Why NASA is worried about Shimshal Valley?

Why NASA is worried about Shimshal Valley?

While travelling on Pakistani section of 918 km long Karakorum Highway (N-35), we take a right turn near Passu over Hunza River onto a road that moves along Shimshal River and leads deep into Shimshal valley. This “Mountaineers Valley of Pakistan” has various PakPeaks around it including PakPeak Distaghil Sar (7885 m), PakPeak Shimshal White Horn (6303 m), PakPeak Minglik Sar (6150 m), PakPeak Lupghar Sar (7200 m), PakPeak Yazghail Sar (6000 m) and PakPeak Kunjut Sar. Owing to presence of such huge PakPekas several glaciers flow into the Shimshal Valley perpendicular to the flow of the Shimshal River. Four of these glaciers are at the center of scientists attention at NASA monitoring the impacts of global warming. These four glaciers are Khurdopin, Yukshin Gardan, Yazghil, and Malunguti.   Once these glaciers slides and bump into the narrow valley they have little room to move before meeting with the Shimshal River. This little maneuvering space can result in blocking of the river itself. More recently activities occurring in 47 km long and located at an altitude of 5800m, Khurdopin Glacier are the main cause of scientists worry.After showing marginal movement over the years , the gigantic Khurdopin Glacier began  to rapidly advance in October 2016. By March 2017 it was accelerating at an astonishing rate of roughly 20 meters (65 feet) per day which is one of the fastest rates observed for a glacier in this region. This resulted in creation of a sizable glacial lake. However by July 2017, the river had carved a way out  through the glacier before the lake could grow extremely large. In late July 2017, the size of the lake dropped... read more
Little Man- Great Human

Little Man- Great Human

  About 200 porters were to be selected by famed British mountaineer Chris Bonington in 1978 for his team attempting to scale the K2. Hounding him for a place on the team was a short man with a big smile, Mohammad Karim from Skardu, but Bonington repeatedly told him: “You are too little and cannot become our team member.” Disheartened but determined to still get selected, Karim sneaked around Bonington, swiftly snuck his head between the big man’s legs, hoisted the two-metre-tall Brit on his shoulders and ran the length of an open ground. The assembled porters broke into fits of laughter, but Bonington was impressed by the audition. Karim was granted his wish, he would be part of the expedition to K2. This is the story of renowned high-altitude porter from Skardu, Mohammad Karim, popularly known as Little Karim. Despite assisting celebrated climbers to scale the peaks of the Karakorum, 65-year-old Karim is a somewhat elusive yet humble character, thankful for the adventure opportunities life threw his way. Ringing in the cracks and crevices of the Karakoram Range are stories of valour, virtue, loss and desperation. One man knows these accounts better than anyone else — he is after all the protagonist in many of themI tried to set up a meeting with him multiple times, but he was always one step ahead and I would always narrowly miss him. A few weeks ago, I was informed by a mutual friend that Little Karim was in Skardu city and was about to leave for his village, Hushe. Luckily we managed to contact him and invited him for lunch.... read more

When the mountains moved – The “A” Day of Pakistan

Koh Kambaran is a mountain  in Balochistan. It is located at an elevation of 2,568 meters above sea level.Its coordinates are 28°49’34” N and 64°55’37” E). On Monday, 11 May 1998 Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee  stunned the world by announcing at a hurriedly convened press conference that earlier that day India had conducted three nuclear tests. International observers were, if anything, even more astonished by the announcement two days later that two additional tests had been conducted. This act of India finally pursued Pakistan for a befitting response and on 18 May 1998, the Pakistani premier ordered his scientists “Dhamaka kar dein” (Conduct the explosion). The 28th May 1998, thus became the A-Day for Pakistan or the Youm-e-Takbeer when at 3:16 pm in the remote mountains of Balochistan, Pakistan carried out its first nuclear test under the Koh Kambaran (Ras Koh Hills). In an TV address to the nation, the then prime minister of Pakistan congratulated the Pakistani nation and said that “Today, we have settled a score and have carried out five successful nuclear tests.” Ras Koh Hills are independent of and should not be confused with the Chagai Hills further north on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, in which, to date, no nuclear test activity has taken place. A short while after the button was pushed, the earth in and around the Ras Koh Hills trembled. The OP vibrated as smoke and dust burst out through the five points where the nuclear devices were located. The mountain shook and changed colour as the dust of thousands of years was dislodged from its surface. Its black granite rock... read more

