Himalayan Journal vol.03
The Himalayan Journal
Vol.03

Publication year:
1931

Editor:
Kenneth Mason
Index
  1. THE PASSING OF MUMMERY
    (Brig.-General the Hon. C. G. BRUCE..)
  2. THE NETHERLANDS-KARAKORAM EXPEDITION, 1929
    (JENNY VISSER-HOOFT.)
  3. A SKETCH OF THE GEOLOGY OF INDIA
    (Sir EDWIN PASCOE)
  4. A JOURNEY FROM YARKAND TO THE KARA-TASH
    (F. WILLIAMSON)
  5. NOTES ON THE WESTERNMOST PLATEAUX OF TIBET
    (DR. EMIL TRINKLER)
  6. IBEX GROUND NEAR THE SIACHEN GLACIER
    (Lieut.-Col. O. L. RUCK.)
  7. SKI-ING IN KASHMIR
    (M. D. N. WYATT.)
  8. A FRONTIER TOUR
    (LIEUT.-COL. J. R. C. GANNON.)
  9. THE INTERNATIONAL HIMALAYAN EXPEDITION, 1930
    (PROF. G. O. DYHRENFURTH.)
  10. THE THUI AND SHANDUR PASSES
    (LIEUT. G. C. CLARK.)
  11. THE DHARMSALA DHAULADHAR IN 1930
    (LIEUT. P. R. OLIVER.)
  12. EXPEDITIONS
  13. IN MEMORIAM
  14. NOTES
  15. REVIEWS
  16. CORRESPONDENCE
  17. CLUB PROCEEDINGS AND NOTICES
  18. LIBRARY NOTICES

EXPEDITIONS

ME. F. LUPLOW IN THE TIEN SHAN.

Mr. F. LUDLOW spent the winter of 1929-30 in Kashgar. He left that place on 4th March, and travelling by the Maralbashi- Aksu route, crossed the Muzart pass into the Tekkes valley on the 19th April. During the next two months he followed the Tekkes river eastwards as far as the Kok-su junction, halting for long periods and collecting butterflies, birds and plants on the way. He then made for the upper Kok-su, via the Karagai-tash Dawan and spent the months of July and August in the neighbourhood of the Kok-su- Yulduz divide, hunting and collecting. He returned to the Tekkes valley by the Kurdai Dawan, and re-crossed the Muz-art pass on the 10th September, eventually reaching Srinagar on the 14th November by way of the Pamirs and Gilgit.

A full account of this interesting journey is not yet available, nor is it possible to give more than a brief summary of the natural history collections made, until they have been worked out at the British Museum. These comprise 850 bird skins, 550 eggs belonging to 50 different "species, between 1500 and 2000 butterflies and 250 different species of plants in duplicate. Animals shot include a 55 ½ -inch Ovis Karelini, a 53-inch ibex, and a 15-inch roe-deer. Not a single wapiti was seen and only a few tracks of them. In the upper Kok-su certainly these are very scarce, as they are continually harried by Kalmuk hunters for their horns whilst in velvet. These are sold to the Chinese, a pair of horns in velvet fetching anything from Rs. 100 to Rs. 200.

Ludlow reports that the weather conditions during 1930 were good on the whole. There was no dust-haze north of the main range. The Chinese officials treated him with the greatest kindness and hospitality, and he found the Kazaks, Kirghiz and Kalmuks of the Tekkes very friendly and easy to get on with.

The Italian Expedition to the Karakoram, 1929.

Various brief accounts of the Duke of Spoleto's expedition to the Karakoram in 1929 have appeared in print, among them the lectures by His Royal Highness and by Professor Ardito Desio given to the Royal Geographical Society on the 24th and 25th February 1930, which were published, with some very fine illustrations, in the Geographical Journal, vol. Ixxv, pp. 385 sqq. The following is a slightly more detailed account of that part of the expedition which entered the Shaksgam.

