Saltoro people of to-day. Perhaps in 
the old times, when, as I before mentioned, the Ghyari 
nala was, according to legend, populated to the foot of 
the glacier, a select few lived capable of such flights of 
imagination. Any one standing on an eminence above 
Naram on a clear day, bearing in mind the pretty idea, 
ean easily make the main glacier and its affluents picture 
to his mind's eye a monster ice-butterfly. 

At any rate the legend has been handed down, and has 
permeated the dull minds of to-day's Saltorites, and I am 
pleased to record such a poetic and also fitting reason for 
the naming of the Butterfly glacier. The possible exist- 
ence of a previous, more intelligent race in Baltistan 
revives the feeling of sadness, which possesses one when 
studying the commonplace population of Central and 



132 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

Southern India that has succeeded the higher races, 
which were once able to construct such marvels in 
architecture as the manifold Indo- Aryan and Chalukyan 
temples still existing. It may be the modern Balti 
has, in a measure, retrograded in intelligence, as has 
the modern rural of the plains, to a lamentable extent, 
when it comes to the exercise of the higher attributes 
of the mind and the artistic sense. 



CHAPTER II 

Ali bransa and its tragedy. 

To return to Naram, six miles above the Bilaphond snout. 
About a mile above that point the wearisome moraines 
are shaken off, and the ascent by ice-bands running 
between median moraines is fairly easy to below Ali 
Bransa. The scenery is wild, grand snow and rock-peaks 
forming precipitous barriers to both sides of the glacier. 
One huge granite-monolith, where no snow can lodge, juts 
up 2,000 feet from the middle of the ice w^ith impressive 
effect. Fine specimens of glacier-tables are strewn all 
about the ice, adding weird charms to the icy scene. 

In 1911 we had no trouble in finding Ali Bransa, the 
last camping station before the pass, but this season a 
heavy snowstorm overtook us, and it was difficult to spot 
the small moraine-ridge where it is situated, this being 
above an ascending area of wide, dangerous crevasses, 
which were not easy to handle in the blinding snow. It 
is at about 17,000 feet, and is separated sufficiently from 
the high border-cliffs to be safe from falling stones. In 
1911 eight native stone-shelters were found here, which 
showed no signs of fires or recent usage, and may have 
been standing in this protected spot for a century or 
more. Dr. Longstaff does not appear to have actually 
visited this place, although he was told of the huts, and 
there is no account of any European having camped there 

133 



134 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

before us. Our many coolies, however much they have 
known of its existence, were quite unable to pilot us to it, 
so that we and the guides had to find the way ourselves. 
The native shelters have been greatly demolished by the 
different parties of our expeditions, which constantly 
bivouacked here on their way to and from the Rose 
glacier with supplies. 

For several reasons it clings to my memory as the 
most gruesome camp of our Rose glacier experiences, 
and, when we finally left it to cross to the Rose, my mind 
was made up never to return thither could I find another 
road back. Coming directly from grass the altitude is 
felt and the cold also, particularly if one is kept up at 
night knocking snow off one's tent. Our plan had been to 
push on, if possible, the next day to the pass, but in 
Himalaya one must be prepared, after 16,000 feet, not to 
carry out one's intentions with undue speed. The snow- 
storm in which we camped lasted sixteen hours, so the 
following morning we passed in freeing the tents of their 
snow-burden and digging out paths, a wholesome but not 
inspiring occupation. The weather also had to settle 
itself. The expected supply-caravan, without which no 
move could be made, did not, under the circum- 
stances, put in an appearance. Owing to the rapid and 
severe change in two and a half days from a shade 
temperature of 85° F. to 16°, and the rarefied air suddenly 
encountered, Chenoz, my special bag-porter, and the 
Pathan camp -servant became incapacitated. In fact, all 
felt more or less the change from normal to abnormal 
conditions. When the sun finally shone again, the heat 
was intense during the day. A black-bulb thermometer- 
reading gave 197° F. at noon. 

Thus two days passed. The weather became gloriously 
fair, and my mind was buzzing with thoughts of a tall 





c 




o 




A 




CU 




i5 








S 


a3 

C/2 




M 


O 


> 


'O 


o 


rt 




<i; 


c{ 


si 






0) 




1 




OS 


o 


a; 


c3 


Qh 


*iJ 


a, 


t/j 


rt 




OJ 


a 


-5 


o 




N 




O 




tf 





o 



H-1 



AT ALI BRANSA CAMP 135 

snow-peak Avest of the pass, which I had been waiting a 
year to climb. At last Savoye and Rey, who were ever 
watching the glacier below, sighted the belated caravan 
toiling upward. At dark it arrived, the coolies groaning 
and pointing to their hands and feet, but in reality not 
half so badly off as they professed to be. 

The next morning at dawn, as the beautiful steel- 
mauve tones were transformed into deep, fine weather, 
Himalayan blue, camp was called, and soon tents were 
struck and the caravan of ninety men was moving to the 
music of crunching snow. The Pathan servant, although 
really much better, feigned a relapse on seeing the way 
we were to go and was accordingly sent valleywards. 
The porter Chenoz, when he shouldered my bag of coats 
and cameras, answered merrily to my inquiry after his 
health, " Oh, I am quite cured now, madame, and ready 
for anything." In view of what happened one hour later, 
I often recall how we stood there that sparkling morning 
looking with joyful anticipation towards the sunlit pass, 
unconscious of approaching tragedy. About an hour 
after leaving camp, as the snow was in excellent con- 
dition and all appeared plane sailing, after a short 
consultation with Savoye I gave him the order to go 
ahead with the second guide Rey, cross the pass, and 
continue north to look up a route to the peak I wished to 
climb, rejoining us on the far side of the pass. They 
accordingly left, taking one rope with them. Guide 
Quaizier and Chenoz remained with us. 

As we moved upward it was suggested, that Chenoz 
and I be photographed on some ice-hummocks a short 
distance away from the line of march, for the purpose of 
showing the nature of the route to the col. Before 
crossing to this spot I consulted the guide as to the 
advisability of roping. He laughed at the idea, declaring 



136 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

the surface to be solid and free from crevasses. As I 
wished to take "the remaining rope, Ohenoz threw it over 
his back above my bag. When the photo had been 
taken, Chenoz started off in a direction above the hum- 
mocks to join higher up the line on which Dr. Workman 
and the caravan were moving. Supposing the track to be 
quite safe, as it had been, and leaving the matter of 
testing the ice in front to the porter, which one falls into 
the habit of doing when such persons are leading, I 
walked quickly after him, hardly glancing at the ice- 
surface. My consternation may be imagined, when I saw 
him suddenly, without uttering a word, disappear into an 
ice-depth a step in front of me. 

Fortunately for me, I held up, and did not take the 
step that would also have precipitated me into the gaping 
chasm. I stood paralysed for two or three seconds, gazing 
distractedly at the uncanny hole at my feet, surrounded 
by the radiant, sunlit peaks and glacier expanse, which 
had just drawn my companion so ruthlessly into its blue 
death-chamber, powerless to help in any way. All this 
was visualized within two seconds, and then I turned and 
called backward to the others. Dr. Workman and the 
guide, seeing me standing alone, and realizing at a 
glance what had happened, started at once towards the 
spot, followed by the servants and coolies tearing along 
behind ; but it was of no use, as I appreciated while 
standing guard by the silent chasm, for Chenoz had 
taken our remaining rope with him into the gruesome 
abyss, and the other was with the guides on the other side 
of the pass. 

The guide Quaizier approached the aperture from the 
upper side, which was solid, and leaning over called to 
Chenoz, who, answering faintly as from a far distance, 
said he was alive and could wait for help. Quaizier then 




J o 



A GLACIER-TRAGEDY 137 

Tvith three coolies left to cross the pass, find the guides, 
and bring them with the rope to the scene of horror- 
The coolies sat in long lines, and, for the first time in 
their lives, in solemn silence, while we and the servants 
unpacked boxes and got ready blankets and stimulants 
for use, should Chenoz be taken out alive. 

Still, as we saw the four men, held in the grip of the 
oxygenless air, toil higher towards the col, our prepara- 
tions were made with a feeling of vergebene Milhe, for it 
w^as certain Chenoz would remain, at least, another hour 
in his icy tomb. Could even he, endowed with great 
strength and youth, withstand the cruel test ? We 
doubted it. It was an awful period of inaction for all, 
as we sat looking at the dazzling, sun-bathed snow-slopes, 
trying to shield ourselves, thinly clad as we were in 
marching costume, as well as might be from the chilly 
wind blowing down from the col and thinking of the 
deadly danger from cold to which our poor, battered 
companion was exposed in the depths below, while we 
could do nothing to help him. 

Regarding the tragedy being here enacted, I would 
remark that Chenoz was well accustomed to all sorts of 
snow-work both in the Alps and during four seasons 
passed with us in Himalaya, and I marvel that he did not 
observe the slightly depressed, yellow-tinged snow-streak 
at the point where the crevasse was encountered. That he 
was not testing the ice was, of course, quite unpardonable in 
a leader, and this could only be attributed to a moment of 
temporary inattention, to which, perhaps, all are subject 
at times. Although, usually, following and working under 
orders, he had always been a steady, careful man. My 
-explanation is, that too much familiarity made him 
momentarily careless, and that, supposing himself to be 
quite safe, he ceased to be vigilant. Alas ! he was never 
able to explain the matter. 



138 THE ICE- WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

At last Quaizier was seen hurrying back from the 
pass, followed by the coolies, and soon Savoye and Rey 
arrived on the summit and began their breathless 
descent in the deep snow, for it was near 11 a.m., and 
the sun's rays had turned the crisp surface into a 
toilsome snow-souffle. On their arrival the rope was 
quickly tied about Rey, the smallest guide, and, bearing 
stimulants, he was lowered through the aperture, the 
other two guides with six natives holding the loose 
end, prepared to lengthen or shorten it as Rey might 
direct. It was fully ten minutes before any sound 
came from the subterranean ice - depths. Rey first 
attached the end of the rope Chenoz had carried and 
my clothes-bag to the end of the rope he was lowered 
on. These were then drawn up, a second line of men 
manned the second rope, and both were let down again, 
so that two ropes were now available. After giving 
cognac to the half-conscious Chenoz, Rey made him 
fast to one rope, and attached himself to the other. 
Then, on his giving the signal, the men above began to pull. 
Fortunately, there was enough space in the crevasse to 
permit of these manoeuvres. Rey first appeared on 
the surface, and a moment later, after slow, hard 
hauling, the limp form of Chenoz rose above the ice- 
mouth, and was received by his brother guides* shelter- 
ing arms, and unroped. 

It appeared that he had first crashed on to an upper 
ice-shelf, landing, probably, on his back, and had then 
fallen from this still farther to the crevasse-bottom, a 
distance in all of 80 feet. My topie and various 
things in the Hicksack were smashed to atoms, which 
makes it the more singular that none of his limbs 
was fractured. 

He was perfectly conscious although unable to stand. 





■w 




K 


/ 




■4-> 




S 




o 




X) 




cS 




a: 




4-> 




m 




^ 




d 


rt 




3 


-a 


rt 


05 


m 


M 




'o 


P. G< 


-s s 


? rt 


^ o 


-^ 5S 


+J OT 




%H 




i^ 


Ui 


O o 


^ +-> 


o 


+^ d 


22 ^ 


4-> O 


OJ ^ 


cl 


o -d 


4) 


<o "C 


m u 




2 t^ 






A GHASTLY NIGHT 139 

and suffering intensely from shock and cold. His hands 
were blue, and there was no pulse at the wrists nor 
sensation below the elbows. Stimulants were admin- 
istered, he was wrapped in blankets, massaged, and 
soon after carried by the coolies down to Ali Bransa, 
where camp was again pitched. There, on careful 
examination, no bones were found broken, nor could 
any signs of internal injury be discovered. Under the 
warming influence of the sun he, largely, recovered 
his bodily temperature and sensation in his hands, but 
he remained pulseless at the wrists, his heart's action 
was feeble, and he suffered considerable pain in the 
lower part of his back. At six p.m. he sank into a 
quiet sleep. At nine he awoke and asked for water, 
drank a little, and immediately slept again, alas ! 
his last sleep. At ten o'clock Savoye, on attempting 
to arouse him, found he was dead, which heartrending 
news he brought immediately to our tents. Everything 
possible under the circumstances was done for him, 
but the long exposure to cold in the crevasse had so 
greatly depressed his vitality that he was unable to 
rally from the effects of cold and shock. 

That night at unlucky Ali Bransa was a ghastly one. 
We were overcome by grief, yet action was imperative. 
We sat up into the small hours talking matters over 
with Savoye in a temperature of 16° F. The only 
course possible was decided on during this awesome vigil. 
At dayhght the guides and coolies were to bear Chenoz's 
body down to the first grass at Naram and bury it, 
while we were to remain at the camp of mourning to 
guard the supplies and belongings of the expedition. 
Accordingly, as the sun gilded the glacier the next 
morning we watched twelve coolies bear away the body 
of Chenoz, followed by the sorrowing guides, a strange 



140 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

contrast to the scene of twenty-four hours previous, 
when Chenoz and I stood gaily talking about ascending 
to the col. At Naram the last rites were performed, and 
a large cairn built to mark the final resting-place of 
Cesare Chenoz, my faithful porter and companion on 
many exciting climbs and trying journeys of explora- 
tion, a man always willing and ready to assist in 
every way. His cheerful answer when I thanked him 
for any service rendered, such as tightening tent-cords, 
or readjusting pegs during a snow-blizzard, will ever 
echo in my memory, "A votre service, madame." 

My own escape from sharing his dire fate was quite 
miraculous. Those who share the Oriental belief in 
"Kismet" might say his passing here was fore-ordained, 
while others, believing in the " survival of the fittest," 
have said that I, having the work to carry on, was, by 
not taking the one step more, and by chance not being 
roped, saved to accomplish it. Qui salt? 

We all agreed that in that climate the remains could 
not be carried three marches to Goma for burial, and, 
moreover, there was another danger in connection with 
Goma, and that was the probability of the villagers 
desecrating the grave in search of such booty as clothes 
or coverings. To our knowledge, which has been 
corroborated by military men in India, such pillaging 
of European graves sometimes takes place. On the 
second day the guides returned, and, while heart- 
broken, all appreciated that the work of the expedition 
must be carried on at once. Chenoz's place as my 
particular porter was taken by Rey Adolf, who filled 
it most conscientiously. 

During this second detention at Ali Bransa news was 
brought of the death of a coolie in Mr. Peterkin's 
caravan on the Rose glacier. Two coolies had been sent 



A SECOND TRAGEDY 141 

back a mile or two to bring a forgotten tent, and while 
returning one fell into a glacier-river. His companion 
helped him out, and then, as the man was overcome 
by cold, left him, ostensibly, to hurry on to the camp 
for aid. Reaching Mr. Peterkin's camp, the coolie said 
nothing about the accident that night, reporting it 
to Mr. Peterkin only the next morning. Mr. Peterkin 
and some coolies at once returned to where the man 
had been left, and found him lying dead on the ice. His 
death was, probably, due to the neglect of his companion, 
for when the body was found it was hardly cold. 
These two were the only fatal accidents of the summer, 
and both occurred near the beginning of the expedition. 

The day before we finally left Ali Bransa the Sepoy,, 
Gulab Khan, arrived with thirty more wood and flour- 
carriers, for which I was thankful, as I felt sure that 
when the report of two deaths in the expedition spread 
through the valleys, it would for a time be wellnigh 
impossible to impress new coolies into service at Goma. 
As a matter of fact, a number of the Surveyor's coolies, 
on being sent to Goma for supplies after the death of 
the coolie, never appeared again on the Rose. As 
evidenced in this case, a Balti will not take much trouble 
to save a brother-coolie's life, but he is pretty sure to 
turn such an incident to account in making good his 
own escape from service and in frightening off others 
inhabiting even distant villages. 

Unbeknown to us until our return to the valleys, 
weeks later, most garbled reports of these accidents 
were carried by natives to Skardo, and thence by wire 
to Simla and throughout Europe and America. The 
coolie who carried the news of a Sahib's death to 
Skardo, which had been passed on to him by various 
other natives, did not know what Sahib was killed or 



142 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

how, and thus the report of Dr. Workman's death by- 
avalanche first made the rounds of the Press, and later 
my demise was announced ; so that, when our mail 
reached us in the Kondus nala weeks later, we were 
treated to much delectable literature in the form of 
varied accounts of a fatal accident, of letters of con- 
dolence from friends, and some three hundred obituary- 
notices. According to one of these accounts Dr. Hunter 
Workman had been killed while motoring over a Hima- 
layan snow-pass. 

No accident to a European had happened on any of 
our seven previous expeditions in Himalaya, and I do not 
recall our ever having lost a coolie. On some occasions 
natives, who died weeks after they left us, of other 
causes, have been reported to have succumbed when 
with us, which naturally was not the case. 




ffl 






7 



H 
o 



. ■'te- 



CHAPTER III 

The bilaphond la and first ascent of tawiz peak. 

On July 11th we again, and for the last time, left Ali 
Bransa. The weather, as it had been for eight days, 
was glorious, when for the third time in eleven months 
we arrived on the summit of the Bilaphond La. This 
saddle was measured by Dr. Longstaff by aneroid at 
18,200 feet. The mean of hypsometric readings taken 
by us in 1911 and 1912, and by Mr. Peterkin, give a 
height of 18,370 feet for it. I would here refer to the 
term "Saltoro pass," a pass which Sir Francis Young- 
husband sought for from Chinese Turkestan, many miles 
north, and which Dr. Longstaff claims to have found 
when he stood on the Bilaphond La. In my opinion 
this pass, if it exists, is still undiscovered. 

Dr. Longstaff says : " Tradition and usage have given 
the name Saltoro to the pass," but he admits that, 
locally, it is called the Bilaphond La. If this local name 
for a pass, which has never been reached or even seen 
by a European until within the last five years, is not 
the proper name, where shall it be found? Among 
what people have tradition and usage given the name 
Saltoro to this pass ? Further, the Bilaphond La is 
separated from the Saltoro valley by the Ghyari nala 
and the whole length of the Bilaphond glacier, and 
bears no direct relation to that valley. So far as I 

143 



144 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

could gather from the " learned men " of the region, 
who are possessed of whatever saga there is connected 
with it that has been handed down, it is and always 
has been called by the people Bilaphond La. In the 
legend, of which I shall speak elsewhere, old-time Balti& 
referred to the Yarkandis crossing the Bilaphond La, 
when they came to loot in the Ghyari nala. 

When Vigne, in 1835, ascended the Saltoro valley in 
search of a route to Nubra, he was told by natives "that 
he would cross a pass and descend, after crossing a 
glacier, upon the northern end of the Nubra valley." 
This he tried and failed to do. But nowhere that I can 
discover in his writings does he use the name Saltoro 
pass. Neither have I been able to find in the writings 
of Thomson, Strachey, and Moorcraft mention of the 
name Saltoro as applied to any pass. I cannot, there- 
fore, agree with Dr. Longstaff that " usage and tradi- 
tion" have given the name Saltoro to the pass at the 
head of the Bilaphond glacier. Thus, considering the 
name Bilaphond La to be correct, both in local usage 
and as designating its geographical position, I have 
elected to have it so called on my map. This name 
accords with the advice given explorers by the Royal 
Geographical Society to select, when naming glaciers or 
peaks, if possible, names known to natives of the region. 
It is not my habit to attempt to change either spelling 
or nomenclature of previous maps, but in this case I 
regard myself as quite justified in not adopting the 
name Saltoro substituted by Dr. Longstaff for the 
appropriate and long-used name Bilaphond La for the 
pass at the head of the Bilaphond glacier. 

Too much reliance should not be placed upon the 
mention by early travellers of legends relating to 
routes in regions with which they themselves were not 




d 
o 



D^ 




•1^ 








^ 








d 








H 




/o 


-'^iA 




'e 


J 4j 




yj 


09 X\ 




lO 


-- 


) JJ/ 




\^ 


T 


•-/ 








o 


t3 






rf 

J 


3 
o 

l-l 






13 








C! 


o3 






B 


J2 






a, 


fi 






_rt 


• •H 














s 








S 


0-( 






o 


TS 






l-l 


d 
o 






^ 


Oh 






o 


o3 






u 










ffl 






d 


di 






o 


a 






c 


o 






03 








> 


N 






o3 


> 



O H 





1 



h 



O 5 

u a 

SO - 

0) o 



a, 
S 

u 



o^ 






1 ^ 



pq 



THE QUESTION OF THE SALTORO PASS 145 

acquainted as evidence in favour of problems which have 
not yet been solved. The circumstances connected with 
Mr. Vigne's search for a pass from the Saltoro valley 
to Nubra show that his ideas of the region he was in 
were not over clear. On the map accompanying his 
book he places a scarcely perceptible glacier without 
any name in a position corresponding to that of the 
Bilaphond glacier, and Ali Bransa, the pass he was 
seeking, at the head of a glacier marked " glacier," 
draining into the Korkondus nala, i.e. at the impass- 
able head of the Sher-pi-gang, indicating the position 
of the pass by the words, " Way over Glacier by Ali 
Bransa pass to Yarkand, 13,500 feet." 

In the discussion following my paper on the Siachen, 
or Rose glacier, in the February 1914 number of the 
Geographical Journal, on p. 144 Dr. Longstaff says, "The 
name ' Saltoro pass ' has already been accepted by the 
Survey of India," in support of his application of the 
name " Saltoro " to the Bilaphond pass. In this connec- 
tion I would add a note by the Superintendent of the 
Trigonometrical Survey sent me in May 1914 by Colonel 
Sir Sidney Burrard, R.E., C.S.I., Surveyor-General of 
India, which expresses the opinion of the Survey of 
India on this subject : — 

NOTE ON THE NAME SALTORO. 
The name Saltoro is frequently used by Montgomerie and others 
as the name of a river, and on Indian Atlas Sheet 44a S.W. (1868) 
and on a map in the Geographical Journal of 1864 it is used as the 
name of a district or tract of country. It was first applied to a pass 
by Younghusband. He had been told that there was a pass from the 
Oprang valley into Baltistan, and as he thought that it would give 
access to the Saltoro basin he decided to call it by this name. It 
will be remembered that he was baffled in his attempt to cross the 
pass and so did not discover that he was mistaken in this idea, and 
that the Siachen glacier, the main source of the Nubra river, lies 

10 



146 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

between the basins of the Saltoro and the Oprang. From Sir F. E. 
Younghusbaud's remarks in the discussion which followed Mrs. 
Bullock Workman's paper on her visit to the Siachen glacier 
{Geographical Joiirjial, February 1914) he admitted that he called 
the pass Saltoro because it was the best name that occurred to 
him. It is clear, therefore, that if he had known the true lie of 
the land he would not have used this name. 

In the Survey of India map, published in 1890, to illustrate 
Sir F. E. Younghusband's explorations, the name Saltoro is given to 
a pass which is shown as connecting one of the glaciers of the Saltoro 
basin with the Oprang valley ; no name is given to the glacier. This 
part of the map is based on Sir F. E. Younghusband's account, and 
naturally shows the same imperfect knowledge of the geography. 
In chart No. XX of the Sketch of the Himalayan Geography and 
Geology the same Saltoro pass occurs, but this chart is derived from 
the above-mentioned map, so that the use of the name in it is not 
fresh evidence. 

It seems to be clear, therefore, that the use of this name for a 
pass depends wholly on Sir F. E. Younghusband's guess. In the 
Atlas sheet already mentioned (44a S.W.) the several glaciers of the 
Saltoro basin are named ; one of them is called the Bilaphond. 'VSTien 
that sheet was drawn it was not known what lay beyond, and the 
topographical detail ceases at the watershed. We now know that at 
the top of the Bilaphond glacier there is a pass which gives access to 
the Siachen. For this pass the name Bilaphond La is proposed by 
Mrs. Bullock Workman, and as the name Bilaphond seems well estab- 
lished it is quite appropriate that the pass should be called after it. 

The pass which Sir F. E. Younghusband attempted to cross must 
be on the other side of the Siachen glacier and must lead over the 
main watershed, which separates the Nubra from the Oprang — 
India from Turkestan. 

Henceforward it would seem advisable to discontinue the use of 
the name Saltoro for a pass, and use it for the river only ; to adopt 
the name Bilaphond La for the pass connecting the glacier of that 
name with one of the branches of the Siachen ; and to wait the 
definite discovery of a pass from the Siachen to the Oprang before 
considering what to call it. 

G. P. Lenox Conyngham. 

The salient object of interest from the pass is the 
distant Rose glacier seen flowing south-eastward past the 




IP a % 



.-^ 



/ 




THE LOLOPHOND GLACIER 147 

entrance of the large glacier which descends from the 
Bilaphond La and which we have named Lolophond, 
Coolies coming and going between Goma and our camps 
arranged a camping ground on the left marginal moraine 
of this glacier some distance above the Siachen at the 
place where we made our first camp after crossing the 
pass in 1911 and 1912, which they called Lolophond. As 
this name harmonizes with Bilaphond, we decided to 
give it to the glacier. 

In the Geographical Journal, February 1912, p. 145, 
Dr. Longstaff says this was apparently his " second camp 
beyond the Saltoro pass," and suggests that the coolies 
named it " Loloff " after his name. We saw the spot on 
the edge of the Siachen where he made his second camp 
after crossing the Bilaphond La, and it is a long distance 
from the camp on the Lolophond glacier, called Lolophond 
by our coolies, which was first and constantly thereafter 
made use of on our expeditions. I am obliged also to 
confess that our coolies, when asked the name of the 
Sahib who went over to the Rose in 1909, said they did 
not know and made no mention of " Loloff." Dr. 
Longstaff might with equal propriety claim that the long- 
used name of Bilaphond was derived by the coolies from 
that of Dr. Neve, who accompanied him. 

The question of names for the various affluents 
becomes a serious one, for unlike the Baltoro, Biafo, and 
Hispar glaciers, whose lower affluents are well known to 
natives, the Rose from its inaccessibility has not been 
visited by them, and no native names have existed for 
any of its tributaries. I have, perhaps, erred on the side 
of giving too few names, but I have studiously avoided 
on my map naming any of the affluents after members of 
the expedition, as has been done on one large Karakoram 
glacier, and have chosen rather to connect their nomen- 



148 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

clature with that of the peaks dominating their sources, 
or to name them after the sources themselves, a method 
which I think will stand the test of time better than that 
of personal nomenclature. 

The width of the Rose is 2| miles at the entrance of 
the Lolophond, but, owing to foreshortening, such a width 
is not apparent to the eye from the pass. The largest 
east affluent is seen entering on its far side, curving grace- 
fully around a bold rock-promontory like a shaggy, white 
serpent, if such a simile may be used, and continuing its 
way south-eastward with the Rose in mazes of tangled 
seracs and crevasses. To the east of the pass the 
Bilaphond peak rises, and to the west the summit of 
Peak 36 (25,400 feet) towers above the mountains forming 
the Bilaphond wall. The latter peak, an object of great 
scenic effect elsewhere, here makes itself known only as a 
well-fixed Survey-point to help the topographer. The 
Teram Kangri group is seen in the distance nearly 
north-east. 

A peak, which I am about to describe, strikes the eye 
north, being one of the landmarks of the Bilaphond La. 
I had selected this mountain in 1911 as offering a probable 
fine point of view, but the weather was unfavourable to 
attempting its ascent on our first crossing of the pass, 
and on our return, September 16th, the ice-conditions of 
the main peak were prohibitive. If it were ever to be 
climbed, this seemed to be the opportunity. The caravan 
was accordingly divided, the portion with the main 
supplies continuing on in charge of the Wazir to the 
Lolophond camp, while a smaller one with us, leaving 
the pass, descended north to a snow-hollow, from which 
a steep, furrowed slope led to a large plateau, where 
camp was pitched on the snow at 19,000 feet. 

As the plateau caught the sun throughout the day and 



CAMP ON TAWIZ SNOW-PLATEAU 149 

there was plenty of space, large tents were used for a two 
days' halt. Just as I was preparing to brew afternoon 
tea by melting snow over a " Primus " stove, a delegation 
of strapping Saltoro coolies prostrated themselves before 
my tent. Each wore hanging from his brawny bare neck 
two or three tawiz-araulets before described. They voiced 
the wish of their fellow-coolies that, now our tents were 
placed, they might all leave and go down some 5,000 feet 
to moraines and camp. After some parleying through 
the cook, who spoke Balti, they were made to understand 
that we were obliged to remain in this sunny snow-camp 
and could not possibly spare their presence during our 
stay. I further assured them, that they would not have 
to go higher up, and need only wrap themselves in the 
warm blankets I had provided, eat their two days' pre- 
pared rations, and lie in their lined tents. Being thus 
reassured, they rejoined their comrades at the coolie- 
camp, and nothing more was heard from them. 

The sun blazed its fiercest until 6 p.m., softening the 
surface to a depth of two feet or more, so that tents 
nearly tumbled in and could not be properly fastened 
until after sunset, when a freezing temperature at once 
set in. An exquisite effect was observed about sunset, 
which I have seen but twice, and both times in the 
Siachen region. A lovely wistaria-mauve mist floated 
over the plateau and the snow-hillocks rising toward the 
peak, making the tents appear to stand in a billowy, gold- 
tinged, purple sea. The night was clear and cold, the 
minimum temperature being 3^ F. The next morning, as 
soon as the mercury rose to 10°, with the guides and one 
coolie carrying instruments we set out toward the peak. 
After two hours' ascent of moderate snow-slopes a rock- 
ridge jutting out below the final peak was reached at 
19,900 feet, where Dr. Workman set up his instruments 



150 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

and remained for observation and photography, while I 
continued the climb with the three guides. 

The first part was wearisome because of numerous, 
long, steep rock-slabs, offering little hand or foot-hold, 
which had to be negotiated. Above these the mountain 
became very precarious owing to the melting snow, 
through which we sank on to hard, black ice, which 
necessitated constant step-cutting. The gradient of the 
last 800 feet was never less than 60°. We were, however, 
glad, even by dint of prodigious effort, to find we could 
win the mountain, for, when studied the previous August, 
the final peak presented a sheer coating of verglas, and 
it would most likely be in the same condition two weeks 
later this year. Near the apex the snow became more 
stable, and it was possible to stand on the extreme 
summit, a small, fairly firm snow-cornice. 

When ascending such peaks as this for the first time, 
when the return journey is unknown, my mind is usually 
at work anticipating the difficulties of the later descent. 
The only way, of course, is to get to the top and trust 
the descent to luck. I have made several very bad 
descents with Savoye, but one way or another they 
have been accomplished, which is the main point. 

I saw most wonderful things from this peak, which 
aided me in laying out the coming exploration of the 
Rose glacier. The scene towards the south, while glorious 
to look upon, was, because of the position of the sun, 
impossible for the camera. The vision of most startling 
grandeur was the double-summited Peak 35 and 36, 25,280- 
25,400 feet, which loomed directly west. This mountain 
is K 3 and 4 of Synoptical Vol. 7 of the Indian Survey, 

but its most up-to-date symbol is Peak -^ — according 

to the degree sheet on which it falls. 




.C) 3 



^ 
M 



^ 



Oh 




/ 



^ 



On summit of Tawiz peak, 21,000 feet. 

To face page 150. 



VIEW FROM TAWIZ PEAK 151 

From my summit, as may be seen in plate facing 
p. 142, it is separated only by the elevated plateau of 
over 19,000 feet, from which the great massif rises 
abruptly 6,000 feet. One point in connection with it was 
especially substantiated, viz. that the snow-basin on the 
north side, much foreshortened in the view, is flanked 
by the unscalable watershed-wall rising between the 
Dong Dong and Sher-pi-gang glaciers, which lie directly 
behind, and the west Siachen affluent named by us Peak 36 
glacier. As already stated, we visited the Dong Dong 
and examined the wall in question from that side the 
previous year, as well as from the Peak 36 glacier, and 
discovered no passage over it from one region to the 
other. This is the wall upon which Vigne's "Ali Bransa 
pass to Yarkand" would have to lie at the inaccessible 
head of the Sher-pi-gang glacier. East of Peak 36 I had 
a clear view of a long snow-trough leading to a col 
which was visited by our expedition in 1911. From this 
col a glacier descends, probably, to Naram in the Ghyari 
nala. The peaks forming the west boundary of the 
Bilaphond La enclose the snow-trough mentioned. Over- 
looking these points thus completely from a great height, 
I was able to define exactly the relation of Peak 36 to the 
important glaciers in its vicinity and see distinctly what 
snow-area intervenes between it and the Bilaphond glacier. 

The great Rose glacier was seen in the distance 
6,000 feet below where I stood, running for many miles 
downward between wild ranges to a point where it was 
lost to sight in mountain-chaos. The sources of the 
Rose were invisible, being cut off by its west mountain- 
walls. High peaks beyond its eastern wall were visible, 
and one loftier than the others I secured rather faintly 
with my small camera. This is, probably, one of the 
high peaks we afterwards discovered from the north-east 



152 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

source, or Turkestan La. The Teram Kangri group, the 
Tarim Shehr promontory abutting the Rose, and two- 
thirds of the Tarim Shehr glacier were also photographed. 
The only Baltoro peak which I could identify was the 
flat-topped Bride Peak, 25,110 feet. For quite 75 miles 
on three sides great mountain-schemes of weirdest rock 
and snow-splendour met my eye, but such miles of 
intricate mountains intersected by immense glaciers fill 
one with despair when viewed only for few minutes ; 
the geographical importance is so evident, and the 
camera and one's mind are so inadequate to wrest the 
full meaning and value of the wonderful environment. 
Perhaps the best summing-up of it would be to say we 
overlooked a vast area of over a thousand square miles 
of peaks and glaciers devoid of vegetation extending 
from one horizon to the other. 

I named the peak we had conquered Magic or Tawiz 
Peak, for it overlooked the Bilaphond La, where in the 
olden days, so runs the legend, the Baltis placed the 
tawiz destined to bring about their revenge on the 
Yarkandis of the fabled city of Tarim Shehr. Its height 
is 21,000 feet. 

