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At 7,821 meters (25,660 feet), Masherbrum is one of the Karakoram Range’s most impressive summits. During a trek through the Karakoram atop the Baltoro Glacier, I established camp one night in order to photograph the mountain at sunset. As the new moon rose behind the mountain, a few clouds clung tenaciously to its summit while the prevailing winds blew from the west. Climbers, and photographers too, in fact, pay constant attention to the weather. A sudden change in the jet stream, the prevailing high-altitude wind, could signal an approaching storm. During my trek several storms passed through. In each instance, cameras were appropriately secured and tents assembled in protected locations. A land of glaciers and snow, the Karakorum Range is called the “the Shining Mountains” by the local people, who migrated here from Tibet. Masherbrum stood unconquered by climbers until 1960, when a joint U.S.-Pakistani team achieved the summit. The Baltoro Glacier, which mountaineers follow to reach Masherbrum and other Karakorum peaks, is 93 kilometers (58 miles) long; each day of travel on it reveals new views of high mountains along its edge.

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At 7,821 meters (25,660 feet), Masherbrum is one of the Karakoram Range’s most impressive summits. During a trek through the Karakoram atop the Baltoro Glacier, I established camp one night in order to photograph the mountain at sunset. As the new moon rose behind the mountain, a few clouds clung tenaciously to its summit while the prevailing winds blew from the west. Climbers, and photographers too, in fact, pay constant attention to the weather. A sudden change in the jet stream, the...
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(c) Art Wolfe / www.artwolfe.com
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