Baltoro Glacier

The Baltoro Glacier (Urdu: بالتورو گلیشیر‎), at 63 km (39 mi) in length, is one of the longest glaciers outside the polar regions.[1] It is located in the Shigar district Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. It runs through part of the Karakoram mountain range. The Baltoro Muztagh lies to the south and east of the glacier, while the Masherbrum Mountains lie to the south. At 8,611 m (28,251 ft), K2 is the highest mountain in the region, and three other Eight thousanders within 20 km.[2] Siachen Glacier is separated from the Baltoro glacier by the Conway Saddle (or pass).[3][4]

Baltoro Glacier
بالتورو گلیشیر
Baltoro glacier from air.jpg
The Baltoro Glacier from the air, looking east
TypeMountain glacier
LocationKarakoram range, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan
Coordinates35°44′11″N 76°22′51″E / 35.73639°N 76.38083°E / 35.73639; 76.38083Coordinates: 35°44′11″N 76°22′51″E / 35.73639°N 76.38083°E / 35.73639; 76.38083
Length63 kilometres (39 mi)
Baltoro icefield as seen from the ISS

The glacier gives rise to the Braldo River which is a tributary of Shigar River, which is a tributary of the Indus River. Several large tributary glaciers feed the main Baltoro Glacier, including the Godwin Austen Glacier, flowing south from K2; the Abruzzi and the various Gasherbrum Glaciers, flowing from the Gasherbrum group of peaks; the Vigne Glacier, flowing from Chogolisa, and the Yermandendu Glacier, flowing from Masherbrum. The confluence of the main Baltoro Glacier with the Godwin Austen Glacier is known as Concordia; this location and K2 base camp are popular trekking destinations.

The trough of this glacier is very wide. Small valley glaciers form icefalls where they meet the trunk glacier. The sidewalls vary from very steep to precipitous. The glacier has carved striations on the surrounding country rocks. Moving ice has formed depressions, which serve as basins for numerous glacial lakes.

The glacier can be approached via the Balti town of Skardu.

List of peaksEdit

A list of notable peaks adjacent to or near the Baltoro Glacier includes:

Image galleryEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The Fedchenko Glacier in the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan is 77 km long, the Siachen Glacier which lies southeast of the Baltoro is 70 km long, and the Biafo Glacier to the northwest of the Baltoro is 67 km long. Exact lengths are relatively easy to determine with modern maps and imagery so as to include recent glacial retreat. Measurements are from recent imagery, generally supplemented with Russian 1:200,000 scale topographic mapping as well as Jerzy Wala,Orographical Sketch Map: Karakoram: Sheets 1 & 2, Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research, Zurich, 1990.
  2. ^ Concordia K2 Trek
  3. ^ "Siachen: Death (and some glory) at 20,000 ft Explained".
  4. ^ "The Shooting's Over But Siachen Will Keep Taking Its Toll".

External linksEdit