Well satisfied with the day's work, we began the 
dangerous descent of the ice-clad cone, and, rejoining the 
rest of the party at its base, built a rock-cairn and returned 
safely to our snow-camp, where a second, near zero 
night was passed. The next day we descended to the 
Rose glacier by the left Lolophond side, which in both 
years was found to be the most feasible route. The 
descent of the Lolophond glacier, like that of all high 
Himalayan glaciers, particularly after 11 a.m., on account 
of softened snow and frequent crevasses, necessitates 
constant vigilance, but for troublesome ice-conditions it 
cannot compare with the upper part of the Tarim Shehr 
glacier as we found it. 




View north-west from Tawiz peak. At right, twin peaks 
of Mt. Ghent. In centre, behind snow-slope of Mt. Ghent, 
summit of Bride peak, 23 miles distant. At extreme left. 

Peak 33, 

To face page 152, 



FIRST TWO CAMPS ON SIACHEN 153 

On reaching Lolophond camp, Camp 4, 17,100 feet, at 
the second indentation above the Siachen, where we had 
camped in 1911, and to which the Wazir with the main 
supply-caravan had preceded us, we picked up him and 
the caravan and continued on to the junction of the 
Lolophond with the Siachen. Here, turning north-west, 
we clambered over broken moraine-hillocks to a high hill 
covered with much large and small, slaty debris, which 
w^as ascended. At its base on the north side, bounded 
by it, an end of the Siachen south-west barrier, and the 
glacier ice-wall, lay a large lake. This we were obliged 
to contour on a very narrow and treacherous shelf to 
reach the main barrier, which was ascended for several 
hundred feet to a broad, descending ridge on which we 
made our first camp in 1911, Camp 5, at 16,278 feet. 
Here we camped on the terrace made at that time. 
In 1911 we remained two days at this camp, and ascended 
the mountain-flank above it — much covered with loose 
sedimentary rock-debris — to an apex at an altitude of 
17,280 feet, where a cairn was built. From this cairn 
an excellent view may be obtained of the whole Lolo- 
phond to the Bilaphond La, and of large portions of 
the Tarim Shehr and Rose glaciers. 

The next day, ascending over a massive, lateral 
moraine in front of the camp and traversing the wide, 
rough, marginal moraine covered chiefly with granite and 
gneissoid blocks, we crossed to the centre of the Siachen, 
and, ascending for a time, pitched camp on a grey 
moraine at 16,374 feet. The crossing here was almost 
as difficult in July as it had been in 1911 at the end 
of August. Seven glacier-rivers intersected the route, 
several of which, failing snow-bridges, had to be forded. 
After camp was arranged, sixty coolies, in charge of two 
guides, were sent to Tarim Shehr for burtsa, and twenty- 



154 THE ICE- WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

seven back to Goma for supplies and wood. Preparations 
for the higher work were thus at once started, for from 
here on all camps for weeks would be above 16,500 feet. 

In 1911 a base camp was made on the Tarim Shehr 
promontory at 15,676 feet, which I shall later describe. 
As crossing the Siachen to it meant the passage, in some 
cases the fording, of ten or twelve glacier-rivers and 
finding a way through several intricate serac-belts, which 
might prove hazardous to coolies coming and going under 
native leaders, it was not used on the present expedition, 
except for harbouring sheep and for collecting burtsa for 
fuel. A higher base above the entrance of the Lolophond 
glacier on the grey moraine of the Rose at 16,370 feet 
was established for collecting bags of grain and wood 
as they were brought from Goma, and put in charge 
of a Srinagar babu. This camp was of prime importance, 
it being my intention to explore the upper Rose and its 
sources before doing anything with the lower parts. 

Before leaving Srinagar, knowing we should need a 
man in the main camp who could read, write, and keep 
accounts, I had interviewed several babus, all of whom 
seemed mentally deficient and unsuited to such work. 
An Indian babu is, as I was well aware, not the person 
to be placed in a position of trust in an exploring 
caravan. However, babus only were to be had in 
Srinagar, so I finally, with misgiving, chose one who 
had been educated at a missionary school there, who 
had later even taught in the school, and still later 
assisted in an Indian Survey expedition. This pundit 
proved to be the second, human, black sheep in our 
caravan, and, although somewhat different from those 
of the headman. Mullah Halim, his methods of imposi- 
tion and pilfering were quite as sinister in their effect. 

When we were working at various distant points. 




a 
o 

1-1 






H 




>,\ ■♦■^siiae 







b 



Telephotograph from Camp 15. Tawiz peak in centre, Peak 

at left. 

To face page 154. 



THE BABU AGENT 155 

he would send on most detailed and scholarly written 
bulletins of goods arriving and in his charge, which 
might soothe and put to rest the mind of the most 
sceptical explorer. On the rare occasions when we 
were able to visit and examine his camp, the carefully 
announced goods were usually found missing and matters 
generally at loggerheads. The Parsee agent at Goma, in 
general well versed in native defections, said, " The babu 
will do well enough on the Siachen, for he will not get 
much chance to steal himself, or sell your goods to 
coolies who have no money to pay for them." But, 
according to the Sepoy's reports, this was just what he 
did do. The full bags of flour, the receipt of which was 
so ostentatiously heralded to us, had a way of slipping 
back over the pass down to Saltoro villages where they 
were sold, the pay for them being quietly handed over to 
the babu when the coolies next returned to his camp. 
Luckily this and other devious ways of intrigue, which 
brought us into several tight places, were practised 
with some moderation and discretion, for, had this not 
been the case, the expedition, destined to be successful, 
would have completely failed for want of supplies. 

The Rose glacier is 46 to 48 miles long, according to 
the point at which it may be considered to take its 
origin. Its width for 25 miles varies from 2J to 2| miles. 
It is the longest valley-glacier in Asia, and without 
much doubt in the world, excepting those of the Polar 
regions. According to Dr. Merzbacher the Inylchek, 
the largest glacier in the Tian Shan, has a length of 
65 kilometres or 40J miles, and a width of 2 to 4 
kilometres, IJ to 2^ miles. The name given to this 
glacier on the Indian Survey map is Saichar. Dr. A 
Neve appears to have heard it spoken of by Nubra 
people as the Siachen, and after his cursory visit to 



156 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

it Dr. Longstaflf gave it this name on his sketch-map. 
Upon much inquiry I learned that the meaning of 
Siachen is, literally, rose-bush. Sia is the Balti name 
for jungle rose and chen means a collection of thorns. 
Such wild rose-bushes are legion in the nalas, and 
flourish in pink splendour to the tongues of the glaciers 
in Baltistan and Nubra. From Dr. Thomas, the Tibetan 
scholar, I learn that the Tibetan se-ba-can means " having 
rose-bushes," so, probably, the Balti meaning is derived 
from the Tibetan. As is well known, Baltistan was 
subject to Tibet in the eighth century. 

The pronunciation of Siachen is guttural, something 
similar to the German ch, and requires an efPort to 
pronounce. I consider the English translation quite 
as appropriate. Its very incongruity as applied to 
this huge ice-sheet pleases the fancy. On many Asiatic 
glaciers the jungle-rose is found on mountain-flanks 
well above the snouts, but on the lower Siachen mountain- 
slopes one is fortunate to find stunted edelweiss and 
other small Alpine flora, while on the route of its upper 
thirty miles only snow-roses thrive. Ice-formations 
resembling roses I noticed in some of the large chasms. 

As the names Siachen and Rose have the same 
meaning, it is of no importance which is employed. 
In the February 1914 Geographical Journal, p. 145, 
Dr. Longstaff says, in reference, I suppose, to my paper : 
" Surely Siachen should stand unchallenged as the 
name of the greatest glacier in Asia." For the benefit 
of future explorers I would here state : so far as anything 
I have written or said, this name does " stand unchal- 
lenged." In treating of this glacier I shall not describe 
the daily itinerary, but limit myself to mentioning the 
most important camps, physical features, mountains, 
affluents, and paramount geographical points explored 
B.nd mapped. 



r 




O * I 

4J CU I 



o .t; 

O ^2 



T3 



CHAPTER IV 

Certain characteristics of the hose glacier — The tarim sheer 
peninsula and glacier. 

The Rose glacier is somewhat Tibetan in character in 
that, unlike the Biafo and Hispar, where wood is found 
15 and 20 miles from their tongues, after 10 miles no 
wood is to be had in 35 miles of the Rose, It actually 
proved to be easier to send men for wood over the 
Bilaphond La to Ali Bransa, where Byramji had it con- 
stantly carried, than to send them to look for it on 
the inaccessible mountain-flanks of the lower portion 
of the Rose. The paucity of wood was, indeed, most 
vexatious. Often it failed entirely and we had to 
depend on burtsa, the supply of which also became 
scanty toward the end of our stay. When coolies 
brought wood from Ali Bransa or Ghyari, their loads 
on delivery at camp were, invariably, small. They had 
three ways of lightening their burden of wood en route : 
first, by burning it where they camped ; second, by care- 
lessly dropping it as they marched ; and third, most 
ingenious of all, on nearing the camp where the loads 
were to be delivered, by hiding it away in crevices of 
the moraines, which they covered with stones. The 
wood-graves thus made were for their own convenience, 
as from the outset, owing to the great scarcity of 

157 



158 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

fuel, the order was that the natives should burn only 
burtsa. 

Likewise earth and grass-carpeted maidans, met with 
far up the Biafo and Hispar, are here non-existent 
beyond six miles above the tongue, and camps on the 
middle Rose had to be pitched on moraine-strewn ice ; 
while still higher, above 17,000 feet, only ice and snow- 
surfaces or rock-promontories were available. On three 
occasions we climbed bare shale-shoulders and constructed 
tent-terraces on damp, loose shale, which involved much 
extra work. In general the border-mountains of the 
Rose rise too sharply for this purpose and are quite 
inaccessible. Thus even fairly comfortable bivouacs 
during our six weeks' stay on the Rose were out of 
the question. There is just one place above 15,500 feet 
on this desert-glacier where from the middle of July 
to the middle of September coarse g^-ass grows in some 
profusion, as well as the woody shrub burtsa, the root 
of which may be used for fuel. 

When sitting in my tent at Camp 5 on the west 
Rose bank during our first reconnaissance at the end 
of August 1911, I looked out after a snow-squall on 
the wild mountainscape. As my eye wandered across 
the three miles of glacier covered with newly-fallen 
snow to a long, grim peninsula jutting into it from 
the east, the sun suddenly peered through a rift in 
the clouds, transforming the upper part of the peninsula 
and the cliffs above into a screen of golden green. 
Everywhere else ice, rock, and storm reigned. Having 
noticed no green there before, I called up the cook, my 
camp-factotum during six mountain seasons, and said, 
" Ask the Wazir what he thinks that is." " No need 
of that," he answered. " Memsahib should go there. 
The coolies call it ' Teram Shehr,' and say it is a nice 




Camp and cairn on Junction mountain at 18,400 feet. View 

across Siachen trunk of Peak 36, 25,400 feet, rising beyond 

Lolophond glacier, wliich enters Siachen at extreme right. 

To face page 158. 



TARIM SHEHR PROMONTORY 159 

home with much grass." When asked by us, not a 
coolie admitted he had been there or knew anything 
of the place, but they persisted in calling it Teram Shehr. 
Dr. Longstaff did not visit it, so that there was no 
reason to think that any of his coolies had been there. 
A few days later we went across to this beacon of 
green, which furnished a fine base for some of the in- 
vestigations made at that time. To reach it took hours, 
for distance counted as nothing in comparison with the 
difficulties involved in crossing, and sometimes fording, 
a dozen glacier-rivers, some of them 12 feet or more 
wide, and climbing over stretches of huge, corrugated 
seracs. 

This most interesting physical formation of the 
middle Rose is indicated on Dr. Longstaff's sketch of 
the glacier as a nunatak, which, perhaps, very long ago 
it was, but on approach it is found to be a large granite 
and shale-promontory descending from the slate-peaks 
forming the barrier-wall between the Rose and the 
large east, or Tarim Shehr, affluent. As seen from 
Tawiz peak it looks like the long, sleek body of a 
whale jutting into the Rose, but when reached it is 
not so whale-like as it appears from that height of 
21,000 feet. The lowest point where it touches the 
Rose glacier is 15,670 feet, and directly overtopping it 
is a slate-peak, height 20,840 feet, which was first 
ascended by us in September 1911, and named Junction 
Peak. 

At the point where the base of this peak shades off 
into a gentle slope, a good-sized offshoot of the Tarim 
Shehr glacier bears down upon the promontory in a 
tongue of large, white seracs. Below this are several 
acres of grass-clad undulations watered by glacier- 
streams. Here any number of grass-camps can be 



160 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

made in July and August, and here the mystery of the 
promontory having been previously visited by man 
deepened, for not far from the tents we found a stone- 
circle twelve feet in diameter made at one time by 
natives. The stones, which were covered with lichens^ 
had evidently lain untouched for years. No shelters, 
such as were seen at Ali Bransa were found. Inside 
the circle a number of large ibex horns attached to 
round and oval sections of skull-bones were piled 
together, certainly by human hands. They were old 
and decayed, falling into shreds when touched. No 
carcasses were seen outside the circle, but the 
vicinity near a stream was strewn with ibex horns, 
some attached to complete skulls with fur on them, 
apparently from animals that had died or been killed 
by wolves or snow-leopards. 

In other places the footprints of foxes and wolves 
were observed, as well as those of some other animal 
which we failed to recognize. Possibly they were those 
of the mysterious snow-leopard known to exist in 
Himalaya, which, I regret to say, we have never met 
with, even at a safe distance, on our expeditions. 
Large ram-chikor flew out from the rocks when 
disturbed by footsteps, and besides a few pigeons, a 
number of small grey birds flew about, which the 
guides called snow-birds, they being exactly like those 
found in the Italian Alps. Examples of bird-life are 
scarce on the upper Rose and those existing seem to 
make their home here at the last grass. Saxifrage, 
gentians, small orchids, and edelweiss added life and 
colour to the coarse grass-tapis of the peninsula. 

From the above-mentioned hillock-area a large 
torrent may be crossed, and half a mile of slopes 
ascended to another rolling, much larger grass-district. 



AN INTERESTING LEGEND 161 

nestling in the hollows of which two good-sized lakes 
were found. We camped here at 16,273 feet, Camp 
12 or Two -lake camp, the first year. Very large 
ibex grazed calmly within six hundred feet of the 
tents. This promontory, could he reach it, would be 
an El Dorado for the British sportsman, who travels 
each season many miles in Kashmir in search of 
'• good heads," of which he rarely secures more than 
two or three during his short shooting stint. 

This part of the promontory is bounded on the 
north and south side by bare shale - headlands, which 
rise abruptly from the glacier to a maximum height 
of 17,800 feet. Even on these rocky eminences rising 
to 1,000 feet above the second grass-area tiny 
maidans for tents may be found. Perhaps in the dim 
future, when the Alps are out of date and the 
Karakoram glaciers have become the playground of 
health and air seekers, Tarim Shehr may be converted 
into a second Righi with Luft Kur hotels disfiguring 
its plateaux. At present it is a unique spot in the 
heart of the Rose surrounded on all sides by many 
miles of glacier and ice-girt peaks, and may well 
be named Tarim Shehr (Oasis City). Thus spelt, Shehr, 
in Persian, means city. 

When inquiring of the oldest inhabitants and "learned 
men " of the Saltoro valley as to whether they had any- 
previous knowledge of the Rose glacier, they furnished me 
with a legend that had been handed down to them which, 
in its simple, picturesque romance, might well form the 
basis of a great Indian epic. It ran thus : That the 
now deserted Ghyari nala was in ancient times densely 
inhabited to the tongue of the Bilaphond glacier. The 
Baltis of that time were supposed to have crossed the 
Bilaphond La and met the Yarkandis of Tarim Shehr, 

11 



162 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

with whom they played polo. Polo always plays a great 
role in Balti saga. The learned men did not say how the 
people of Turkestan came to be in this distant ice-region, 
only reported that a large city was said to stand on the 
present site of Tarim Shehr. The Baltis feared the Yar- 
kandis, who are said to have often crossed to the Ghyari 
nala to " loot " cattle and destroy property in the villages. 
On one occasion they kidnapped one of the "best looking" 
Balti women, who was working in the fields. An impor- 
tant mullah or priest, named Hazrat Ameer, happened to 
be in the village at the time. He gave the enraged Baltis 
a taiviz magic amulet, and told them to put it at once on 
the summit of the Bilaphond pass, and ordered them after 
so doing not to return home the same way, but to go 
around via Yarkand. 

The Baltis, having placed the tawiz on the pass, dis- 
obeyed the priest's orders, and returned to their village 
the same way from the pass. Soon afterwards a great 
storm visited Tarim Shehr, and the snow from the moun- 
tains slipped and fell upon the city, destroying it and its 
people, including those who had stolen the woman. The 
Balti priests say the calamity would have been even 
greater had the avengers of the woman gone around by 
Yarkand home, as ordered by Hazrat Ameer, and that 
to-day not even grass and burtsa would be found to 
mitigate the rocky desolation of Tarim Shehr. 

Regarding the term Tarim which I have adopted, I 
would say that neither have experts in Tibetan, Persian, 
or Arabic been able to tell me of the existence in those 
languages of the word " Teram " given by Dr. Longstaff as 
a name to a peak on the Rose glacier, nor did the best 
informed persons of the Kapalu and Saltoro districts 
admit any knowledge of such a word in the Balti 
dialect. As " Tarim " is used in Chinese Turkestan for 



y^¥. 



In 



■'■MP 






3i 



\' 






te:: 



•V. ..:',■ -Jf^'t.':.'. :. ;r 
?:*,'>"'.i;V'A. '■''■■..;>< 

■iff; v'* *■• -v ■' - -.v; "V- */ ■' 1 











:*i 




i 






A QUESTION OF NOMENCLATURE 163 

cultivated areas or oases, it is possible, as Sir Aurel 
Stein suggests, that the Baltis may have heard of it in 
connection with the Tarim basin or Yarkand as applied 
to the country beyond their frontier, and by usage easily 
have perverted it into Teram, which they applied to Tarim 
Shehr. In any case it seems best to adopt a term, the 
meaning of which is, in a sense, descriptive of the Tarim 
Shehr promontory, for it and the large east affluent 
which curves around it, rather than to take one for 
which no authority appears to exist. I am well satis- 
fied to adopt so appropriate a native name as this, for, 
beyond this point, not a suggestion of a name for any 
spot above or below on the glacier was obtainable from 
our Baltis. 

In connection with this name I am obliged to refer to 
a remark made by Dr. Longstaff in reference to my paper 
in the Geographical Journal, February 1914, p. 145. He 
says : " The suggested change of the name Teram to 
Tarim is unfortunate." I deny that I have suggested 
any such change. The name " Teram Kangri," which he 
gave to a peak, I have left unaltered on my map. My 
reasons not for "suggesting" a change in the name of 
but for naming the promontory or rock-peninsula Tarim 
Shehr have just been explained. Again, on the same 
page he mentions the "Teram peninsula." In calling 
Tarim Shehr a peninsula he acknowledges that we 
discovered the real character of this particular forma- 
tion, which he himself failed to discover. On his limited 
visit to the Siachen he did not go to the place nor did he 
determine its nature, as may be seen by his marking it 
on his sketch-map as a nunatak without any name. 
Because he obtained a name " Teram " from the coolies, 
which he gave to a peak ; and because this name for the 
peak was accepted, so he states, by the Indian Survey, 



164 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

is absolutely no reason why I should attach it to a 
promontory first visited and identified as such by our 
expeditions. Equally there is no ground for my attaching 
the name " Teram " to the largest, east affluent of the 
Siachen, which was first explored and measured by the 
1911 and this expedition. 

At Tarim Shehr three solid cairns, marked " B. W." in 
black, were placed at difierent points, and a fourth at 
a camp at 18,400 feet on Junction peak. As I said before, 
Tarim Shehr was too inaccessible for us to avail our- 
selves on the 1912 expedition of its sheltering hillocks 
for camping purposes. 

As previously explained, the natives must have got the 
title Rose for this glacier from the rose-bushes growing in 
the barren valleys. This was a meet and appropriate 
idea for the dwellers of the grass-regions, who never 
penetrated to the higher, icy ones ; but I, who dwelt for 
weeks among the snows of this glacier, prefer to find 
in the ice-roses I saw sculptured in its chasms my symbol 
of the Rose. In this connection a curious phenomenon, 
w^hich occurred one night on the upper plateau of the 
fabled city of Tarim Shehr, also left its imprint on my 
memory. We were camped there on September 15th on 
our first expedition, in tempestuous weather, waiting to 
recross the pass to Baltistan. I had been kept awake 
late by great gusts of wind racking my tent, and, more 
especially, by the loud dirge-like chanting of the coolies 
at their camp, which rose irritatingly above the howling 
of the wind. Exasperated, at last I threw on a fur coat 
and went out into the frigid air to call the guides and 
have them stop the coolie-noise. It was still snowing 
and blowing on the glacier, but above Tarim Shehr the 
clouds had parted, and a full moon shone with silvery 
splendour upon an exquisite scene. As I stood there I 




in t-i 

a 3 

H 

g 
o 




Approaching the summit of Junction mountain. 

To face page 164. 



STORY OF THE SNOW ROSES 165 

beheld all about me the undulating hillocks covered 
with large, feathery, full-blown snow-roses. It was not 
an hallucination. They appeared completely formed, 
although the snow-covered grass-blades aided, no doubt, 
in the fantastic composition. I buried my hands in their 
cold, silvery petals, and then, forgetting the zero tem- 
perature, stood chained by the poetry of the surroundings. 
A tall snow-peak, moon-bathed from base to apex, looked 
down upon the rose-hills, the chant of the coolies clanged 
stridently yet in harmony with the now distant roar of 
the wind, and the moon, hung in a black sky, cast its 
resplendent light over all. 

The weird glory of the scene and the discovery of the 
snow-roses so impressed me that I returned to my tent 
without stopping the chant of the coolies, feeling for the 
first time in years that their voices mingled fittingly with 
those of nature. I had quite forgotten, what I well knew, 
that rural Baltis always chant prayers at the time of the 
full moon, and, doubtless, on this occasion our coolies were 
vigorously exhorting their favourite gods to take them 
safely back over the snow-pass the next day. 

There are two points of interest, to visit which Tarim 
Shehr may serve as a base, and these were investigated 
on our reconnaissance-expedition in September 1911. The 
first is the peak overhanging Tarim Shehr, and the junc- 
tion of the great, east affluent with the Rose glacier. 
After waiting through a seven days' attack of monsoon 
at the lower camp on the promontory, during which it 
snowed much, blew much, cleared a little, and snowed 
again, the clouds finally lifted on the mountains. On 
September 4th, in apparently fair weather, we started 
up the peak with a small caravan. After a very steep 
and toilsome climb over rotten shale and slate-aretes, a 
good-sized plateau was reached, where a halt for the 



166 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

night was made at 18,400 feet. The next day, leaving 
the camp, we and the guides continued the ascent over 
unstable slate-rocks alternating with snow, which was in 
very bad condition. The gradient grew sharper and 
sharper and our advance slower and slower, as the 
snow let us in on to ice and loose slates, causing us to 
slip back one step, at least, for every two forward. 
From the position of this mountain the view is one of 
the grandest on the glacier, as it comprehends the upper 
Rose and affluents and many of its highest peaks lying 
mostly towards the west. Downward, the main glacier 
can be seen for a long distance to below the great bend, 
but not as far as the tongue. We photographed while 
there was a chance, but by 10 a.m. monsoon conditions 
returned, the peaks became covered, and by the time we 
neared the summit the wind blew with such velocity that 
we could barely advance. There was no pleasant sun- 
basking, photographing, and lunching on the summit for 
us that day, as sometimes falls to the lot of the moun- 
taineer ; and after a few notings of instruments we beat 
a retreat in a gale accompanied by snow, glad to find at 
last even fair shelter under the rather unstable tents at 
the edge of the snow on the plateau. This peak, though 
sharp and tiresome of ascent, and its sides scored by great 
gullies with ragged slate-walls, offers every recompense 
to the photographer in good weather in July and August, 
but it is no child's play to be caught at its summit, at 
20,840 feet, in the September cold by monsoon-storms. 

On September 8th, in a temperature of 22° F., we again 
left the promontory to visit and examine the second point 
of interest, the Tarim Shehr glacier, striking it at about 
three miles above its entrance into the Rose. After five 
hours of easy slate and shale-moraines came badly broken 
and very rough granite ones, which so impeded the 




4-> TO 



o ^ 
a, 



0) 




O 


^ 


o 


lO 


m 


+-> 


On 


e 






03 


^-1 




H 






<u 


s 


«5 


> 


o 


<U 


o 


«+^ 


fin 


^ 






rt 


05 


o" 


ai 


^ 


C^ 




03 


o 


— 


<D 




1 


a 


1 




en 
0) 


1 

o 

CO 


> 


A 


Cl_ 


<u 


tuO 


-^ 


U2 


■^ 


f) 


S-i 
4) 






'o 


a; 


^ 


r^ 


tJb 


Si 


o 


v^ 










-\-> 


"o^ 




§ 


A 


ti 




tfi 


1) 


^ 




'o 


o3 


s 


_rt 


rS. 




Tc 


*-*H 


"v< 






rt 




0) 


H 


0) 
05 


3 




o 


j-j 


o 


« 


o 


-l-> 


05 


^ 


'o 


2 


o 
o 

M 


o 




(S 






^ 


^ 

-(-> 




0) 


03 






0) 




> 


^ 









in 



TARIM SHEHR GLACIER 167 

caravan's progress that camp had to be pitched on 
moraine at 17,500 feet. After a very cold night we 
continued up the glacier, the neve - surface of which 
here after an hour or two became soft from the sun's 
heat. The route was dotted over with water-pools 
covered with thin ice, into which one was constantly 
breaking through up to the knees. This zone ended, 
roping became necessary on account of the presence of 
frequent, large, transverse crevasses. 

Seen from the Rose this glacier appears to rise 
gradually for miles, but in reality its higher part was 
composed of three slopes broken by short snow-terraces, 
and its whole upper area was cleft by crevasses of a 
size and depth not met with on the Rose or its other 
large affluents. A wide plateau was finally reached 
lying at over 18,000 feet. This white sea is cut up by 
schrunds and chasms running in all directions. Leading 
the caravan cautiously in and out of this maze, we 
advanced slowly, until Savoye said the responsibility for 
him was too great, as the caravan might at any moment 
become engulfed in this vortex of, seemingly, bottomless 
chasms. We had wished to reach the end of the plateau, 
now quite visible, and see if any possible passage existed 
leading towards Nubra and the Remo glaciers, but this 
was no smooth, lustrous expanse, such as are some 
elevated plateaux in Himalaya, but a mountain-devil's 
snow-continent set with death-traps to entice unwary 
men into their pitiless jaws. 

From where we stood at 18,300 feet the plateau rises 
imperceptibly to what looks like a snow-depression on 
the north side of its east end. The passage, if there is 
one, would be by this narrow yoke. Should a descent 
on the farther side be practicable, the head of one of 
the glaciers of the Remo system might be reached, and 



168 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

a route to the Shyok Valley found. We considered well 
before turning back here, but at last decided the risk 
was too great of camping the caravan at over 18,300 feet 
for two nights in the September cold, that year very 
severe at night, particularly as the chance of overcoming 
the six miles of crevasses leading to the col the next 
day was an uncertain quantity. So, reluctantly, we again 
headed downward, and by covering a long distance 
reached a bad bit of moraine at 17,675 feet for camp 
at 4 p.m. 

The Tarim Shehr glacier is seventeen miles long from 
its junction with the Rose, and averages a width of a 
mile and a half to two miles before reaching its reservoir- 
basin. Peaks of from 21,000 to about 23,000 feet form its 
north and south boundary- walls, and two of about 22,000 
feet rise as isolated points from its terminal plateau. 

During the present expedition, 1912, which I am 
especially narrating in this book, I considered the north 
and west Siachen sources must claim first attention- 
When toward the end of August we were recalled by 
the delinquencies of the headman Halim from the lower 
Rose, my hope was to make a second attempt to reach 
the Tarim Shehr glacier-source, but several reasons 
interfered. That glacier looked quite as impossible in 
its upper trend as in the previous September. Provisions 
and coolie-patience were at a low ebb, and ten days of 
fog came to hold us captive on the Upper Rose. Finally 
events worked together to make it a question of forcing 
a new passage at the Rose west source-head, or of 
attempting to reach the Tarim Shehr glacier-col, which, 
if reached, might be found to furnish a passage to some 
other glacier. 

Both could not be accomplished by the expedition. 
We had just the force of men and provisions necessary 




Upper six miles of Tarim Shehr glacier, greatly crevassed, east of point at 18,312 feet, noted on map. At extreme left col at 19,300 feet leading, probably, to Remo basin 



CHOOSING AN ALTERNATIVE 169 

for returning by unknown ground to Baltistan, but not 
that needed to descend a new glacier east of Tarim 
Shehr, which it would be desirable to do if one was 
found, and wander down to somewhere in the Shyok 
valley, where, most likely, the caravan would get no 
supplies. As things turned out I chose wisely, I think, 
to do the former. An expedition relying on its own 
resources only, while it must be prepared to take many 
risks, cannot take all, and, when two goals are presented 
as alternatives, the one of greater geographical im- 
portance should have the preference. Dr. de Filippi 
explored the Remo glacier in 1914, which he says is 
*' formed by two large glaciers, a western and a northern 
one." He refers to two cols at the head of the 
northern branch, and states that the one to the west 
*' communicates with the Siachen basin." This fact was 
not, however, proved, for, owing to continued bad weather 
the party did not visit either of the two saddles. It is 
most probable that there is a passage from the Remo 
to the Tarim Shehr affluent of the Siachen, and it is to 
be regretted that the de Filippi expedition, after a stay 
of more than a week in the upper basin of the 
northern Remo, was unable to definitely establish this 
-communication. 



CHAPTER y 

Teeam kangri — Peak 36 glaciee — To the north watershed. 

I WOULD briefly mention the Teram Kangri, a massif- 
like ridge, culminating in several peaks rising from the 
Siachen basin and forming part of the east boundary- 
wall, some eighteen miles from the northern water- 
parting between the Siachen Glacier and Turkestan. 
This was first seen by Dr. Longstaff from the Bilaphond 
La in 1909, and judged by him to be a mountain-mass 
of exceptional height. During his day's visit to the 
middle Siachen he took angles with clinometer to three 
summits of the group, giving on his sketch-map later 
the height of 27,610 feet to the highest, named by him 
Teram Kangri. The apparent discovery of a very high 
peak in the Eastern Karakoram created considerable 
interest in the geographical and Alpine world. In 1911 
the Indian Survey sent Mr. Collins of the Survey to 
the Nubra valley, where from several high stations he 
triangulated the highest and lowest of the three summits 
with altitude results of 24,489 and 24,218 feet. 

That same season Dr. C. Calciati, during a short 
visit to the Siachen, triangulated the peak east of the 
one measured by Mr. Collins as the highest, for which 
he obtained a value of 24,793 feet, or 7,559 metres. This 
he regarded as the highest summit. In 1912 Mr. Grant 

170 




a 






(U 



1 2 

^ O 

x> — 

C! J^ 

O .+H 

'53 '3 

■^ o 

s s 

2 1 









ESTIMATION OF ALTITUDE 171 

Peterkin triangulated all three peaks of this ridge with 
results of 24,510, 24,300, and 24,240 feet respectively. 
His observations show the central peak to be the 
highest, thus corresponding with the result obtained by 
Mr. Collins. 

In the course of seven seasons of daily companion- 
ship of Himalayan mountains, one acquires a certain 
habit of roughly estimating the height of a peak when 
it first strikes the eye. Obviously no great accuracy 
can be expected from such eye-estimations, but they 
flash upon the mind and are not to be suppressed. 
These impressions, however, usually prove to be correct 
to within, say, 1,000 to 2,000 feet. The seasoned 
Himalayist, if he has the mountain-eye at all, can 
pretty accurately estimate whether he is looking at a 
21,000, 24,000, or 27,000 foot summit. When we first 
saw Teram Kangri, we said at once we could give it 
24,000 feet. Asking guide Savoye, who has been on six 
expeditions among Asiatic mountains, and who at the 
moment did not know what mountain he was looking 
at, what he would estimate the altitude of the peak at, 
he replied "About 24,000 feet." This was, of course, 
before any of us knew the results obtained by the three 
later triangulation-measurements. Dr. A. Neve says in 
his Thirty Years in Kashmir, p. 293, that, judging it by 
the eye, he reckoned Teram Kangri at less than 25,000 
feet. 

These peaks when seen from the Bilaphond La make 
no extraordinary impression on the observer, and I 
wonder that any one, at all accustomed to Himalayan 
surroundings, should have selected these summits as 
being of unusual height. While prominent, the peaks 
of this ridge in their relation to the Rose glacier are of 
quite secondary importance to the King George V 



172 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

group at the sources of the glacier, and to Peaks 8, 35, 
and 36 to the south-west. With the work done by the 
Survey and by my 1912 expedition they may now be 
said to be triangulated for height fairly accurately. 

Camp 6, on the north, marginal moraine of Peak 36 
glacier at the junction of the latter with the Siachen, 
at an altitude of 16,730 feet, commanded one of the 
most impressive views of the region. The Rose in its 
greatest width was seen flowing downward twelve to 
fifteen miles past Tarim Shehr. The Tarim Shehr 
glacier was visible from its junction with the Rose to 
its head, while the Peak 36 affluent spread like an open, 
white fan westward. Fringed by distant peaks, these 
great glaciers, converging from east, west, and south, 
produced more perfectly upon the mind the impression 
of an immense Arctic sea of ice than any glacial scene 
I can recall on the other Karakoram trunk-glaciers. 
Peak 36 glacier is the longest, west affluent of the 
Siachen. Its reservoir, broadly speaking, may be found 
on the ridge from which the Survey-triangulated Peaks 
33, 35, and 36 rise. Defined more closely, it may be 
said to consist of two portions, one to the south occu- 
pying a wide plateau directly under the east side of the 
high Peaks 35 and 36, and one to the north another 
plateau or basin lying east of Peak 33. 

