Nestled In The White Sheet Of Snow
Siser La is a high mountain pass in northern Ladakh in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It lies on one of the highest trade routes in the world for Yarkand in Central Asia. Situated at 17,480 ft above sea level, this pass is covered with perpetual snow.
The temperatures drop to around -20° C and it is cold enough to make one's breath freeze and form icy crystals on the face! Heavy clothing is required over here to combat the biting cold. As one approaches the pass from the Nubra Valley and the Tulimpati La, one starts to feel the effects of the high altitude. Above 16,500 ft, breathing becomes increasingly difficult. The route leads over long snow slopes and icy glaciers.
A Barren Landscape
The la is marked by heaps of stones or Cairns piled at its centre, which have been accumulated by the caravans of traders who have used this route for centuries. On the other side of the la a different landscape presents itself, with brown and black mountains across the Shyok River. These mountains are completely barren except for a few patches of white snow on the mountaintops.