Early in May Dr. Umberto Balestreri was charged with the task of finding a way over the Muztagh pass. His party consisted of Giuseppe Chiardola and a guide, but owing to the latter falling ill, the reconnaissance was carried out by Balestreri and Chiardola. The pass was found to be fairly difficult and a way, suitable for porters, was only found after three attempts. Balestreri then spent a fortnight making preparations for the exploration of the Shaksgam and improving the track up the pass. During this time he climbed, on the 7th June, the peak immediately west of the pass for topographical purposes. The ascent was entirely on snow and ice and was not difficult, the summit, about 19,700 feet, being attained in five hours from the pass. Balestreri named the peak in Balti, Karpho Gang (=the White Glacier), on account of its glittering whiteness.

At sunrise on the 9th June the party, with Balestreri in command, and amounting to six Europeans and 47 native porters, crossed the pass and descended-some of the Italians being on ski- the Sarpo Laggo glacier. This was, as far as we know, the first time Europeans had been on this glacier since Sir Francis Younghusband ascended it from the north in 1887[1]. At both Chang-tok and Moni Brangsa, where the party camped, remains of old camps were found; these remains consisted of small walls, cairns, and tent emplacements. At Moni Brangsa a depot of stores was made and two Europeans, Caporiacco and Chiardola, with fourteen porters, who had been acting as a supporting group, returned over the Muztagh pass. The remainder, consisting of Balestreri (in command), Desio (geologist), Ponti (topographer), and Bron (guide), with 33 porters and a chota shikari, on the 12th June reached the snout of the Sarpo Laggo glacier (16,300 feet), and on the evening of the 14th entered the Shaksgam valley near Suget Jangal, where further traces of old camps were found. As was to be expected, the maps of this region were incorrect, and it is to be hoped that Ponti will give us a good survey of the ground. The Duke writes that the junction of the Sarpo Laggo stream and the Shaksgam is marked by an isolated rock, nearly 500 feet high, surmounted by a cairn, possibly erected to indicate the old route. The Shaksgam valley above the junction is narrow and deeply cut between high limestone cliffs ; below, it suddenly opens out and looks almost like a continuation of the Sarpo Laggo.

In a letter Balestreri writes : " The following days we went up the wonderful Shaksgam valley, so full of magnificent scenery and of glorious views on the north side of K2. We reached the Gasherbrum glacier on the 18th and crossed it about two miles from the snout, because it was impossible to follow Younghusband's route between the foot of the glacier and the opposite wall of the valley. The crossing of this glacier was complicated and difficult and took us several hours." The actual passage was made by ascending the left moraine till a practicable route was found through the maze of ice-pinnacles which covered the surface of the glacier.

The section of the Shaksgam valley between the Sarpo Laggo confluence and the Gasherbrum glacier contained occasional oases, the surrounding mountains having dolomitic shapes, with towers, needles and pinnacles, with big accumulations of detritus at the foot of the terraced sides. A few miles below the Gasherbrum glacier Balestreri reports that a considerable tributary entered the right side of the Shaksgam valley ; it seems that this must be the Zug- Shaksgam which was explored by us in 1926.

After passing the Gasherbrum glacier, the party crossed a pass on the ridge between it and the Urdok glacier, which Balestreri named the " Gasherbrum-Urdok Saddle," and from which a view up the Urdok to Younghusband's Saddle (Indira Col) could be obtained. His instructions were to make an attempt to find a pass, if possible, near Gasherbrum I (Conway's "Hidden Peak") into the upper Bait or o, and to go up the Shaksgam valley only if he had sufficient provisions. As these were getting low, he decided to ascend the Urdok glacier and try to cross "Younghusband's Saddle" at its head. Bad weather intervened, however, and he was compelled to return.