From the head of the latter reservoir the glacier 
has a length of some sixteen miles to its junction with 
the Rose. Its length to the south head under Peak 36 
is about thirteen miles. Its width varies from three- 
quarters of a mile above to a mile and a half at 
its mouth. Ascending gently in a broad, honeycombed 
ice-sheet, it is quite an ideal glacier, nowhere disturbed 
in its symmetry by moraines. Those that exist on 
its lower trend, forming long, lateral ridges of pale 



PEAK 36 GLACIER 173 

hillocks, serve only as picturesque adjuncts to enhance 
the beauty of the monotone of rising ice. Its south 
containing wall is composed of five snow-peaks broken 
by three small affluents which enter the main glacier 
in shimmering streams of white ice. Devoid, toward 
the last, of even a trace of rock, it bends south around 
snow-peaks soaring directly from its shore in a plastic, 
high sweep, which brings the wondering visitor to the 
base of the frowning precipices of Peak 36. From these 
precipices northward to Peak 33 and beyond, these peaks 
and their crevasse-riven linking ridges are stupendous 
and complex enough to satisfy even the most avid 
seeker after mountain-grandeur. 

All the more does Nature force one to admire the 
noble glacier, which pursues its serene course in unbroken 
lines to here, where it finds oblivion in this scheme of 
rock and ice, which forms a background of extremest 
mountain-tumult. This chaos of peaks and bergschrund- 
harrowed walls is of great interest to the passage- 
seeker, who has knocked in vain, as we had, at its doors 
on the other side, for it forms the barrier between this 
and the Dong Dong and Sher-pi-gang glaciers, its icy 
ramparts calling out the mandate — Here and no farther 
shalt thou, poor human thing, advance. 

To obviate camping in deep snow on the glacier, at 
twelve miles above its end the steep side of a bare, 
projecting spur, the only spot free from snow in the 
vast, icy expanse, was ascended. This, composed of 
rotten, crumbling shale, overhung the glacier in a preci- 
pice about 400 feet high. It seemed a hopeless place 
for a camp, as its sharp, narrow top afforded no room 
sufficiently large or level for tents. After some three 
hours' hard work the guides and coolies, by building 
up retaining walls with rock-fragments bestrewing the 



174: THE ICE- WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

surface, digging out and rolling down boulders, and using 
smaller debris to fill up the empty spaces behind the walls, 
succeeded in constructing several terraces or platforms 
on the slanting side sufficiently large to hold tents. 

The coolies stowed themselves away in! rock-crannies 
at the base of the spur. The weird beauty and scanty 
comfort of this camp at 17,650 feet were greatly increased 
by the presence on the glacier below of a large, blue 
lake, surmounted by a striated ice-wall. A delicate 
tracery of ice covered the scintillating, blue water 
throughout the day, so cool was the temperature of 
the place. The sun left the spur at 3.30 p.m., and a 
temperature of 5° F. reigned at night. 

The next day a mile of ice-walking brought us into 
the wide Peak 36 plateau which, as I mentioned in 
connection with Tawiz peak, is bordered east by the 
Bilaphond La and Tawiz peak ridges. Directly under 
Peak 36 to the north-east we came to a narrow aperture 
not seen from below, and, after ascending a snow-wall, 
found ourselves on a still higher, smaller plateau, from 
which rose the actual dividing ridge between the Dong 
Dong and Peak 36 glaciers. This plateau rises from 
an altitude of 19,100 feet at its lower end, as measured 
by hypsometer, to the high ridge in question. 

This nearly perpendicular watershed-ridge, scarred 
by a series of huge bergschrunds, being impossible of 
ascent, we contented ourselves with climbing on Peak 
36 itself to the base of its north-east vertical wall, at 
19,500 feet, which was as far as the constant danger 
from avalanches would admit of. Even here the guide, 
Quaizier, beset us with petitions to descend at once, 
for nothing could have saved us had the avalanches 
started in their daily manoeuvres, which they did within 
half an hour of our visit. 





i inorama from centre id I'eak 36 glacier 4V miles from K i ;:ii\ve3t, showing large portion of north-west anl S'luth-west heads of glacier. 

Large massif at left is Peaks 35-36, 25,283-23. po feet , summits in cloud. Caravan seen approaching promontory on which Camp 7, 17,602 feet, was pitched. 



To face page 174. 



TWIN SUMMITS 35 AND 36 175 

I do not relate this as a notable ascent, but I was 
rather pleased to reach on this redoubtable mountain the 
point where the last 5,000 feet of sheer precipice begins. 
The two actual summits 35 and 36 are near together, 
bearing about the same relation one to the other as do 
the twin peaks of Masherbrum. Could one be borne by 
aeroplane to the dip between them, both would, probably, 
succumb to the foot of the mountaineer. Whether seen 
from the Dong Dong glacier or from different places on 
the Rose and its affluents, one always feels inclined to 
pause and admire this mountain, so noble is its build, so 
supremely picturesque and beautiful its varied aspects. 
Like a few people one meets on life's journey, it possesses 
a commanding personality. 

Another scarcely less impressive peak of the upper, 
west Siachen, first seen and triangulated by this expe- 
dition, is the double-summited Mt. Ghent, 24,280 and 
24,090 feet, which at the suggestion of Mr. W, P. Cresson, 
F.R.G.S., I have thus named after the Treaty of Ghent, 
which terminated hostilities between Great Britain and 
the United States in 1814. 

I mentioned at the outset that twenty sheep accom- 
panied us from Goma to the Siachen. On past expeditions, 
usually, from two to three have run away or been lost by 
coolies in crevasses, but this time al' twenty, I believe, 
arrived safely at Tarim Shehr, where they took up 
their abode under two goatherds. As needed, they were 
killed and brought up the glacier by coolies to supple- 
m.ent the different camp-larders. Nineteen supplied the 
full needs of our own and the Surveyor's party, and the 
twentieth, grown round and plump, after seven weeks' 
good grazing, returned safely home to Goma at the close 
of the expedition. 

Beautiful clear lakes are numerous on the Siachen, 



176 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

adding much to the picturesqueness of the general ice- 
entourage. When threading a way through reaches of 
high seracs one conies on them suddenly, encased in 
stratified ice-walls, often 50 to 60 feet high. The ice- 
banks of one lake at an altitude of 17,000 feet were 
peppered black with large mosquitoes. Perhaps they 
were affected by altitude, as they were quite sluggish 
when brushed off the surface with the hand. They 
appeared to hover only about the lakes, for none were 
seen at the camps. 

The gradient of the Rose glacier in a distance of 
twelve miles upward from Tarim Shehr is easy, showing 
a rise of 1,442 feet, or one foot in thirty-seven. The best 
route is along the east side by bands of shaly, median 
moraines. The camping is not much better than upon 
snow, for where the moraines do not rise in high, un- 
dulating hillocks, the surface-covering is very sparse and 
tents stand, practically, on thinly covered ice. These miles 
of moraine strewn with blocks of marble and other debris 
are very interesting, but, as I am dealing only with the 
geographical and historical part of this region, they will 
be described elsewhere. 

On the 18th July we left one of these camps at 17,000 
feet for an attempt to reach the north Rose source. 
Passing the last west affluent, which enters above Peak 36 
glacier, we continued up the Rose, which here takes on a 
sharper gradient and narrows somewhat. By 3 p.m. 
crevasses and soft snow made advance very slow with 
the coolies complaining and halting for rest every twQ 
minutes, so we looked for a safe spot for tents, and 
camped in the middle of the glacier at 18,057 feet. The 
sky had been clear all day, but by evening the weather 
grew uncertain, and the next morning we found our tents 
laden with snow and a heavy storm in progress. When 




g>i^'' 



At 20,000 feet beneath final vertical wall of Peak 35, near southern 
head of Peak 36 glacier. 

To face page 176. 




Mosquito lake near centre of Tarim Shehr affluent. 

[Note synclinal arrange of ice-strata. At and beyond right strata were anticlinal. This 

formation shows well the folding ice-strata may undergo. Extensive melting of surface 

has greatly reduced original height of strata.] 

To face page 176. 



THREE BLACK CROWS 177 

escape is possible it is folly to wait about under such 
conditions, so we packed up our impedimenta as best we 
could and descended in a dense mist accompanied by a 
blizzard-like wind that drove the snow-particles through 
the woollen face-covers so as to cut the skin. Camp was 
finally pitched in the storm on some snow-covered 
moraine at 17,200 feet. Luck was not yet ours, and that 
night the elements raged again and continued to do so, 
with intervals of calm, for two days more. When the 
clouds broke a little the third day, but with the wrong 
wind holding and 4 feet of new snow now lying on the 
upper glacier, as provisions were at a low ebb, we marched 
farther down to a mountain-ar^te, where we camped ta 
await favourable skies. 

From this perch at 16,776 feet, some 300 feet above 
the Siachen, for a day, before the snow melted, the 
glacier stretched above and below like a uniform 
white sea, not a crevasse or a rock being visible. Then^ 
the magic sea vanished and out cropped the crevasses, 
rocks, and normal glacier-features, and with them came 
a change of wind that set us to hoping. Lastly, our three 
mascots appeared on the scene and began to caw loudly. 
I have not before spoken of the three crows, that had 
followed the camp from Ali Bransa and had continued 
to accompany us to the glacier-sources and to all high 
camps, not disappearing until the Kondus valley was 
reached on the homeward journey. They were not even 
distinguished by red beaks, as are mountain-choughs, but 
were well nurtured, black crows of great size, which took 
good care to find a living off the camp and did not suffer 
for five minutes from mountain-lassitude even at 20,000 
feet. Their speech was more the croak of the raven than 
the caw of the crow. I confess to having found them 
more agreeable camp-companions than the best coolie I 
have met with. 

12 



178 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

After this delay, on July 25th a second start was 
made, and we camped again on moraine-strewn ice at 
17,200 feet. The next day we pushed on a good distance 
above the previous glacier-camp to a high shale-ridge, 
which juts into the glacier from the east side. About 
250 feet above the glacier, near the base of this ridge, 
a small, rocky spur was discovered for camp. Circling 
the base of the spur, on all but one side was a deep 
blue lakelet encased in white ice-walls. To reach the 
spur the caravan had to be taken over a sharp, slippery 
snow-slant shelving towards the lake below. When, by 
roping, this was safely accomplished, we came out on the 
rock-chaos-projection, which, after a lot of hard work on 
the part of the whole caravan, was converted into sets 
of camping terraces. Before the lake froze entirely over 
at sunset, like the common well in small villages, it 
became the rendezvous of the thirsty guides, servants, and 
coolies carrying water-buckets. Even the crows enjoyed 
a good drink, sipping at the iced water and sharpening 
their beaks upon a group of icicles. We thought our- 
selves fortunate indeed to find such good quarters on dry 
ground fairly near the Siachen head at 18,400 feet. 

A highly interesting find was made here — the lower 
layers or remains of two native stone-cairns. They were 
very nearly demolished, but it was obvious that human 
hands had placed the rocks as they were found. This 
was no evidence at all that caravans had used this place 
as a camping ground, for where natives are in the habit 
of bivouacking they invariably build stone-huts, which 
are much less likely to be demolished than cairns, and 
there was no sign whatever here of huts or shelters such 
as were seen at Ali Bransa. 

The cairn-fragments indicate merely that natives 
once reached this point, but they do not, in the least. 




Two c»f the three crows that accompanied Siachen expedition of 
1912 perched on glacier-table. 

To face page 178. 




Q^ 



a 
^ 



a 



a, 
en 



ASCENT TO HEAD OF ROSE GLACIER 179 

augur that there was formerly a caravan-route over the 
inaccessible north Rose source. On July 27th, with 
temperature 15° F., we left Spur camp, as we called this 
camp, and descended to the glacier. The ridge of the 
last wall, before spoken of, upon which the camp was 
located, projects into the glacier for some distance, thus 
causing a narrowing in of the Siachen before it reaches 
its upper basin. After contouring this we ascended 
sharp, crevassed slopes for about an hour and a half 
before reaching a large snow-plateau. In spite of an icy 
wind blowing down from the heights above, which chilled 
to the bone, good progress was made, the surface-snow 
being crisp and firm. From this basin on the west a 
snow-mountain rises, and beyond it the high, precipitous 
walls of the King George V group, which enclose the 
Rose glacier-head on the north-west with an impenetrable 
barrier. 

Although high enough in themselves, these are really 
only the lower walls of the group, which in four high 
peaks dominates the north-east head of the glacier. 
Neither Peak 23 nor its satellites are seen from this 
point. As we stood on the plateau, gentle slopes were 
observed rising to the east toward an apparent but from 
here invisible col. But this was not in that day's work, 
so we continued north over rising hillocks and slants 
which became most wearisome as the snow softened, 
letting us in to the knees at nearly every step. The wind 
had momentarily ceased, and as we plunged through the 
deep, soggy snow, our faces were grilled by the reflected 
rays of a tropical sun. I have often sufiPered greatly 
from the sun's heat in the higher regions of Himalaya, 
but never experienced the least inconvenience with my 
head or eyes when wearing a sun-topie and glare-glasses. 
Some persons, I know, find comfort in face-masks, but I 



180 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

cannot endure them for five minutes, as they impede 
breathing. The two best preventives of the torture of 
skin-burning I have personally found to be burnt cork 
and a German-made cream called nivalin. I mention this 
because people often ask what I use for snow-burn and 
because long hours on snow in the upper Himalayan 
heights entail the keenest suffering to some skins. 

There was not much to guide us in our search for the 
watershed-ridge, so we headed for a snow-peak of about 
22,000 feet, which appeared to stand at the end of every- 
thing. On the left or west we passed a snow-gap with 
a bergschrund at its base, that is seen thirty miles down 
the glacier, which Dr. Longstaff noticed when he reached 
the Siachen, and which, he says, he " connected at once 
with the sketch of Younghusband's Saltoro pass," which 
he had seen in his report. This gap is what, I suppose, 
Dr. Longstaff refers to as "Younghusband's saddle," 
and designates by that name on his sketch-map. It is, 
however, no pass, and bears no relation to the real 
water-parting ridge, which latter is not seen at all from 
any part of the Siachen glacier. The supposed saddle 
is a narrow connecting link between two elevations of 
the intricate Siachen reservoir, merely an idiosyncrasy 
of Nature thrown in to mislead any one casually looking 
up from the middle Rose. Beyond this false saddle lies 
a deep snow-basin. 

Leaving this point a mile or so behind, we came to 
the base of the peak above mentioned and, after con- 
sultation, decided to ascend over its sharp, east flank, 
which we did to a height of quite 21,000 feet. Here a 
wonderful vista of the Rose could be seen falling down- 
ward thirty-five miles, the first half a glittering ice-river, 
which later became ribboned by long, grey and black 
moraines. Having crossed the mountain-flank and lost 





til +j 



-^ -H- 



> 


03 


o 


.h 


^ 


TJ 


u 


a 


o 


h- 1 






'o 




_rt 




"So 




(D 




OT 




o 




Pi 




^ 




T) 




nS 





ON NORTH ROSE WATER-PARTING 181 

sight altogether of the Siachen, a descent was made 
to another previously unseen, high snow-field. This 
presented a death -trap -labyrinth of yawning crevasses. 
After contouring and overcoming this hodge-podge of 
obstacles, we were greatly relieved to see an ice-ridge 
ahead with distant peaks rising from beyond a void. 
The whole trajet in the deep snow and the mental tension 
produced by continual vigilance in avoiding chasms had 
become most exasperating, and we were glad that Nature 
was about to put an end to further advance and allow 
us to stand at last on the eagerly-sought-for north Rose 
water-parting. 



CHAPTER VI 

On the kobth watee-parting or indira col — Discovery of and visit 
to the bast col or turkestan la. 

Savoye, leading on the rope, called, " Slowly ! It is a 
line of huge cornices." And so it was, like most of our 
best mountain-culminations, a cornice ; and not one, but 
rows of them, extending straight across the ridge to the 
base of a sharp peak which forms the east boundary 
of this water-parting ridge. With the guides tautly 
holding the rope we went as near the edge as possible, 
and saw the monsters curling over in great, white hoods 
fringed with massive pendants of ice. Below these fell 
a perpendicular snow-wall 5,000 to 6,000 feet to a basin. 
Bounding this basin was a long, splintered rock-ridge, 
which, as could be seen, formed a wall near one head 
of a large glacier flowing down north-north-east into 
the verdureless, barren region of Chinese Turkestan. 
Besides the source, above which we stood, this glacier 
had another, plainly seen, to the north-west on the flanks 
of the Gusherbrum range. From the latter the glacier 
at first descends in chaotic ice-falls. 

At the moment of our arrival on the ridge three 
tremendous rock-peaks were seen piercing the clouds 
to the north-west, beyond much doubt from position 
and appearance the Gusherbrums ; but before the cameras 
could be used their tips were lost in cloud. The main 

182 



T 



>A 



Jk 




Indira col at north head of Siachen (Rose) glacier, discovered and ascended by Authors. Its centre was measured at 20,860 feet. Watershed between Indus and Chinese Turkestan basins passes through heights 
at left and across edge of col. from which greatly broken ice-precipice descends some 5,000 feet to Gusherbrum glacier, seen behind its centre. The portion of Gusherbrum glacier in view was first discovered from this col. 
This glacier, originating in Gusherbrum peaks behind heights and clouds at left, descends beneath Indira col and flows north-east into Turkestan. Mountains in background form north-east extension of Gusherbrum ridge. 

To (ice page 182. 



m 



VIEW INTO CHINESE TURKESTAN 183 

precipices of the range may be seen in the panorama 
taken from the col. The continuing wall of the Gusher- 
brums, of which we saw all except a small corner, joins 
that of Peak 23. The rounded snow-elevations seen at 
the west or left of the watershed-col, as one faces 
north, running in intricate lines east and west, form a 
part of the very long but continuous east arete of 
Peak 23. 

Hence the Siachen glacier may be said to find its main 
source in the King George V Group, while the east 
arete of Peak 23 descends to the col and builds this 
part of the water-parting between the Indus and Chinese 
Turkestan. From here the watershed turns south-east 
and follows the north-east Siachen wall for 14 miles, 
beyond which we could not with certainty trace it, but 
it is, apparently, formed by the remainder of the wall 
extending to the head of the Tarim Shehr glacier. With 
the exception of the Gusherbrums all the mountain-area 
visible towards Chinese Turkestan appeared less high 
and snowy than on the Karakoram side. The arid 
mountain-flanks were variegated in colour, and I noticed 
many slashed with deep red. A geologist would, doubt- 
less, find much of interest in that region. A triangular 
mountain-massif, the beginning of which is seen in the 
panorama-view, runs south-east from this Turkestan 
glacier and forms, from what we saw from the East 
col, a barrier between the Gusherbrum glacier and 
another large glacier, which we ' discovered from the 
East col. 

The glacier seen from this water-parting is different 
from those I have met with on the Karakoram side. 
As observed, grey moraines — and they are high, hillocky 
ones — descend through its centre and run thus a long 
way towards its tongue. As we saw, but could not 



184 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

photograph, the ice bordering the moraines on either 
side was composed of lines of tall pyramids and wedge- 
shaped, white pinnacles, and nowhere were crevassed, 
ice-bands to be detected. My impression was, that the 
glacier could be ascended nearly to its head by a moraine- 
ronte. 

From my own observations, and after consultation 
with Col. Sir Francis Tounghusband, I judge this to be 
the Gusherbrum glacier, the tongue of which he visited 
in 1889. I am glad that we have been privileged to see 
and photograph it from above one of its sources, and 
to have aided Indian geography by definitely fixing 
this important Eastern Karakoram water-parting. The 
watershed-ridge, measured by hypsometer, works out 
for height at 20,860 feet. I have named this ridge the 
Indira col. 

The only other explorers met with here were a dainty, 
brown butterfly and a large, sluggish wasp. The latter 
greeted us amicably, and seemed content to sit for five 
minutes at a time on the point of my ice-axe. A high 
wind was blowing, which had, perhaps, wafted them up 
to greet us from Chinese Turkestan. The thermometer 
registered 50° F. when we left the col to descend the 
long miles of sodden snow which separated us from our 
distant camp. 

Much more might be said about overcoming the 
difficulties of the upward and downward route to the 
Indira col. They were all present — the treacherous, 
snow-hidden crevasses on the smoother parts, and the 
explosive cracking of the surface-crust observed by us 
before, and on the steeper slants the ploughing out with 
hands or ice-axe of a path, and the constant sudden 
plunging into soft snow to the waist, so irritating to 
tired nerves, with the added labour of having to get 




View down Rose glacier from ridge, at over 19,000 feet altitude, 
above Spur camp. At lower edge lake at foot of Spur pro- 
montory. Caravan on glacier approaching camp. 

To face page 184 




a 


^ 


Dm 






^ 






On 


a^ 


M 


MH 


CL, 


1 


g 


C3 


03 


3 


O 


J3 




C 


(U 




> 


> 


o 


W) 


s> 


e 


rt 






2 


^o 






15 


**-» 


<^ 


o 




(U 


i 




o 


c 




<u 






s 


e 


o 




u 


o 




c: 




<u 


u 


d 


2 


s 


'o 


4) 


rt 





0^ 



ON TURKESTAN COL 185 

out when once comfortably in. Yes, all the dangers and 
obstacles of a long, arduous climb at from 19,000 to 
21,000 feet were in superlative evidence ; but in a narra- 
tive of Asiatic snow-life, where frequent reference to 
these snags must be made, the reader has a claim to be 
spared too much detail. The writer, after seven seasons 
of Himalayan exploration, likewise, to use a French word 
as more expressive, grows lass^ of their description. 

The next morning Rey instead of Savoye came up 
to my tent early for orders. As the latter had never 
failed in this particular duty, I inquired what was wrong 
with him, to which Rey replied that he was nearly 
snow-blind and could not leave the tent. It happened 
that, on his return to camp the night before, after the 
long day on the snow, Savoye had given his face a 
good bath with soap and water, and in doing this doubt- 
less rubbed soap into his eyes, which, of course, played 
havoc with them. 

As I wanted him with us on the visit to the east 
watershed-ridge, we waited a day at Spur camp for him 
to recover. The weather appeared clear and settled, so 
we all rather welcomed the rest. The following day a 
return was made to the high plateau, where, turning east, 
we ascended fairly easy slopes for two and a half hours 
to a snow-col. This col lies at the base of a long slate- 
arete, and its height as measured by hypsometer is 19,210 
feet. Small tents could be placed on the rock of the 
slate-arete, but the place is exposed and unsuitable 
for camping. It bore no traces of having been visited 
by any one before. However, it is of interest to note 
that, on this most forbidding of glaciers for tent nomads, 
at one of its heads a dry spot for a tent may be arranged 
in case of emergency. 

The first thing that impresses the visitor here is a 



186 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

grand group of high peaks looming up a little to the 
south behind the east Siachen wall on the Turkestan 
side. They are lofty, wild, and complex, rising from 
intricate snow-valleys and elevated plateaux. The 
position of the sun was such that in the two hours we 
waited on the col no really clear photographs could 
be secured. The double peak in the centre of the 
photograph of them is, probably, the distant high 
mountain I detected from the Tawiz peak lying in this 
vicinity. The group has not been placed on previous 
maps and was, evidently, here seen for the first time. 
The col we stood on forms a semicircle and ends in 
the bergschrund-festooned wall visible in the foreground. 
Directly below the col a sharp drop occurs, say of 2,000 
feet (it is difficult to estimate height from above a 
wall). Below, this wall shades off into a short crevassed 
glacier, which, as an affluent, joins a wide trunk-glacier 
flowing north-west towards its tongue. We saw well 
only the upper part rising south-east toward its source 
behind the group of peaks above mentioned. From 
the edge of the col the end of the triangular mountain- 
mass discovered from the Indira col was seen, and the 
main glacier appeared to take its downward direction 
along the base of these mountains. 

It is probable that this large glacier flowing nortli-^ 
west joins the Gusherbrum stream seen from the 
Indira col beyond the triangular mountain-range, or 
that both end in the same valley near together. The 
latitude, 35° 41" 20', of the point reached by Sir Francis 
Younghusband on the Urdok glacier would about cor- 
respond to that of this col. After consultation with 
him there appears to be but one conclusion possible — 
that this is the glacier he ascended in 1889 when in 
search of the Saltoro pass, and named the Urdok. The 







•?3 



en 
O (U 



o 




o 



-d 



THE URDOK GLACIER 187 

col he saw culminating the Urdok is probably a ridge 
of the mountain-group seen by us from the east Siachen 
col. If this is the case, it is the col at the head of the 
Urdok glacier, which should bear the name of Young- 
husband's saddle, and not the meaningless, false col lying 
some miles west, which I mentioned our passing on our 
route to the north water-parting, which Dr. Longstaff 
honoured with the name " Younghusband's Saddle." In 
his remarks following my paper, published in the 
Geographical Journal, February 1914, he says, "It is 
satisfactory to find that our location of Younghusband's 
saddle was substantially correct." I would put here on 
record that I do not find his " location " of Young- 
Jiusband's saddle to be correct at all, and I should con- 
sider, as no doubt others would, that any one placing 
on a future map the name Younghusband's Saddle 
where Dr. Longstaff puts it on his sketch-map of the 
Siachen, would be guilty of an obvious error, to say 
nothing of paying Sir Francis Younghusband a more than 
doubtful compliment. The saddle, or pass if it be one, 
he saw at the source of the Urdok glacier, could not 
lead to the Siachen, as in the east Siachen wall above 
Tarim Shehr there is no break, nor, so far as we could 
observe in the five times we passed along its entire 
length, is there any possible pass. 

This east col, our visit to which I have been narrating, 
is, therefore, another more easterly point on the water- 
shed-ridge toward the Turkestan side, which with the 
north or Indira col makes two, which I think I may 
with my confrere in exploration justly claim to have 
discovered and first visited. I have called it the 
Turkestan La (pass) on my map, because under proper 
European leadership it might, with considerable difficulty, 
be crossed by coolies up to August 1st in ordinary 



188 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

seasons. But, in my opinion, it could never have been 
employed as a passage by Kashgar people to Baltistan 
or Nubra for two reasons : first, it would be fraught 
with too many mountaineering obstacles to be used as 
a caravan route by natives of Chinese Turkestan ; and 
second, not being the culmination of a main artery, it 
would be observed by them only as a ridge at the top 
of a tributary of the Urdok, which it would not occur 
to them to explore. 

Here there is no obvious route such as exists from 
Nagar over the Hispar pass to Baltistan, for example. 
In some isolated case a party may have been driven 
by circumstances to seek a way out from Baltistan 
or Nubra to Turkestan, and on ascending to the Rose 
reservoir found an exit here, or vice versa. This, if 
accomplished only once, would account for the cairn- 
remnants found at Spur camp. Another explanation of 
these cairns may be sought in the possibility of Nubra 
or Goma people having penetrated thus far up the 
glacier in search of a pass, and not liking the appearance 
of the snow-wastes above, having returned down the 
Rose. This might also account for the stone-circle at 
Tarim Shehr. 

So far as present knowledge is concerned I fear no 
light can be shed on the matter, certainly not in the 
Saltoro valley, and, from what I have heard from 
persons who have inquired in Nubra, although they 
may talk of a passage as existing from the Rose to the 
Remo region, the people there appear to have little 
knowledge of the Rose glacier. In the February 1914 
Geographical Journal, p. 145, Dr. Longstaff says that 
he " understands the lecturer [myself] to say further, 
that the name Siachen is not known to the people of 
Nubra." Of course one cannot account for the way in 



rOv\ 
J 45] 




^ 









QUESTIONABLE ROUTE TO TURKESTAN 189 

which some people understand plain language, but I 
disclaim having anywhere made such a statement. 

One may weave what romance one will about the 
cairn-remains of Spur camp, but I think, what we saw 
at the north and east points of the water-parting demon- 
strates pretty conclusively that no caravan-route for 
either laden animals or men has existed there. 

From Sir Francis Younghusband I learn that a 
sportsman with a few Kashgar natives is supposed to 
have crossed a water-parting somewhere in this region 
ten years ago. He could not, however, remember being 
on a large glacier during his journey, nor give any 
details pointing to the route traversed, and only recalled 
Kiris in the Shyok valley as the first village he reached. 
I wrote to the gentleman, recently, myself, and in his 
reply he said, " I must warn you, as it is years ago since 

I did that trek, that details are lamentably wanting, 
and I find it almost impossible to now substantiate my 
explanations. This I found in talking with Dr. de 
Filippi and Sir Francis Younghusband." Comment is 
needless. The reader can judge of the value of such 
evidence. At any rate it appears quite certain from what 
we have observed at the watersheds that he did not cross 
this region by the north, east, or west Siachen sources. 

During these days a white mist hung over the 
mountains and the Rose, which marred the splendid 
downward vista and interfered with photography. In 
Kashmir and Baltistan great heat and drought were 
reigning. Here it was cold at night and very hot after 

II a.m. On the col just described the glass stood at 
32° F. in the shade at 9 a.m., and at noon a black bulb 
thermometer-reading at 200° F. was noted. Before 
leaving Spur camp a large cairn was built and marked 
with black paint " B. W.," with the date. 



CHAPTER VII 

Exploration of west source glacier and its ice-barriers. 

The weather still holding fair, it was decided to push the 
study of the Rose sources, if supplies held out, to the last 
enduring point of the coolies. We accordingly started for 
the west Rose sources lying above the West Source glacier 
or highest west affluent. Descending the Rose for a time 
by the same route taken in ascending, we crossed later to 
the west side just above the entrance of the upper west 
affluent. Here the glacier, from melting, was turned into 
a series of slush-covered lakes, which were best crossed 
on hands and knees. The broad west affluent enters the 
Rose at just over 17,000 feet. It is a snow-expanse from 
one containing-wall to the other. Crevasses, which are 
legion in the lower part, remain mostly snow-covered, 
and therefore doubly dangerous, until into August. At 
the south side of its entrance into the Siachen, the snow- 
streaked rock-buttresses of the mountain we named the 
Hawk are grandly seen. 

This peak, while not one of the highest, is, like 
Peak 36, a Siachen landmark. It is seen from all parts 
of the upper thirty miles. Below the upper west branch its 
outline is that of a graceful, snowy Cervin, but above 
that it unfurls its broad granite-wings, assuming the 
appearance of a hawk. After the first quarter-mile the 

190 




a, 



3 
o 


s 


en 


+J 




OT 


to 


(1) 


0) 


-M 


'k^ 


tn 


►»» 


O 




j^ 






p; 


Trj 


O 


'^ 


-tJ 




(D 




(U 








o 




o 





CAMP ON WEST SOURCE GLACIER 191 

gradient of this affluent is a steadily ascending one. 
In its upper portion the glacier spreads into a gently 
rising plateau, from which its sources, still distant, may 
be seen, backed by two beautiful snow-cones, which we 
-called the Silver Throne, about 23,000 feet high, and 
Lower Silver Throne. 

After 1 p.m. the snow-conditions became so dan- 
gerous, and the caravan-progress so slow, the loaded 
<;oolies sinking in to their waists with each step, that 
camping was obligatory. We managed to get them to 
3, point beyond the zone of continual crevasses, and 
pitched tents not far from the centre of the glacier at 
18,700 feet. This camp, where three nights were passed, 
was a source of many lamentations from the coolies 
because of the absence of rocks and of lakelets, which 
latter are so abundant on the Rose glacier. In the 
course of the afternoon, after camp had been established, 
the discovery was made that water existed at a depth of 
3 to 4 feet beneath the surface of the snow. This was 
a find not only unusual at such a location but of great 
importance, for the water was pure, and without it it is 
•doubtful whether the coolies could have been induced to 
remain at such a height. In fact, the desertion of our 
picked lot of thirty-five strong Baltis was hourly 
expected. 

Two days previously I had sent down two men to 
order up a small caravan from the babu with satu for 
the coolies. These, arriving the next day, helped to save 
the situation, as the new ones relieved two or three who 
complained of illness, so that they could now return to 
the base camp. Toward night, as I stood before my tent 
admiring the immense, flawless snow-expanse on all sides, 
I saw three black birds flying toward the camp, and 
shortly afterwards our crow mascots appeared, filling 



192 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KAHAKORAM 

the still air with their croaking. They had guarded the 
tents all the time we were at Spur camp, and here also 
they remained during the three days' snow-bivouac. 
Where they turned in at night was a mystery, the 
nearest mountains being somewhat distant, and of very 
inhospitable character. 

The next day, in a strong wind, temp. 14° F., we 
continued on due west towards a depression between the 
Lower Silver Throne peak and the north border peaks of 
the glacier. On near approach a reach of open crevasses 
and enormous, square chasms was found to stretch three- 
quarters of a mile across the whole glacier, to get around 
which we should have to traverse the glacier and climb 
up the mountain-flank in order to look over the dip now 
seen to exist. As geographical information from a high 
point was our object, it was clear that this was not the 
place to find it. Savoye insisted that, did we go, we should 
see only a precipice instead of a pass. I decided that the 
depression must, however, be later examined, as it might 
prove to be a west source passage to another region. 

A high col connects the higher and lower Silver Throne 
peaks. We climbed the snow-slopes a little south leading 
over the lower peak-flanks, and in two and a half hours 
reached it. We should have ascended the Lower Silver 
Throne itself had not its broken side, ending in ugly 
bergschrunds near the top, made its apex inaccessible^ 
From this col an interesting scene lay before us. A large 
glacier, the visible source of which was walled in by high 
rock-cliffs, spread out 4,000 feet below. Long moraines 
extended nearly to its reservoir, evidencing that this lay 
at not much over 16,000 feet. It seemed probable that 
the Kaberi or Kondus glacier backed against the Siachen 
west tributaries farther east near the Sher-pi-gang wall, 
so for the moment the idea of its being the Kaberi was- 




« o o H 

<U _ 4-> V-i 

. g o > 

O CI 

"^ fi .• 2 

o 4-> .5 5 

■-W ls> ^^ 



"to^ 



re o 

N iH c3 rt 
^ J J 

.S j^^ 

So; 



O 4-> 3 



4-) > ^1 ?^ 

oj — I <u d 

" — ^*^ K rz; 

-^ OS Ij 

>f3 o c 



d C in 



a 



HEAD OF UNKNOWN GLACIER 193 

put aside. It did not appear wide enough or far enough 
north to be the Baltoro. Awaiting further developments, 
photographs were taken of the glacier-head and of the 
surrounding peaks, including one facing the Silver Throne 
on the opposite side of the new glacier, which proved to 
be a lower peak of the Golden Throne, the highest being 
behind, farther north. 

