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0044 Memoir on Maps of Chinese Turkistan and Kansu : vol.1
Memoir on Maps of Chinese Turkistan and Kansu : vol.1 / Page 44 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000215
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LChap. 1

descending from the great main range. of the K'un-lun which overlooks the Yurung-kàsh headwaters from the south. A series of lake basins extends along the foot of those spurs at elevations of 15,000 to 16,000

feet; but the streams draining the wide valleys to the north rarely reach them, and are lost in vast detritus fans. 73 Crossing the debouchures.of these valleys we made our .way still westwards over the easy divides, separating the lake basins ; but progress was made very trying by the inclement weather and by the utter barrenness of the ground which together with the great elevations told heavily on our ponies and donkeys. With the transport nearing exhaustion and the fodder supply running out it was impossible to spare time either for triangulation or visits to the heads of the valleys descending from that portion of the southern K'un-lun range which stretches from the triangulated peak 8/52äi (23,309) far as circ. long. 80° 30'.

After six long marches from where we had left • the Pôlur-Lanak-lâ route (C. 468),

we reached the east end of a large salt lake, now mostly dry, which a

Johnson's route   art of the G. T. Survey of Ladak appears to have sighted some forty-


party   pl   g

five years before. 75 Marching thence to the north-west for three more days over very dismal ground, we passed dry salt-encrusted lagoons and struck by September 17th traces of the forgotten route by which Hail Habibullah bad tried to open direct communication with Ladak and over which Johnson had been taken to Khotan in 1865. 76 As we followed the track still clearly marked by cairns and other relics, and crossed two easy passes to the north-west, the main range came again into full view and allowed our position accurately to be fixed with the help of two triangulated peaks (4/52är or E 57 ; 6/52m or E 58) of the G.T. Survey. At last we emerged on September 18th in the valley of an eastern feeder of the Kara-kash where some abandoned stone-huts still showed Johnson's camp 'KarAkash'. 77 It only remained to trace Johnson's route to his 'Yangi-diwan Pass' by which he crossed the main K'un-lun range towards Karanghu-tiigh. A line of

Ascent to glacier col in cairns showed the side valley where the pass would have to be looked search of Yangi-datcûn.

for ; but towards its head all trace of the old route had become obliterated by advancing masses of ice and snow. Information gathered from some Kirghiz who had joined us lower down in the Kara-kâsh valley, induced me on September 22nd to make a reconnaissance with the surveyor due north up a steep glacier which appeared to offer the nearest approach to the watershed. When after a very trying ascent over much-crevassed ice and névé it was gained on a snowy col for which hypsometer and aneroid readings indicated a height of about 19,900 feet, the extensive view opening northward supplied the hoped-for links with our former surveys of 1900 and 1906 from the Khotan side of the main range. 78 But instead of the `Yangi-dawan' which was to give access eastwards to a tributary of the Yurung-kash (Chomsha-jilga?), we had reached the crest-line of the main range where it overlooks the glacier-fed headwaters of the PanAz river which flows into the Kara-kâsh.

The triangulated snowy peak, 3/52 di, 23,071 feet, rising to the east of our position, effectively blocked all view towards the unexplored portion of the range

Junction of K'nn•lun flanking the Yuruna kash headwaters. But as a compensation this

ranges.   b   e"   p

highest of our survey stations furnished definite proof of the interesting orographie fact that the high peak in question represents not merely the point of junction of the two K`un-lun ranges between which the Yurung-lash rises, but that it is also the head of the great northward spur dividing the drainage areas of the Yurung-kash and Kara-kash rivers. Unfortunately this important gain to our survey work was attended by a very serious accident to myself. The delay at that icy height necessitated by

Frostbite accident,      mapping and photographic work, together with incidents arising from
a late and hurried descent to escape the risk of being altogether

High plateaus S. of
main K'un•lun range.

71 Sec Sheet Nos. 15. A..C. 2; 10. D. 2 ; Desert Cathay, ii. pp. 469 sqq.

76 Compare in the Map illustrating the routes taken by Mr. Johnson the lake shown in cire. 80° long. 35° 10' lat., with the one to south of our C. 475 in Sheet No. 10. D. 2 ; see Desert Cathay, ii. pp. 465 eqq.

76 Cf. above pp. 7, 13 sq.; Desert Cathay, ii. pp. 468 sq. The cairn symbol in the N.E. corner of Sheet No.

10. C. 2 corresponds approximately to 'Camp Yangpi' in Johnson's map.

77 See Sheet No. 10. C. 1; cf. Stage 18, in Itinerary attached to Johnson's Report, dated April 22, 1866, to the Superintendent., O.T. Survey.

7e See Sheets Nos. 10. C. 1; 9. C. 4. For the ascent to the col and the view gained from it, cf. Desert Cathay, ii. pp. 476 sqq., with Panorama xrrr.