From the very beginning, man has set foot on every corner of the earth. No matter how difficult it is to reach there, human beings are always ready to conquer it. Earth has set every possible difficult challenge for them and every time man readily takes up those challenges and overcome the difficulties.
There are several stories of man’s triumph. One of such is conquering difficult and dangerous mountain passes. Here, in this article we will share two such difficult passes, one from India and other from Pakistan, which was dominated by the footprint of human beings.
Khunjerab Pass is a high mountain pass, 15,397 feet high from the sea level, in the Karakoram Mountains situated between the northern border of Gilgit–Baltistan Hunza of Pakistan and Nagar District on the southwest border of the Xinjiang region of China. In native Wakhi language ‘Khun’ means blood and ‘Jerav’ means spring water or water falling.
This is the world’s highest concrete international border crossing and the highest point on the Karakoram Highway, Karakoram mountain range. The paved roadway was completed in 1982.
On the Pakistani side, the pass is 42 km away from the National Park station and 870 km away from Islamabad.
On the Chinese side, the pass is the southwest terminus of China National Highway 314 and is 130 km away from Tashkurgan in Tashkurgan County.
This long stretched pass is often covered with snow in winter days and is closed from November 30 to 1st May.
Now, there has been a bus service, started from 1st June 2006 from Gilgit, to Kashgar, Xinjiang.
A possibility for a line connecting Havelian and Kashgar is also started in November 2009.
Khun-zerav National Park
Khun-zerav National Park also known as khunjerab is a national park in Gilgit Baltistan of Pakistan.
The main reason of this park was to provide necessary protection to the endangered Marco Polo sheep, which is only found in this area in Pakistan.
The park is also room for endangered snow leopards. Over 2,000 Siberian ibex is also present here.
Our second high altitude mountain passé is Auden’s Col connecting Rudugaira valley and Bhilangna valley. It is situated at a height of 5490m from sea level; connects the ridge from Gangotri III peak on the northwest and the ridge from Jogin I on the east. The pass also binds a glacier from Jogin I on the north side of Rudugaira valley, and dangerous Khatling glacier on the southern side of Bhilangna valley.
The pass is named after John Bicknell Auden who first discovered it in the year 1935 and crossed it in 1939. Later Mr. Harish Kapadia and Mr. Romesh Bhattacharjee also crossed it in the late eighties.
Auden’s Col is considered as one of the most unsafe passes in Garhwal Himalaya as the pass and the Khatling glacier are the deadly combination for climbing.
Some of the famous trekking routes are there, but as this is one of the most dangerous routes one has to take every possible precaution before going there. Also, it is better to take services of a guide who has actual knowledge of the route.
Gangotri and Kedarnath, the two holy Hindu Temples can be reached by crossing Auden’s Col and then Mayali pass and then by trekking from Gangotri to Kedarnath.