To the right of this, above the glacier- wall, one of the 
Gusherbrums was seen in the distance, and beyond it 
Peak 23 with its unclimbable precipices was recognized. 
We faced an unknown, unmapped area, being confronted 
by four or five first-order Karakoram giants, the tortuous 
ridges, intricate depressions, and lesser peaks of which 
were hurled into a stupendous mountain-ensemble, not to 
be accounted for with precision at first glance. I shall 
later return to these peaks, which are seen to greater 
advantage from the high Silver Throne plateau. The 
saddle named on the map the Silver Throne col is 
19,610 feet high. It could probably be crossed at con- 
siderable risk by mountaineers, but is not possible for a 
laden caravan. 

With weather still fine the next day, facing a still 
more glacial wind than on the previous morning, we 
retraced our steps towards the source. This time, by 
ascending on the flank of the north containing glacier- 
ridge, a view over the gap was obtained. Here, as I had 
surmised, a real outlet of the west Rose source was seen. 
I say I, because most other members of the party had 
been possessed with the idea that precipices would pro- 
hibit a passage at this point. From the ridge connecting 
the Lower Silver Throne with the opposite mountain 
arete a long snow-defile ran downward to the new 
glacier, a bit of the head of which could be detected in 
the distance. 

13 



194 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

Being satisfied on that point, we turned south again, 
and, climbing beyond the col previously visited, over 
rising schrund-gashed hillocks, headed toward what 
appeared to be a still higher ridge of the main Silver 
Throne. Finally surmounting a snow-wall, which had 
obstructed the view, a large snow-plateau not previously 
supposed to exist was reached, stretching south. A ridge 
at its end was climbed, which overhung the glacier dis- 
covered the day before. This interesting basin, containing, 
certainly, four square miles of snow, lies at an altitude of 
20,450 feet at its lowest, and of 21,000 feet at its highest 
part. From its upper part the top of the Lower Golden 
Throne was overlooked, and a grand view of the Gusher- 
brums and King George V group obtained. 

Peak 23, or Hidden Peak, elusive and well named, no 
doubt, by Conway so far as its relation to the Baltoro 
glacier goes, assumes another aspect in connection with 
the Rose glacier. It is seen 30 miles down this glacier as 
its motif majeur. As I said before, its great, eastern arete 
forms the north water-parting-ridge, and its eastern and 
southern flanks throw off the snows that produce the 
initial reservoir and upper neve of this glacier. Its high 
satellite-peaks again drain to and contribute much of the 
snow-supply of the upper west source tributary, so that 
this group may truly be called the originator and large 
supplier of the Rose glacier. Peak 23 is also called by 
the Indian Survey Gusherbrum I, but it is a higher, more 
impressive peak than the others of that name, and stands 
at some distance from them. This mountain, with the three 
high mountains south-east of it on the same ridge, builds 
a group of its own over eleven miles long, distinct from 
the mountains to the north, which I have the honour, with 
the gracious permission of His Majesty, to call on my map 
the King George V group. 



HIMALAYAN NOMENCLATURE 195 

Particularly impressive from the Silver Throne 
plateau were the two next highest mountains of this 
group, which were first discovered and triangulated by 
this expedition. The highest of these, seen in the plate 
facing p. 192, taken from a height of 21,000 feet on 
the Silver Throne plateau, I have, with the permission 
of Her Majesty, named Queen Mary Peak. Its height 
is 24,.350 feet. The second highest, 23,270 feet, I have 
pleasure in naming Mt. Hardinge, after H.E. the then 
Viceroy of India. It may be noted I have named no 
peaks already triangulated and numbered by the Indian 
Survey, and I entirely agree with the policy of the 
Survey in keeping Government maps of Asia free from 
personal names. 

Re Himalayan nomenclature I quote the greatest 
authority. Colonel Sir Sidney Burrard says : " The 
numerous peaks which have no native names have been 
numbered in a scientific way after the astronomical 
system. The mapping of India has recently been placed 
upon a new basis as more peaks of the Himalaya and 
Tibet are becoming known, and it has been thought 
advisable now to name all peaks according to the map 
in which they fall." As the present system of nomen- 
clature has been extended throughout Southern Asia, 
the new Survey symbols placed on my map seem likely 
to become permanent. This in no way afiPects the nomen- 
clature adopted by explorers for new peaks shown on 
their private maps, and it seems to me appropriate that 
illustrious British names should grace the first detailed 
and fairly accurate map made of Asia's greatest glacier. 
It serves also to associate this expedition made in British 
territory, in point of time, with the reign of the present 
King and with the term of office of Lord Hardinge. 
Personally I have nothing to gain by giving these names. 



196 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

but high peaks first identified and measured by this 
expedition must have titles, and my reason for giving 
them these is purely complimentary. 

The high plateau was of particular geographical 
interest, as from it could, conclusively, be seen that the 
mighty King George V group, with its formidable preci- 
pices, intervenes as an impassable barrier between the 
Baltoro and the main Siachen head and, with the 
Golden Throne, also between the Baltoro and the sources 
of the upper west Siachen affluent, prohibiting any pas- 
sage to either from the Baltoro, which, so far as any 
direct connection is concerned, cannot properly be re- 
garded as having any complementary relation to the 
Siachen. If such a relation must be sought between 
the Baltoro and any of the three large glaciers origi- 
nating east and south of its head, it would rather be 
with the eastern head of the Kaberi, where the inter- 
vening heights are the lowest, though still over 21,000 
feet, but here the relationship also fails. 

Behind the sheer, snow-painted rock-wall seen in the 
foreground of King George V group, in plate facing 
p. 192, a snow-valley ascends to a col visited by my 
surveyor, Mr. Peterkin, who saw a distant snow-ridge 
below the Golden Throne, possibly lying above the Bal- 
toro glacier, in which direction he was obviously look- 
ing ; but near the point where he stood the snow-expanse 
he overlooked ends in a high rock-precipice falling to 
the main Kaberi source, that we later examined from 
a point near its base, and found to be an impassable 
wall. A photograph which the surveyor took from the 
place he reached is, as are many such photos, decep- 
tive, and to one ignorant of the region, who had not, 
as we have, seen it from a still higher point, and from 
the Kaberi head, it might convey the quite false im- 



East Peak of 
Golden Throne. 



Three Northern Peak 23, Queen Mary Peak, 
Gusherbrums. 26,470. 24,350. 




lb 



^'ie^v west from Silver Throne col, 19,614 feet, across Kaberi glacier, near its head. In left foreground flank of Silver 
Throne, in right foreground flank of Lower Silver Throne with lower rock-extension descending to edge of Kaberi glacier. 



4 



To f ite p.iKe i';6. 



NO PASSAGE FROM ROSE TO BALTORO 197 

pression of a continuous snow-expanse extending behind 
the King George V group to above the Baltoro. 

Even if such a snow-expanse did exist — which, obvi- 
ously, it does not — and were it accessible from the 
Baltoro, that would not make the Baltoro and Siachen 
complementary glaciers in a manner analogous to the 
Biafo-Hispar junction, with a passage the full width of 
the glaciers connecting their heads at the low altitude 
of 17,500 feet ; for the passage in this case would be 
narrow, and would only in an indirect manner, at an 
altitude of above 21,000 feet, connect the Baltoro basin 
with an arm of an affluent entering the Siachen far 
below its head, its main trunk leading northward more 
than ten miles on the east side of the King George V 
group, which separates it from the Baltoro basin. 

As the configuration of the mountains and glaciers of 
this region now stands, it looks as if a passage from 
the Baltoro to the Rose would have to be reserved for 
a future, venturesome aeroplanist. 

During luncheon on the Silver Throne plateau, clouds 
rising from the south swirled over our heads, dropping 
occasional snowflakes as a warning that it was time 
for us to depart. We had gleaned most of the secrets 
of the Rose, and could not well grumble if the weather- 
god now turned his attention to fulfilling the prayers 
for storm contained in the tawiz of the coolies. For 
the second time at near 21,000 feet a grey wasp settled 
himself on my ice-axe, like the previous high-altitude 
one, evincing no disposition to attack me. 

Contouring wide chasms and sinking to above the 
knees in traversing snow-hillocks, we descended the 
circuitous route to a lower plane, where at about 19,500 
feet the Wazir was found with twenty coolies huddled 
up in the snow. He had brought them up to facilitate 



198 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

our passage over the last stretch to camp by treading 
down the surface in front of us, but the snow was so 
dry and granular that their efforts in our behalf were 
quite ineffectual, the path they broke out being more 
difficult to walk upon than the untrodden snow. 

Our first visit to the West Source glacier ended in 
storm, and, after a night of snow and blustering wind, 
we descended to the Rose glacier in a half-blizzard. I 
was, however, convinced that, in order to complete the 
exploration of the Siachen basin and sources, a task 
especially laid out for the expedition of 1912, a return 
must be made to the icy west head and a first traverse 
of its westerly water-parting made, thus linking the 
Rose and Kondus basins. 




•- a 



s ^ 



en 


3 


• ^ 


o 




(-• 


;-i 


1-1 


«J 




'd 


r-- 


ji 


+-> 




;^ 


To 


O 


.^ 


c 


;h 




(L> 


(U 


J2 


1 



« 



■^5 a 



H 


"Sd 




'C 


I- 




<D 


TI? 


■^ 


c 






O) 


o 


o 

4:! 


1- 
o 




^ 


4-> 


C 


(D 




t* 


tfl 


t^ 


X 


r\ 


s* 


-4-> 


<u 


O 


Clh 


r^ 








I 


13 




<u 


> 


X 







O flj 



o 

i< 

is o 



w 



CHAPTER VIII 

Camp life and incidents on the great glacier — To the west 

WATER-PARTING. 

A PERIOD of over two weeks of monsoonish weather 
now set in. The days at first were partly fair, but 
subject to snow -tour mentes, usually after 1 p.m. This in 
no way specially prevented the investigation of the 
lower trend of the Rose. The glacier leading to the 
base of the Teram Kangri group was the first one 
examined, and then we wound our way over the tire- 
some, black and grey moraines and through the com- 
plicated serac-belt which marks the sweep of the Tarim 
Shehr glacier around the Tarim Shehr peninsula. On 
this peninsula we camped a day on a sandy maidan 
strewn with picturesque boulders, awaiting news from 
the babu's camp of the arrival of Mullah Halim with 
supplies greatly needed and overdue by ten days. In 
weeks we had not seen a bit of vegetation, and I recall 
the strange effect the scanty tufts of grass and clumps 
of small orchids made on my eyes. The green appeared 
unnatural, and the flowers bizarre in form and out of 
place, so accustomed had I become, even in a few short 
weeks, to only rock and snow environment. 

With supplies only sufficient for four or five days 
Tarim Shehr was left on August 8th. Cutting our way 
through mazes of huge ice-pinnacles, we reached the 

199 



200 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

grey moraine in the middle of the glacier in a couple 
of hours. This was followed downward over great 
moraine-hillocks till late in the afternoon. The next 
day we pursued our downward course over the same 
moraine, which grew more broken and irregular, till we 
came to a point at the beginning of the great bend, 
where further passage on it was barred by a labyrinth 
of vast serac-masses separated by wide and deep depres- 
sions and high slants topped by sharp ridges sweeping 
around from one ice-summit to another, enclosing lakes 
and profound ravines. Here we camped, intending the 
following day to cross to a smaller, smoother moraine 
more in the centre of the glacier and continue the 
descent by that. 

At this camp, just under 14,000 feet, my lungs were 
affected by the lower altitude, much as my eyes had 
been by the unexpected presence of grass at Tarim 
Shehr. Not having in five weeks descended even to the 
contemptible height of 15,000 feet, I experienced a relax- 
ation of the lungs and nerves, which prevented proper 
sleep and produced a slackness of energy, from which 
recovery was found only when the standard heights of 
over 16,000 feet were again reached. Had I remained 
at the lower altitude these contradictory symptoms 
would doubtless have speedily given way to normal 
ones, as they did later, on finally arriving in the lower 
valleys. 

That evening news was brought by a coolie from 
the base-camp of the arrival of Halim with nineteen 
coolies, bringing only a small amount of ata. This was 
quite contrary to what had been counted on. Had he 
obeyed orders he should have brought some thirty 
maunds. There was, evidently, mismanagement or some- 
thing worse somewhere. The babu at the base-camp having 



MULLAH HALIM AGAIN 201 

shown himself both incompetent and untrustworthy, 
there was no hope of any assistance through his efforts. 
Coolie-rations must be had, and that quickly, if our 
plans were to be carried out and premature breaking 
up of the expedition prevented. Our immediate return 
to base-camp was, therefore, imperative. We accord- 
ingly started to return at daylight the next morning. 

Base-camp was reached in two marches. There, as was 
expected, commissariat-matters were found quite awry. 
We marched on a quarter of a mile above it, and camped 
on moraine-covered ice at 16,400 feet under the shelter 
of a huge limestone-boulder. Here we were obliged to 
settle down for some days for thorough reorganization 
before any further move could be made. 

Mullah Halim had been sent fourteen days previously 
to Ali Bransa to meet and fetch thirty maunds of ata, 
which had been forwarded there from Goma by Byramji. 
He should have returned in four days, but did not until 
the evening of the fourteenth day. Inquiry now de- 
veloped ;the fact that, instead of taking charge of the 
coolies and returning at once according to orders, he 
left the coolies at Ali Bransa and descended to Goma. 
Going back to Ali Bransa, he remained there eight days 
with the coolies, and the whole lot spent the time in 
feasting on the ata and burning out the supply of wood 
collected there. When at last he started to come to us he 
brought only nineteen coolies, the others having deserted, 
and, undoubtedly, taken a large portion of the food- 
supply with them without the least regard to the safety 
of their confreres with us, who might easily have died 
of starvation, had bad weather held us prisoners. 

There being reason to believe that considerable ata 
was still remaining at Ali Bransa, Rey and Quaizier were 
dispatched immediately with forty coolies over the pass 



202 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

to look the matter up and to bring over all the ata and 
wood they could find. Mullah Halim was sent with them 
and ordered to go down to Goma with two natives who 
were ill. I gave him a letter to the agent, directing that 
he be paid off and dismissed from service. 

There was much parleying before the coolies, under 
the guides, set out, for they said they were tired of the 
Rose, and, if they went, would not return with supplies. 
After considerable wrangling they were finally brought 
to a semblance of reason by the Wazir, and they departed 
with the guides as ordered. They would be gone four days, 
in any case, and our minds were quite made up not to 
see them again. The only thing to do was to wait. 
Supplies must be had both for the surveying party, 
which still had the lower Rose to map, and for us with 
the upper passage to make. 

After their departure the grain-supply at the babu's 
camp was overhauled. None of the bags was found to 
be of full weight. Instead of sixty pounds, which they 
contained on leaving Goma, some had fifty, some forty, 
some thirty pounds. Five bags brought by Mullah Halim 
had only ten to twelve pounds remaining in them. This 
shows the shrinking in the contents of those actually 
delivered after what should have been a four days' march 
under the leadership of the good Mullah Halim, to say 
nothing of the not inconsiderable number which never 
reached their destination. 

The grain was all collected into bags of full weight, 
which were sealed and deposited at our camp as part 
of the coolie-supply for the projected movement. When 
Ray and Quaizier returned with all the grain at Ali 
Bransa, which with that on hand proved sufficient for 
our purpose, they reported that all the wood had been 
burned, that the ground was blackened by large fires. 





^ m; 








^V^-Y^vT 


>, 


^ • 




03 


v^ 


i"',*^''', '■^•■ 


"S 


<o 


¥■■' 


-d 


be 


Ij^V: ;;v.'' 


a 


O 


3&;- 


-u 


o 


''y^ .t' ',. ■ 


3 


bfi 




O 


W 


vt' . 


Vj 


-M 


.''&•■' 


OJ 


_G 


"o 


bc 


■■ i.'-., v'? 


-^ 


'C 






Id 


>- «' 


o 


d 
o 


1 


"3 


^^ % 


•7. 








Vh 


ri 




O 


I-4 O 




a 






"cS 


.2h 4h 




c 


'O 0) 






c^ •— ' 




bjo 






u 


"bib -'-' 




c3 


03 




a 


8 - 




-M 


!=5 S 






o O 
(/I u 




o 


^ W) 




rj 


CO 




O 








Y^ 




Oh 






d 


'd 


fe 


a 




O 






C3 


A 




> 


m 










6 

en 


a 




o 


03 

H 




fl 


d 




^ 


<D 


' i' 


CIh 


(D 


' 1 


^ a 




I 


rt 


CD 


T 


' O 


^ 



&1 



ALTITUDE EFFECTS 203 

and that there was other evidence, that Halim and his 
coolies had held high carnival. 

Our stay at this camp enabled us to get more than one 
hypsometer-reading for altitude. The figures, calculated 
from two readings taken at the same hour four days 
apart, compared with simultaneous readings at Skardo, 
worked out at 16,402 and 16,400 feet, consistent results 
in view of what has recently been asserted regarding 
the inaccuracy of hypsometric measurement. 

The weather grew steadily worse. When it was not 
blowing and snowing, fog hung over the glacier. The 
minimum temperatures were from 10° to 15° F., but, 
with no sun by day and high winds often at night, 
the cold was more trying than at higher, dry camps 
where the mercury fell to near zero. Tinned provisions 
disappeared slowly, for even the guides, of late, had come 
to the point of caring for little beyond soup and light 
food. They attributed this to ennui at the long detention, 
but I think it was the effect of altitude. We had been 
five weeks, with the exception of three days, always 
above 16,400 feet, and most of that time above 17,000, 
and I noticed [that all the Europeans ate steadily less as 
time elapsed. I have often observed this effect on the 
appetite of our Europeans after any stay beyond a 
couple of weeks above 16,000 feet. I still maintain, the 
Duke of the Abruzzi's experience to the contrary, that 
Europeans do suffer from insomnia at camps above 
20,000 feet, for I have seen these facts borne out not 
only upon ourselves but also very decidedly upon our 
numerous, hardy, young guides and porters during seven 
Himalayan expeditions. 

During our stay at this camp the coolies remaining 
with us were not permitted to be idle. They were twice 
sent down half a day's march to Tarim Shehr for burtsa, 



204 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

and thirty loads of it were forwarded to the upper moraine 
opposite the West Source glacier, for there the last 
cooking operations of the caravan before advancing to 
the pass would have to be made. This set the coolies 
agog, and on their return from this mission a strike that 
lasted eighteen hours was inaugurated, during which the 
music of human voices quite deadened those of Nature 
and of our loud-toned ravens. Having lost a night's rest 
from the dismal bowlings which penetrated from the 
fairly distant native camp to my tent, I called up the 
ever cheerful Wazir with the cook as interpreter, and 
inquired what the " much ado about nothing " meant. 
He replied that the coolies wished to go home over the 
Bilaphond La when the guides returned with 'new grain 
and would not ascend the Rose again. I replied that 
that was just what I would on no account do, and that 
the guides had not been sent all the way to Ali Bransa 
to bring ata to enable the caravan to make a luxurious 
return over the Bilaphond. I next resorted to a sub- 
terfuge that had occurred to me in the small hours. I 
had among my papers the permit given me by the 
Government of India to visit the Siachen glacier, tied 
w^ith a rather impressive purple ribbon. 

I now waved this at him, saying, "You know the 
mail-coolie arrived last week ? " To which he answered, 
" Yes." " Well," I said, " he brought me important letters, 
and one in particular announced the arrival in September 
of the Viceroy in Srinagar." Then I added, " Look at me, 
Wazir," which he did, raising his eyes from contemplation 
of the purple ribbon. Holding his gaze, I continued, 
" Whatever happens I return by the new snow-road. 
When I reach Kashmir I shall talk with the Bara Sahib 
from Calcutta. Would it not please you, if I told the 
greatest Sahib in all India that Abdul Karira leading 



%M. 



^.jesbiT^ 








S 



V 




;h 



1:^4 I 



i 









} t 



fe 



AVERTING COOLIE-STRIKE 205 

the coolies made it possible for us to do this ? " I further 
added, that the new route was quite easy and short, for 
as soon as the pass was crossed we should reach moraines 
leading in a few days to villages. Of this last, of course, 
I actually knew nothing. 

What I said appeared to strike home, for, smiling all 
over, his eyes again reverting to the purple ribbon, he 
assured me he was ready to go wherever I wished, and 
would at once tell the coolies they must go also. 

Later in the day he returned to tell me that, if 
sufficient ata arrived and Madame would give out more 
nailed boots to certain men who had none, the coolies 
promised they would go. The Wazir himself seemed 
anxious to make the pass, while, as was natural, 
food and boots were the paramount objects with the 
coolies. 

I promised what boots were left, some fourteen pairs. 
I had been giving them out before, as coolies now and 
then asked for them, though they are really of small 
service to natives except in climbing mountains. On the 
glaciers the coolies this season made little use of them ; 
in fact, they often discarded both them and their own 
sheepskin pabus and walked barefoot by preference. 

Among other events that broke life's monotony at this 
camp was the arrival of a coolie from the Goma base 
badly bruised. The agent had dispatched two coolies 
with two boxes needed for the coming journey. One box 
contained provisions, the other money and some of the 
writer's personal effects. The man carrying the latter 
fell into a rapid glacier-river on the Rose glacier. After 
being helped out by his companion he promptly left the 
box to its fate and hurried on as fast as he could several 
miles to our camp, where Dr. Workman at once dressed 
his wounds with adhesive plaster and bandages, for he 



206 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

had numerous severe bruises and his hands were con- 
siderably cut. 

It was too late to do anything that night about the 
lost box, but the next morning guide Savoye with a band 
of coolies, after finding out as nearly as possible where 
the accident had happened, followed down with much 
difficulty for two or three miles a wide torrent. The 
water-mass was so limpid that in moving slowly he could 
constantly examine the ice-bottom, in doing which the 
coolies carefully assisted him. At last a cry of " Rupees ! " 
was raised, and lying six feet under water a few single 
rupees were seen. A coolie dived and, assisted by others, 
brought these up. A short way farther on Savoye espied 
two bags resting on the river-bottom. After more diving 
these were rescued. They went farther down the glacier 
to where the torrent fell in a rapid chute over some seracs, 
forming below a noisy Tyioulin. As not a piece of wood 
was anywhere seen, Savoye thought the box must have 
been broken into splinters at this point, which with its 
other contents were carried away. Anyhow the writer's 
clothing and a number of loose rupees were not found, 
and probably continued their downward journey with the 
torrent. Perhaps one day the silver coins may be thrown 
out on the bank of the Nubra river to delight the hearts 
of the monastery lamas, who are the last dwellers of that 
valley. For the next three days, while we remained at 
that camp, batches of coolies each morning descended the 
glacier, regardless of weather, in an energetic quest of 
rupees, but were not, I heard, rewarded by very big finds. 
I would remark that the coolie, a good-natured, elderly 
man, who had fallen into the river with the box, was one 
of the very few coolies we have had who appreciated 
medical assistance. Instead of tearing off and discarding 
bandages in the usual native manner, he allowed his to 




Extremity of channel of glacier-river at base of one of the enor- 
mous seracs of Rose glacier, where river disappears in a crevasse. 

To face page 206. 



PREPARATIONS AT BOULDER CAMP 207 

remain and seemed thankful when Dr. Workman renewed 
the dressings. In a few days he said he felt fit, and he 
left in good spirits with some others who were returning 
to Goma. 

Meantime the caravan, under Rey and Quaizier, were 
collecting ata and wood at Ali Bransa, where the agent, 
au courant of our intended departure by the new route, 
was forwarding things with zest. The guides finally 
arrived with twenty-one loads, and the next day also 
Gulab Khan, the Sepoy, with fourteen bags of ata. I now 
felt that the situation was saved, for, if the weather-god 
would only soon hold out his hand, there would be enough 
for our large caravan for fourteen days, and for the sur- 
veyor's on the lower Rose. I forgot to mention that 
Gulab Khan had brought besides coolie-food two luxuries 
for us, nine dead chickens and a dozen frozen eggs. 
Perhaps the servants enjoyed the last named, for we did 
not, having early in the season lost our taste for this 
sort of iced bonne bouche with which Byramji sometimes 
favoured us from Goma. 

The frozen chickens hawked over the pass by the 
coolies were not much more tasty ; still, as a relief from 
tinned food, they passed, and I confess to holding in 
pleasant memory on the tops of various high peaks and 
passes my lunches of tough, cold, roast fowl. 

On August 17th a great blow-out reigned all night at 
this camp, nearly demolishing our well-moored tents. 
We named the camp Boulder camp, from the immense, 
soft limestone-boulder under the protection of which our 
three personal tents were pitched. It was hoped this 
would usher in clear skies, but it did not yet, and the 
next day, while quiet, was foggy and so cold— 15° F.— 
that we dared not start the caravan upward. On the 
19th it was decided to risk a start, though mist hung low 



208 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

over the mountains and it was horribly cold ; so with 
sixty-six loaded coolies the march was made to the upper 
end of the east latero-median moraine at 17,200 feet. 
Here, where the loads of burtsa before sent were stacked^ 
the final preparation of coolie-food for twelve days was 
made. Smoke rose from six different fires that night 
toward the leaden sky, while, mufiled to his eyes, the tiny 
Wazir presided over his large, fairly complacent coolie camp. 

The next morning in much the same weather the Rose 
was crossed, the three crows leading and cawing fiercely. 
The snow, owing to the fog, was at its worst on the West 
Siachen glacier, and the caravan lagged badly, notwith- 
standing its many booted adherents. When the last 
remaining boots were dealt out by Savoye at Boulder 
camp, the applicants had seized them without glancing 
at the different sizes, the results being that coolies with 
huge feet were now^ limping along in boots three sizes too 
small, while others with more dainty feet were wallowing 
about in Nos. 12 and 13, in which their feet seemed wholly 
lost. After a time, their attention being drawn to these 
facts, they exchanged their footgear among themselves, 
thus facilitating their advance a little. We also noticed 
during these marches that those wearing boots would 
frequently exchange them for pabus worn by others. 

Camp was made in a freezing temperature and snow- 
storm not far from the col at 3 p.m. T did not much 
care if it stormed, for the coolies were quiescent, making 
no protest, and somehow I felt sure we should cross to the 
other side in spite of the elements. At 6 p.m. our old 
friend the weather-god issued his command. The clouds 
broke and rolled away behind the mountain-tops. After 
a cold, still night, minimum temperature as usual at this 
point 3° F., we continued on to the ridge, Nature for the 
first time in many days smiling radiantly upon us. A 



.-•S?'- 













^^ 




o 

C/3 



2 ^ 

7 +-' 

o 



d 

Vh 



a 

u 



SIA LA-WAZIR'S IMPRESSIONS 209 

somewhat long descent occurring before the final climb 
over the mountain-flank to the col places the actual 
saddle, measured by boiling point, at the same level as 
the camp — 18,700 feet. This Siachen-Kaberi w^ater-parting 
col I have named the Sia La or Rose pass. Here the 
caravan, with Wazir Abdul Karim proudly standing guard, 
was photographed against a background of the Lower 
Silver Throne ardtes, with Bride peak looming grandly 
behind into the deep blue vault. I took a farewell, bef ore- 
sunrise view of the Hawk, our ever-present friend of the 
Rose glacier, now seen for the last time. As rucksacks 
were shouldered preparatory to departure, the adorable, 
golden god of India rose over the great ice-scarp, trans- 
forming the scene into one of transcendent beauty. 

It is in such moments as this, vouchsafed here and 
again to the explorer, that are forgotten all the hardships, 
deprivations, and obstacles of preceding weeks, and one is 
imbued only with an intense appreciation of the great 
reward offered to its devotees by Himalaya. We were 
sorry to leave for ever the fascinations of the Rose 
glacier. Its great basin framed in magnificent mountains 
and its long, white affluents entering east and west make 
a deeper impression of snow and rock-expanse and sub- 
limity than is obtained on the other largest Karakoram 
glaciers. The j)icture cast by it on the mind of the Balti 
Wazir is worth quoting. Returning to Goma much 
impressed by his experience, he related to his pals that 
he had been to a valley like that of Kashmir, but instead 
of a green plain watered by rivers, with fields of flowering 
grain, bounded by grass -covered mountains, he had seen a 
vast region of snow, with rivers banked by ice, blue lakes 
reflected through ice-covers, and mountains of snow and 
ice — in fact, a big country like Kashmir, where all wa» 
white like winter and no green thing grew. 

14 



CHAPTER IX 

Descent from the sia la to the new glacier — The kaberi glacier — 
Earthquake — Eeturn to valley-life — Note 1 — Note 2. 

A GOOD-SIZED glacier descends from the Sia La to the 
Kaberi glacier with a fall of about 1,600 feet. The 
gradient of the upper third was sharp, but being early 
in the day, the going was good over smooth, firm snow. 
At about the half-way point the surface became greatly 
broken by huge chasms, and fissured by wide crevasses 
running from side to side, often treacherously covered by 
soft snow, which necessitated long cUtours. Fortunately 
Savoye chose the best route on the right or north side, or 
we might have been stalled, for by the end of August the 
left side had become such a riven, broken-up ice-chaos 
that it was untraversable. Considering the lateness of 
the season for glacier-work, we were lucky to get through 
at all. A moraine-ridge below was reached by noon, 
where we lunched in full view of the large glacier 
streaked by black and grey moraines, and of the pre- 
cipitous, grim walls at its head. These walls were 
thoroughly examined, as we were now quite certain 
that we were on the upper part of the^ Kaberi or 
Kondus glacier.^ 

' To natives of the Kondus valley this glacier is kno\\Ti only by 
the name of Kaberi. 

210 



^ ij 4; 

m CD fc 




3 
o 



13 

s 



a 

o 



4 



..^ 





_£2 




ti) 


-d 




r-* 




»-H 


u 


S 


(U 


o 


XI 


V-i 


<a 


bfi 


W 






03 


o 


42 


-(-> 












■i-> 






^ 


o 


oj 



w 



o 


o 
H 


M 




OS 




C>0 





i 



FEATURES OF REGION AROUND KABERI HEAD 211 

The glacier leading from the Sia La descends to the 
Kaberi, not at its head, but somewhat lower down from 
the east, and its existence would not be suspected by 
persons ascending even the upper part of the Kaberi. 
Near the Kaberi source, behind the western Silver 
Throne aretes and on the true left side, this affluent 
leading up to the pass is first seen. Hence the topo- 
graphy is as follows. Peak 25, or Bride peak, seen 
apparently nearly over the Kaberi from the pass, really 
lies some miles west — so far west that it is actually 
beyond and west of a second Kaberi north-west branch 
seen on the map, of which I shall presently speak. 

A lower peak of the Golden Throne rises above the 
Kaberi source north, and the King George V group lies 
behind the Kaberi head also north. Peak 23 itself lies 
some eight miles north of the Kaberi reservoir, and its 
snows on this side do not drain to that source. Those of 
a part of Queen Mary peak do fall to a shelf above the 
Kabeii precipices. The deduction made by the Abruzzi 
expedition, that a probable pass exists from the Kaberi 
or Kondus head to the Oprang basin and Urdok valley, 
is quite awry, but the opinion of Signore Novarese, that 
the westernmost extremity of the Siachen communicates 
with the Kondus is exact, so far as it goes. He is, how- 
ever, wrong in his supposition that the Kondus head 
intervenes between the Siachen and Urdok glaciers. 
The Kondus head lies farther west than he supposed, 
and between that head and the north Siachen water- 
parting, overlooking the Gusherbrum glacier, the broad, 
eleven-and-a-half-mile-long King George V group inter- 
venes. 

Overtopping the Kaberi reservoir is a high granite and 
shale-wall broken at one point by a projecting shoulder, 
between which and the main glacier a short affluent 



212 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

descends to the reservoir. An arete of the lower Golden 
Throne builds a part of the Kondus wall, and above, far 
behind, lies what on Conway's map is called " Probable 
saddle." Here may be a col overlooking the Baltoro, but 
there is no pass from it to the Kondus glacier. South- 
west of the Golden Throne massif, at the point on 
Conway's map marked " Kondus saddle," there is in 
reality a sheer snow-wall, which does away with that 
saddle as a passage altogether. Thus these two so-called 
saddles have no importance as indicating passes. The 
Kaberi or Kondus basin is entirely closed as far as any 
communication with the Baltoro glacier is concerned, and 
has but one outlet, which is to the Siachen West Source 
affluent. 

The mountain-topography here is complicated, and 
can only be unravelled by overlooking the Kaberi source 
and its outlying great mountains from elevated points 
and by visiting the source itself. We were so fortunate 
as to do this, in the one case from near 21,000 feet, and 
in both cases in fair weather, and I think my report 
of the connections, geographical positions, and conditions 
here will be found by future explorers to be, in the main, 
correct. 

Following the Kaberi downward to the south, 
numerous affluents are seen entering from the right 
side, descending from the precipitous, narrow ridge 
which divides the main north-east stream from a 
second, large north-west affluent. About ten miles 
down, the chief stream, with which we are dealing, 
makes a distinct bend south-west and below this bend 
the north-west affluent enters, the two streams uniting 
and forming one, which continues south to its tongue 
in the Kaberi nala. 

Any one ascending the Kaberi from its tongue would. 







