There is no glimmer of thaw even after seven rounds of India-China military talks. The face-off, which started in the beginning of the summer, is all set to enter the harshest winter on this planet in the icy cold Himalayas.
It is only the third week of October, but temperatures have started falling below the freezing point in eastern Ladakh where around 50,000 Indian troops are in an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation with an equal number of PLA troops. The weather will worsen in the coming months and will persist until April.
Experts have already started comparing the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with Siachen, one of the most hostile places on the earth. The figures give away the story of why Siachen is such a harsh terrain.
No less than 1,000 Indian soldiers have died since 1984 while serving in the world’s highest, deadliest and costliest battlefield. And most of them due to hostile climatic conditions.
The temperature can dip to up to minus 60 degree Celsius in the glacier spread over 76 sq km. Threat from avalanches, crevasses, blizzards and frosty winds is as constant as one’s breath and heartbeat. Low oxygen levels are a constant cause for concern.
The major cause of deaths at this high altitude battlefield of around 24,000 feet is hypothermia. The condition sets in when the human body loses heat faster than it can produce, causing a dangerously low body temperature.