Why is Siachen Important?
The Siachen Glacier is located in the eastern Karakoram range in the Himalaya Mountains along the disputed India–Pakistan border. It is the longest glacier in the Karakoram and second longest in the world’s non-polar areas.It ranges from an altitude of 5,753 m (18,875 ft) above sea level at its source at Indira Col (pass) on the China border to its snout at 3,620 m (11,875 ft)
The Siachen Glacier lies south of the great watershed that separates China from the Indian subcontinent in the extensively glaciated portion of the Karakoram that is sometimes called the “Third Pole.” The 70 km (43.5 mile) long Siachen glacier lies between the Saltoro Ridge line immediately to the west and the main Karakoram range to the east. The Saltoro Ridge originates in the north from the Sia Kangri peak on the China border in the Karakoram range. The crest of the Saltoro Ridge’s altitudes range from 5,450 to 7,720 m (17,880 to 25,330 feet). The major passes on this ridge are, from north to south, Sia La at 5,589 m (18,336 ft), Bilafond La at 5,450 m (17,880 ft), and Gyong La at 5,689 m (18,665 ft) The average winter snowfall is 10.5 m (35 ft) and temperatures can dip to -50 degrees Celsius (-58 degrees Fahrenheit).