IS 






r ( 



o 



S3 

1-4 tJ 



% 



v% 



CO d 

> 
o 




1 






o^ 

3 



I 



KABERI GLACIER AND BASIN 213 

in ten miles, see nothing of the main north-east stream, 
and even where the bend occurs nothing is seen of it until 
an opening is discovered between gigantic border-cliifs. 
It is the most hidden of hidden glaciers. No Survey man 
nor any one else having gone more than a mile above 
the tongue, before Dr. Calciati on our 1911 expedition, 
accounts for the inaccuracy of the Survey map, which 
shows a single glacier running to the base of Peak 23. 
To return to the north-west affluent. This is shorter 
than the north-east stream and is separated from it by 
a narrow mountain-ridge, which in its upper part we 
overlooked from the Silver Throne col. We saw also 
from there a part of the sharp wall rising from the 
Kaberi head on the north-west side. Our 1911 expedi- 
tion ascended this affluent far enough to see that Bride 
peak lay also west of its source, and that its reservoir 
was, like that of the main stream, walled in by high cliffs 
which offer no passage to the so-called " Chogolisa saddle " 
on Conway's and the Abruzzi maps. 

In Karakoram, and Western Himalaya Dr. de Filippi 
says that, "The southern wall of Chogolisa is very 
steep" and that "the Kondus was not visible from the 
Duke's point of observation." This I can believe, and 
it serves only to confirm my own observations. Had the 
Duke of the Abruzzi been aware that there are two upper 
Kondus glaciers when he stood on " Chogolisa " he would 
have realized that the " large valley running between two 
parallel chains of high mountains on the other side of 
the Kondus basin" was not the Siachen, but probably 
the north-east or main Kondus glacier. He was above 
the north-west Kondus basin, and, doubtless, could not 
see the reservoir of the main stream. 

Further, there is no pass from the north-west Kondus 
to the Chogolisa glacier next west of it, for we found on 



214 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

examination in 1911 an impenetrable mountain- wall on 
that side of the Chogolisa glacier-head. Dr. Calciati 
states that, if he understood rightly, one of his older 
coolies said that, in his youth, he had crossed from the 
Kaberi glacier to Hushe, but the coolie could not state 
the point on the Kaberi from which he started nor give 
any particulars of the crossing. Such passage, if feasible 
anywhere from the Kaberi, would afford a difficult, in- 
direct route to Hushe not likely to be used by natives. 
At any rate no passage exists at the north-west Kaberi 
head to the Hushe region. Also, as obviously there is 
no pass from the Kaberi to the Baltoro or Chogolisa 
glaciers, the name Chogolisa as indicating a pass should 
not be inserted on future maps. As a euphonious native 
name there is no objection to it, but since the glacier 
bearing the same name lies several miles to the west 
and can claim no topographical relation to the so-called 
saddle, the name is, to say the least, an irrelevant and 
misleading one. 

The Kaberi is the most extraordinarily difficult glacier 
of moderate gradient to travel upon we have met with in 
Asia. Its moraine-trails are not only much more accen- 
tuated but last three times as long for distance as do 
those of the Bilaphond glacier. After the first three 
miles from its source ice-areas and easy moraines end, 
and it descends in vast hillock-moraines, in places 200 
to 300 feet high, which must be clambered over as best 
one can. These extend from one containing wall to the 
other. I recall only two small stretches, of a quarter of 
a mile each, where it was safe to proceed in a narrow, 
sand-covered ravine existing between the hillocks and the 
cliffs of perpendicular rock-peaks which border the glacier. 

At a point six miles from the tongue the letters 
"F. B. W.," with date were painted in black on a left oro- 






EARTHQUAKE CAMP ON KABERI 215 

graphical border-cliff, and a cairn was built on a ridge 
beneath the rock-face. Also on a large boulder standing 
on the left side of the Kaberi nala just below the tongue 
Dr. Calciati painted in black the letters " F. B. W.," and 
date, in 1911. 

Because of the glacial conditions above described, 
grass-maidans, or even level spots suitable for camps, 
were non-existent on the Kaberi, and rock-terraces, either 
in hollows or on the tops of the moraine-hills, had to be 
constructed for tents. At one of these most rickety, 
cheerless bivouacs a few miles above the tongue, at 
6.30 a.m., the glacier under my tent began to rock, as if 
the ice-foundations were being uprooted. I rushed from 
my tent, fearing the ice-hill would split and let me and 
my belongings into uncanny depths. They did not, but a 
rain of rocks and boulders composing the surface of all 
the surrounding hillocks was prodigious, while added to 
the clatter came the incessant booming of avalanches 
from adjacent mountains, producing such a tumult of 
nature as only seismic disturbances in a great, unstable 
mountain-region can call forth. 

The oscillations were sharp and short, but in that 
environment, accompanied by the near thunder from, 
peaks and glacier, which continued for forty minutes, 
the effect on the mind was decidedly gruesome. I once 
remarked, when experiencing an earthquake in a Srinagar 
hotel, that if I were only in a tent I should not much 
mind, but since this experience I have decided that earth- 
tremors are about as endurable in houses as under canvas, 
particularly if one is poised on a shifting foundation of 
loose rocks and ice. Curiously, Dr. Workman scarcely 
felt the earthquake in his tent a little distance from mine, 
his attention being called to it chiefly by the surrounding 

uproar. I 

' Vide p. 270. 



216 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

This earthquake was rather widespread, being severely- 
felt in the Saltoro valley, from which pitiful tales 
emanated of the falling of houses and great destruction 
of cattle and property. Later on at Kapalu my perfidious 
headman. Mullah Halim, fell at my feet relating a harrow- 
ing tale of having lost a cow, goat, and the pair of nailed 
boots I had given him. The Kondus valley, when we 
reached it, was murky with dust for two days, and we 
noticed a curious phenomenon at the first camp below 
the glacier-tongue. On the opposite side of the valley a 
high rock-peak, with a pedestal of earth-slopes, was, on 
our arrival in the afternoon, throwing off rocks and large 
boulders in continual streams, making such a clatter that 
one could not hear what was said fifteen feet away. 
Clouds of dust were blown up from the earth-slopes, over 
which the rock-debris fell, and the mountain continued 
to smoke and roar until ten o'clock p.m. 

The tongue of the Kaberi glacier had, apparently, 
advanced around the mountain-wall about thirty metres 
since 1911, when the guide Savoye first saw it. He had 
then no trouble in getting on to it, while this year we 
experienced much difficulty in getting off, and were in 
danger from constant volleys of falling stones. At the 
camp of the smoking mountain our faithful crow-mascots 
took flight, having escorted us safely through the snows 
to grass, and we saw them no more. Karmading, the 
last and highest village of the Kondus valley, was next 
reached, where, at the beginning of travelled paths, 
interest in the movements of the expedition practically 
ceased. 

I raay add, that from Kapalu we crossed the mountains 
to Karmang, in the Indus valley, by the Ganse La. This 
is a short cut between the above villages well known to 
and constantly used by the natives, so that we found no 



/<f 





i 






c - ■ 




4 



p. .2 



1 "^ 



« 





OS 
U 



OVER GANSE LA TO KHARMANG 217 

trouble in procuring coolies for the journey. The crossing 
can be made by unloaded natives in two days, but, owing 
to the exceeding steepness of the route, laden coolies 
take three. 

For a long distance above Kapalu the ascent is very 
sharp, then follow long, gentle ravines, beyond which two 
sharp ridges must be climbed before the main one, known 
as the Ganse La, is reached. The summit does not appear 
to have been measured by the Indian Survey, as no 
height for it is placed on the Survey sheet. Our reduced 
aneroid-readings give it a height of 17,200 feet. Our 
hypsometric readings could not be used, as the readings 
at Skardo had ceased to be taken on the previous day. 
While no snow was met with on it except near its 
summit, it being early in September, owing to the rock- 
strewn character of the route, which is not well kept up, 
and to the frequent absence of any trail, it is one of the 
most arduous passes of its kind we have seen in Baltistan. 
It has been crossed by several Europeans, but the old 
Raja of Kharmang declared no woman had come by 
that way before myself. At Kharmang we were received 
by the three Rajas who live there, and escorted by 
them two miles along the Indus bank to a point where 
a small zak was waiting, which took our party across 
the river to join the further route. Coolies were changed 
at Kharmang. The new ones carried the loads over the 
jhula bridge to the Skardo route, which they followed 
dow^n to meet us. 

At the zak-crossing the Wazir left us to return to 
Kapalu, as he was no longer needed. Though, at times, 
he had proved rather inefficient in dealing with the more 
vociferous coolies, on the whole he had done us well, and, 
certainly, without his help it is doubtful whether the 
expedition could have been carried out as successfully. 



218 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

Best of all, he had never fallen ill nor failed to accompany 
us when his presence was needed. As the Raja's Wazir 
he could receive no salary, but could consistently accept 
a reward at the end of his services. This, the year before, 
had been given him in Government notes, and, although 
he salaamed and thanked, we noticed a somewhat dis- 
tressed expression overspread his features as he nervously 
fingered the papers. We well knew that coolies and 
lower class natives always wish to be paid in silver, 
having a horror of paper money which they do not 
understand, but we supposed the higher class Wazir 
would be satisfied with notes, which he could easily 
exchange for silver at Skardo. But it appeared he was 
not at first, being a very simple man, for he told the 
agent that the sahibs had given him only pieces of 
paper instead of a present. 

This year I made a point of carrying some gold 
with which to reward him, and great indeed was his 
joy when he noticed the clink of the sovereigns which 
I placed in his hand. He trembled with delight, and his 
habitual smile extended from ear to ear. On finishing 
his profuse salaams, still broadly smiling he sought out 
the cook and bearer, to whom he showed the yellow 
pieces, fondling them the while with his fingers. As 
we moved away on the zak, he was last seen standing 
on the river-bank bowing and holding fast with both 
hands his treasure of gold, his face illumined with the 
eternal smile. 

As regards climatology, I would add that in 1911, 
between August 20th and September 16th, and in the 
present season during July and August, we found, as 
a whole, better weather-conditions on the Rose glacier 
than we ever noted in the Western Karakoram. The 
south-west wind brought mist and storms, and there 




Smoking mountain. Dust from falling debris veils its face 



[Note size of talus at base largely composed of detritus shaken down from 
mountain by earthquake.] 

To face page 218. 



GEOGRAPHICAL RESULTS OF EXPEDITION 219 

were plenty of them, but the north and north-east 
winds brought fine weather, which lasted for longer 
periods than we have experienced on the Biafo, Chogo 
Lungma, or Hispar glaciers. It has been stated by one 
or two explorers that June is the best month for high 
climbing in the Karakoram, but in 1912 July was a 
better month for high work than June. In both 1911 
and 1912 the south-west monsoon was light in India, 
and the whole of Kashmir suffered much from drought. 
In the Kapalu district almost no rain fell in July and 
August of either year. These facts, doubtless, counted 
in our favour on the glaciers. Certainly 1911 and 1912 
were favourable weather years for snow-work in the 
Eastern Karakoram, but they offer no sufficient basis 
for claiming better or worse climatic conditions in 
general for the Eastern over the Western Karakoram. 

To sum up the most important geographical results 
of this expedition. About 850 square miles of mountain- 
territory were mapped with plane table. Forty or 
more peaks were measured in different ways, many by 
triangulation, by Mr. Grant Peterkin. The Rose glacier 
was first explored from end to end, and surveyed to 
its tongue in the Nubra valley. The north and east 
Siachen sources, altitudes 20,860 and 19,210 feet, were 
discovered and first visited, and the relation of the 
Eastern Karakoram and Indus watershed to that of 
Chinese Turkestan at these points established. From 
these were seen and photographed a large part of the 
Gusherbrum glacier, running north - east from the 
Gusherbrum peaks, and a section of, probably, the 
Urdok glacier in Chinese Turkestan. All of the chief 
Siachen affluents were visited and mapped. A new 
group of high snow-peaks was discovered beyond the 
east Rose wall on the Turkestan side. The King 



220 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

George V group was first seen and identified as such, 
and its three highest peaks triangulated. Two first 
ascents of peaks of 21,000 feet were made. The Silver 
Throne plateau lying between 20,500 and 21,000 feet 
was discovered and visited, and a first ascent of the 
Silver Throne col, 19,610 feet, on the ridge forming the 
water-parting between the West Source glacier and 
Kondus basins, made. A little farther north on the 
same ridge a new pass, 18,700 feet, was discovered and 
crossed, and a first descent made from it to the head 
of the twenty - mile-long Kaberi glacier, which was 
followed down its whole length to its tongue. Two ends 
we had in view had to be left unaccomplished, which, 
had the means at our disposal been more reliable and 
more under control, could have been attained; but 
our efforts were crowned with a degree of success 
which justified the expenditure of money, time, and 
endeavour. 

No tawiz-amulet was worn to bring us luck, and 
fair skies were needed to carry out the work planned. 
Certainly, what measure of accomplishment was ours 
came, not through the assistance of Governments, or 
high or low officials, but through persistent endeavour 
and the aid of the weather-god, who on special 
occasions favoured us, and to him are due my deep 
salaams. 

NOTE 1 

On the Rose glacier having been an old-tune Route to Nubra 
or Chinese Txwkestan. 

Regabding the eight stone-shelters, one stone-circle, and two 
cairns found by our expeditions at Ali Bransa, Tarim Shehr, and 
the north Spin- camp, and their bearings on the question of the 
Bilaphond and Rose glacier having been once used by natives 



ROUTES TO TURKESTAN AND NUBRA 221 

as routes to Turkestan and Nubra, T have a few words to say. In 
the Geographical Journal of June 1910, Colonel Godwin-Austen says 
that "after looking at the map" — what map is not stated— it 
appears to him that this pass, referring to the " Saltoro," "was 
in all probability a way by which the people of Baltistan got into 
Yarkand." This remark was made after Dr, Longstaflf'a short visit 
to the Rose glacier, when nothing was really known as to the 
watei'-partings on that glacier, and when all that could be said 
regarding them was mere supposition. 

From what I have seen of them, I do not hesitate to negative 
the idea of either the Bilaphond La or the Rose glacier having 
been at one time a route from Baltistan to Chinese Turkestan. 

The two remaining points of exit are those by the east, Tarim 
Shehr, affluent, and by the Lower Siachen to the Nubra valley. 

The passage, should it exist, from the head of the Tarim Shehr 
glacier, could only lead to the Remo, or an adjacent glacier 
draining to the Shyok valley, and that would be, apart from the 
prohibitive ice-conditions, a circuitous x'oute. No shelter-huts were 
found on any part of the promontory at entrance of the Tarim 
Shehr glacier into the Rose, only one stone-circle, and on the 
seventeen miles of glacier to the source no vestiges were seen. It 
has been said, I know, that when driven by stress of circum- 
stances, natives will find a way out over most arduous routes, yet 
even allowing for this, it is most vmlikely that people either from 
Nubra or from Baltistan would attempt passing by the east 
Siachen affluent. 

The suggestion by Dr. Longstaff that the Bilaphond La was 
once "used as a short cut from Baltistan to Nubra," appears fairly 
plausible, although no records of this passage having been 
employed are available. No signs of former human birds of 
passage were found by my expedition between Tarim Shehr and 
the Siachen tongue, but the fact remains that Ali Bransa was by 
previous genei-ations occupied as a bivouac, and most likely more 
than once. 

What tells most against the idea of this having been a usual 
route to Nubra, are the very difficult physical conditions of the 
Rose glacier the whole twenty-three miles to its tongue, the 
unfordability from May to September 15th of the Nubra river, and 
the sparsely inhabited and supplyless area encountered in the 
Nubra valley before Panamik village is reached. 

Whether like serious obstacles were less in evidence in former 



222 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

times must be answered by one competent to solve these problems, 
which, I confess, I am not. So far as the 'present-day Baltis are 
concerned, I feel sm^e they would proceed by the Chorbat, or any 
other remote road, i-ather than thread the mazes of the Rose 
glacier and face the Nubra water-crossings. 

A route to Nubra by the " Rgyong La," since on its summit Dr. 
Longstaff found a cairn, would, it seems to me, have been chosen 
by natives, rather than the one over the Bilaphond La, but that 
does not bear ixpon the point here at issue, which hinges on the 
presence of the shelters at Ali Bransa. Again, perhaps the Baltis 
previously said to inhabit the Ghyari valley, on occasion, crossed 
to the Rose glacier, carrying their investigations as far as the 
opposite Tarim Shehr grass-area, and then returned over the 
pass home. 

This suggestion credits the old-time Baltis with exploring 
proclivities, which certainly those of to-day are not guilty of 
possessing. 

These questions in human geography, if I may so call them, are 
interesting, pertaining as they do to the Rose glacier, a vast, 
intricate snow-expanse, stretching its long, snowy affluents, ice- 
bound water-parting ridges, and formidable crevasse-riven tongue, 
as defiant bvilwarks towards Baltistan, Chinese Turkestan, and 
Nubra. But, like those qvieries arising daily in other sciences, 
they must, I fear, abide their time and await a solution that 
may or may not be forthcoming. 

NOTE 2. 

When in London on different occasions I have been asked by 
staunch and indignant women-friends to deny publicly at lectiu'es 
an assertion, which they had frequently heard made in regard to 
me by men and also by women, but mvich oftener by men. This 
assertion, made with more emphasis than knowledge, was to the 
effect that I did not really climb the peaks and passes I lectured 
upon and wrote about, but that I was invariably ' ' hauled to the 
sunmiits by coolies." 

I regard it as beneath my notice to deny such a trivial accusa- 
tion, made by people who know really nothing about me, who 
know less than a Swiss pack-pony about mountain-climbing, and 
whose motives for making such statements appear to be inspired 
by but one feeling, that of jealousy. I must leave the refutation 
of such accusation to our books and to the illustrations shown in 



REMARKS SUGGESTED BY EXPERIENCE 223 

them and at our lectures. If the persons who vouchsafed this remark 
will take the troiable to study the text of these books, they will 
see what a colossal strain was often put upon us to persuade 
coolies themselves to go even to high camps. 

Of course, a person who has reached a certain pre-eminence in 
any line is bound to fall foul of ill-timed and unjust criticism which 
it is best to ignore. Unfortunately, at the present time a woman 
fares worse than a man in that line. 

Had I confined my work to climbing in the Alps, Tyrol, or 
Norway, or even to fifth-class ascents in India, I should doubtless 
have been vociferously praised by the ' ' man in the street " and 
patted on the back for my womanly clirubs by the average male 
mountaineer, but as I went beyond these ladylike accomplish- 
ments and became an Himalayist, I was bound to run the gauntlet 
of what, there is no denying, is an often present sentiment in these 
advanced times — sex-antagonism. I recall a delightful commenda- 
tion in a letter from a man living in India, who prided himself on 
his ascent of a 20,500 foot peak, which, by the way, I had first 
ascended. He was nothing if not patronizing, and reached his acme 
by designating me as one of the most deserving lady travellers of 
the day. 

Among certain explorers and mountaineers one meets with a 
singular want of esxorit cle corps, which is to be deplored, as it 
interferes with useful and amicable comparison of notes. On more 
than one occasion at Geographical and Alpine Congresses women 
confrh^es have seen fit to greet me not at all, or with sarcastic 
comment, while men who might be supposed to be interested in 
Himalayan svibjects have, unavoidably, absented themselves from 
my lectures. 

On the other hand, I hold in pleasant memory many appre- 
ciative remarks by persons in my audience, and have letters of 
hearty appreciation from noted explorers of different nationalities 
which are a delight to me to recall. When giving a series of 
popular lectures at the Vienna Urania Theatre a few years since, 
a small porcelain boat, filled with simple flowers, was handed in to 
me with a few lines from a poor woman, saying these were all 
she was able to offer as a token of her delight at what I had been 
describing. Such a tribute compensated many times over for petty 
slights shown by others of my own profession. 

As a doyenne explorer and lecturer, I may be pardoned the advice 
to younger women -explorers when attending lectures or meeting 
their confreres, men or women — say something pleasant and rele- 



224 THE ICE- WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

vant to their work ; it need not be mvich, but the effect on the 
recipient's mind will be golden ! I remember with much more 
pleasm-e a rather infantile remark recently made by a woman about 
"my pretty pictures" than that of a severe-looking man who, one 
stormy night, shook my hand after I had been speaking, adding 
only, " Is the weather not beastly ?" Still, I dare say he meant well. 

It is scarcely needful to say that the real explorers stand quite 
without the pale of the before-mentioned "lesser lights" or second- 
class explorers, or still more properly speaking, travellers. For 
whatever they may think, men of such standing in Asiatic ex- 
ploration as Conway, Stein, Younghusband, Sven Hedin, and the 
distinguished President of the Royal Geographical Society, Fresh- 
field, all of whom have titles too numerous to mention here, would, 
I fancy, scorn to make unfriendly public comment upon the one 
woman who has entered the arena of Himalayan research with 
them. 

Lest book-critics, sometimes prone to "take one up," should dis- 
pute the expression "one woman," I wovxld add that several women 
have ascended Himalayan passes of 18,000 and 19,000 feet, and 
particularly missionaries in Tibet have faced long, hard journeys 
in pursuit of their calling, while two or more women have, I think, 
successfully crossed the Pamirs, but no other has carried out the 
exploration and climbing of great glaciers and high peaks in Asia. 

That they will now begin to compete with men in this field, as 
in all others, is greatly to be hoped, and to those who may con- 
template so doing I would here express my sincere good wishes for 
the success of their undertakings. They will have to toil and over- 
come, but by persistent effort they will achieve, not all they desire, 
bvit much knowledge, and, on the trail to still untrodden heights 
and lands, enjoy to the full the most glorious and freest of lives, 
in comparison with which all ordinary so-called civilized existence 
is of the deadliest commonplace. I have had what no man or 
woman can take from me, what is above all price, the satisfaction 
of my work, which I have made as good as circumstances would 
admit of, and which, I trust, will receive a favourable verdict from, 
those who come after me. 



PART III 

PHYSIOGRAPHICAL FEATURES OF 
THE BILAPHOND, SIACHEN, AND 
KABERI BASINS AND GLACIERS 



BY 

WILLIAM HUNTER WORKMAN 



15 



CHAPTER I 

Character of ghyari nala and enclosing mountains — Surface-forma- 
tions OF BILAPHOND GLACIER — PRESSURE -EFFECTS — AlI BRANSA. 

The Ghyari nala, leading from the Saltoro valley oppo- 
site Goma, approximately N.-30o E. to the Bilaphond 
La, belongs in its physiographical characteristics to the 
region described in Part I of this volume. It is walled 
in on both sides by bold mountains, chiefly of granite, 
gneiss, and crystalline schist, with broad, smooth, steeply 
rising sides and strata approaching or reaching the 
vertical, capped by sharp needle-summits. The moun- 
tains of the west side are, perhaps, the most distinctive 
and accentuated in form, several rising from base to 
summit as symmetrical pyramids. Those of the eastern 
side are more irregular in form. 

For five or six miles above its mouth the nala up to 
a willow and cedar-covered maidan in front of the 
Bilaphond glacier-tongue, called Ghyari, is considerably 
clothed with vegetation, and opposite the entering 
tongue of the lowest side-glacier quite a large area is 
under cultivation. The surface-debris of this portion is 
almost wholly of biotite-granite, though a considerable 
amount of white crystalline limestone is mingled 
with it. 

In the middle third of the distance to Ghyari the 
tongues of two side-glaciers enter the nala, the lower 

227 



228 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

one barely reaching the side, but the upper one pene- 
trating to its centre and turning downward. The latter, 
although its surface was not in either summer bearing 
much debris, had at some time brought down a vast 
amount, and had built a large, terminal moraine-field 
several hundred feet high composed of enormous, angu- 
lar granite-blocks piled one on another in wild confusion, 
which appeared as if blasted out of a solid granite-mass 
by a powerful explosive. This moraine, in conjunction 
with great tali at the base of the mountain-wall on the 
east, forms a high step in the nala-bed. The river has 
cut a channel between the moraine and the edge of the 
talus. 

From Ghyari to the Bilaphond La the nala is occupied 
by the Bilaphond glacier, which spans it from wall to 
wall. Between Ghyari and Naram the granite-mountains 
on the west side rise very sharply from the glacier with 
broad flanks, the angles and projections of which have 
been rounded off by abrasion from avalanches and sliding 
debris, and their surfaces smoothed by weathering so as 
to present an even, granular appearance. On two of our 
three passages up and down this glacier we passed along 
the base of this wall, over the moraines adjoining it, and 
through the narrow intervals scarcely wide enough for 
one to pass between them and it. I examined it with 
care on both occasions, to see if any indication could be 
found that the glacier-level had formerly been higher 
than at present. The conformation and condition of the 
surface of the wall afforded an ideal tablet for the record- 
ing by the glacier of evidence of previous movement at 
higher level. The ice was not found anywhere to quite 
touch it, being separated from it by narrow lateral 
moraines, which in a few places were crowded hard 
against it. The wall-surface descended everywhere. 







Lie 1 



CHARACTER OF BILAPHOND SURFACE 229 

smooth and evenly weathered, to the level of these 
moraines, being nowhere undercut or scratched above 
its present line of contact with them, so that it may 
safely be inferred that the volume of the glacier has 
not been appreciably greater than at present for a long 
period. 

The character of the glacier-surface undergoes a 
sudden change opposite Naram. For several miles above 
this place the different glacier-currents or streams coming 
from the Bilaphond La and from affluents below the 
glacier-head concentrate themselves into three principal 
ones, the central and widest being composed of clear 
ice carrying comparatively little debris, in reality con- 
sisting of two white streams marked off from each other 
on the surface by a shallow furrow, while the two outer 
ones are massive moraine-streams flanking the central 
one on either side and rising considerably above it. I 
measured the height of the ridge of the eastern moraine- 
stream two miles above Naram, at 100 feet above the 
central white ice. The central white stream diminishes 
in width and volume as it descends, whilst the moraine- 
streams increase, converging on each other and com- 
pressing the white stream between them, till it becomes 
quite narrow above Naram. 

Opposite Naram a large and powerful affluent coming 
from the vicinity of the high Peak 8 group joins the 
Bilaphond on the east, and directly opposite just above 
Naram another large glacier comes down to it from 
heights on the west. The pressure of these two affluents 
forming the wings of the Bilaphond butterfly, but more 
especially of the eastern one, produces a profound im- 
pression on the Bilaphond, and gives rise to interesting 
phenomena. 

The eastern affluent impinges on the Bilaphond at a 



230 THE ICE- WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

right angle, crowds it over against its west bank, and 
compresses it so as to greatly diminish its width. Into 
the space thus cleared it forces itself and turns down- 
ward, henceforth forming a material portion of the 
Bilaphond trunk. Its pressure is so great that it over- 
balances that of the western butterfly-wing, which, 
although large and descending from a considerable 
height, is completely arrested in its downward course 
at the side of the crowded-over Bilaphond, and is unable 
to gain any lodgment in the bed of the latter. It can 
therefore, as a whole, only advance as fast as its front 
melts away against the Bilaphond side. 

The attenuated, central, white stream of the upper 
Bilaphond is completely annihilated, and the two moraine- 
streams — previously consisting of unbroken, horizontal 
ridges — are forced together, more or less intermingled, 
and crowded up into large debris-covered hillocks, which 
roughen the glacier surface from here to its end, and 
render movements over it arduous, while above Naram 
the central white streams furnish an easy pathway to the 
pass. The rock-debris on the glacier is of the same 
character as that in the nala below. Considerable white, 
crystalline limestone appears amongst it, the origin of 
which could not be traced. 

The pied a terre called Ali Bransa, the only spot near 
the head of the glacier free from ice and in any respect 
suitable for a camp, is an ancient moraine-fragment lying 
beneath a steep rock- wall, from which it is separated by a 
furrow sufficiently wide and deep to arrest rocks falling 
from above, and thus render it safe. The furrow contains 
many large boulders. Ali Bransa is nearly overwhelmed 
by a higher and more recent moraine pressed hard against 
it by the glacier. 

The glacier above and below Ali Bransa presents many 




Granite spire on east wall oi Kaberi glacier. 

To face page 230. 



ALI BRANSA 231 

interesting features of ice-formation, in vertical, longi- 
tudinal stratification, s^racs and serac-pinnacles (ice- 
penitente), ice-pinnacles associated with water-pockets 
(thin debris or pocket-penitente), pinnacles formed from 
the ice-columns of former glacier- tables, etc., which 
cannot be described at length here, but which have been 
treated in detail elsewhere.^ 

' Vide "Nieve Penitente and Allied Formations in Himalaya," 
Dr. W. Hunter Workman, Zeitschrift fiir Gletscherkunde, Band VHI^ 
1914, pp. 289-330. 



CHAPTER II 

KaRAKORAM type of glacier — EOCKS OP SIACHEN BASIN — EXTEKT AND 
STRUCTURE OF ENCLOSING WALLS — RELATION OF GUSHBRBRUMS TO 
TERAM KANGRI — STRUCTURE OF MOUNTAINS BETWEEN HEADS OF 
BALTORO AND SIACHEN GLACIERS. 

The term " glacier " is not sufficiently comprehensive to 
designate accurately the immense, and, in arrangement, 
complicated bodies of snow, neve, and ice collected in the 
great rock-basin extending north-west from the source of 
the Nubra river to Peak 23 (Hidden peak), forty-nine 
miles, with an east and west average width for a con- 
siderable distance of twenty miles, and having an area, 
approximately, of 900 square miles. 

The basin is crossed in various directions by many 
glaciers of the first order, and innumerable lesser ones, 
fed by snow precipitated upon the mountains and slopes 
of its watershed, all converging on a great central trunk 
averaging 2*5 miles in width, that stretches the length of 
the basin in a north-west by south-east direction, and 
discharges from its tongue water derived from the snow 
collected in all parts of this extensive region to give birth 
to the Nubra river. This central trunk, with its multi- 
tude of affluents resembling a river-system, is more 
fittingly styled the Siachen glacier-system. The four 
other great Karakoram glaciers, as well as many 
smaller but by no means insignificant ones, are fashioned 

232 




• ^•;^_^4- ■'''■As 



*'-v 



■^b-.-.: 




4^10^0^^^^"^^- -^^^^^^'^^^^^^^^^"-^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 



KARAKORAM TYPE OF GLACIER 233 

on the same plan. This type is peculiar to the Kara- 
koram, being conditioned on the configuration of its 
valleys and the arrangement of its peaks. For this 
reason, as well as on account of certain structural 
features referable to existing conditions, all these glaciers 
merit the designation of glacier-systeTns or glaciers of the 
Karakora7n type. 

The enclosing barriers of the Siachen consist of granite, 
gneiss, crystalline schists, slates and shales, sandstones, 
amorphous and crystalline limestones, and conglomerates, 
with some igneous intrusions. These rocks alternate with 
one another at short intervals, and are, in places, in- 
timately intermingled and interfolded. They are exten- 
sively foliated, friable, and easily disintegrated by frost 
and weathering. Even the granites, largely of the biotite- 
variety, are divided into small sections by joints crossing 
one another, and intersected by bands of quartz, feldspar, 
schists, and shales, in consequence of which they split up 
easily into fragments. The lohysical condition of the 
gneiss and crystalline schists would suggest to the 
ordinary observer, that they were formed, largely, by 
metamorphosis of sedimentary deposits. But whether 
this be the fact, or whether it be that they originated 
as primary granites and were afterwards metamorphosed 
and folded, they are brittle and present in the one case an 
immature appearance as if incompletely developed, or in 
the other a decadent one, as if the original structure had 
been overwrought and disorganized by strain and violence 
in the upheaval of the great ranges of which they form 
constituents. 

This fragile condition of the rocks accounts for the 
irregular, jagged outlines of the mountains of this region, 
especially of the granite-peaks, many of which are 
greatly serrated, and for the vast detritus-deposits that 



234 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

load the glaciers and play an important role in the 
development of their structural features. Owing to the 
amount of snow covering the mountains and the staining 
and weathering of the visible rock-surfaces, it is often 
difficult, even from a short distance, to distinguish the 
character of the rocks composing a mountain, so that the 
observer, particularly if he is not a trained geologist, may 
well be in doubt as to what formation lies before him. 
The shales and slates, the latter largely of very dark 
colour, are the most easily distinguished. 

The north-east wall of the Siachen trunk resembles in 
structure and extent that which, with an unbroken 
length of thirty-nine miles, forms the upper portions of 
the southern Hispar and west Biafo barriers.^ Starting 
at the north-east head, it extends west three miles, then 
turns south-east and continues on fourteen miles to the 
Tarim Shehr affluent. Here it turns east and forms the 
north wall of the Tarim Shehr for seventeen miles to its 
sources, making a continuous, unbroken wall thirty-three 
miles long. The upper twelve miles of this wall is, and 
the remainder appears to be, a part of the main water- 
shed between Turkestan and the Indus, and as such it 
probably continues on from the head of Tarim Shehr 
tributary to the Karakoram pass. 

A second portion continuing around as the south wall 
of the Tarim Shehr glacier and extending west to the 
Tarim Shehr promontory, there turns south-east and 
forms the remaining portion of the north-east wall of the 
trunk to its end, having a length of thirty-four miles. 
Stated in another way, the north-east Siachen wall 
stretches from the north head of the trunk south-east 

' Vide Geographical Journal, February 1910, p. 117 ; also The 
Call of the Snowy Hispar, W. Hunter and F. Bullock Workman, 
p. 216. 




The Hawk, 22,160 feet. Telephotograph from Tarim Shehr, 
thirteen miles distant. 

To face page 234. 



STRUCTURE OF GLACIER-WALLS 235 

in a nearly straight line for some forty-five miles, being 
pierced only by one small and two large affluents. 

The south-west boundary of the upper half of the trunk 
can scarcely be called a wall. It consists of numerous 
mountains of irregular outlines, scattered about in an 
irregular manner, enclosing vast reservoirs of snow and ice 
that communicate with the main glacier by large secondary 
glaciers, the whole forming an ice-bound labyrinth that 
defies description. Still, the mountains and affluents stand 
in such relation to the main glacier that lines drawn from 
one headland to another suffice to mark the limits of its 
bed with sufficient accuracy. From the Peak 36 tributary 
to the tongue a fairly continuous wall exists, which is 
pierced by several large affluents. 

