Karachi-based mountaineers discover Pakistan’s ‘highest’ lake
Christened Paristan Lake by its explorers, the water body is reported to have been discovered in the Karakorams. The altitude of the lake is 15,641 feet above sea level. This makes it the highest lake in Pakistan and the 25th highest in the world.
Talking to the media at the Karachi Press Club on Wednesday afternoon, Omar Ahsan, head of the Karachi-based Survival International, who said he was a nephew of the 1965 war hero Squadron Leader MM Alam, described how he travelled from Karachi to Rawalpindi by road on September 5.
From Rawalpindi he left for Siachen, where he organised a team comprising porters and mountaineers from the area at Ghanche. He said he covered a distance of 7,000 kilometres in 10 days.
Ahsan said they had to go through really tortuous terrain and all of them suffered minor injuries, but they persevered and 18 miles west of Siachen they discovered this lake. He said the team did not have any tactical support, but the Pakistan Army’s SSG School in Peshawar was kind enough to provide them with all the modern instruments such as a GPS device.
Ahsan said that when they consulted the GPS device at the site of the lake, it turned out that they were poised at an altitude of 15,641 feet, or 4,813 metres, which makes Paristan Lake the highest alpine lake in the country and the 25th highest in the world.
Prior to this, he said, the highest lake in the country was the Rush Lake in Hunza, at 15,300 feet. He said that further east the road led to the Indian state of Ladakh. Describing the lake, he said that it saw snowfall the whole year round. In winter, he said, it contracted to a square mile or two with access of snow. It is a hundred feet deep and the water, he said, was so clear that one could clearly see the underwater flora and fauna.
He ended his brief news conference with the request to the Sindh and federal governments to institute a fund to promote mountaineering in Pakistan and to arouse the young people’s interest in the pursuit. He said his organisation, Survival International, would be most pleased to supplement the government’s endeavours in this context.