Tag Archives: Frostbite and stalemate in the world’s highest battleground

Frostbite and stalemate in the world’s highest battleground

 In early April this year, a sudden avalanche buried around 125 soldiers from the Northern Light Infantry of Pakistan’s army, under 80 feet of snow. The soldiers were drawn from two brigades of thePakistanarmy, deployed in altitudes ranging from 17,880 feet to 23,350 feet in inhospitable terrain, where scores of soldiers fromIndiaandPakistanhave perished, in battles involving hand to hand combat and, more often, from frostbite and high altitude pulmonary ailments. This battlefield is along the Saltoro Ridge and theKarakoram Range, where temperatures can dip to -50 C and the average winter snowfall is 35 feet. In Indian strategic perceptions, control of the Saltoro Ridge is essential if it is to prevent encirclement byChinaandPakistanlinking their forces across theKarakoramPass, which lies towards the South East of the Saltoro Ridge and its adjacent glaciers.