The structure of these walls may be stated in general 
terms as follows : The mountains enclosing the Indira col 
and the Turkestan col, at the northern extremity, are 
composed of slates and shales, light and dark in colour, 
with, possibly, some limestones, thence down the north- 
east wall to within about four miles of the Tarim Shehr 
opening mostly of light coloured limestones and shales 
with some conglomerates and, at least, one igneous intru- 
sion forming a promontory projecting into the edge of the 
glacier about a quarter of a mile south-east of Spur camp. 
The extent of this intrusion could not be determined. 
A specimen here collected belongs to the minette group. 
Limestones are strongly in evidence in the moraines fed 
by this section. The rocks are soft and the peaks and 
ridges broken and jagged in outline. From a point 
shortly north-west of Teram Kangri, the wall and its 
peaks, including that summit, quite to their tops, forming 
the north barrier of Tarim Shehr glacier to its end, appear 
to be almost wholly made up of black slate, with here and 
there foot-hills of lighter coloured shale or limestone. 



236 THE ICE- WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

The same is true of the visible rocks on the south side 
of Tarim Shehr glacier, though some of the ice-covered 
peaks at its upper end must contain granite and gneiss, as 
much debris of this character appears in the moraines of 
that side and, indeed, forms the chief constituent of the 
lateral moraines surrounding the Tarim Shehr prom- 
ontory. The greater part of the promontory is composed 
of brown shale or slate, but at its extremity granite 
crops out over a considerable area. Here a large, smooth 
undulating granite-surface had been used by ibex as a 
resting place. Thence, beginning with Junction peak, 
20,840 feet, rising above the promontory, ascended by us 
in 1911, down to the great bend, some sixteen miles, the 
mountains are of dark brown and black slate with 
occasional sections of lighter colour broken into jagged 
points and cleft by\ deep, ragged ravines. The only 
granite noticed in situ in the whole length of this wall 
was at Tarim Shehr promontory. 

From our camps on moraines opposite this wall, the 
view towards it was most forbidding. The foreground 
was occupied by the huge, black hillock-moraine coming 
from the Tarim Shehr affluent, the towering hillocks of 
which, resembling vast heaps of coal piled up at random 
in a Cyclopean coal-yard, shut out from sight the white 
ice of the glacier beyond, while the background was 
formed by the succession of black peaks hard in outline 
and destitute of grace, rendered more desolate by contrast 
with the snow capping their tops, the whole constituting 
as sombre and depressing a landscape as could well be 
imagined, far eclipsing the most fantastic conceptions 
of Boecklin or Dor^, and casting an uncanny shadow 
over the soul. 

On the south-west side of the trunk a similar variety 
of formation occurs, but granite is more and limestone 






^^^ 




■'• 


'' *''r 


>^ V - ■ 


li. 




■'"oX 





3 
O 
C/5 



ID 


^ 


1> 




<4-< 


To 


o 


(D 


o 


tn 


M 


O 


Ol" 


P4 


c< 




^ 




> 




K* 




03 




ffi 




(D 




^ 




H 





GRANITE PEAKS OF SOUTH-WEST WALL 237 

less in evidence. The last three peaks of the King- 
George V group ending the massive mountain-tongue, 
interposed between the heads of the Baltoro and Siachen 
glaciers, which form seven miles of the upper south-west 
Siachen wall, appear to be mainly composed of granite- 
and gneiss, though on an eastern spur and near its south- 
east extremity the granite passes over suddenly without 
discontinuity of outline into black slate. 

South of this tongue at the entrance of the upper,, 
western tributary into the Siachen, the Hawk, a graceful 
pointed spire of granite as seen from the south, and a 
long, curving, sharp ridge as seen from the north, soars 
from a circle of black slate peaks and ridges to an altitude 
of 22,160 feet. From this point downward for twenty- 
two miles to the great bend, the south-west wall is, 
largely, composed of sedimentary rocks, prominent among- 
which are black slates. Just above the bend two eleva- 
tions, the ends of spurs descending from Peak 8, have the 
appearance of granite. The ridge adjoining the north- 
west angle of the Lolophond-Rose junction, on which 
Camp 5 was situated, a considerable portion of which we 
visited, is composed of brown, much-splintered slate. 
The greater part of the south-west wall, as we observed 
it, does not, therefore, conform to the granite-structure 
assigned to it by Dr. Longstaff. 

Ten miles west of the trunk the impressive granite- 
massif of the twin Peaks 35 and 36, 25,280 and 25,400 
feet, overtopping all mountains of the region south of 
Peak 23 and forming a salient landmark, gives off the 
large Peak 36 affluent to the Siachen on the east and the 
Dong Dong glacier on the west. Granite and gneissoid 
rocks crop out, doubtless, at various other points of the 
Siachen basin that were not within range of observation. 
The granite series of rocks becomes more prominent and 



238 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

abundant as one passes westward from the Siachen to 
the Bilaphond, Sher-pi-gang, and Kondus basins. No 
conglomerates in situ were noticed. 

Thus it will be seen that, while slates and shales 
constitute, perhaps, the greater part of the rocks of this 
region, they have mingled with them a very considerable 
proportion of limestone and conglomerates appearing in 
the moraines, and also of granite, gneiss, and crystalline 
schists. No single formation continues uninterrupted for 
any great distance. One mountain may be of granite and 
the next of shale or limestone, or the same mountain may 
consist of two or more rock-varieties more or less 
intimately mingled. This composite arrangement, as I 
have had opportunity to observe in an almost continuous 
line from the Siachen to Hunza, exists throughout the 
Karakoram. The opposing walls of its valleys, large and 
small, both those running east and west and those north 
and south, are often composed of different varieties of 
rocks, perhaps granite on one side and shale or other 
sedimentary rock on the other, or a given wall may vary 
at different points in the same manner. The various 
rock -formations, not only of the Siachen region but also 
everywhere that I have been in the Karakoram, are so 
distributed and intermingled that it does not appear 
to me possible to draw any reliable inference from them 
as to the existence of parallel ranges of dissimilar 
structure. 

In the June 1910 Geographical Journal, p. 646, Dr. 
Longstaff states that the Duke of the Abruzzi's expedition 
discovered that " this [Broad peak] and the four Gusher- 
brums are composed of marbles and conglomerates." He 
adds : " The massif of Teram Kangri is a continuation 
of this [Gusherbrum] range ; its base appears to consist 
of schists and slates, and its peaks of marbles and 



\^.^ 




XI 

a, 
o 



o 
o 



a xi 

CO g 



Hi 



STRUCTURE OF PEAKS 239 

calcites." After careful study of the published accounts 
of the expedition referred to, I have been unable to find 
any authorization for the statement that Broad peak and 
" the four Gusherbrums are composed of marbles and 
conglomerates." In the December 1910 A Ipine Jout-nal, 
p. 344, Dr. de Filippi states that moraines seen on the 
Baltoro " consist of beautiful polychrome marbles and 
conglomerates, originating from Hidden peak and the 
Golden Throne," but this is far from " discovering " that 
Hidden peak, as a mass, and still less the other three 
Gusherbrums, are composed of such rocks. 

As already stated, the last three high mountains of the 
King George V group, ending the spur and interposed in 
direct line between the Gusherbrums and Teram Kangri, 
appear to consist mainly of granite and gneissoid rocks. 
We passed directly beneath and camped almost in the 
shadow of the high, vertical precipices of their eastern 
and southern flanks, of which we had a near view. Also 
the upper portions of the Gusherbrum peaks, as seen from 
the high Silver Throne plateau to the south-east, appeared 
to have the shape and general aspect of granite-peaks, 
though we were not sufficiently near them to distinguish 
their structure. However this may be, we saw nothing 
in their appearance to suggest marbles. 

Regarding the massif of Teram Kangri, having passed 
three weeks, altogether, at various points near and in 
front of it during late summer, both in 1911 and 1912, 
when the snow was largely melted away, we had con- 
siderable opportunity to study it. As we saw it, it 
appeared to consist of black slate quite to its top, and 
no evidence of the existence on its peaks or on those 
of any of the adjoining mountains of " marbles and 
calcites " could be detected with a powerful field-glass. 
Dr. A. Neve, who accompanied Dr. Longstaff on his dash 



240 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

to this point of the Siachen, appears to hold the same 
opinion. In Thirty Years in Kashmir, on p. 294, he 
writes : " It looked to me as if the highest part of Teram 
Kangri might be slate." Further, no calcite or marble 
was found on moraines the origin of which could be 
traced to Teram Kangri, which does, however, throw 
off an immense quantity of black debris upon the glacier. 
Therefore the argument based on similarity of structure 
in support of the view that the massif of Teram Kangri 
is a continuation of the Gusherbrum "range," so far as 
can be judged from our observation, falls to the ground. 

Discarding hypothetical suggestions of complicated 
possibilities of contemporaneous uplift and denudation 
in distant ages, which would apply with equal force to 
other neighbouring elevations, and confining the discus- 
sion to geographical features as they now exist, the 
topographical objection to this view is quite as strong, 
if trend and continuity of elevation are criteria in 
determining whether two mountain-sections are parts 
of the same range. The Gusherbrum *' range," if the 
comparatively short south-east spur from which Broad 
peak, the Gusherbrums, and the three last peaks rise 
can be called a range, ends, in the direction of Teram 
Kangri, abruptly in the icefields of the upper Siachen, 
and has no connection above the ice with the north-east 
Siachen wall, of which Teram Kangri forms a point, 
being separated from it at every part by the whole width 
of the glacier. 

On the contrary, the north-east wall continues on 
directly over the Indira col at the north Siachen head 
into Turkestan, with a precipitous drop of circa 6,000 feet 
at the col, running thence north-east as a line of pointed, 
ragged, sombre, slaty peaks, which form the south-east 
wall of the Gusherbrum glacier issuing from the^ 




'5%: 

m 



^" 



^ ^ ^ 






"bib 

S 



4) CO 

4 o 



v^ 

^ 


T) 


i 


W) 


C! 


?• 


(D 


3 


■4J 


OT 


O 


tn 


o 


u 


^ 


P:i 


^ 


^ 




o 


A 


<4-l 


<t3 


+-> 


O 


^ 


O 


c3 


a 


s 


(U 




OJ 


^ 


w 


j:! 




C 


+> 


O 




fi 


o 


o 




Cfi 






,isJ 


-M 


T? 


03 


0) 


a 


<D 




03 


&. 


o 

OC 


8 




o" 


rj 


.Q 


CI 


n; 


v< 




<D 


(U 






(-• 








o 




'Xn 


o 


(U 






JD 


O 


oi 






;.4 


4-) 










'O 


r^ 




r-* 






U( 






'"' 


g 




d 


o 




O 







GUSHERBRUM EXTENSION NORTH-EASTWARD 241 

Gusherbrum peaks. This wall, taken as a whole, con- 
stitutes the eastern barrier of an Oprang-Nubra depres- 
sion, of which the highest point occurs at the Siachen 
head on the watershed between the Indus and Turkestan, 
whence the gradient drops north-east towards the Oprang 
and south-east to Nubra. 

The western barrier of this depression, beyond the 
Indira col, is formed by another line of serrated 
mountains extending as a direct prolongation of the 
three northern Gusherbrums north-eastward, and con- 
stituting also the west wall of the Gusherbrum glacier, 
the head of which occupies the interval between the 
eastern contrefort of Peak 23 and the three northern 
Gusherbrums. ^ 

Following trend and continuity, the so-called Gusher- 
brum range extends, therefore, not south-east to Teram 
Kangri, hut north-east into Turkestan as a wall parallel 
to the prolongation north-eastward of the east Siachen wall 
and separated from it by the large Gusherbrum glacier. 
In the face of such topographical formation how can 
Teram Kangri, a point over twenty-five miles to the 
south-east on a wall not directly connected with the 
Gusherbrums, be considered as a continuation of the 
Gusherbrum " range " ? 

The discussion by Dr. de Filippi in Karakoram and 
Western Himalaya of the structure of Broad peak and 
the Gusherbrums involves the, geologically, interesting 
and important question touched upon in the preceding 
pages of the distribution of rocks in this region. On 
p. 227 he says : " From an examination of the moraines 
that have their origin in the various mountains, we were 
able to ascertain that the whole chain of Broad peak and 
the Gusherbrums, including Hidden peak and the Golden 
Throne as well, is a sedimentary formation." 

' Vide panorama facing p. 182. 
16 



242 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

Not having seen Broad peak or the north-western 
faces of the three northern Gusherbrums, which rise 
from the spur extending south-east from the north 
Baltoro wall and end among the upper reservoirs of 
the Siachen, I would not venture to assert that Dr. de 
Filippi's inference regarding their structure is not correct, 
but analysis of the evidence on which it is based does 
not appear to me to warrant so positive a statement 
as he makes. 

With due deference to the interesting and able treat- 
ment by Ing. Novarese of the material supplied by the 
expedition, although some of the geographical deductions 
based on it, such as placing the head of the Kondus east 
of the Gusherbrums, were shown by our later Siachen 
expedition to disagree with actual conformation, I would 
ask geological experts, whether a definite conclusion 
as to the structure of the great, inaccessible peaks far 
removed from direct inspection, forming the central and 
highest portions of the mountains mentioned, could be 
drawn from moraine-material lying at a distance on the 
Baltoro glacier? Might not the sedimentary debris here 
found originate largely or wholly in the lower, outer 
buttresses of the massifs, or in the outlying mountains 
between them and the Baltoro forming the immediate 
walls of the latter ? Because such debris existed in 
moraines extending out from these peripheral elevations, 
does it follow that granite or gneissoid rocks can be 
excluded as components of the high, central uplifts 
beyond ? 

My reasons for asking these questions are the 
following : — 

1. It is a fact which may be observed almost 
anywhere in the Karakoram, and nowhere more than 
in this region, that a mountain may be composed of 



REASONS FOR DOUBTING STATEMENT 243 

different varieties of rock, the central portion being, 
perhaps, of one variety and the peripheral of another 
or several varieties. This is well illustrated, in the 
very spur in question, by Queen Mary peak. Mount 
Hardinge, and the last peak ending it, which consist, 
apparently, chiefly of granite and gneiss with outlying 
sections of black slate ; by the marble peak on the 
Baltoro opposite Broad peak, mentioned by Dr. de 
Filippi as rising from a mass of black rock in the 
midst of a granite region ; and again a short distance 
south-east on the Siachen by the sharp, grey granite- 
crest of the Hawk towering above a surrounding mass 
of black slate-mountains. 

2. It is also a fact, which I have noticed in 
various Karakorara localities, that a large surface- 
moraine may originate in a rock-shoulder or section 
intercalated in a formation of wholly different character, 
so that an opinion based on the debris found in the 
moraine might assign to a large massif a formation 
entirely foreign to that of its greater part and thus be 
wide of the truth. Moraine-debris, as such, demonstrates 
the existence of given rocks without indicating their 
location or extent. It can only have a positive value 
in determining the distribution of those rocks when 
traced to the sources from which it springs. The 
sedimentary debris found by Dr. de Filippi on the 
Baltoro moraines shows that sedimentary rocks exist in 
the mountains at the head of that glacier, but it does 
not indicate their exact location or limits, nor does it 
exclude the presence in these mountains of other rocks. 
His account does not make it clear whether these 
moraines do not contain also granitic debris, as would 
appear probable from Conway's earlier observations. 
The sources of these moraines seem to have been judged 



244 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

of, chiefly, by their trend towards the bases of certain 
mountains, but it is evident that the debris on them 
was not and could not be traced to an origin in the 
central, highest peaks far behind. Further, in the 
above quotation he includes among the peaks, the struc- 
ture of which he "ascertained" from examination 
of these moraines, Gusherbrum II and III, which, 
according to the map published with his book as well 
as those of Sir Martin Conway and the Indian Survey, 
have no direct connection with the Baltoro, and from 
which, therefore, no debris of any description can 
reach the Baltoro moraines. 

3. Dr. de Filippi mentions the grey colour of the 
higher parts of Broad peak and the Gusherbrums as 
distinctive of limestone. The colour of the three last 
granite or gneissoid peaks of this spur is also grey. This 
colour, in the presence of Himalayan weathering, is, at 
least, as characteristic of granite as of limestone. 

4. Also the broad strata of Broad peak, cited as 
distinctive of sedimentary rock, are very commonly seen 
in Himalayan granite, gneiss, and crystalline schists. The 
face of K2, asserted to be a granite-massif, presents in 
panorama E of Karakoram and Western Himalaya 
an appearance very like that of a banded formation. 

5. Likewise, the forms of the compact pyramids or 
obtuse cones with smooth outlines of Peak 23 and the 
other three Gusherbrums, strongly resembling those of 
granite spires in the Bilaphond, Kaberi, and Saltoro 
regions, suggest granite quite as much as sedimentary 
formations, as do also the rounded summits of Broad 
peak as seen in the Sella panoramas. The summits of 
Broad peak parallel closely in shape those shown of its 
next northern neighbour. Staircase peak, stated by Dr. 
de Filippi to be granite (cf. panoramas C and G). As 



AN ALTERNATIVE PROPOSITION 245 

granite appears to form the mass of the three south-east 
peaks of the same spur on the other side, according to 
Dr. de Filippi's inference Broad peak and the Gusher- 
brums are a high, sedimentary group flanked on either 
side by lower granite-mountains, the first exception, I 
believe, reported to the rule enunciated by the Indian 
Geological Survey that the upper portions of very high 
Himalayan peaks are of granite. Can this inference as 
to structure be accepted on the evidence given ? 

From these considerations, without expressing a 
positive opinion, I would suggest as an alternative 
proposition for investigation by future explorers, particu- 
larly geologists, who may have opportunity to examine 
this region more carefully, that the whole spur heading 
the Baltoro on the east from Staircase peak, so called, to 
its termination in the snows of the Siachen consists of 
a lofty, central vertebra of granite and gneissoid rocks 
flanked on both sides by lower, sedimentary slates and 
limestones, which last form the source of the limestone - 
debris found by Dr. de Filippi in the Baltoro moraines 
and of similar debris observed by our expedition in 1912 
on the Kaberi glacier-moraines south of the Golden 
Throne. 



CHAPTER III 

Skow-supply of siachen — Sections or streams — Crowning and dis- 
appearance OF WHITE STREAMS — PECULIARITIES OF MORAINE-STREAMS — 

Three principal moraines — Junction of tarim shehr with siachen 
— Kbsulting phenomena — Tarim shehr gives off true branch — 
Lakes connected with promontories — Comparison of five largest 
karakoram glaciers — Melting phenomena — Pressurb-seracs — Icb- 

PINNACLBS due to pressure and melting — NiEVE AND ICE-PENITENTB 

— Character of upper and lower halves of siachen. 

Coming now to the glacier itself, the great altitude of the 
mountains and ridges surrounding the initial reservoirs 
of the Siachen and spread over the region west of it 
almost to the extremity of its tongue ensures the 
accumulation of enormous quantities of snow upon them 
and in the labyrinthine recesses between. The whole 
region for many miles back from the main glacier con- 
stitutes a great reservoir, that sends forth its icy contents 
by affluent after affluent to build one large central trunk. 
The north-east wall, much less ice-clad than the south 
Hispar wall, contributes a relatively small quantity of ice 
to the trunk, but the ice-streams from it are loaded with 
a vast amount of rock-detritus from its crumbling crags, 
which deposited upon the glacier exercises an important 
influence on the glacier-economy. Through this wall, 
about midway between its ends, enters from the east the 
largest affluent, the Tarim Shehr, contributing to the 
main glacier ice from a wide eastern area. 

946 



Pk. 35-36, 
25.400. 



Pk. 33, Mt. Ghent, The Hawk, Iving George V. Group, 

23.960 24.280- 22,160. Pk. 23, 26,470 




Bird's-eye view of 30 miles of Rose glacier from Camp 10, 18,400 feet, on Junction n ountain, showing white and moraine-streams, the narrowing of former anj increase 
m size of latter as they descend, and deflection of both by affluent-pressure ; also conversion of marginal into median moraines at junctions of affluents. At lower 
right hand corner Tarim Shehr affluent enters, turning through arc of 140 deg. around point of rock-promontory and flanked by black slate-moraine, which, bending in 
symmetrical curve, is converted from marginal into median moraine, descending in centre of Rose as such. High peaks indicated are mostly concealed by clouds. 



To face page 246. 



WHITE AND MORAINE-STREAMS 247 

The ice thus poured into the main trunk is sufficient to 
keep it at a maximum volume so as to cover completely 
the floor of the valley it occupies, leaving no free space 
between it and the valley-w^alls. No passage exists by 
the side of the glacier or over the precipitous mountain- 
sides. The explorer is obliged to find his way over the 
glacier itself, an undertaking as arduous and dangerous 
as the ascent of high, snow-clad mountains, the nature of 
which is not appreciated by those unacquainted with 
Himalayan glaciers. In this respect the Siachen resembles 
the Kondus system of glaciers, but differs from the Biafo 
and Chogo Lungma, which do not fill their valleys. These 
last can be penetrated for long distances by the sides of 
the glaciers upon lateral moraines or over maidans and 
slopes covered with grasses and flowers. 

A bird's-eye view of the Siachen trunk from Junction 
mountain above Tarim Shehr, 20,840 feet, shows it to be 
composed of a number of sharply defined, parallel, longi- 
tudinal sections or streams, some consisting of white ice, 
others covered with moraine-material, running side by 
side for many miles, the largest for above thirty, without 
intermingling. These I will distinguish from one another 
by the names white and 'inoj^aine-str earns, from their 
surface-appearance, and I will also apply the term white 
ice to those parts of the glacier which were compara- 
tively free from detritus, without regard to the physical 
distinction between surface white ice and the blue or 
black ice of the glacier-body beneath. 

These streams, which can be traced upward toward the 
ultimate sources of the trunk and affluents, are seen to 
represent the ice-masses contributed by the initial reser- 
voirs compressed and narrowed into ribbon-like bands 
by the tremendous lateral pressure developed by the 
crowding of vast bodies of ice coming from different 



248 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

directions into the comparatively small space between the 
mountain-walls occupied by the trunk. 

This lateral pressure is increased by the entrance of 
«ach successive affluent. Any affluent sufficiently large 
and powerful to add its own streams to those already 
existing in the trunk must do so by crowding the trunk 
out of its path over toward the opposite side of the 
glacier-bed and by inserting its own streams into the 
side-space thus created. This yielding of the trunk, which 
previously to the entrance of the affluent completely 
filled its bed, is an indication of an increase of lateral 
pressure proportioned to the size of the affluent, which 
must result in a further compression and narrowing of 
the trunk-streams. This is seen in the bird's-eye view 
to be exactly what happens to the Siachen streams, 
especially the white streams, which, broad and greatly 
exceeding the moraine-streams in width in the upper 
parts of the trunk, gradually become narrowed under 
lateral pressure until they finally die out and disappear 
at various distances from their sources. 

Pressure is not, however, the only factor involved in 
this result. Descending to the glacier and crossing it 
at points above the Tarim Shehr junction, where its 
surface is fairly smooth, one finds the centres of its 
white streams in transverse section elevated consider- 
ably above their edges, and the streams themselves 
symmetrically arched or crowned so as to resemble 
a series of perfectly constructed, metalled, and crowned 
roadways placed side by side. So high is this crown- 
ing that, standing on moraine-ridges in the centre of 
the trunk, 20 to 40 feet above the adjoining white ice, 
I could not see the edges of the glacier on the sides, 
nor, perhaps, half-way to them. 

This crowning is connected with the thinning and 



'Ji 




C bo 






\ r:^f 







a 



^^, 

^.-f * 



03 


>, 


OT 




a 


^ 


-l-> 




Sri 


Td 


-0 




03 


-2 


c3 




0) 


O 


■tS 




C 


-M 


0) 




1 


■•5 


M-l 




o 




o 




a 


U 


m 




bo 


rt 


n3 




•a 


a 

22 


^ 




fe 


p3 
u 




> 


4-> 


(U 




o 
o 




a 






-t-> 


o 






• •ri 






o 


^ 


xi 




> 


> 


-i-> 






be 

g 




o 

o 


a 


0) 

42 




i 


X 


j:3 


1 


-M 


4) 


t3 


<+H 




'% 


4-> 


O 


M-( 


c 




o 






o 




tn 


"o 


in 


T3 


-^j 


PL, 

o 


u 


o 


•J 


-t-> 
bB 


J3 

a 


d 
o 


j-i 


G 
^ 


rt 


d 


d 




o 


(D 









a 


o 





m I— I .w 





o 


a> 




js 


g 


■-•-( 


"be 


a 


o 




o 


c 


u 




o 


5? 


o 




X5 




4J 


rt 


d 


o 

d 


W 


o 


"■4J 


d 


'to 
O 


W 


o 


(X 



CROWNING OF WHITE STREAMS 249 

disappearance of white streams. Its presence indicates 
that the pressure which diminishes their width also 
<;rowds them upward without disorganizing their struc- 
ture or causing them to mingle with one another, 
and that, the lateral pressure being applied on both 
sides, their ice yields most along the central line, which 
is thus crowded highest. Rapid ablation of the raised 
portions occurs through melting, which on this glacier 
is very marked in the course of a summer. Thirty feet 
is probably a conservative estimate of its amount. This 
diminishes the depth and volume of the stream, with 
the result that it becomes constantly less resistant to 
pressure and more easily compressed and elevated. The 
interplay of lateral pressure and ablation finally so 
reduces the size of the stream that it is unable to offer 
further resistance, and is strangled in the grasp of its 
more powerful neighbours (moraine-streams), disappear- 
ing henceforth from view.^ 

As the streams become thinner and weaker they are 
pressed up higher with more abrupt sides, and their 
tops are broken into superficial seracs, as occurs on the 
Tarim Shehr and lower portion of the Siachen. Sym- 
metrical crowning here disappears. Crowning can, on 
the contrary, be traced upward into the reservoirs, 
where I observed it among the vast snow and ice 
expanses at altitudes of 21,000 feet. The greater the 
width and volume of streams and reservoirs the more 
generally are the effects of pressure diffused throughout 
the mass and the more gradual are the resulting curves 
In the reservoirs, crowning displayed itself in wide 

' For a detailed consideration of pressure effects vide ' ' Feature* 
of Karakoram Glaciers connected with Pressure," William Hunter 
Workman, Zeitschrift fur Gletscherkunde, Band VIII, Heft 3, 
December 1913. 



250 THE ICE- WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

elevated ridges sloping gently away to lower levels, 
orienting at right angles to the direction of pressure. 
It is easy to understand how here vast masses of snow 
and ice descending the steep, opposite sides of a narrow 
valley and meeting at the central line would crown 
upward. 

With moraine-streams the case is quite different^ 
They, usually, first appear as small accumulations of 
debris at places where neve has melted mostly or wholly 
away, but they increase in size and height as they 
move down a glacier, till at length they exceed in volume 
the white streams between them. Those occupying the 
glacier-edges constitute latero - median or marginal 
moraines, but when, after coming in contact with 
affluents, they are pushed away from the edges toward 
the centre, they become median moraines, affluent streams 
being interposed between them and the sides of the 
glacier-bed. They increase in size not only through 
their mass below the surface being crowded higher by 
increasing lateral pressure, but also through union with 
them of marginal moraines of incoming affluents. 

Relatively to the white streams, their visible portion 
becomes also constantly greater from the fact that, 
being heavily covered with debris, ablation of their 
substance through melting is reduced to a very small 
amount, so that they practically retain the elevation 
and bulk they receive through pressure, while the rapid 
lowering of the surface and diminution in volume of 
the adjoining white streams through melting expose a 
still greater extent of their sides and actually add to 
the difference in height between the two. As a result, 
the moraine-streams, which at their points of emergence 
in the upper parts of a glacier may be on a level with 
the white, soon acquire a decided elevation above them. 




> ^ 



o a 



o 

o 

d 
o 



U A 






DISAPPEARANCE OF WHITE STREAMS 251 

which, lower down on the glacier, may become as great 
as 300 feet or over. Further, as the glacier-bed narrows, 
the moraine-streams under the influence of lateral 
pressure thus occasioned converge upon one another, 
occupying the space left vacant by the wasting white 
streams, till they come together and swallow up the 
attenuated remnants of the latter. 

Where the last white streams finally disappear the 
orderly arrangement, which up to this point usually 
characterizes the moraine-streams, niay cease, and the 
latter, crowded directly against one another, may mingle 
together, becoming converted into a confused mass of 
elevations and depressions, with which condition of its 
surface the glacier-tongue moves on to its extinction. 
The final disappearance of white streams occurs on 
different glaciers at different distances from the ex- 
tremity of the tongue. According to my observation, 
the last white stream of the Chogo Lungma was blotted 
out at 9 miles, of the Hispar at 15 miles, of the Kaberi 
(first descended by our expedition in 1912) at 11-25 miles, 
of the Biafo at about 3 miles, whilst on the Siachen 
the central white stream persisted to within 1-5 miles 
of the end of the tongue. 

A peculiar feature of the effect of lateral pressure on 
moraine-streams is, that it often presses them up into a 
series of rounded or angular elevations or hillocks covered 
with debris. These have a size varying according to the 
pressure and amount of ablation of exposed ice from a 
few to over 400 feet in height, and once produced they 
persist for a long time. This subject was mentioned in 
a paper by myself printed in the Geographical Journal, 
February 10, 1910; vide pp. 117, 121.^ To moraines 
exhibiting this formation I have given the name hillock 
' Vide also op. cit. on p. 249, note. 



252 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

inoraines. All the above characteristics and others 
besides are exemplified in the moraine-streams of the 
Siachen, which are remarkable for their size, perfection 
of structure, and arrangement, and constitute by no 
means its least interesting feature. Its trunk is banded 
by numerous streams of this kind, eight to ten at any 
point below Tarim Shehr, most of which originate in 
affluents, though some crop out near its centre, and one 
of the largest springs from the north-east wall. Among 
these the three largest deserve special mention. 

1. The black hillock-moraine. — This, the most promi- 
nent moraine of the glacier, is an enormous hillock- 
moraine covered with black slate-debris, coming from 
the Tarim Shehr affluent. Gathering into its embrace 
detritus shed off, principally, from the northern black 
slate-barrier, though with some additions frcm the 
centre, and transformed well up the glacier into a hillock - 
moraine, it finally descends along the northern edge of 
the Tarim Shehr as a marginal moraine, turns with this 
affluent into the bed of the Siachen trunk, and, crowded 
by the enormous pressure well over towards the centre 
of the latter, with the Tarim Shehr white streams 
between it and the north-east Siachen wall, passes down 
the Siachen as its largest median moraine almost to its 
end. Its total length is over thirty-two miles. 

At its line of first contact with the Siachen, its bulk 
is increased by the addition of a large, black slate- 
moraine and a smaller one issuing from gorges at the 
base of Teram Kangri. Below its junction with the 
Siaphen, its width approaches 1,500 feet, and its hillocks, 
three and four abreast, reach huge proportions, rising 
over 300 feet above depressions at their bases. I saw 
a number the height of which appeared to be nearly, if 
not quite, 450 feet. Seen from the ice outside it, this 





5 « 



bo 



bo 






.3 > 



'V!»'^^ 



t if 



f 



A 



J 



4c' 



fl o 

o 
<a o 

S 2 8 



^ -a -- 

Cj t/3 > 

O o — ' 

o 



o 



GREAT LIMESTONE-MORAINE 253 

moraine resembles a range of large black hills stretching 
down the centre of the glacier. Many of its depressions 
are occupied by lakes. It is the largest moraine I have 
met with in the Karakoram, and it does not appear 
likely that its equal can be found anywhere else on a 
yalley glacier. 

2. The great limestone moraine. — Beneath some orange- 
coloured peaks of the north-east wall, shortly below the 
extremity of the King George V ridge, where the n^v^ 
of the north Siachen reservoir disappears in late summer, 
a mass of small rock-fragments presented itself to view, 
covering the ice for some distance from the mountain- 
wall. Part of this is, doubtless, brought down by the 
ice from the glacier higher up, and part is derived from 
the wall directly above. This, as it moves down with 
the ice, soon takes the form of an elevated moraine, 
which, under the pressure of the West Source glacier, or 
first western affluent entering opposite, is converted next 
the wall into a hillock-moraine and on its glacier-side 
into a raised moraine-shelf. 

Receiving constant accessions of debris from small 
tributaries from the north-east wall, it gradually spreads 
out from the edge until it attains a width of, approxi- 
mately, a quarter of a mile. This moraine is composed 
of small fragments of limestone, marbles, and breccias 
of various colours, some calcite, different-coloured shales, 
and conglomerates. Granite, if present, is very scantily 
represented. I find in my notes no mention of any 
having been noticed in the twenty-seven miles we followed 
its course. * Comparatively few debris-masses were seen on 
it worthy of the name of boulders. The general colour 
of the moraine is grey. 

Many limestone-fragments contain markings in white 
resembling ribs with articulating heads, and vertical 



254 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

sections of heart-shape representing two ribs joined by 
a vertebra enclosing a dark centre, as of some animal 
like a serpent or reptile. They probably represent the 
remains of some bivalve mollusc. They have diameters 
averaging 6 inches. They are intimately associated 
with the limestone and cannot be separated from it as 
fossils, and were only seen in transverse section. No 
actual fossils were found. 

This moraine descends along the eastern edge of the 
trunk some eight miles to the entrance of the Tarim Shehr 
affluent, by the pressure of which it is then deflected 
westward nearly to the centre of the trunk-bed and 
henceforth becomes a median moraine. As it turns 
west, its volume is increased by the accession of a 
moraine of considerable size, elevated 20 feet or more 
at its centre, issuing from a nala lying behind a projecting 
shale-ridge of the north-east wall shortly above the base 
of Teram Kangri. This moraine consists wholly of a 
soft, grey limestone of a texture not sufficiently firm to 
merit the name of marble, mottled with black masses 
suggestive of fossil-remains, though distinct forms are 
not evident. Its central ridge is crowned by a succession 
of immense boulders of the same limestone. 

