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CLIMBING AND EXPLORATION IN THE KARAKORAM HIMALAYAS Martin Conway 2001 Hardcover
By Martin, Conway William; Illustrated by McCormick A.D.
Price: $49.95


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New Delhi, 2001 [1894], 2nd edition. 488 pp, many ills, maps. It was the extraordinary appearance of the Karakoram glaciers, that first drew author's attention to this region and made him desire to explore it. There were only two previous explorers of any part of the snowy regions, visited by the author and his team. They were Coloned Godwin-Austen, and Captain Young-husband. During the exploration, the author wrote every day a full account of the day's proceedings. Frequent references to and comparisons with effects observed in the Alps and else-where will be found throughout this book. They will serve to bring before the eyes of climbers a more vivid notion of Himalayan scenery.

In the matter of mountain nomenclature, Alpine and Caucasian custom has been adhered. Where a peak has a native name, the same has been used. Where a peak rises from an alp or valley with a recognised name, the same name belongs to the peak. Native names take precedence of and exclude all others. Mountains that have no names have been named by the author for the purpose of this book, applying descriptive designations to them and never the names of persons.

The reader of this book can estimate the total result of the expedition. The length of the journey and the area of the survey can be estimated by a glance at the map. The list of altitudes measured will show the heights attained. The author and his team spent, in all, 84 days on snow or glacier; they traversed from end to end, for the first time, the three longest known glaciers in the world outside the Polar Regions; and climbed to the top of a peak approximately 23,000 feet high. The present volume is the literary record of their doings.

Contents : - Preface 1. London to Abbottabad, home of Osama Bin Laden 2. Abbottabad to Srinagar 3. In the Vale of Kashmir 4. Bandipur to Burzil Kothi 5. The Crossing of the Burzil Pass to Astor 6. Astor to Gilgit 7. Gilgit to Dirran 8. Dirran to Gargo 9. Gargo to Gilgit 10. Gilgit to Tashot 11. Tashot to Nagyr 12. Nagyr to Baltit and Samaiyar 13. The Samaiyar Valley 14. Nagyr to Mir 15. Mir to Hispar 16. Hispar to Haigutum 17. The Nushik La 18. The Hispar Pass 19. The Biafo Glacier 20. Askole to Baltoro 21. Ascent of the Baltoro Glacier 22. Fan Saddle and Throne Glacier 23. The Ascent of Pioneer Peak 24. Footstool Camp to Askole 25. Askole to Skardo 26. Skardo to Kargil 27. Kargil to Leh 28. Leh and Himis 29. Leh to the Zoji La 30. Over the Zoji La to Srinagar.

 
The Karakoram is a great mountain system in Northeast Pakistan and Northern India, near the Chinese border. It extends 300 miles southeastwardly from the Pamir Knot, and includes many of the world's highest peaks, and many of the world's longest glaciers. Among the high peaks is K2 (8611 m), the second highest mountain in the world. Its glaciers include, among others, the 47-mile Siachen glacier, the 36-mile Baltoro glacier, and the 76-mile combination of Hispar and Biafo, which connect at a pass.
 
The Baltoro glacier is especially significant, as ten of the world's thirty highest peaks cluster around it, including four 8,000 meter peaks (K2 and three peaks of the Gashberbrum massif) that rise very close together at the northeast head of the glacier. The Karakoram closely parallels the Himalaya, but its peaks differ from those of the Himalaya in their sharp, angular forms. Their icy peaks are often surrounded by incredible clusters of towers and spires.
 
The Karakoram also receives less monsoon activity than the Himalaya. In fact, many of the valleys deep in the range are very dry. The peaks, however, receive heavy winter precipitation, and, with or without monsoon rains, travel is made difficult by the run-off of melting snow and ice in July and August, which otherwise are the best months for mountaineering. The range is largely uninhabited, so approach to the mountains requires expedition-style planning.

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