Balestreri now decided to make a dash up the Shaksgam. He first reduced his party by sending back Ponti and Bron with most of the porters, via the Muztagh pass to the Baitoro, and with Desio and eight porters started up the main valley. On the night of the 23rd they pitched camp on the right moraine of the Urdok glacier, near the wide flat bottom of the main valley, after a long march. The next glacier, reached the following evening, is the one shown on my map (Records of the Survey of India, vol. xxii) as descending from the Workman's " Turkistan La." Balestreri named it the Staghar (= Many-coloured), owing to the alternating strips of ice and moraine. It was possible to skirt this without any difficulty by following a small corridor, 450 to 500 feet wide, between its snout and the opposite wall of the valley. The fourth glacier, shown on my map as descending from the northern slopes of Teram Kangri, was named by the porters the Singye, which in Balti means " difficult." Balestreri found the crossing of this extremely difficult and the party spent a whole day among its ice-towers, which he records were some 250 to 300 feet high. Yery hard work with ice-axe and rope was necessary to overcome it. On the 27th June after a long and tiring march along the foot of the big reddish buttress, the “Island Ridge," they reached, late in the evening, the Kyagar glacier, which was discovered by my expedition in 1926. "The day had been splendidly fine, with a wonderfully blue sky," writes Balestreri. "All around us the scenery was glorious. We could easily identify your ' Island Ridge ' and the ' Red Wall,' and the next day, from a small dome above our camp, we could see the cairn built on the right moraine of the Kyagar by your expedition. I cannot explain to you what I felt at that moment. Certainly it was one of the best moments of my life." At this point, 16,300 feet, a cairn was erected and a magnificent view was obtained up the whole of the Kyagar glacier to the Apsarasas group at the head.

During the journey up the valley a rough topographical and geological survey of the valley had been kept up; flowers, insects, and, it is interesting to note, fossils were collected [2] ; meteorological observations were made. It was no part of the plan to attempt the crossing of the Kyagar glacier, and owing to shortage of supplies this would have been impossible. The return journey was therefore made by the outward route. The same difficulty was experienced in crossing the Singye glacier as before. The weather was, however, better than on the outward journey, and Balestreri was able to confirm our surmise that the Singye takes its rise from the glaciers covering the northern slopes of Teram Kangri. He also examined the snouts of both the Urdok (" which does not block the valley ") and Gasherbrum glaciers, which are very close to one another (" about half a mile apart in some parts"), and are divided by a small lake. After crossing the Gasherbrum glacier, the remaining marches were very strenuous, owing to shortage of supplies. Nevertheless a journey was made up a large affluent of the Sarpo Laggo, where an important glacier, descending from the northern slopes of K2, was discovered.

After picking up the supplies at Moni Brangsa, Balestreri explored to the head of the Sarpo Laggo glacier in order to complete the survey of it. They climbed a saddle (the “Sarpo Laggo Saddle "), about 18,700 feet high, which forms an easier pass into the Bait oro basin than the Muztagh, by way of the Tramgo tributary glacier of the Baltoro. They also sketched the 4'Western Muztagh pass,” leading to the Punmah glacier, and report that it can be very easily reached from the Chinese side. The party then re-crossed the Eastern Muztagh pass, by which it had left the Baltoro region five weeks before, and reached Edokass on the 14th July.

Balestreri concludes a letter on this exploration with the remark : " All through our journey the health of Professor Desio and mine had been perfect, thanks to our good and long training as officers- of Alpine troops and climbers in the Alps, and in spite of the fact that our journey had been very hard and difficult from an Alpine point of view in some parts, especially up the last glaciers of the Shaksgam valley." He considers the Kyagar is a very difficult glacier, probably very like the Singye in structure, height and intricacy of the ice-pinnacles. He believes that it is possible to cross it, though only a well-trained and well-equipped party made up of a few alpinists and first-class porters could hope to do so.

A photograph showing the surface of the Kyagar glacier, taken by me from one of the cairns mentioned by Balestreri appears opposite page 104 of Himalayan Journal, vol. i. The Singye glacier appears across the valley in the distance, and the slopes of the " Island Bidge " traversed by Balestreri are seen in the right middle distance. I agree with him that the Kyagar glacier is passable with great difficulty, but I am convinced from his account that it would have been wrong to expect our Ladakhi porters to cross and re-cross this glacier without expert European guidance, which would not have been available. We shall look forward to seeing the map of this expedition with very great interest.