At the Tarim Shehr-Siachen junction, the main 
moraine meets the gigantic, black hillock-moraine of the 
former, the two crushing out of sight a good-sized white 
stream caught between them, and descends side by side 
with it without intermingling to within a short distance of 
the glacier-end. Below the junction its hillocks increase 
in size till they rival those of the black moraine. 

3. The granite moraine. — The third large moraine 
first appears high up on the south side of the Peak .36 
affluent, in front of the granite-massif of that name, at 
the junction with it of a secondary affluent, as a line 




1) 
-t-> 


be 




k' 






'd 


O 


0) 




U 


CI 


to 


W) 

1 




\ 


CO 

u 


be 

'a 


PI 

3 




in 


rC! 










2 


'o 


T3 




'u 


a 




a 

o 




H 


■^ 


OJ 


^ 




j; 


H 


Pi 


o 




6 




<4-t 


o &• 

a^ 


^ 
^ 
d 


si 


o 


ci 




ffi 


o 




d 


tl 




3 
^ 


u 

en 

0) 


■-d 

1 


.2 (U 


2 




c5 


-§ 








O 
+-> 






>. 

^ 










T3 


a 


T) 


O 


> 


(U 


d 


o 


O 


in 




rt 


:^ 


tJ 


> 


H 


ci, 


•^ 




o 


a 


3 


o 


o 


o 


i:; 


a 

4-' 


o 

V-i 

o 

cS 
C 
'a 


O 


4h 

bo 

a 

o 


b£ 


<v 


u 


MH 


o 




.3 


o 

a 


o 






u 




t^ 






O 


13 


-l-i 


nS 




S 




O 






'Sc 


1 <^ 


a 






■^ 


o 


<L 




u 




-4-* 


->-> 




bl 


-t-> 


1/5 




- 


bD 




S.^ 






03 


^ 


a 


ji 




-1 


(D 


0,D 





GRANITE-MORAINE 255 

of discrete, oblong hillocks 12 to 25 feet high, their 
bases separated by ice-surfaces. As these move down- 
ward towards the Siachen trunk, they are pressed up 
higher by the increased pressure of other affluents, till 
their bases unite and they form a continuous hillock- 
moraine, which descends as a median moraine to the 
Siachen, where it is amalgamated by pressure with a 
marginal moraine, which has descended alongside it. 

Still further reinforced by contributions from the 
south-west wall, it acquires a width of nearly 1,500 feet, 
and for the next three miles occupies the edge of the 
Siachen trunk. On meeting the Lolophond affluent 
descending from the Bilaphond La, its size is further 
augmented by junction with it of the north marginal 
moraine of that glacier, by which it is pushed strongly 
over eastward into the Siachen bed. From this point 
it passes far down the Siachen as a median moraine. 

This moraine is composed largely of granite and 
crystalline debris mixed with shale. On its eastern 
edge great blocks of striped and variegated limestone 
were scattered about, the source of which was not 
evident. This was also the case with a smaller shaly 
moraine striking over from the centre of the glacier 
and joining it. 

In the upper reservoirs and higher portions of the 
trunk and affluents covered by neve no signs of moraines 
are visible. One may walk over these for miles where 
the virgin-white expanse is unmarred by the presence of a 
single boulder or rock-fragment. This fact does not 
preclude the possibility of the existence of large quantities 
of rock-debris in the deeper portions of the ice, or the 
probability that the marginal portions are packed with 
detritus that comes to light in the moraines lower 
down. 



256 THE ICE- WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

As the Siachen fills its bed so completely and its 
enclosing walls rise from it so abruptly, there is little 
room for lateral moraines to be deposited, and they 
are only found here and there for short distances. 
Just above the Lolophond affluent, on the west edge of 
the glacier-bed, in front of Camp 5, a huge one exists,, 
but only for a few hundred yards. 

The larger Siachen affluents join the trunk at 
accordant grade at angles of 90° or over with its axis 
in the usual manner ; but the junction of the great 
eastern affluent, the Tarim Shehr, involves phenomena 
especially noteworthy. Here probably the largest existing 
valley-tributary outside the Polar regions unites with 
the largest known valley-glacier. The Siachen just 
above the junction has a width of 2*75 miles and com- 
pletely fills its bed. The Tarim Shehr, with a width of 
2 miles and a length of over 17 miles, and falling 
nearly 3,300 feet from an altitude of 19,300 feet, 
impinges on the Siachen at an angle of 40° with its 
course with a force so great that the Siachen trunk is 
compressed and driven over towards the opposite side 
to an extent that permits the Tarim Shehr to turn 
around the pointed extremity of the granite and shale 
Tarim Shehr promontory through an arc of 140° and 
take its place as a constituent part of the trunk. 

The width of the glacier-bed just below the junction 
is again 2'75 miles. The amount of pressure exerted by 
the oncoming Tarim Shehr on the Siachen may be 
gauged by the fact that two immense ice-bodies of 
unknown depth, together 4*75 miles wide, are crowded 
into a space only 2*75 miles wide. The plasticity of ice 
could not be better illustrated than by this result. The 
severity of the struggle incident to its accomplishment 
may be seen not only in the displacement of the vast 



Twin Peaks 35-36, 
25,280-25,400. 



Xawiz Peak, 
21,000. 




View north-west from Bilaphond La. Ice at left descends to Bilaphond glacier, at right to Lolophond. 



TARIM SHEHR ARC 257 

Siachen ice-mass and its compression to less than three- 
fifths its former width, but also by the disturbance of 
structure in the affluent, the surface of which, as it 
turns around the pivotal promontory, is broken into a 
long line of gigantic seracs, and elsewhere rent asunder 
and twisted into a tortuous labyrinth of huge ridges 
and elevations surrounded by profound depressions, 
some of them occupied by large lakes. One wishing to 
acquire a knowledge of the difficulties and dangers of 
glacier-exploration could nowhere find a better oppor- 
tunity than here in crossing the black hillock-moraine 
and pushing a couple of miles up the Tarim Shehr. 

The periphery of the arc described by the Tarim 
Shehr in its change of direction is formed by its great, 
black hillock-moraine, that, as seen from Junction 
mountain above, sweeps around in a magnificent, sym- 
metrical curve interposing a broad, black, billowy belt 
between the white streams on either side, from which 
it stands out in striking contrast. The view it presents 
fascinates the eye and excites the imagination, marking, 
as it does, the extent of the battle-ground covered in the 
struggle for supremacy between these two monster 
glaciers. 

An anomalous and most interesting formation, such 
as in a wide experience in glacier-exploration I have 
nowhere else seen, occurs at Tarim Shehr promontory. 
About four miles above its extremity a sharp shale- 
shoulder projects like a ploughshare into the Tarim Shehr 
glacier. This shoulder intercepts the moraine-covered 
glacier-edge and part of an adjacent white stream, and 
turns them aside over the base of the promontory as 
an offshoot or true branch about a third of a mile wide, 
which descends towards the Siachen across the foot of 
Junction Mountain. 

17 



258 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

As a rule, from the conditions of its existence, a 
glacier-trunk occupies the lowest line of drainage or 
flow in a valley, and ice gravitates toward and not away 
from it. In this case, the tremendous pressure of the 
great affluent forces the two ice-streams intercepted by 
the shoulder to overleap their natural, lateral barrier and 
separate themselves from the main body. So great is 
the force exerted that the whole mass of the white 
stream, which impinges directly on the shoulder, is split 
up into seracs, which, pointed off by melting, descend 
the declivity of the promontory as a cascade of glistening, 
white pinnacles (serac-penitente), forming one lateral 
half of the detached offshoot or branch. The other 
lateral half consists of the marginal moraine-stream 
having a smooth, dark, debris-covered surface. 

This branch at some former period crossed the entire 
base of the promontory and joined the Siachen, thus 
making a nunatak of the promontory ; but it has 
receded 1,500 to 2,000 feet up the slope, leaving a large 
amphitheatre streaked by old moraines, dotted with 
weathered and lichen-covered boulders, and clad with 
grasses, burtsa, and flowering plants, a resort of ibex 
of gigantic size and other animals. This is the only 
vegetation-clad oasis in a wilderness of ice and rock 
extending for many miles in every direction, and, as 
affording a refuge to the wanderer from the rigours 
of the savage expanse around, it merits the name of 
Tarim Shehr (Oasis City) bestowed on it by the natives. 

At various places along the course of the trunk and 
affluents where rock-promontories project into the 
glacier-bed, the glacier-edge opposite these consists of a 
smooth, vertical, or steeply slanting wall curving around 
to correspond to the shape of the promontory-end, and 
removed from it by an interval of 60 to 150 feet. The 




1/ 



Oh 



bo 

;a 



ROCK-PROMONTORIES AND LAKES 259 

interval is occupied by a lake. This formation only 
occurs in connection with such promontories. It is caused, 
apparently, by the melting away of the glacier-edge by 
the heat radiated from the rock-surfaces, and the ice 
melts back until a high, smooth or fluted wall is formed, 
and downward until a deep basin is excavated, which 
receives and retains the resulting water. 

Such formations were found near the heads of 
Peak 36 affluent and of the main trunk, at altitudes 
as high as 17,602 feet and 18,372 feet respectively. We 
were able to utilize three promontories giving rise to 
these for camps, in each case only after the coolies had 
worked two to three hours under our direction in building, 
with rock-fragments, retaining walls and terraces to 
support the tents. Although these promontories afforded 
but little elbow-room outside the tents, they served as 
most welcome situations for camps in regions otherwise 
deeply covered with ice and snow. Access to them was 
not easy. They could not be reached from the front 
on account of the steep, treacherous ice-walls and lakes. 
The only approach was by dangerous ice-slants some 
distance above their ends sloping sharply down to the 
lakes, where a misstep would precipitate one into an 
icy bath that would speedily prove fatal, unless one could 
be immediately rescued, which might not always be 
possible. In one such instance, prompt assistance un- 
doubtedly saved a coolie's life. It was not safe to 
approach the edges of the ice-walls at any point, as 
during the day they became soft, and being often 
undermined, they broke away and slid into the lake below. 

The following table shows the lengths of the five 
great Karakoram glacier-systems, the altitudes of the 
col, initial bergschrund, or highest glacier-surface, that 
may be considered to form their heads, altitudes of 



260 THE ICE- WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 



extremities of tongues, and their total and average 
faU in metres and feet, omitting fractions : — 



ti 












>^ 












^ 


o 


t£> 


b- 


cr> 


CO 


<M 


y—t 


(M 


(M 


CO 


o 


O 


O 


O 


O 


O 


■< 


-1^ 


-t^ 


-*j 


-*j 


-VJ 


» 












H 


^H 


fH 


^H 


1—i 


1-H 


> 












< 














.<M 


o 


o 


o 


«5 


►a 


^"^ 


o 


o 


o 


CO 


^«QO 


«o 


o 


lO 


VO 


-< 

PC4 


'^oT 


cT 


t>^ 


«r 


wo" 


>5 


II 










o 


£«5 


00 


•^ 


(M 


Oi 


?io:i 


(M 


CO 


oo 


1—1 


H 


«^ 


Ci 


1—1 


en 


!>. 




^(Tl 












(M 


<M 


i-T 


y-i 




O 


O 


o 


o 


o 




^•O 


O 


o 


o 


o 




S "-I 


to 


wo 


o 


o 




►■^ »^ 










B 


CmM 


Oi 


o 


i-T 


I-T 





T— i 




1—1 


tH 


1— I 


o 












»5 


tl 










^ 


S"^ 


to 


1— 1 


CO 


CO 




£o 


<M 


o 


vo 


wo 




■gt^ 


a>^ 


Ol 


CO 


CO 




^CO 












w 


CO 


CO 


CO 




(M 


O 


^ 


o 


!» 




«-CTS 


o 


^) 


o 


CO 




?^ ^ 


CQ 


»o 


»o 


tD 




*^ •^ 












fc,o 


a^ 


b-" 


t>r 


«r 




<M 


y-i 


T-l 


1—1 


1— t 


H 


11 










K 


SO 


-^ 


lO 


lO 


(M 




So 


»o 


CO 


CO 


t^ 




V ^^ 


00, 


CO 


CO 


o^ 




^o 












o" 


»o 


wo 


id 




3 






«3 




n 


So 


o 


r^ 


«b 


to 




CO 


CO 


CO 


CO 




[| 






wo 


«p 


^ 


g?^ 


00 


CT> 


oo 


b- 




>* 


WO 


wo 


WO 






S3 




. 








a 




• 








be 










; 


s 

























o 

o 
-a 


O 




o 
o 

Is 




in 


Q 


s 


w 


pq 



<s 


a 






o 




•TrJ 






c 


V 






c6 




V 


^ 




S 


a, 




^ 




fl 


01 


m 




^ 


13 


d 


ert 


U 


^o 








» 




1 


,A 




a 


S 


c 




C 


> 


bo 

a 








DC 


o 


(U 






m 




■*s 


c3 




t-H 


■ti' 






eft 







a> 




01 


& 


Tl 


• ^^ 




n 


S 


tf 


■«j 




fl 




WJ 




-p 


1* 








(4 




TS 




56 


^ 


t 


73 


g 


^ 


■i:3 




en 




^ 


^ 


^ 


>-, 


a 




cS 




o 

to 


a s 


.2 




s 


a 


o 


(11 


(U 




a> 


^ 




A 


§ 


^ 


5 








CO 


^ 


v 


(U 




a 


43 


s 




S 


^ 




O 


00 


CO 

M 


Xi 


QQ 


rt 




^ 


a> 


a 
,2 


01 


o 




^ 




H 


fp 


- 


^ 


tC 




1 , 


o 




o 


A 




u 


<a 




M 

( Ptf-H L 
Ascending a seracked ice-ndge covered with ice-pinnacles iri\A/^fe .- ?-■ 
centre of Rose glacier. 

To face page 260. 




Q. 0) 






■4-i c3 

P a. 



^ o 






(1) 



0) 









GRADIENTS, CREVASSES, ICE-FALLS 261 

From this it will be seen that the Siachen trunk lies at 
a considerably higher level than the trunks of the other 
four systems, and that the average gradient of the Chogo 
Lungma is the sharpest. The gradients of all the trunks 
vary greatly in different portions, being steepest in the 
first few miles from their origin, comparatively slight for 
the greater portion of their course, and on some stretches 
of several miles practically level. It is scarcely necessary 
to add that all the trunks are fed from reservoirs lying 
at considerably greater altitudes than those assigned to 
their heads. 

The gradient of the Siachen trunk and of most of its 
largest affluents below their sources is gentle and remark- 
ably even. Their surfaces are not disturbed by ice-falls, 
certainly not by such as split up the Chogo Lungma in its 
upper third, extending across its whole width. The few 
ice-falls that exist are of small extent. On the contrary, 
crevasses in the upper parts are frequent and dangerous, 
being concealed by snow until late in the summer. The 
upper Tarim Shehr plateau for some five to six miles 
is seamed in every direction with great crevasses and 
openings, which were found so dangerous that we did 
not feel justified in attempting to penetrate it with 
coolies. 

The amount of ablation of the white ice through 
melting during a summer is great. This is made evident 
by the large quantity of water bathing the surface. In 
the upper portions, where its free movement is hindered 
by the presence of neve, it lies in great sheets, as we also 
found it on the Biafo and Kanibasar glaciers. Its surface 
freezes at night into a slushy, sodden ice that furnishes 
a treacherous bridging to those compelled to cross such 
water-areas. They were mostly negotiated by crawling 
on hands and knees, but this apology for ice often proving 



262 THE ICE- WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

too weak to support the weight of a man, even in this 
position, we were obliged to make detours to get around 
them. 

Lower down, where water can flow unhindered, it 
courses over the surface in rivulets hurrying to escape 
by the lowest passages. Owing to the crowning of the 
white streams, the rivulets run off transversely from their 
centres towards the sides, ever increasing in size by coal- 
escence with others, till they reach the lowest line of the 
longitudinal, angular depressions formed by the opposed 
edges of contiguous ice-streams. The water accumulated 
here from the combined rivulets forms powerful torrents 
which, cutting channels 6 to 30 feet wide and often over 
30 feet deep along the lowest levels of the furrows 
between the ice-streams, rush seething downward to 
perform their mission in the scheme of glacier-evolution. 

Torrents of this kind are a feature of the Siachen, 
and are met with in nearly all the longitudinal furrows 
mentioned. Some eight to twelve have to be passed in 
crossing the central portions of the trunk, which, as 
they are often impassable except where covered with 
n^v^-bridges or at points where the channel-walls 
approach sufficiently near each other to permit of leap- 
ing over them, offer a serious obstacle to the exploration 
of the glacier. One coolie lost his life and several others 
were injured by falling into them in 1912. 

S^racs are a common feature of the steeper parts of 
most large glaciers, being usually associated with ice-falls. 
They are, in most cases, due to the splitting asunder of the 
ice under tension caused by the bending of a glacier over 
sharp increases of gradient in its bed. The resulting pro- 
jecting ice-masses, whitened by exposure to heat,, give the 
surface the appearance of ice-cascades. 

Only a few unimportant s^rac-areas due to this cause 




Passage between two gigantic seracs on Rose glacier, formed by -^c!2j^ 
the bursting asunder of the glacier-surface under pressure. 

To face page 262. 




Pressure seracs in centre of Rose glacier opposite Tarim Shehr, 

showing vertical ice-strata orienting in direction of movement 

of the ice- stream. 

To face page 262. 



SERACS AND ICE-PINNACLES 263 

exist on the Siachen and its larger affluents. There are, 
however, extensive s^rac-areas on the Tarim Shehr and 
on the Siachen trunk above and below their confluence, 
that are formed under entirely different and exceptional 
circumstances, where the glacier-bed is smooth and the 
gradient gentle. The cause of these is the enormous 
pressure developed around the junction, which forces 
the white ice-streams strongly upward and fractures 
their surfaces into large fragments or serac-masses 40 to 
100 feet high, separated by intervals of greater or less 
width. These intervals, which take the form of crevasses 
and gullies, are superficial, extending only to the bases of 
the seracs, the deeper portions of the glacier remaining 
in solid contact, thus differing from intervals between 
tension-seracs, which, usually, penetrate the glacier-sub- 
stance below what may be termed the serac-bodies. 
Large numbers of these seracs are sharpened by melting 
into pointed pinnacles, constituting what I have classified 
as s^rac-penitente, of which they form beautiful examples. 
Another variety of pinnacle analogous to the last, 
which, from the fact that its final shape is chiefly deter- 
mined by melting, may be regarded as a gigantic form of 
ice-penitente, is seen at places, usually at the central and 
lower parts of glaciers as well as also in the upper portions 
of low-lying glaciers, where moraine-streams greatly over- 
balance the white, and where the latter, having become 
much attenuated, are about to disappear. At these places 
pinnacles 20 to 60 feet or more high of white ice, having 
the form of pyramids, wedges, or crested combs, with 
steep sides, and standing almost touching one another or 
some distance apart, project upward in lines from smooth, 
moraine- covered surfaces free from crevasses, their glis- 
tening, white forms contrasting strongly with the dark 
moraine-surfaces around them. 



264 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

They appear to be developed as follows. The lateral 
pressure, which farther up the glacier, where the white 
streams have greater volume, only causes them to crowd 
up in the centre, here, where they have become reduced 
by pressure and ablation to slender filaments, crowds 
them up between the converging moraine-streams as 
high, narrow, white ridges with more or less broken 
summits and vertical or steeply slanting sides. Melting 
then causes the softer and thinner portions to disappear, 
leaving the more massive and resisting ones standing 
detached from one another as the ice-pinnacles in ques- 
tion. Sometimes these pinnacles are at such distances 
apart that relationship between them is not obvious at 
first sight. In other words, resisting centres being 
present in the elevated ice-ridges, the formation of 
pinnacles or gigantic ice-penitente from these occurs on 
exactly the same lines as that of penitente-pinnacles of 
any other variety. The presence at various points on 
the surface of the ridges of thin debris-deposits, which 
rapidly melt their way downward through the ice, 
accounts for a great deal of the segmentation that 
divides the ridges into detached pinnacles. This debris 
is usually seen covering the ice between the bases of 
the latter. This variety, while resembling serac-peni- 
tente in some particulars, differs from it in that its 
pinnacles are not separated by crevasses, but are sur- 
rounded by smooth moraine-covered surfaces. They are 
also more regular in shape, and rise less abruptly. 

Such pinnacles were met with on the lower portion of 
the Siachen near the central line and at several places on 
the Kaberi glacier, at the points of disappearance of 
expiring white streams, also in great size and perfection 
on the low-lying Gusherbrum glacier at about 15,000 feet. 
Here they ran in two parallel lines, one on each edge of a 



THIN Dl^BRIS OR POCKET-PENITENTE 265 

central moraine-stream. The ice-pinnacles mentioned by 
the various explorers of the Baltoro, the origin of which 
none of them has adequately accounted for, though Dr. 
de Filippi's suggestions accord with what I regard as the 
correct explanation above given, and seen in Sella's photo- 
graph opposite p. 21 of Geographical Journal, January 
1911, and also in panorama N, on pp. 208-9-10, and 
opposite p. 288 of Karakoram and Western Himalaya, 
correspond to this variety, which appears to be strikingly 
represented on the Baltoro. 

Large areas of the glacier- surfaces were covered with 
the smaller varieties of nieve-penitente above the neve- 
line and with ice-penitente below it, the pinnacles suc- 
ceeding one another as closely as wavelets upon water 
ruffled by wind, and making, even, level surfaces difficult 
to move over. The most numerous, and, in many re- 
spects, interesting, were those of the thin debris or 
pocket-variety, Var. iv. of my classification. These 
pinnacles of all kinds, by breaking up the surface and 
greatly increasing the amount of it exposed to heat, 
contribute materially to the ablation of the glacier. Many 
new features were observed regarding penitente-forma- 
tions, or surface-projections due to melting, which have 
been considered in detail elsewhere. ^ 

The entrance of the Tarim Shehr affluent divides the 
Siachen trunk into two parts, an upper and a lower, 
which differ from each other in their features as essen- 
tially as might be the case with two separate glaciers. 
The surface of the upper portion, aside from its hillock- 
moraines, is smooth, and, except for pocket-penitente, 
watercourses at the lines of junction of its streams, and 
crevasses in the higher parts, is easy of ascent. 

• Vide Zeitschrift fiir Gletscherkiinde, Band VIII, 1914, pp. 289- 
330: " Nieve Penitente and Allied Formations in Himalaya." 



266 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

With the lower portion the case is different. The 
compression of two great ice-bodies of a combined width 
of 4-7 miles into a channel 27 miles wide must effect 
changes in the arrangement of their constituent parts. 
The evidences of pressure now become more pronounced. 
All ice-streams, but especially the white, are narrowed 
and crowded higher. The regular symmetrical crowning 
of the upper, white streams disappears, and the ice is 
forced up into great ridges with high, abrupt, and, in 
many cases, vertical sides enclosing deep ravines, through 
which torrents rush seething downward with hollow 
roar. The great, white body of the Tarim Shehr is 
elevated considerably above the level of the rest of the 
trunk and its surface converted into a labyrinth of huge 
s^racs towering to a height of 50 to 150 feet, separated 
by intricate, winding gorges. 

The hillocks of the hillock-moraines, previously of 
modest dimensions, assume gigantic proportions, and 
lift their heads more than 300 feet above their bases. 
The depressions between them become more profound, 
thus adding to their height. The lakes occupying the 
depressions increase also in size. Notwithstanding these 
changes, the individuality of the larger ice-streams is 
not greatly disturbed until the general breaking up into 
chaos occurs, about a mile and a half from the end of 
the tongue. 

In view of the great moraine-hillocks with dangerous 
precipices, enormous seracs spiked with ice-pinnacles, 
ravines, glacier-torrents, high ice-ridges honeycombed 
with water-pockets and bristling with pocket-penitente, 
locomotion on this part of the trunk is neither easy 
nor safe, especially in crossing the glacier. Its explora- 
tion demands an outfit adapted to its conditions, an 
intimate knowledge of icecraft, and fertility of resource. 



CHAPTER IV 

Fbaturbs at kaberi head — Moraines — Character of mountains and 

AFFLUENTS — SuRFACE-ICB-PINNACLES — BeMARKS ON EARTHQUAKE. 

The physiographical aspects of the Kaberi glacier may, 
perhaps, be best mentioned in the order in which they 
unfolded themselves to our view from the sources down- 
ward. When we first discovered its head on the last 
day of July from the Silver Throne Col, 19,614 feet 
altitude, it was evident that this lay at not far from 
16,000 feet altitude. This could be judged, not only by 
estimating its distance below our standpoint, but from 
the facts that the n^ve had all disappeared from the 
surface of the ice and that the latter was considerably 
covered with surface-moraines from its upper limits. 
The vast expanse of virgin-snow unspotted by any 
visible rock-debris encountered at the Siachen sources, 
4,000 or 5,000 feet higher, was wanting here below the 
initial reservoirs on the mountain-sides. A hypsometric 
reading taken later at the point near the highest portion 
of the Kaberi trunk where we first reached it after 
descending from the Sia La substantiated this judgment, 
giving 16,079 feet. 

Such scanty rock-surfaces as projected at various 
places from the ice-covering of both the Silver Throne 
peaks walling in the Kaberi head on the east showed 
these mountains to be composed of intensely black slate, 

367 



268 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

as was also the case with the line of jagged peaks pro- 
jecting west from the lower Silver Throne and forming 
the south wall of the Sia La. This wall gives off a 
large, black slate-moraine broken into hillocks almost 
from its origin, which passes down the eastern side of 
the Kaberi as one of its two largest median moraines 
for eight or more miles, increasing in height and volume 
until it towers 150 to 200 feet above the last white 
ice-stream. 

Another large, light-coloured moraine, occupying the 
centre of the glacier, comes from the Golden Throne, 
which forms the north-west boundary of the head. 
This moraine, besides shales, contains limestones of 
various colours, brescias, and a fine-grained, white 
marble in slabs with smooth, parallel sides, thus indi- 
cating that limestone of several kinds exists on the 
south as well as on the west side of the Golden Throne 
massif, in the moraines given off by which to the 
Baltoro they were found by the expedition of the Duke 
of the Abruzzi. This massif, evidently, contains a good 
deal of limestone, but in what proportion must remain 
a question for future investigation. Its southern face 
shows also dark slate. 

Below the glacier-head several affluents enter on the 
west side, bringing in much moraine-material. This we 
did not inspect closely, but it appeared to include granite, 
slate, and shale. The pressure of these affluents com- 
presses the ice-streams of the trunk and crowds them 
over towards the east side. This, with ablation from 
melting, causes the white streams to diminish rapidly in 
size and the moraine-streams to converge toward one 
another, occupying the space left vacant by the wasting 
white streams. 

A short march down the glacier the large black and 



FEATURES OF KABERl GLACIER 269 

grey moraine-streams above mentioned come together, 
crowding out of existence a white stream that somewhat 
below the glacier-head has a width of about half a mile. 
Six or seven miles down the glacier clear, white ice 
wholly disappears, and the entire surface is covered with 
moraine. As the glacier is descended, slate and shale 
are found to give way to granite-barriers, very steep, 
especially on the east side. From these short but sharply 
descending affluents, the ice almost hidden in rock-debris, 
crowd their way into the glacier-trunk, breaking up the 
hitherto regular moraine-ridges and forcing them up, 
together with the whole surface, into a confused mass 
of vast hillocks extending from wall to wall, those next 
the walls sloping so sharply that it is hazardous to 
attempt to descend them, the danger being increased 
by the constant slides of rocks from their crests. 

These affluents also pour out upon the glacier 
immense quantities of gigantic, angular granite-frag- 
ments, which cover the hillocks, heaping themselves 
upon one another in the utmost disorder. Advancing 
over a surface of this kind is not only a slow and tedious 
but a dangerous process. One is constantly ascending and 
descending high, obstructed slants, jumping from boulder 
to boulder, turning from one side to the other, and often 
retracing one's steps to get around chasms and ice-walls 
too steep to traverse, so that an advance of four or five 
miles in direct line constitutes a good day's march. The 
lower fifteen miles of this glacier, with its bristling, 
chaotic surface shut in on both sides by steep, tower- 
ing, jagged, verdureless mountains, forms a scene of 
grimmest desolation, and it was certainly the most 
difficult and arduous stretch of the kind to traverse that 
we have ever passed over. 

At and just below the points where the white ice- 



270 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

streams finally disappear, many ice-pinnacles of the kind 
described on pp. 263-4 were seen, occurring both singly 
and in lines, pyramids, wedges, and cones rising white 
and glistening from the moraine-covered surface. They 
diminished in size through melting, as their distance from 
the points of extinction of the white streams increased, 
till at last they disappeared. 

Some features of interest connected with the earth- 
quake of August 25, 1912, in addition to those mentioned 
on pp. 215-16, were noted. It was much more severe and 
its effects more marked in the mountains than on the 
glacier. Had the latter been shaken to the same degree 
as were the mountains, it is doubtful whether we should 
have lived to tell the tale. We were camped at the 
central line of the glacier, here fully a mile wide. The 
different tents were spread over a considerable area, and 
the vibrations appeared to be felt more severely in some 
than in others. In my own tent they were so slight that 
I should scarcely have considered them as anything more 
than ordinary movements of the glacier, had not my 
attention been called to their real cause by the rattle 
of debris and resounding thunder of avalanches on all 
sides. 

When I stepped out of my tent and looked down the 
nala, the air, as far as the eye could reach, was filled 
with clouds of dust, even where the nala was enclosed by 
bare granite- walls, which, with the avalanches, indicated 
that the mountains had been severely handled. The dust 
was perceptible in the air throughout the day, and, 
indeed, did not wholly subside for two days. The only 
reason that occurs to me for the difference in severity 
of the earthquake in the mountains and on the glacier 
might lie in the absorption or neutralization of the 
oscillations by the elasticity of the ice. 



DISRUPTIVE EFFECTS OF EARTHQUAKE 271 

When we reached what we called the smoking^ 
mountain in the afternoon of that day, a large talu3 
of rock and sand was observed at the base of its valley- 
face, which, if not wholly formed, was at least greatly 
increased in bulk by the constant stream of rocks and 
debris falling upon it. All along the return-route as far 
as Kapalu, six marches, the effects of the earthquake 
were visible. The mountains had everywhere been 
severely shaken. Massive ledges had been split up into 
fragments, which, with many boulders, had been dislodged 
and precipitated into the valleys below, tearing away or 
covering up paths, invading and overwhelming cultivated 
land. In many places we had to clamber over portions 
of the wide ruin thus occasioned. 

Such an opportunity to witness the splintering — one 
might, perhaps, say the explosive — effect of earthquake 
brings home to one, as no exercise of the imagination 
can do, the power of this force to disorganize geological 
structure and to transform the face of Nature in mountain- 
regions. One can better appreciate how, affecting high, 
ice-covered summits, it can set in motion vast quantities 
of snow and ice, which, falling in avalanches, reinforce 
and add to the volume of glaciers beneath, while lower 
down it may in a few moments disrupt the structure of 
mountains and change their outlines to an extent that 
centuries of ordinary weathering might not suffice to 
accomplish. 

What I saw in this connection suggests earthquake 
as the most likely agent in producing the shattered 
-condition of the surface of mountain-slopes from bottom 
to top sometimes seen, as in the instance of Quartzite 
peak opposite Masherbrum. Such fragment-covered 
slopes could not well be considered to be tali, where 
no heights exist above them to supply the rock-debris 



272 THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM 

of which they are composed, nor does such debris 
present the appearance of having been split out of solid 
rock-surfaces by weathering or by lightning— a rare 
phenomenon in this region. 



APPENDIX 



18 



NOTES ON THE ROCK-SPECIMENS COLLECTED BY THE 
BULLOCK WORKMAN EXPEDITION, 1911-12, ON THE 
SIACHEN GLACIER, EASTERN KARAKORAM 

By W. CAMPBELL SMITH 

The rocks brought back by the Bullock- Workman Expedition of 
19 1-12 from the Siachen glacier represent only a few of the 
more interesting types of rock seen in the course of that expedi- 
tion. The following brief notes on the specimens have been 
prepared, because it is important that all specimens brought 
back, often at great inconvenience to the explorers, from such 
little known country should be recorded. None of the rocks 
arv. fossiliferous, and the detailed descriptions are merely of 
pet'ographical interest. 

Many of the specimens from the Siachen glacier were collected 
from the " grey moraine " in the neighbourhood of the camp at 
17)J29 feet, on the left side of the glacier. Twelve specimens 
were collected on this moraine, and of these seven are fine- 
grained crystalline limestones of various colours, white, grey, 
pale yellow, and purple. Another specimen is a breccia of red 
and grey limestone fragments. These limestones are similar to 
those recorded by Ing. V. Novarese and R. D. Oldham from the 
Baltoro and Godwin-Austen glaciers. 

Associated with the limestones are : a dull red calcareous 
san Istone, a dark purple mudstone, and two pale green altered 
mudstones with calcite veins. 

The moraines of the Tarim Shehr afifluent also yielded sedi- 
mentary rocks. The " black moraine," which appears to draw 

275 



276 APPENDIX 

its material from the northern wall of the Tarim Shehr, contains 
abundant fragments of hardened black shale with curious brown 
oval patches ; associated with this are slabs of a pure white marble. 
Only one specimen was collected on the southern moraine ; this 
consisted of iron pyrites with quartz, evidently forming a vein 
about an inch thick in a black slaty rock. 

It will be observed that the striking feature about the 
moraines of the north-east wall of the Siachen is the great 
preponderance in them of sedimentary over igneous rocks ; in 
fact, igneous rocks have been recorded at only two points along 
the north-east wall of the upper Siachen. One of these points is 
the Tarim Shehr promontory ; the only rock collected here was 
not in situ, but was broken from a boulder lying near the camp 
at 16,278 feet, and may have been derived from the head of the 
Tarim Shehr glacier. It is a much weathered and very friable 
biotite-granite, or gneiss ; the percentage of biotite is low, and it 
is scattered unevenly in very small flakes through the rock ; the 
predominant felspar is microcline. 