Kirana Hills Sargodha

The Kirana Hills is a small and extensive rocky mountain range located in Sargodha, Pakistan. It is also a place of tourist attraction in Sargodha City. Locally known as “Black Mountains”  due to its brownish landscape, its highest peak is about 980 feet (300 m). Pakistans first cold test of its nuclear device was carried out on March 11, 1983 in the Kirana Hills near Sargodha, home of the Pakistan Air Forces main airbase and the Central Ammunition Depot (CAD). Cold Test (CT) is a means of testing the working of a nuclear device without an explosion. This is achieved by triggering an actual bomb without the fissile material needed to detonate it. The test was overseen by Dr. Ishfaq Ahmed. The need to improve and perfect the design of Pakistans first nuclear device required constant testing. As a result, between 1983 and 1990, the Wah Group conducted more than 24 cold tests of the nuclear device at Kirana Hills with the help of mobile diagnostic equipment. These tests were carried out in 24 tunnels measuring 100-150 feet in length which were bored inside the Kirana Hills. Later due to excessive US intelligence and satellite focus on the Kirana Hills site, it was abandoned   Source :... read more

Quran Mountain of Quetta

Inside the dry, biscuit-coloured mountains surrounding Quetta lies an unexpected treasure: a honeycomb of tunnels bursting with cases of Holy Qurans, hidden safe from desecration. The hill known as Jabal-e-Noor, or “Mountain of Light”, has been visited by hundreds of thousands of people since two brothers turned it into a shrine for Islam’s holy book, some copies of which are up to 600 years old, officials who run it say. “We have buried at least five million sacks of old Holy Qurans,” says Jabal-e-Noor administrator Haji Muzaffar Ali. But the mountain’s labyrinth of tunnels is steadily nearing capacity. Hundreds of sacks packed with copies of the holy book now lie exposed on the hillside as administrators struggle to create space for them. The problem is especially thorny in Pakistan, where any disrespect to the Quran can inflame accusations of blasphemy, punishable by death — whether by the state or at the hands of a vigilante mob. Islam’s holy text is believed by Muslims to be the word of God spoken through the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) directly to mankind. For that reason the words themselves are held sacred, meaning Muslims must dispose of their old Qurans with great respect. Religious scholars approve of two ways: by wrapping the book carefully in a cloth and burying it in the ground, as at Jabal-e-Noor, or placing it in flowing water so the ink is washed away from the pages. But the man behind the mountain, affluent 77-year-old businessman Abdul Sammad Lehri, has an idea that, if realised, would prove both risky and revolutionary: building one of Pakistan’s first-ever Quran-recycling plants. The move... read more

Col Sher Khan – A climbing Hero of Pakistan

Mountaineering is in his blood as his father Group Captain Shah Khan was himself a climber of his time. Native of Hunza which is known for climbers and working with Pakistan Army which is an academy for mountaineers, Sher Khan has all the circumstances to become a climber, which he is. Undoubtedly he is a born and natural climber. Sher Khan is amongst the very few lead climbers of Pakistan. Unlucky not to reach on the summit of K-2 even crossing the magic line of 8000 meters twice, but he has climbed all the rest four eight thousanders of Pakistan. He was detailed as deputy leader of Pakistan Mount Everest Expedition – 1997.While climbing two eight thousanders in one attempt, he was also the member of Messner’s team. Apart from his mountaineering activities and profession, he is also a top class player of Polo. Moreover Alpine Club of Pakistan has enjoyed his services as vice president for last few years. He is another recipient of President’s Award for Pride of Performance... read more

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