The Netherlands Karakoram Expedition, 1930.

Mrs. Visser has already given an account of the explorations of the Netherlands expedition during 1929 in this Journal. The following is a brief summary of its explorations during 1930.

The expedition left Yarkand early in May. A good deal of trouble was experienced on the journey to the Karakoram pass, owing to the non-arrival of the caravan which was due to meet them at Malik Shah, two marches north of the pass, on the 4th June. Supplies ran short and the party had to return to Kok-yar, and ten days of valuable time were lost.

From Ali-nasar Kurghan, Mr. Yisser and Franz Lochmatter made an attempt to descend the Kara-kash river, but found it impassable after about twenty miles, probably owing to the gorge. The weather was very bad and the snow late and deep on the passes, causing the caravan season to open nearly a month later than usual. Then it suddenly became very warm and the rivers became swollen and difficult.

After crossing the Karakoram pass, Franz Lochmatter reconnoitred down the Shyok valley to ascertain whether the route past the Kumdan glaciers was passable. He found, as we expected[3], that the Chong Kumdan had again formed a barrier across the valley and that a lake three miles long had formed behind it. In a report written at Leh, Yisser calculates the depth of the water at the dam, on 20th June 1930 as 133 feet. There was no sign of the channel cut by the waters in 1929. He also examined the southern side of the dam from Saser Brangsa, on 9th July. No water issued from beneath the ice, but traces of last year's break were still to be seen.

The exploration of the right bank tributaries of the upper Shyok, south of the area surveyed in 1929, was then carried out. About half a march above Kataklik a large glacier was found jutting into the main valley. It issues from the third big western side-valley of the Shyok, south of Saser Brangsa. As far as we are aware, this glacier has been mentioned by no previous traveller, nor is it shown on the old Survey of India maps, which are decidedly sketchy hereabouts. The distance between the snout and the west bank is approximately 600 feet "runs Mr. Yisser's report. " The snout shows signs of further advance. As the question of this remarkable advance was for us of great interest, we examined the glacier very carefully up to the upper end. As the result of our observations we can state that at present there is no danger of the valley being blocked, although during a future period of growth a watch must be kept on this glacier ''

We understand that a large area of country east of the Nubra- Shyok watershed has been explored and surveyed during the expedition. The Survey of India attached a surveyor, Muhammad Akram, for the purpose.

The Expedition returned to Leh towards the end of July.

Professor Dainelli's Karakoram Expedition, 1930.

Professor Giotto Dainelli, who accompanied Sir Filippo De Filippi on his expedition to the Karakoram in 1913-14, carried out a most interesting journey of exploration during 1930, connecting up the work of the Workman's on the Siachen and the previous surveys of De Filippi on the Rimo glacier. Unfortunately only a bare outline of the route has so far reached us, and this outline is destitute of dates.

It appears that Professor Dainelli ascended the Nubra from Panamik and traversed the whole length of the Siachen glacier from its snout to the junction of the Teram Shehr glacier. Fortunately he took sufficient supplies from, the Nubra to be independent of this line of communication, for fifteen days after getting on to the Siachen glacier, he was completely cut off from Panamik by the Nubra river becoming unfordable. He could neither receive further supplies, nor send back the coolies who had brought up his six tons of food for work on the glacier.

He spent about two months on the Siachen glacier, presumably the months of July and August, and crossed with some difficulty the pass at the head of the Teram Shehr to the Rimo glacier, taking fifteen days over this journey. He appears to have quitted the Eimo glacier by the tongue of ice thrown over the Central Asian watershed, which forms the source of the Yarkand river, discovered by Wood in 1914. Difficulties were increased by bad weather during this portion of the journey, which coincided with a week of continual storms. It is understood that Dainelli found that the snout of the Yarkand-Rimo glacier had grown, or at any rate[4] the ice at the snout had increased since 1914, making the descent more difficult. If this is so, it seems that the increase must have occurred during the last four years, for a photograph taken by us on 1st July 1926 showed a snout very similar to that shown in 1914, and in 1926 there were distinct signs of a terminal moraine forming. * The detailed results of this exploration will be awaited with interest.