The other igneous rock collected on the Siachen was broken 
off in situ at a point on the north-east wall about a quarter of a 
mile south-east of Spur camp at 18,400 feet. This is a pale grey 
rock containing numerous hexagonal plates of biotite about 
2-3 mm. across. Microscopic examination shows it to consist 
of abundant dark brown biotite, colourless diopside, with some 
aegirine and abundant apatite, all idiomorphic in a ground-mass 
of orthoclase. The diopside is slightly altered, but otherwise 
the rock is remarkably fresh. The rock clearly belongs to the 
minette group, but it appears to differ from any minette yet 
described in containing aegirine and an unusual abundance of 
apatite. This rock no doubt occurs as a dyke, intrusive in the 
sedimentary rocks : it shows no signs of dynamic metamorphism. 

It is interesting to note that Dr. Longstaff ^ recorded a badly 
weathered dyke rock (? minette), from the middle moraine on the 
Chumik glacier, associated with actinolite-schist. 

' T. G. Longstaff, Geog. Jour. xxxv. (1910), p. 635. 



II 

NOTES ON THE ROCK-SPECIMENS COLLECTED BY THE 
BULLOCK WORKMAN EXPEDITION, 1911-12, IN THE 
BILAPHOND AND KONDUS BASINS, AND ON 
THE KHONDOKORO AND MASHERBRUM GLACIERS 

Three specimens were collected in the Ghyari nala below the 
Bilaphond glacier : two of these are white crystalline limestone 
containing a little tremolite ; the third is a serpentine (chrysotile). 
These were the only specimens actually collected.' Dr. Longstaff 
had previously recorded granite as abundant in the moraines. 

Some interesting material was collected at the head of the 
Dong-Dong glacier. One is a coarse white crystalline limestone 
like those collected in the Ghyari nala. Another is a fairly coarse- 
grained white biotite-granite, with garnets reaching 4 mm. in 
diameter ; it is very poor in ferro-magnesian minerals, containing 
only a little biotite and a trace of muscovite. Quite the most 
interesting specimen from this locality is a fragment showing 
large plates of pale green actinolite : some of these show rough 
crystal outlines, the outer zone of the crystal being brown. They 
are associated with portions of finer grain consisting of diopside 
and tremolite, and some fragments of aplite are also adhering to 
the specimen. This rock is evidently a product of contact 
metamorphism due to a granitic intrusion. 

Several specimens were collected on the central moraine of 
the north-east branch of the Kaberi glacier. Here occurred 
white, pink, and purple limestones similar in texture to those 
of the Siachen ; while a light coloured moraine at the head of the 

Compare statements on pp. 227, 228 of this volume. — W. H. W. 

277 



278 APPENDIX 

glacier yielded abundant slabs of white marble similar to that 
collected on the Tarim Shehr.^ 

With the limestones of the central moraine occur masses of 
tetrahedrite, with malachite and azurite, and a curious mass of 
black pisolitic concretions cemented and impregnated with pyrites 
and apparently passing into a kind of pisolitic ironstone. 

The east wall of the Khondokoro glacier yielded a fine-grained 
hornblende-biotite-gneiss and also a typical felspar-amphibolite. 
From the moraines of the same glacier came a muscovite-biotite- 
granite containing small garnets and showing a tendency towards 
granulitic structure. This rock occurs as a fine-grained granite, 
but in some specimens the plates of muscovite may measure half 
an inch across. The garnets never seem to exceed 1 mm. in 
diameter. This type was also found by Sir Martin Conway in 
the Astor valley. 

The Masherbrum glacier yielded four specimens : two are 
white fine-grained dolomite, one is serpentine, the other is an 
augen of quartz, apparently from a chlorite schist. 

An interesting rock was collected at the junction of the 
Khondokoro and Masherbrum nalas.^ It is a fine-grained granite- 
gneiss consisting of quartz, stained yellowish brown, oligoclase 
and some microcline, with fairly abundant patches of biotite. 
Sphene and epidote occur as accessories. The oligoclase fre- 
quently shows patches of inclusions of biotite and sphene, and 
also a secondary development of muscovite and epidote. There 
is some micrographic intergrowth with quartz at the borders of 
the felspar crystals, and in places a marked tendency towards 
granulitic structure. 
February 12, 1914. 

' Vide p. 268. ^ Vide p. 89. 



Ill 

NOTE ON CONSTRUCTION OF SIACHEN MAP 

By C. grant PETERKIN 

The map is an extension from, and is based on the fixed points 
of, the G.T.S. of India. 

During the survey five of these fixed points were observed 
to, namely : — 

Peaks Peak 36 Peak 35 Peak 33 Peak 23 

52e ' 52a ' 52a ' 52a ' 52a ' 

The area covered by this survey, about 600 square miles, is 
found on the G.T.S. atlas sheets 44a S.W. and S.E. 

The topography there shown had been altered by the explora- 
tions of Dr. T. G. LongstafE's expedition (Geographical Journal, 
vol. XXXV. p. 624). 

An outline map, on the scale of 4 miles to 1 inch, was issued 
at Dehra Dun, showing alterations made by that expedition, and 
this was embodied in the R.G.S. map published as above. These 
were the existing maps at the time of this expedition. 

The Survey of India now publish degree sheets, which are to 
supersede the old atlas sheets. The nomenclature of fixed points 
according to these sheets is shown. 

The survey party were working on the glacier about nine 
weeks, having crossed the Bilaphond La on June 24th and 
recrossed on August 27th. The season was an excellent one, 
at least 80 per cent, of the days being suitable for observation 
to high peaks. 

As is already known, the peculiarity of this glacier is its 

279 



280 APPENDIX 

inaccessibility from the region of the tongue, except for a few 
weeks in the late season. This makes little or no difference for 
survey work, as in the central area good views are generally to be 
got of the fixed points which are available for interpolation, while 
the upper Nubra valley is narrow and much enclosed by high 
mountain-walls, which would make the extension of triangles 
from any base measure there very inconvenient. 

Surveyor Surjan Singh, of No. 1 party, Survey of India, made 
a very good plane table sketch on the scale of 2 miles to 1 inch. 
All plane table accessories were lent by the Survey of India. I 
also had one of Reeve's telescopic alidades, with parallel bar 
attachment, a useful instrument in such country. I took with 
me a tacheometer of the form usually known as the Indian Survey 
subtense instrument ; but with large distances and the difficulty 
of access to points it did not prove useful, and I relied on the 
plane table for whatever detail was required. 

My initial plans were dependent on the possibility of measur- 
ing a suitable base. On getting on to the surface of the glacier, I 
decided that no base of sufficient length, even for extension, could 
be measured without spending a great deal of time, and even then 
its accuracy would be doubtful, owing to the peculiar unevenness 
of such a surface and its liability to quick change. I therefore 
crossed the glacier at once to the Tarim Shehr promontory, 
being a central position from which to make a rough recon- 
naissance. 

The triangulation was carried out with a 5-inch transit the- 
odolite, fitted with verniers reading to 30 inches, which was 
lent by the Survey of India. In countries where transport is 
a consideration, surveyors will probably find one of the light and 
compact 4-inch instruments, now so well made, to be as useful as 
the larger ones. 

The first station was made on a low spur of Junction Peak, 

from which position there was an excellent view of several high 

Peak 8 
peaks to the west, two of which were the survey points, — ^^ - 

, , . , Peaks 35 and 36 
and the twin peaks, rp • 

A base was deduced from the two known sides, - ^^ ^g- — 



APPENDIX 281 

Peak 8 Peak 35 
and >g KgT — • Colonel Renny-Tailyour's solution from 

two fixed points was used (Auxiliary Tables, 4th ed., p. 85). 
The two values obtained for the side AB were TjiOO'S and 
7,405-1 feet. 

After leaving Tarim Shehr the survey was carried northward 
up the main stream of the glacier. 

From stations P and Q observations were again taken to the 

„ , . , Peak 8 , Peak 36 _.. , , , . -, r. 

fixed pomts ^^ ^^^ — koT — • Ihe value obtanied from the 

side P Q, when working from the base A B, was 12,098 feet, 
while the direct reduction from the fixed points gave a value 
of 12,118 feet. 

In the brief season on these high glaciers no preliminary 
reconnaissance survey can be done by a small party such as we 
were, if it is proposed to cover any considerable area. The con- 
stant moving of camp and keeping up the necessary supply of 
ata kept our few coolies always busy. The building up of firm 
platforms for observing was a constant difficulty, which, in the 
case of stations on the moraine, was added to by the rapid melting 
which takes place in the middle of the day. At the head of the 
glacier there was no possibility of building stations, and the 
theodolite had to be set up on the snow field. It was hoped 
that the triangulation could be carried to some station in the 
Nubra valley ; but certain circumstances prevented the carrying 
out of this plan. Owing to the bad weather at the end of the 
season, triangulation was not carried up the Lolophond glacier to 
the pass. 

The heights obtained from theodolite vertical angles are 
dependent on those of the G.T.S. fixed points from which they 
were initially deduced. From stations A and B the heights were 
carried up the glacier, being checked at stations where fixed 
points were observed to, and from station 1 the height of Hidden 
peak was deduced. This gave a value of 26,491 feet. The 
G.T.S. value is 26,470 feet. The co-efficient of refraction used 
was 0-055 ; this was tested by the observation of reciprocal 
angles. 

Hypsometrical readings were also taken. Arrangements were 



282 APPENDIX 

made by Mrs. Bullock Workman for lower station readings to be 
taken at Skardu three times daily while the expedition was in 
the field. Three hypsometrical readings were taken on different 
dates at the Bilaphond La, giving heights of 18,328, 18,365, and 
18,428 feet. The mean value was taken. Hypsometrical readings 
at D station gave a height of 16,666 feet. The trigonometrical 
height, which at this station was deduced from direct rays to 
G.T.S. points, was 16,395 feet. 

The Survey of India report that hypsometrical heights have 
been found to be as much as 600 feet in excess at trigonometrical 
stations {Geographical Journal, vol. xli. p. 155). 

The survey party carried two aneroids graduated to 25,000 
feet, which had been made for Mrs. Bullock Workman by Hicks. 
One was fitted with Watkin's patent : both gave steady readings 
up to 16,000 feet, but above that the Watkin became erratic. The 
patent action was not used at all. 

Photographs were taken at several theodolite stations, and 
were used in plotting detail. 

A sketch of the Kondus glacier basin is shown on this map. 
The details of its construction are given in the Note with the 
map. There has been a little difficulty in getting a satisfactory 
junction, especially in the lower part. 



NOTE 

While it is not claimed for the map of the Siachen 
or Rose glacier that it is final and cannot be improved 
upon in some particulars in the future, it is to-day the { 
only one representing with considerable accuracy the 
topographical features of the very important area which 
it covers. 

The object of placing my full name in connection with 
the expedition on the map, is not because I wish in any 
way to thrust myself forward, but solely that in the 
accomplishments of women, now and in the future, it 
should be known to them and stated in print that a 
woman was the initiator and special leader of this ex- 
pedition. When, later, woman occupies her acknowledged 
position as an individual worker in all fields, as well as 
those of exploration, no such emphasis of her work will 
be needed ; but that day has not fully arrived, and at 
present it behoves women, for the benefit of their sex, 
to put what they do, at least, on record. 

In stating this I do not wish to ignore or under- 
rate the valuable co-operation on this expedition of my 
husband and joint worker, Dr. W. Hunter Workman. 

FANNY BULLOCK WORKMAN. 



EHa^CLm al" Tnian^ttation 

of tl»« 

SIACHEN GLACIER 



Sc«l« haOO 000 or 1 Inch-TSSStKl Kilw 

8 O 8 

o ThtxMlolUe Stations 

* I^nruta from Hur^ri^' of hvUof 

* Intartmittd, Rruttit 




DETAILS OF SIACHEN OK ROSE GLACIER 
SURVEY 

INTERSECTED POINTS. 



Station. 




Latitude N. 


Longitude K. 


Height. 


















Feet. 




Siachen No. 1 . 


.. 35' 


'25' 32" 


77< 


' 02' 26" 


19,360 




)> 


2 . 


.. 35 


26 05 


77 


01 


18 


19,460 




>» 


3 . 


.. 35 


23 04 


76 


57 


26 


20,430 




II 


4 . 


.. 35 27 19 


76 


58 


14 


19,620 




1* 


5 . 


.. 35 28 08 


76 


59 


48 


16,900 




II 


6 . 


.. 35 


28 49 


76 


57 


49 


19,560 




II 


7 . 


.. 35 


29 41 


76 


52 


59 


21,610 




II 


8 . 


.. 35 


31 06 


76 


48 


07 


24,280 ■ 


I Mt. Ghent 


!) 


9 . 


.. 35 


31 44 


76 48 


33 


24,090 


»» 


10 . 


.. 35 


32 58 


76 


52 


10 


22,160 


The Hawk 


)» 


11 . 


.. 35 


34 07 


76 


53 


19 


19,960 




II 


12 . 


.. 35 


34 31 


76 


50 44 


19,790 




1) 


13 . 


.. 35 


33 47 


76 45 


36 


— 


Silver Throne 


)) 


14 . 


.. 35 


34 55 


76 


46 


38 


20,230 


Lower Silver Throne 


)1 


15 . 


.. 35 


36 36 


76 50 08 


21,440 




)» 


16 . 


.. 35 


37 59 


76 


47 


29 


23,270 


Mt. Hardinge 


)) 


17 . 


.. 35 


39 51 


76 


45 


43 


24,350 


Queen Mary Peak 


,, 


18 ., 


.. 35 


39 55 


76 


50 


33 


21,410 




1> 


19 .. 


,. 35 


37 09 


76 


54 


04 


20,770 




11 


20 ., 


,. 35 35 47 


76 


57 


32 


22,360 






21 ., 


,. 35 


35 56 


76 


59 


05 


23,630 


Mt. Eose 


>> 


22 ., 


.. 35 


32 36 


76 


59 


23 


20,300 




M 


23 .. 


,. 35 


36 02 


77 


08 


00 


24,240 




)l 


24 ., 


,. 35 


34 43 


77 


04 


54 


24,510 


Teram Kangri 


)) 


25 ., 


,. 35 


34 11 


77 


05 


25 


24,300 




)) 


26 ., 


.. 35 


33 08 


77 


08 


16 


22,530 




)) 


27 ., 


,. 35 


32 22 


77 


09 


01 


23,770 




11 


28 .. 


,. 35 


31 57 


77 


08 


40 


23,350 




)l 


29 ., 


,. 35 


31 05 


77 


11 


21 


23,010 




)) 


30 .. 


,. 35 


29 48 


77 


14 


39 


22,480 




)1 


31 .. 


,. 35 


27 36 


77 


10 


49 


22,910 


Mt. Lakshmi 


>l 


32 .. 


. 35 


27 29 


77 


07 


55 


21,860 




>I 


33 .. 


. 35 


24 39 


77 


11 


30 


21,580 






34 .. 


. 35 


20 33 


77 


08 


14 


20,180 




)l 


35 .. 


. 35 


22 11 


77 


06 


45 


19,530 




)) 


86 .. 


. 35 


22 04 


77 04 47 


20,460 





\" 



52b 



APPENDIX 287 

THEODOLITE STATIONS. 

Station. Latitude N. Longitude E. Height. 

Feet. 

A 35° 28' 02" 77° 05' 08" 15,993 

B 35 29 07 77 04 26 17,003 

C 35 29 01 77 05 48 16,946 

D 35 29 21 77 02 37 16,395 

E 35 29 41 76 58 56 16,314 

F 35 30 45 77 01 27 16,364 

G 35 31 20 76 56 25 16,765 

H 35 33 13 76 55 22 17,058 

I 35 36 17 76 53 22 17,450 

J 35 38 17 76 50 05 17,978 

K 35 35 20 76 49 22 18,222 

L 35 35 43 76 48 43 18,439 

M 35 36 26 76 47 33 18,780 

N 35 38 06 76 45 43 20,128 

O 35 35 37 76 54 54 — 

P 35 35 11 76 55 52 16,980 

Q 35 33 38 76 57 26 16,736 

R 35 32 19 76 58 09 16,594 

S 35 32 01 76 58 22 16,559 

T 35 29 51 77 00 57 16,194 

U 35 28 50 77 01 49 16,002 

V 35 26 59 77 05 01 15,660 

W 35 25 46 77 06 13 15,503 

X 35 29 67 77 12 13 17,590 

Y 35 29 58 77 09 05 17,215 

Z 35 20 20 77 11 38 14,706 

GREAT TRIGONOMETRICAL SURVEY OF INDIA POINTS. 

,tion. Latitude N. Longitude E. Height. 

no Feet. 

^ 35° 43' 30" 76° 41' 48" 26,470 Hidden Peak 

'^ 35 36 44 Y6 34 23 25,110 Bride Peak 

9fi 

^ 35 27 45 76 34 44 22,750 

qA 

:r— 35 25 08 76 33 12 23,890 

^ 35 27 54 76 47 07 23,960 

Ia 

r^ 35 24 24 76 50 50 25,280 

-^ 35 24 01 76 50 55 25,400 

iA 

_?§ 35 12 12 76 45 41 21,870 

!a 

35 17 46 77 01 23 24 370 



f 



INDEX 



Abruzzi, Duke of the, 115, 203, 211, 213, 238, 268 

Agriculture in Shyok valley, 35 

Ali Bransa, 113, 129, 145, 151, 157, 160, 201-2, 207, 220-1, 230 

camp and tragedy, 133-42 

pass, 66, 145 

stone-shelters, 133, 220 

Aling glacier, 75, 102 

AmiJets used by Baltis, 126-7 

Askole, 87, 103 

Astor valley, 278 

" Atoser glacier," 78, 92-3 

Avalanches, rock, 60-1 

Babu, misdeeds of, durmg Siachen expedition, 154-5, 200-3 
Baltis, lack of intelligence, 131-2 

patchwork garments, 110-1 

religion, 126-7 

Baltistan, 42-3, 121, 123, 129, 156, 188-9, 221-2 
Baltoro, 28-9, 95, 196-7 

glacier, 48, 122, 212, 260, 265 

moraines, 242-5, 275 

Biafo, 86-7, 147, 157-8, 197, 219, 234, 247, 251, 260-1 
Bilaphond basin, 68 

glacier, 118, 123, 128-31 

physiographical characteristics, 228-31 

La, 43, 103, 113, 118, 121, 123, 128-9, 148, 152, 161-2, 170-1, 173-4, 

220-1, 227-8, 255 

La, nomenclature, 130-2, 143-7 

peak, 148 

Brakor, 48 

Braldoh valley, 86-7 

Bride Peak, 152 

Broad Peak, 240, 242, 244-5 

Bruce, Colonel the Hon. C. G., 130 

Burrard, Colonel Sir Sidney, 124, 145, 195 

Burtsa, 52, 157-8 

Byramji, T., 28-9, 44, 55, 123, 126, 128-9, 157, 207 

Cairns at Spur camp, 178-9, 188, 220 
Calciati, Count Dr. Cesare, 28-30, 91, 170 

on Kaberi glacier, 70-1, 218-5 

on Masherbrum glacier, 77 

Camp at Ali Bransa, 133-41 

19 ^^ 



290 INDEX 

Camp at Goma, 109 

at Kapalu, 37, 40 

• on Lolophond glacier, 148-9, 153 

near head of Siachen glacier (Spur camp), 178-9, 188-9 

on Siachen glacier, 176 

- — — near Silver Throne, 191 

at Sonanmrg, 30-1 

at Tarim Shehr, 161 

at Zogo, 59 

Camps, altitudes of, 65, 75-7, 92. 95, 116, 133, 148, 153-4, 161, 166, 168, 

174, 176-8, 191, 200-1, 209, 259 
Chalt, 96 
Chenoz, C.'par, 28, 125 

tragedy of, 134-42 

Chogo Lungma, 114, 122, 219, 247, 251, 260-1 
Chogolisa glacier, 75, 89, 91, 213-4 

structure, 100-2 

" saddle," 213-4 

Chogrogon, 46 

Chorbat La, 46, 222 

Chumik glacier, 276 

Climatic conditions, 69, 218-9 

Climbing, rate per hour, 79-82 

Coal possibly to be found in upper Masherbrum region, 82-3 

Collins, Mr., 170-1 

Conway, Sir W. Martin, 95, 194, 224, 243-4, 278 

Conyngham, Mr. G. P. Lennox, 146 

Coolies, chanting of, 164-5 

Kharmang, 42-3 

as lettei'-carriers, 54 

misdeeds of, at Ali Bransa, 201-2 

morals of, 28-9 

point of view of, 42-5 

rejected as too old, 112-3 

strike, 204-5 

Cournia^'eur, porters from, 28 

Crescent glacier, 86-8 

Cresson, Uv. W. P., 175 

Crows as camp-companions, 177-8, 191-2, 216 

Damsam, 48 

fan at, 104-6 

Darjeeling, 45 

Dawei, 38 

Dolomites, 49 

Dong Dong glacier, 57, 60-8, 151, 173-5, 277 

camp, 65, 70 

Dras valley, 32 
Dubani, 36 

Earthquake felt on Kaberi glacier, 215-6, 270-2 

Fans, at Damsam, 104-6 i 

in Hushc valley, 73-4 

in Saltoro valley, resembling moraines, 107-8 



INDEX 291 

Ferrari, Dante, 28 

Filippi, Dr. de, 169, 189, 239 

his KaraJcoram and Western Himalaya referred to, 115, 

213, 241-5, 265 
Eraser, tlie Hon. Stuart, 124-5 
Freshfield, Mr. Douglas, 224 

Ganse La, 42, 216-7 

Ghent, Mt., 175 

Ghyari nala, 110, 123, 129, 131, 143-4, 161-2, 222, 277 

physiographical characteristics, 227-8 

Glaciers, Hiinalaj'an, avenues to mountain-recesses, 50 

Karakoram type, 232-3 

supposed remains in Saltoro valley, 107-9 

Glery, EmQe, 28 

Goats' milk, 40 

Godwin-Austen, Colonel, his survey of the Khondokoro and Masherbrum 

glaciers, 77-8, 92-3 
Colonel, on the " Saltoro pass," 221 

glacier, 275 

Golden Throne. 193-4, 196, 211, 239, 241, 268 
Goma, 43, 103, 109, 112, 123, 128, 141, 154, 201 

strange woman visitor at, 110-2 

Gourtse, 103-4 

Granite, weathering of, 50-4 

blocks, 89-91 

Gulab Khan, 141, 207 
Gumber valley, 32-3 

Gusherbrums, 182-4, 186, 193-4, 219, 264-5 

structure, 238-45 

Halim, Mullah, misdeeds of, 128, 154-5, 168, 199, 200-3, 216 

Hardinge, Mt., 195, 243 

Hawk mountain, 190, 209, 237, 243 

Hazrat Ameer, 162 

Hedin, Dr. Sven, 224 

Hidden Peak. See Peak 23 

Himalayan camp-life, 21, 37-8 

glaciers, 50 

mountain heights, estimating, 171 

nomenclature, 195 

physiological phenomena at high altitudes, 113-8 

weather conditions, 69, 218-9 

Hispar, 56, 122, 147, 157-8, 197, 219, 234, 246, 251, 260 

Hoh Lumba, 68-9 

Hulde, 47, 90 

Hunza, 238 

Hushe, 28, 45-8, 71, 89-91, 102, 110 

scenery of valley, 72-5 

supposed pass from, to Baltoro, 84-5 

supposed pass from, to Kaberi glacier, 214 

village, 75 

Indira col, 184, 235, 240-1 
Indus valley, 29, 32, 84, 91, 216 



292 INDEX 

Insomnia at high altitudes, 114-8, 203 
Inylchek glacier, 155 

Jhelum river, 24 

Junction Peak, 159, 164, 236, 257, 280 

Kaberi glacier, 70-1, 192, 210-6, 220, 245, 251, 264, 277 
glacier, earthquake felt on, 215-6 

glacier, physiographical aspects, 267-72 

nala, 54-5, 68 

watershed, 101, 196-7 

Kanibasar glacier, 261 

Kapalu, 29, 34, 36-46, 123, 216-7 

Raja of, 36-7, 40-5 

Karakoram glaciers, t3'pe of, 232-3 

glaciers, measurements, 259-60 

mountain-structure, 242-5 

pass, 234 

Karim, Wazir Abdul, 36, 47, 54-5, 125,-153, 197, 202, 204-5, 208-9 

his impressions of the Siachcn, 209 

returns to Kapalu, 217-6 

Karmading, 54-5, 70, 72, 216 

Karmang, 42, 216-7 

Raja of, 217 

Kaslunir servants, 26-8 

travelling in, 22-4 

vale of, 209 

Kellas, Dr. A. M., 80 

Khondokoro glacier, 75, 89, 91-5, 278 

glacier, its structural peculiarities, 93-5 

watershed and stream, 101 

Khudu, 27 

Kinchenjunga, 45 

ICing George V group, 171, 179, 194-7, 211, 220, 287, 239, 253 

Kins, 34, 189 

Kondus glacier, 192, 210, 247. See also Kaberi glacier 

nala, 28-9, 105, 129 

nala, scenery, 48-56 

" saddle," 212 

Korkundus nala, 54-6, 68, 145 

village, 55 

Lachifc, 54 

Ladakh, 122 

Lolophond glacier, 123, 147-8, 152-3, 255-6 

Longstaft; Dr. T. G., 121, 125-6, 128-9, 133, 156, 170, 188, 221, 238-9, 

276-7, 279 
• — on altitude of Trisul, 80-1 

on the " Saltoro pass," 143-4, 147, 180 

on Tarim Shehr, 159, 163 

Madras Obscrvatorv, 30 
Magic Peak, 148-52 
Mandik, 109 
Mango Gusor, 86-8 



INDEX 293 



Map, Indian Survey, taken as a basis, 29-30 
Masherbrum, 75, 89, 92-3, 95, 99, 101, 175, 271 

glacier, 76-88, 91-5, 99, 100, 278 

Matayan, 33 

Medicine demanded by village people, 38-40 

Merzbacber, Dr., 155 

Monsoons, 69 

Montgomerie, 145 

Moorcraft, 144 

Moraine-ridges at Sonamarg, 30-1 

streams of Kaberi glacier, 268-70 

Moraine streams of Siacben, 247-52 
Moraines, hillock, 251-5, 266, 269 

surface, 243-4 

Mosquitoes, 176 
Mud-floods, 60-1 

Nagar, 188 

Naram, 129-31, 139-40, 151, 228-30 
Nasir Ali Khan, Eaja, 37, 40-1, 125 
Neve, Dr. A., 129, 147, 155, 239 

his Thirti/ Years in Kashmir referred to, 171, 240 

N^vd cliffs in Gumber valley, 33 

Nieve penitente, 33-4, 231, 265 

Novarese, Signore V., 211, 242, 275 

Nubra, 121-2, 144-6. 167, 170, ISS, 221-2, 241, 280 

Nun Kun, 64, 114 

Oldham, Mr. R. D., 225 
Oprang basin, 145-6, 211, 241 

Palestinian customs, compared with Indian, 38 

Panamik, 221 

Parao, 104 

Pathan servant, on glacier, 62-3, 65 

sends woman visitor away, 112 

Peak K 2, 244 

K 6, 54 

g 172 2'^9 237 

23 (Hidden Peak), 179, 183, 193-4, 211, 213, 239, 241, 244 

25 (Bride Peak), 103, 152, 209, 211, 213 

26, 101 

27, 54, 101 

gg QY 172-3 

35! 57,' 60, 65-6, 68, 150, 172, 175, 237 

36, 57, 60, 64-6, 68, 148, 150-2, 237 

36 glacier, 172-6, 235, 237, 254, 256, 259 

Pcterkin, Mr. C. Grant, 124-5, 140-1, 143, 171, 196, 219 

note on construction of Siachen map, 279-82 

Pharon, 104 

Pinnacles, ice-, 263-6, 270 
Pu-rie, Major, 124 
Polo at Kapalu, 44-5 
Punmah, 29, 103 



294 INDEX 

Quaizier, Simeon, 28, 124-5, 135-8, 174, 201-2 

Quartzite peak, 88, 271 

Queen Mary Peak, 195, 211, 243 

Rawalpindi, 22 

Reaves, Mr. E. A., 124 

Remo glaciers, 167-9, 221 

Rey, Adolf, 124, 135, 138, 140, 201-2 

Julien, 125 

Rgyong La, 222 

Rock-specimens, notes on, 275-8 ' 

Rose glacier. See Siachen glacier j 

Rose pass, 209-11 

Roses, Himalayan, 91-2, 166, 164 

Roses, ice-, 156, 164 ; 

Royal Geographical Society, 121, 144 ? 

Saichar, 155 i 

'• Saltoro pass," 129, 148-7 ^i 

Saltoro peaks, 45 | 

valley, 46-8, 72, 90, 103-5, 129-31, 144-6 j 

valley, scenery of, 50-3, 106-8 f 

Sandstorm at Kapalu, 40 { 
Savoye, Cyprien, 28, 59, 61, 102, 124. 135, 139, 150, 167, 171, 185, 192, 206, 

208, 210, 216 
Scott, Captain, 25 
Sculptured rocks, 51 
Sella, 244, 265 
Serac-areas, 262-6 
Shafat glacier, 64 

Sheep taken on Siachen expedition, 129, 175 
Shere AU Khan, Raja, 37, 40-5, 85, 125 
Sher-pi-gang glacier, 57, 61-4, 66, 103, 145, 151, 173 
Shyok junction, 29, 32 

valley, 34-5, 37, 45-6, 91, 168, 221 

Sia La, 209-11, 267-8 

Siachen or Rose glacier, 28-9, 43, 48, 68, 70, 145, 209, 218-9 

bareness of surroundings, 157-8 

camp-life on, 199-209 

character of rocks, 233-45, 275-6 

east col, 183-9 

magnitude and difficulties, 122-3 155 

nomenclature, 155-6, 164 

north source, 176-81 

position, 121 

.-.^_ preliminary visit to, 103, 118, 121-2, 158 

as a route to Nubra or Chinese Turkestan, 220-2 

structure, 246-66 

West Source glacier, 190-8, 212 

Siegfriedhorn, 87 

Sillem, Mr., 84-5 

SUver Throne, 191-5, 209, 211, 213, 220, 239, 267-8 

Sind valley, 30-1 

Singh Sarjan, 124-8 

Skardo, 38, 128, 141, 217 



INDEX 205 

Skoro La, 86-7 

Slingsby, Mr., 129 

Smith, Mr. W. Campbell, note on rock-specimens, 275-8 

Snow-bum, 179-80 

Soldering-iron, 25 

Sonaraarg, 30 

Sos Bon, 68-9 

Srinagar, 22-4, 82, 123-5, 154 

Stachikyungme, 95 

Staii'case peak, 244-5 

Stein, Sir Aurel, 163, 224 

Stokpa Cho, 87 

Stone-circle at Tarim Shehr, 160, 220 

shelters at Ali Bransa, 133, 220 

Strachey, Colonel Henry, 121, 144 

Streams, white, in glaciers, 247-51, 262, 266, 268-70 
Sivas or mud-flooda, 60-1 

Tagas, 47-8 

Tarim Shehr, 152-4, 158 69, 175, 199-200, 284-6, 256-8, 280-1 

circle of stones at, 160, 188, 220-1 

glacier, 166-9, 172, 183, 234-6, 246, 248-9, 252, 254, 256-8, 

261, 263, 265-6, 275-6, 278 
legends of fonner population at, 161-2 

— - nomenclature, 162-3 

Tawiii peak, 148-52, 159, 174, 186 
Tea, Ladakh, 40 

Temperature in Hushe valley, 108-4 

in Khondokoro nala, 96 

Teram Kangri, 148, 152, 170, 199, 235, 238-41, 252, 254 

" Teram Shehr." See Tarim Shehr 

Thomas, Dr., 156 

Thomson, 121, 144 

Tian Shan, 155 

Tolti, Raja of, 34 

Tonga, 24 

Trees, evergreen, in upper Hushe valley, 73 

Trisul, altitude of, 81 

Turkestan, Chinese, 182-5, 219, 220-2 

Turkestan La, 187-8, 235 

Tyrolean Dolomites, 49 

Urdok glacier, 186-8, 211, 219 

Vienna, lecture in, 223 
Vigne, 66, 129, 144-5, 151 

Walnut-tree at Kapalu, 45 

West Source glacier, 190-8, 212, 220, 253 

Women as mountain-climbers, 222-4, 284 

Wood lacking near Siachen glacier, 157-8 

Workman, Dr. Hunter, climbs 1,150 feet in an hour, 79 

dresses cooHe's wounds, 205-6 

nearly poisoned, 96 



296 INDEX 

Workmaiij Dr. Hunter, his physiological experiences at high altitudes, 

113-8 

. reported killed, 142 

article on Features of Karalioram Glaciers con- 
nected ivith Pressure referred to, 249 

article on Nieve Penitente and Allied Formations 

in Himalaya referred to, 34, 231, 265 

and Mrs. Bullock, Call of the Snowy Hispar 

referred to, 60, 96, 234 

Ice-hound Heights of the Mus- 

tarjh referred to, 69, 114 

-— — • In the Ice-World of Hima- 

laya referred to, 60, 86 

Peals and Glaciers of Nun 

Kun referred to, 64, 114 

Mrs. Bullock, as leader of Siachen expedition, 123, 284 

lungs affected by change of altitude, 200 

replies to critics, 222-4 

results of her Siachen expedition, 219-20 

Mount Bullock, 86-7 

Yarkand, 162, 221 

Younghusband, Sir F. E., 143, 145-6, 184, 185-7, 189, 224 

" Younghusband's saddle," 180, 187 

Zogo, 57, 59 

camp at, 59-60 

Zoji La, 32-3 



Printed in Great Britain by 

CNWIN BEOTHEES, LIMITED, THE GEESHAM PRESS, WOKING AND LONDON 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 



3 9999 06561 030 3 




Boston Public Library 
Central Library, Copley Square 

Division of 
Reference and Research Services 



The Date Due Card in the pocket indi- 
cates the date on or before which this 
book should be returned to the Library. 

Please do not remove cards from this 
pocket. 



JUN 4 1926