Sasser Pass

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Saser Pass
Sasser Pass, Nubra ca. 1857.jpg
Saser Pass, Nubra c. 1857
Elevation 5,411 m (17,753 ft)
Location India
Range Karakoram Range
Coordinates 35°2′N 77°44′E / 35.033°N 77.733°E / 35.033; 77.733Coordinates: 35°2′N 77°44′E / 35.033°N 77.733°E / 35.033; 77.733[1]

Saser Pass, Saser La, or Sasser Pass (el. 5,411 m or 17,753 ft) is a high mountain pass in Ladakh and India on the ancient summer caravan route from Leh in Ladakh to Yarkand in the Tarim Basin. It leads from the head of the Nubra Valley into the upper Shyok valley, on the way to the even higher, but easier, Karakoram Pass.


"This was the notorious Sasser, not the highest but probably the most impressive and dangerous [of the passes along the caravan route between Ladakh and Yarkand]."[2]

The Saser Pass could not be avoided in summer and took a huge toll on caravan pack animals, such as ponies and mules. It was too icy for the Bactrian camels, which were the usual pack animals to the north of the Saser Pass.[3]

Saser Pass lies 37 km southeast of the Siachen Glacier area that the 1972 Simla Agreement between India and Pakistan failed to define clearly.


  1. ^ "Saser Pass". Retrieved 2009-07-03.
  2. ^ Keay, John. When Men and Mountains Meet, p. 182. (1977) Reprint: Oxford University Press. Karachi, 1993. ISBN 0-19-577465-5.
  3. ^ Trails to Inmost Asia: Five Years of Exploration with the Roerich Central Asian Expedition, p. 42. George N. Roerich. 1931. Reprint by Book Faith India, Delhi. 1996. ISBN 81-7303-032-4.

Further reading

  • Trans-Himalayan Caravans: Merchant Princes and Peasant Traders in Ladakh. Janet Rizvi. Oxford University Press. New Delhi. 1999. ISBN 0-19-564855-2.
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