. The Precious Land, Gilgit Baltistan

The Precious Land, Gilgit Baltistan

episode 2, part 1

Sublime Glaciers in GB:
A glacier is giant mass of ice that moves slowly over land. They form more snow piles up than melts, allowing huge amounts of snow to collect over time and these masses of ice are moving, that’s why glaciers are called slowly moving rivers of ice. As you might guess it’s an incredibly long process and Earth’s glaciers formed over thousands of years so every glacier you’ll encounter is an ancient creature.
Gilgit Baltistan is the treasure of water resources in the form of glaciers and the Baltistan region is said to be the home of glaciers. Three of the world’s largest glaciers outside the polar area are found in GB, which are Biafo Gyang Glacier, Baltoro Glacier, and Batura Glacier. Besides these glaciers, about 5,215 smaller glaciers and 2,450 glacial lakes are found in GB. The water of all these glaciers flows into the River Indus.
Biafo Gyang Glacier is a 67 km long glacier situated in the Karakorum mountain ranges in the Shigar District of GB. It is the world’s third-longest glacier outside the polar region. It meets the 49 km long Hispar Glacier at an altitude of 5,128m to create the world’s longest glacial system outside the polar region. This ice highway connects two ancient mountain kingdoms, Nahar, in the west with District Shigar Baltistan in the east. This glacier is about 20km away from Askoli village, Braldo of Shigar District. The traverse uses 51 of Biafo Glacier’s 67km and all of the Hispar Glacier to form a 100km long glacial route. Evidence of wildlife can be seen on trek, like Ibex, Markhor, Himalayan brown bear and snow leopards.
The Biafo Glacier presents a trekker with several days of strenuous boulder hopping, with veiws throughout and Snow Lake near the high point. Snow Lake consisting of parts of the upper Biafo Glacier and its tributary glacier Sim Gang, is one of the world’s largest basins of snow or ice, outside the polar region, up to 1,600m depth.

Written by Syeda Abeeha Shigri

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