Along Karakoram Highway on the Chinese side.
Karakoram Highway, August 21st 2012
All the way along this Karakoram Highway, the highest highway in the world, from Kashgar up to Tashkorgan, a parade of Pamir Mountains went alongside. It was nothing, but breathtaking.
Here's just a glimpse.
For the first time in life I saw -- this close -- how ice snow and desert sand blended together.
"Covered in snow throughout the year, the Pamirs have long and bitterly cold winters, and short, cool summers." states Wikipedia.
Pamir Mountains are a mountain range in Central Asia formed by the junction or knot of the Himalayas, Tian Shan, Karakoram, Kunlun, and Hindu Kush ranges. My previously mentioned Oytagh Mountain, and the mountains that surround Karakul Lake: Mustagh Ata, Kongur Tagh, Kongur Tiube, are also part of the Pamirs. My guide explained, "People say this is Oytagh, that is Mustagh, and so on. But everybody says these are all Pamir. This, Pamir. That, Pamir."
I'd like to give you a close up view of the unique formation I found on the mountain side. Don't you think they look like a pair of footprints?
This is the summer pasture of Pamir.
Quoting from Wikipedia:
"According to Middleton and Thomas, 'pamir' is also a geological term. A pamir is a flat plateau or U-shaped valley surrounded by mountains. It forms when a glacier or ice field melts leaving a rocky plain. A pamir lasts until erosion forms soil and cuts down normal valleys. ... Pamirs are used for summer pasture."
This is a short clip of the view of Pamir Mountains along Karakoram Highway. As mentioned also in Wikipedia:
"Historically, the Pamir Mountains were considered a strategic trade route between Kashgar and Kokand on the Northern Silk Road and have been subject to numerous territorial conquests. The Northern Silk Road (about 2,600 km (1,616 mi) in length) connected the ancient Chinese capital of Xian to the west over the Pamir Mountains to emerge in Kashgar before linking to ancient Parthia."
"Xi'An"?! Woohoo!! That's from where I have been traveling all the way up to this point!
This was the view after leaving Karakul Lake, heading to Tashkorgan. At that moment the hard wind was back again. Although my driver drove on normal speed, a hard wind would hit my face as soon as I rolled the window glass down, even just a bit. Thus, I had to make the recording from behind the window glass. Hence, comes this greenish tone.