Tours in the Gilgit Agency.

Mr. H. Todd, the Political Agent, and other officers stationed at Gilgit have been most active during the last three years in examining the snouts of glaciers in the Agency. The following notes have been compiled from letters and notes sent to the Hon. Editor by Mr. Todd.

The Karumbar Glacier. (Ishkoman District, Gilgit Agency, Survey of India Map No. 42 L.)

About 2nd March 1930 the local chief in the Karumbar valley went to see if the route in this valley was clear for a tour that Mr. Todd proposed to undertake. He found that the glacier above Bort had advanced a very long way in the past year, but that it was still about a hundred paces from the far bank. On the 22nd March, however, one of his men reported that the glacier had closed up and blocked the entire valley. The chief, doubtful of the accuracy of this report, again went up the valley to investigate and found that the glacier had actually advanced a hundred paces in three weeks.

Mr. Todd visited the glacier on 20th October and found it stretching right across the main valley with its snout hard pressed against the high steep cliff of the far bank. He estimated the height of the snout to be between 120 and 150 feet, and its breadth from 250 to 300 yards. The width of the valley at the block is about 400 yards wide. 8ome local Wakhis had succeeded in crossing the glacier to visit their fields upstream, but it must have been a perilous passage owing to the formidable barrier of ugly pinnacles and crevasses. The main river was flowing underneath the ice close to the snout and was quite clear. The muddy waters of the glacier itself were issuing from it some 200 feet above the snout.

In recent years floods have been caused by the bursting of the Karumbar ice-dam on two occasions, in July 1893 and in June 1905. Mr. Todd gives the following information concerning the latter, thereby supplementing the notes he gave in his letter published in the Himalayan Journal, vol. ii, p. 174.

In the autumn of 1904 the Karumbar glacier made an advance similar to that of last spring, and eventually closed against the cliff on the far side in November and December 1904. It was inspected in April 1905 and reported to be about 120 feet high at the snout. A lake formed behind the barrier in the winter and spring of 1904-5, which was reported by locals to be stretching for a full day's march upstream, a statement which was probably exaggerated, unless the march is considered a laborious and difficult one. On the night of 17-18th June the imprisoned waters forced a channel underneath the glacier, and the ice-bridge above the tunnel gradually caved in. The resulting flood reached Gilgit about 8 a.m. where it carried away the one-pier bridge.

It will be interesting to note whether a similar flood occurs next year. If we take the block dates as the winters of 1891-2, 1904-5 and 1929-30, the intervals between the times of maximum advance are approximately 13 and 25 years. It would be interesting to know whether there was a minor block about 1917, which would give us a fairly regular periodicity of about 13 years. We are still groping for the laws that govern glacier-movement and we hope that the future movements of this glacier will be recorded annually by the authorities at Gilgit.

The Minapin Glacier. (Nagar State, Map 42 L.)

Mr. Todd visited this glacier on 17th April 1929 and on 18th April 1930. He found on his first visit that the attenuated end or " tongue," observed by the Vissers in 1925, had melted away and that the actual snout was about 100 yards further back. The villagers reported little change in the previous four years.

On his second visit, in 1930, he found that the tongue had melted again considerably and ended from 300 to 350 yards further back from the position observed by the Vissers. The s< forehead " above the tongue had sunk very considerably since his visit in 1929.

