Sunday 25th April 1982: Periche to Loboche (4 miles)
It was cloudy when I woke so I didn’t rush and had a leisurely breakfast before leaving Periche at 07:40. I reached Dughla (15,200 ft) in 90 minutes, the last part being quite a steep climb. There I had a 30 minute tea break before continuing on to Loboche (a further 90 minute walk). arriving at 11:10 just as quite heavy snow started. The main lodge was already full so I went on to another, the extravagantly named Kongmala View Hotel. It was basically a sleeping shed with a hole in part of the roof. Perhaps not surprisingly I had it to myself! The only drawback with dawdling and looking at birds on the way was that the more dedicated trekkers got to each village first and took the best lodgings. I doubted though that many of them had noticed the three species of accentor or the flock of 18 male Grandalas that I had seen, but generally there were few birds at this altitude. My feet started to get very cold soon after I arrived but the weather was too bad to venture out an didn’t improve before dark. It doesn’t bode well for what will be my highest night ever (just over 16,000 ft), but a good test to see if a night at Gorak Shep (at 17,000 ft) is on the cards. I put on all the clothes I was carrying, including 4 pairs of socks, then put my rucksack on over lower half of sleeping bag. Despite this it was a very cold shivery night, during which I hardly seemed to sleep at all. Sending my big coat home was definitely not a good move.
Birds recorded: Himalayan Griffon Vulture 2, Tibetan Snowcock h, Snow Pigeon 3, Olive-backed Pipit 1, Rosy Pipit 4, Black-backed Wagtail 2, Rufous-breasted Accentor 15, Himalayan Accentor 10, Alpine Accentor 2, Blue-fronted Redstart 15, Grandala 18 males, Alpine Chough 60, Chough 4, Large-billed Crow 2, Hodgson’s Mountain Finch 50, Beautiful Rosefinch 5.
|Himalayan Accentor south of Dughla|
|Rufous-breasted Accentor south of Dughla, probably my favourite of Nepal's Accentors|
|The welcome tea stop at Dughla and view to south. Periche is further down the valley, under the clouds|
|me north of Dughla, looking and feeling rather under-dressed for the altitude. At least the hair provided some insulation!|