Saturday, 24 April 1982

30 years ago: 24 April 1982, Everest Trek day 5, Periche & Chukung

Saturday 24th April 1982:  Periche to Chukung and back (9 miles)
I was up at 05:30 to another excellent crisp, cold, clear morning.  Today I had decided to walk up the side valley to Chukung and back to get accustomed to altitude before venturing any higher tomorrow.  Once over the ridge to Dingboche I followed a wide valley up a well worn trail across a generally rocky surface interspersed with little spiky bushes.  I saw quite a few of birds, especially on the hillside above Dingboche where I approached to within six feet of a very photogenic Tibetan Snowcock!  I also saw a superb male Himalayan Rubythroat from trail above Dingboche.  It was an excellent walk and I arrived at Chukung (15,500 ft) at 10:00 just as the cloud closed in on Ama Dablam.  It doesn’t look so distinctive from this angle.  I left Chukung soon after 11:00 and returned slowly.  It started snowing lightly from 12:00 and continued pretty much non-stop until dark although there wer a few sunny periods and the snow did not settle.  I was back in Periche at 14:00 after spending a while on the ridge between there and Dingboche.  Single Steppe and Golden Eagles apparently migrating north seemed to be finding it hard going.  I went back out after a refreshing cup of tea and plate of boiled potatoes and finally returned to the lodge at 16:00 when I was driven back by a cold wind and lack of birds.

Birds seen:  Black Kite 1 flew N, Himalayan Griffon Vulture 1, Steppe Eagle 1 flew N, Golden Eagle 1 flew N, Sparrowhawk 1, Kestrel 1, Tibetan Snowcock 3, Snow Pigeon 100, Olive-backed Pipit 6, Rosy Pipit 4, Black-backed Wagtail 4, Rufous-breasted Accentor 20, Robin Accentor 10, Alpine Accentor 1, Himalayan Rubythroat 1 male, Blue-fronted Redstart 35, River Chat 2, Tickell’s Warbler 2, Alpine Chough 80, Chough 2, Large-billed Crow 20, Raven 1, Hodgson’s Mountain Finch 100, Brandt’s Mountain Finch 60, Beautiful Rosefinch 50.

Periche at dawn
 
looking down on Periche from Dingboche ridge
 
fields at Dingboche, original slide scratched, as too many were, by a speck of dirt in the film canister

Dingboche

bird-shaped rock on the hillside above Dingboche, or is it?

Tibetan Snowcock are not supposed to be very approachable ...

but I'm glad this one was!

Snow Pigeon at Dingboche

Chukung and Ama Dablam

Ama Dablam not looking so distinctive from the north

Ama Dablam from Chukung

Chukung tea house

the valley at Chukung

Robin Accentor at Chukung

another Robin Accentor

if only our Dunnocks looked like this ...

... or even better this.  Rufous-breasted Accentor at Chukung

Ama Dablam in the clouds

Blue-fronted Redstart at Chukung

fields at Dingboche on the return to Periche

looking down on Periche from Dingboche ridge


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