This glacier was one of those measured by the late Sir Henry Hayden in 1906 ; and we know something of its position from old maps in 1889, 1892 and 1893. It was observed by me in 1913, using Hayden's marks as references, and in 1925 by the Vissers. These observations indicate a slow but steady periodic advance between 1889 and 1892, when a rapid advance of 1200 yards occurred. By 1906 the snout had advanced a further distance of 300 yards, i.e., the average annual advance between 1893 and 1906 was 23 yards as against about 33 yards between 1889 and 1892. The glacier was still advancing in 1906 when seen by Hayden, at an average annual rate of 33 yards and was nearly at its maximum position of advance when I obseived it in 1913. Retreat set in soon afterwards, slowly at first, but by 1925 it had retreated some 600 to 700 yards and had formed a degenerate tongue. Mr. Todd's observations show that this degeneracy is still very marked.

Observations have not yet been carried on over a sufficient length, of time to determine the periodicity accurately, but on plotting the position of the snout in various years and taking into consideration the topography of the valley, I believe that the glacier will be at its maximum retreat about 1937, giving a total periodicity of about 48 years, 24 of advance and 24 of retreat.

It is to be hoped that every traveller who passes up the road through Nagar will halt at the Minapin rest-house and record the position of this glacier's snout. A record of the observations made up to date may be seen at the Political Agent's Residency at Gilgit.

The Hopar Glacier. (Nagar State, Map 42 L.)

Observations of this glacier have not been carefully recorded in the past. Nor would it be easy, owing to the compound basin of the glacier, to draw any deduction regarding its periodicity. When Visser saw it in 1925 the snout crossed the Hispar valley and he considered that there was a danger of it blocking the valley. Sir Martin Conway's map showed the snout about a quarter of a mile clear of the valley.

In the spring of 1929 Todd found the snout some 750 yards back from the position recorded by the Vissers, while on 20th April 1930 it had again advanced some 600 yards. Captain Berkeley, Commandant of the Gilgit Scouts, visited this glacier later in the year and found the snout pressed against the other side of the valley, while the Hispar river had forced a way under the ice.

The Pasu and the Batura Glaciers. (Hunza State, Map 42 L.)

Mr. Todd, the Political Agent, visited these two glaciers in the springs of 1928 and 1930. Both are apparently stationary and have altered little in the last forty years.

The Hispar Glacier. (Nagar State, Map 42 L.)

The Hispar Glacier fulfils most of the conditions for a glacier in which secular movement at the snout should preponderate over periodic and other movements.

Captain Berkeley visited the snout of the Hispar on 10th November 1930 and found that it was about 120 yards further back from the position observed by the Yissers in 1925. His guide informed him that it had been about 20 yards further back than its present position, in 1928. There is little doubt that over a long period the secular movement of the Hispar is one of retreat.

Three glacier tributaries of the Hispar are of considerable interest, though accurate observations as yet do not extend over a sufficient length of time to draw any conclusions. These three are the Kunyang (Kuinang or Lak), the Garumbar and the Yengutz Har (Yengutsa).

The Yengutz Har Glacier. To take the last first. Yeng means " a mill," utz being the plural suffix. Har denotes " a valley." In 1892 Sir Martin Conway recorded that the path from Darapu to Hispar descended into a precipitous gorge. " In its bowels some half-a-dozen mills find a footing. The path goes round by these and mounts to the fair fields of Hispar."[5] Conway's map showed the snout of the Yengutz Har glacier, which he called the Rungpa, a little over 1J miles from the mill-path. In 1906 Sir Henry Hay den marked the position of the snout and recorded that in about 1901 the glacier had advanced two miles. " Now the path," he wrote, " instead of descending, climbs arduously over a steep mass of black and slippery ice, the mills are gone, and their ruins hidden under the snout of the advancing glacier, "

In 1908 the Workmans examined the Yengutz Har, and found that it manifested only a small decrease in thickness and length. They recorded a recession of 989 feet from the line joining Hayden's pyramids.

