Shaksgam River

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Coordinates: 36°05′N 76°39′E / 36.083°N 76.650°E / 36.083; 76.650 The Shaksgam River is a left tributary of the Yarkand River. The river is also known as the Kelechin River and Muztagh River.[1] It rises in the Gasherbrum, Urdok, Staghar, Singhi and Kyagar Glaciers in the Karakoram.[2] It then flows in a general northwestern direction parallel to the Karakoram ridge line in the Shaksgam Valley. The river valley was explored in 1889 by Francis Younghusband (who referred to the Shaksgam as the Oprang).,[3] and again in 1926 by Kenneth Mason, who confirmed the sources of the river.[4]

The upper river valley is used by climbers approaching the north face of K2. The approach requires a crossing of the river, which is hazardous. Between its confluence with the Shimshal Braldu River and its confluence with the Oprang River the river forms the border between China and Pakistan.[1] The area is used as winter pastures by yak herdsmen from the village of Shimshal, and is the only part of Pakistan in the Tarim Basin.[5]

Administratively, the Chinese part of the valley is within the southernmost portions of Yarkand County (the source) and the Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County (lower course).

The average annual temperature in the region can fall below freezing.

See also[edit]