Although numerous studies have focused on continental glacier changes in the western China and Central Asia,7 few remote sensing images with good quality are available for glacier mapping due to cloud cover, snow cover, and mountain shadows.8 Most of the continental glaciers in Central Asia are mainly distributed throughout the tops of rugged mountains, where clouds and snow persist throughout the year. Hence, the real boundaries of these glaciers are usually covered by snow or hidden by clouds, and they are hardly and precisely delineated with only one phase satellite image. Especially, for applications in glacier change investigations, snow and clouds will become the constraint factors to improve the mapping accuracies. In addition, continental glaciers are usually located at the top of mountains with rough terrains, and some parts of the glaciers might be inside the shadow of the mountains due to terrain shading, making them invisible on satellite images. At present, numerous remotely sensed glacier mapping methods are based on monotemporal satellite images, and classification or threshold segmentation-based methods9 are the most common ways of glacier delineation.10–12 Multitemporal and multispectral optical remote sensing images, such as Landsat TM, ASTER, provide an ideal data source for detecting glacier changes at appropriate spatial scales.13–15 Normal difference snow index (NDSI) is a widely used indicator to enhance snow and ice while depressing other ground features, providing a simple but effective way of developing automated segmentation methods with multispectral images.16 However, snow cannot differentiate from glaciers due to their similar spectral characteristics, and the thresholds for glacier segmentation can hardly get a stable value for different types of glaciers in various glacial environments. In order to map the glacier centerlines, slope information derived from digital elevation models (DEMs) is also used to track maximum local slope directions.17 In the rugged mountain areas, glaciers are usually located in the shaded regions, and some parts of the glaciers are hidden by mountain shadows. The extent and spatial distribution of shadows vary with seasons due to the changing angles of the Sun. Therefore, the effects of mountain shadows to glacier mapping should be evaluated by terrain analysis with DEM data.