I first noted a further change when I examined Khan Sahib Afraz Gul's map which he executed on the Yisser expedition of 1925. On this the snout of the glacier was shown to have retreated about 1000 yards since 1906 and the path was drawn as crossing the gorge some distance north of the snout. I then concluded that the sudden advance in 1901 was undoubtedly accidental and was probably caused by an earthquake or sudden relief from some obstruction (Rec., Geol. Survey of India, vol. lxiii, p. 229).

Captain Berkeley examined the glacier in November 1930, and I cannot do better than quote his note in extenso.

" This glacier has retreated still further and I found the snout- after an arduous climb of at least two miles-at about 13,000 feet, just at the present snow-level on the northern slopes. It showed great deterioration and was difficult to identify, for it is not visible from below. While cairns were being erected on each bank I climbed another mile up the glacier but could see little more. Judging from the enormous amount of ice clinging to the almost perpendicular mountains which hem this glacier in, I should think that it is subject to frequent ice-avalanches.

" I was told that the Mir of Nagar had sent a party up this glacier after the catastrophe of about 1901, but it was unable to get more than live miles from the position of the present snout. It reported that, although the slope became less steep at this point, the ice was forced into such high pinnacles and was so intersected by crevasses, that further progress was impossible, especially as the walls on either side and a dividing hill in the middle were quite perpendicular. I was told, however, with some assurance, that the glacier has its origin at approximately the same place as the Barpu. I also obtained from the old guide a report of the sudden advance of this glacier, which according to Sir Henry Hayden occurred in 1901, and I give it, as far as possible, in his words:

" 6 The glacier was above where the present snout is. One day, when the crops were about a hand's breadth high [end of May ?] we noticed that the water in the irrigation channels was very muddy and was coming in greater quantity than usual. We went up the nullah to see what had happened and saw the glacier advancing. It came low down, like a snake, quite steadily ; we could see it moving. There was no noise. At the same time water and mud gushed out from the ice while it was still advancing and flooded our polo-ground and some fields. When an obstruction got in the way the ice went round it at first and then gradually overwhelmed it. The ice was not clear but contained earth and stones. All our mills and water- channels were destroyed. The ice continued to move for eight days and eight nights and came to a stop about forty yards from the Hispar river. As soon as the ice stopped, the mud and water, which had been coming out higher up, stopped too. The ice remained down for fifteen years, during which time one man to each house remained in the village. As all our cultivation was spoilt and we could not bring another water-channel to our fields while the end of the glacier was below them, the Mir fed us. Twelve years ago the ice began to go back. Each day a length of about fifteen yards would break off from the main ice and was washed away by the water. And once again water commenced to flow out of the glacier above the village and we were able to make another water-channel. The ice continued to go back until about three years ago when it stopped where it is now.' "

The Garumbar glacier, the first glacier tributary to join the main Hispar glacier on the south bank, is now, according to Berkeley, definitely retreating. On Sir Martin Conway's map of 1892 it was shown (as the Charum glacier) nearly 1| miles from the main trunk of the Hispar. In 1925 it had joined the latter. Now, according to Berkeley, the ice again no longer reaches the main trunk and in the two thousand yards which are visible from the north of the Hispar, there are no fewer than four ice caves, all with streams pouring from them. This glacier, according to local" legend, made a sudden advance before the Yengutz Har and so swift was its progress that it is said to have overwhelmed two women who were fleeing before it.

The third tributary is the Kunyang glacier. This has a fall similar to that of the Hispar and appears to have advanced in the last fifteen or twenty years. There is a cairn which is said to mark the position of the snout about that time and this is fifty yards from the Hispar. The Yissers in 1925 recorded that the Kunyang had recently shrunk considerably in volume. Berkeley records that in 1930 the Kunyang joins the Hispar glacier and the red stones which it carries run along the Hispar for about a mile after the junction.


[1] Sir Francis Younghusband considers that the ice has extended on the south side of the pass, rendering it more practicable than it was in 1887.

