SARIKOL AND THE ROUTE TO KASHGAR
Section1.- THE GEOGRAPHICAL POSITION AND ETHNOGRAPHY OF SARIKOL
The great alpine valley of the PAMIR , to which cross 29th June , 1900, over the Kilik Pass (1580 feet above the sea, Fig.8 ) , was certain to prove interesting ground from more than one point of view. At its head I was close to the point where the drainage areas of the three great river systems of the Indus , the Oxus, and the Tarim meet, the representatives as it were of the still greater ethnic areas of India, Iran, and Turkestan. That the view from the height of the Kushubel Peak, my first survey station, simultaneously comprised the confines of British India, Afghanistan, Russia, and China, was the best illustration of the abiding influence which geographical facts must excise over political developments even in this desolate region. The wide expanse of level or easily undulating grazing land which the same view disclosed at the bottom of the Taghdumbash Valley, formed a striking contrast to the rocky and almost impassable gorges of Hunza, and could not fail to impress me at the outset with the advantages for communication which the Pamirs offer, notwithstanding their elevation and severe climate.But it was only in the light of subsequent observations, gathered on my marches along the whole length of the Taghumbash Pamir from the Wakhjir Pass and the Oxus source down to Tash-kurughan, that I fully realized the historical interest of the route which leads through this valley.