Mount Harmukh – K1,K2 peaks & Lake Gangabal

Harmukh (also known as Mount Haramukh or Harmukh mountain) is a mountain with a peak elevation of 5,142 metres (16,870 ft), in Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir. Harmukh is part of the Himalaya Range, and is located between Nallah Sindh in the south and Kishanganga Neelum River in the north, rising above Gangabal Lake in the vicinity of Kashmir valley. It is mostly climbed from the northwestern side of Arin Bandipore.

Geographical Location

Harmukh lies in the northwestern Himalayan Range. The Karakoram Range borders it on the north and the Kashmir Valley on the south. Melt waters from glaciers form Gangabal Lake which lies at its foot to the north east side and contribute significantly to the regional fresh-water supply, supporting irrigation through Nallah Sindh. This Himalayan Range lies along the southern edge of the Eurasian tectonic plate and is made up of ancient sedimentary rocks (more than 390 million years old). Those strata were folded and thrust-faulted, and granite masses were intruded, when the Indian plate collided with Eurasia, beginning more than 100 million years ago.

Climbers

Harmukh was first climbed by members of the Great Trigonometric Survey led by Thomas Montgomerie in 1856. Montgomerie made the first survey of the Karakoram some 210 km (130 miles) to the north, and sketched the two most prominent peaks, labelling them K1 and K2.Harmukh was later climbed by many other climbers. Most Recently the Haramukh peak was climbed by a local group of climbers from Alpine Adventurers on September 20, 2015. This was the first successful ascent to the eastern peak after nearly 3 decades.

The policy of the Great Trigonometric Survey was to use local names for mountains wherever possible and K1 was found to be known locally as Masherbrum. K2, however, appeared not to have acquired a local name, possibly due to its remoteness. The mountain is not visible from Askole, the last village to the south, or from the nearest habitation to the north, and is only fleetingly glimpsed from the end of the Baltoro Glacier, beyond which few local people would have ventured.Therefore, Harmukh is the mountain from which the world’s second-highest mountain peak, K2, was discovered and the name given it by the Survey, K2, continues to be used.

The most enchanting high altitude trek in entire Kashmir valley is the one leading to the famous Lake of Gangabal situated at the foot of Mount Haramukh. This Lake is approachable either from Sonamarg involving a 3 to 4 day trek or directly through Chatargul along Bramahsar or via Naranag up the steep slope of Buth-Sher which takes a day or two. The trek from Sonamarg across Nichnai pass is out of this world. There are more than a dozen Lakes on this trek. Kishensar, Vishensar, Yemsar, Gadsar, Satsar, and finally the Gangabal and Nundkol Lakes. After crossing Nichnai pass, one can either go through the valleys or cross some more passes to go along the Lakes directly. Each Lake has its own peculiarity and the bigger ones, Kishensar, Vishensar, Gangabal, and Nundkol are stocked with trout fish. There are excellent camping sites all along the trek. The mountainsides are full of varied flora. Some places one finds mind boggling variety of plants and flowers especially while climbing the pass near Gadsar to reach Satsar.

 

How to reach ?

The closest tourism destination to Haramukh is Daachigam. Other close by tourism destinations include Sonamarg, Srinagar and Pahalgam. The nearest major railway station to Haramukh is Jammu (JAT) which is at a distance of 322 kilometres. The nearest airport is at Srinagar which is at a distance of 44 kilometres. Lying at an elevation of 11945 m, it is one of the highest cities in India .The easiest route among the different routes of Harmukh is via Arin Bandipore,47 km motorable road from Srinagar to Arin and 18 kilometers of high altitude alpine tract leads to the base of Harmukh. Another track leads from Naranag to the base of Harmukh at Gangabal Lake, but it is a steep climb at some places.

 

Source
  1. “The Karakoram, Pakistan Himalaya and India Himalaya (north of Nepal) – 68 Mountain Summits with Prominence of 1,500 meters or greater”. Peaklist.org. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  2. “How high is Harmukh”. wolframalpha.com. Retrieved 24 April2012.
  3. ^ “Geography of Kashmir”. kousa.org. Retrieved 24 April 2012.

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