Actual skirmishes began in 1984. Indian soldiers had been told they were being sent on a short-term mission and now had no idea when they would be going home, while generals flew in on helicopters, had themselves photographed, and left. Some of the men, dragged down by the featureless white of the terrain, began to slip into depression."It's a very small world out there. Imagine living in a white land. All white and no trees," said Dr. Rajesh Bharadwaj, a former army doctor posted to Siachen in 1984. "I remember coming back, the riot of colors that hit me. The green, yes, green is the color you miss most."
An Indian soldier keeps vigil at the Indo-Pakistan border at Siachen on Dec. 25, 2001, at almost 23,000 feet, a point higher than any mountain outside of Asia.