National Geographic : 1963 May
Geographic staff man follows a high road to war in Ladakh OXYGEN was just one problem that faced writer-photographer W. E. Garrett in reporting on last autumn's fighting along In dia's northwest frontier. Getting to the three-mile-high battle ground was unbelievably difficult. Snow blocked the only road, and all troops and supplies had to go by plane. Flights were often grounded by storms. Bitter cold and thin air compounded the Indians' task of trying to halt the Commu nist Chinese forces advancing out of Tibet. "No battlefield is pleasant," Mr. Garrett said, "but those of Ladakh's high deserts seemed beyond endurance." Yet he found Indian soldiers digging in for two-year stays at 17,500 feet-as high as the world's loftiest settlement in Chile's Andes, 500 feet higher than most men can remain without physical deterioration. Behind the front he saw a peaceful people who follow ancient ways, worshiping the Dalai Lama of neighboring Tibet. Mr. Garrett brought back the most com prehensive account yet published of La dakh's cruel, high war (page 664). Such timely reporting appears in each month's NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC. You may share these reports with your friends by nominat ing them for membership on the form below.