[2] Professor Desio writes : " The high valley of Sarpo Laggo is mostly composed of gneisses and granites In association with them we find shales which

reach their greatest development towards the lower and middle section of the glacier. In the former section gneisses and granites alternate with green schists, similar to the Shigar shales, and all the features recall those of the region between Baltoro and Biaho. Towards the end of the Sarpo Laggo glacier, the limestone series is met again, composed of grey limestone, clay limestone with a bluish tinge and fossil-bearing, and red shales and polychromous conglomerates. This series corresponds to that of the Golden Throne, slightly metamorphosed.

" The limestone sequence extends in the lower Sarpo Laggo valley, consisting here of grey limestone and black calcareous shales, separated from the preceding sequence by an outcrop of gneiss and granite which descends from the great valley of K2. In the region where the valleys of Sarpo Laggo and Shaksgam come together, we find formations answering to the normal facies. They are mostly grey and black limestones, often bearing silex and more or less abundant in fossils, including corals, black, red, and violet calcareous shales, brown sandstones, and polychromous conglomerates. In other places whitish quartzites are met and greenstone dykes.

" This formation, which can be followed all along the Shaksgam valley, is frequently rich in fossils. A great many collected by me allowed me to ascertain their age as Permo-Carboniferous, revealed by the presence of Fusulina, Polipora, numerous Productus, including P. punctatus, and P. pustulosus, Dielasma, Beti- cularia, including B. lineata. The specimens collected were quite numerous, but unfortunately one of the cases containing them went astray during our return trip across Baltistan. The greatest number of specimens were taken in the Sarpo Laggo basin, in the middle Shaksgam valley, and in the Urdok basin. Nevertheless on my return trip I was able to collect a few from this region, which were packed in another case which reached home safely. Above this series lay a dolomitic limestone of light grey colour, in which I noticed the presence of sections of large shells which most probably, on account of their facies and of their stratigrapbical position, belong to the Trias ."-Geographical Journal vol. lxxv, p. 404.

[3] " In my opinion the normal seasonal advance and regeneration in the coming winter will almost certainly close the narrow transverse channel which has been cut, and by next spring this should have completely healed. I believe that another lake will almost certainly form next spring, but since the seasonal retreat next summer will now be assisted by periodic retreat, the dam will definitely degenerate in height and strength."-Himalayan Journal, vol. ii, p. 46. I give the above quotation as evidence that it is possible to foresee something of what such glaciers will do, by an examination of all the facts known to us.

f West is probably an error for east in the above quotation. I personally do not think there can ever be any danger of this glacier blocking the Shyok valley* unless its period of advance synchronizes with the advance of the Chong Kumdan. Sufficient water should otherwise always be available from the ablation of the Rimo, the Chong Kumdan, the Kichik Kumdan, and the Aktash glaciers to keep a channel clear either round or under the snout.

In another part of the same report Visser says : " Many of the glaciers of the Nubra and Shyok showed signs of considerable growth, so that the Kumdan glacier shares in the general and rather considerable advancing movement." After a very careful study of the known history of a number of Karakoram glaciers, I do not believe it is possible to generalize either with advance or retreat. There are too many factors that affect each glacier individually. I may quote the example of two neighbouring glaciers, the Chong Kumdan and the Kicbik Kumdan. One is at approximately its maximum advance, while the other is at its maximum retreat. In Hunza Nagar, we have the example of the Minapin and the Hasanabad glaciers, on opposite side of the Hunza valley. The first has advanced considerably, reached its maximum advance, and gone back to nearly its position of maximum retreat, while the Hasanabad has remained almost stationary throughout this period. Both are transverse glaciers. My own conclusions are that some glaciers are advancing and some retreating as far as periodic movement is concerned, while the few indications that we have concerning secular movement tend to show that this movement is one of retreat.

[4] Records, Geological Survey of India, vol. Ixiii, Pt. 2, 1930, p. 275.

[5] Climbing in the Himalayas, p. 325. Records, Geol. Surv. of Ind., vol. xxxv, p. 134. This is about 2000 feet higher than its altitude in 1906.