The Siachen Glacier is located in the eastern Karakoram range in the Himalaya Mountains at about 35.421226°N 77.109540°E, just north-east of the point NJ9842 where the Line of Control between India and Pakistan ends. At 70 km (43 mi) long, it is the longest glacier in the Karakoram and second-longest in the world’s non-polar areas. It falls from an altitude of 5,753 m (18,875 ft) above sea level at its head at Indira Col on the China border down to 3,620 m (11,875 ft) at its terminus.
The Siachen Glacier lies immediately south of the great watershed that separates the Eurasian Plate from the Indian subcontinent in the extensively glaciated portion of the Karakoram sometimes called the “Third Pole”.
Siachen glacier northern Pakistn.
The glacier lies between the Saltoro Ridge 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 °C (−58 °F). Including all tributary glaciers, the Siachen Glacier system covers about 700 km2 (270 sq mi).
Google Earth image of Siachen glacier from an elevation of 15009ft
World’s Highest Battle Ground
Both India and Pakistan claim sovereignty over the entire Siachen region. In 1984, India launched a successful military operation and has since maintained control over all of the Siachen Glacier and its tributaries.Between 1984 and 1999, frequent skirmishes took place between India and Pakistan. However, more soldiers have died in Siachen from harsh weather conditions than from combat. Both India and Pakistan continue to deploy thousands of troops in the vicinity of Siachen and attempts to demilitarize the region have been so far unsuccessful. Prior to 1984, neither country had any military forces in this area. Aside from the Indian and Pakistani military presence, the glacier region is unpopulated. The nearest civilian settlement is the village of Warshi, 10 miles downstream from the Indian base camp. The region is also highly remote with limited road connectivity. On the Indian side, roads go only as far as the military base camp at Dzingrulma at 35.1663°N 77.2162°E, 72 km from the top of the glacier. The Indian Army has developed various means to reach the Siachen region, including the Delhi-Manali-Leh-Siachen route.
Flowing Siachen glacier- Image by google Earth from an altitude of 14952ft