Monday 31 May 1982

30 years ago: 31 May 1982, Langtang Trek day 15, Gopte to Thore Pati

Monday 31st May 1982:  Gopte to Thore Pati (4 miles)
We had another good night’s sleep, so much so that we were up late.  We slowly made our way through the beautiful forest, descending 1000 ft to cross a small tributary before climbing up to Thore Pati (11,500 ft).  We had many long stops overlooking ravines and gulleys along the way.  I finished my last 400 ASA film on pair of Beautiful Bush Robins which I later found the nest of - the female sitting tight in a hole directly under the path.  Excellent, although I later found out from Carol Inskipp that the nest hadn’t been described and wished I’d taken more photos of it.  We stayed in a hut with only a partial roof at Thore Pati, arriving at 16:00 and being joined there by a rather noisy VSO ex-pat (the only other person seen today).  It was then too cloudy to then go birding which was just as well as a very violent storm hit us just before dark with water dripping through the roofed part of the hut and hailstones coming in the unroofed part.  We sat around a fire we’d eventually made until most of the storm was over, then crashed out.

Birds recorded:  Sparrowhawk 1, Upland Buzzard 2, Common Hill Partridge h, Blood Pheasant 1 male and 1 female, Impeyan Pheasant 1 male and 1 female, Large Hawk Cuckoo h, Cuckoo h, Oriental Cuckoo h, Little Cuckoo h, Asiatic House Martin 3, Rosy Pipit 3, Long-tailed Minivet 2, Rufous-breasted Accentor 1, Red-flanked Bluetail 1, Golden Bush Robin 2, White-browed Bush Robin 2, Beautiful Bush Robin 4, Blue-fronted Redstart 2, River Chat 2, White’s Thrush 1, White-collared Blackbird 2, Aberrant Bush Warbler 5, Rufous-capped Bush Warbler 2, Golden-spectacled Warbler 3, Orange-barred Leaf Warbler 5, Ashy-throated Leaf Warbler 1, Lemon-rumped Warbler 2, Rufous-gorgetted Flycatcher 6, Yellow-bellied Fantail 4, Scaly-breasted Wren Babbler 2, Black-faced Laughingthrush 3, Fire-tailed Myzornis 2, White-browed Fulvetta 1, Black-capped Sibia 3, Stripe-throated Yuhina 3, Rufous-vented Yuhina 5, Black-crested Tit 1, Fire-tailed Sunbird 10, Gold-billed Blue Magpie 2, Large-billed Crow 4, Dark-breasted Rosefinch 3, Pink-browed Rosefinch 2, White-browed Rosefinch 3, Red-headed Bullfinch 3, Allied Grosbeak 3, White-winged Grosbeak 2.

male Beautiful (Rufous-bellied) Bush Robin on the way to Thore Pati 
a stunning bird

female Beautiful (Rufous-bellied) Bush Robin near nest hole
looking west on approach to Thore Pati

view from Thore Pati looking back west

Sunday 30 May 1982

30 years ago: 30 May 1982, Langtang Trek day 14, rock to cave

Sunday 30th May 1982:  Overhanging rock to Gopte (4 miles)
A good night’s sleep under our overhanging rock, we woke at 05:00 to find the sky was clear.  We breakfasted, packed and left at 06:00 to slowly walk to Gopte (11,700 ft), basically contouring around very rough country, with a few ups and downs along the way.  It was very nice until the clouds came in soon after 11:00.  The cloud cleared at 12:00 with a brief rain shower, and visibility was then good until 17:00 when we reached the hut above Gopte (gopte being the Nepali for cave, although this one was little better than the overhanging rock we'd stayed under the previous night).  We saw two more Gould’s Shortwings, the second singing its heart out in pouring rain.  These, Beautiful (Rufous-breasted) and White-browed Bush Robins in consecutive ravines and a Fire-tailed Myzornis feeding on a small, moss covered waterfall made it another brilliant day.  We decided to stay at Gopte for the night and all wandered off for a look around but we saw little as cloud descended.  The only other person seen all day was a local hunter looking somewhat sinister on a distant hillside.  A year later Alan Adams, a particularly good friend of Nick’s, tragically went missing in this area.  No trace of him was ever found.  Alan was a fantastically keen birder and very nice guy to go with it.  It was assumed he’d slipped and fallen in the very rough country but stories of attacks on trekkers in remote areas of Nepal were not completely unheard of and hearing the shocking and very sad news my thoughts, probably with no justification whatsoever, briefly turned to the local hunter we had seen distantly.  Much more likely he’d followed a shortwing down a steep gully and fallen.

Birds recorded:  Upland Buzzard 2, Common Hill Partridge h, Blood Pheasant 2 males and 4 females, Impeyan Pheasant 1 male and 3 females, Large Hawk Cuckoo h, Cuckoo h, Little Cuckoo h, Eagle Owl h, Himalayan Swiftlet 5, Asiatic House Martin 2, Rosy Pipit 5, Wren 4, Rufous-breasted Accentor 1, Gould’s Shortwing 2, Golden Bush Robin 7, White-browed Bush Robin 1, Beautiful Bush Robin 6, Blue-fronted Redstart 2, River Chat 6, Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush 1, Blue Whistling Thrush 2, Plain-backed Mountain Thrush 1, Aberrant Bush Warbler 2, Rufous-capped Bush Warbler 13, Golden-spectacled Warbler 4, Orange-barred Leaf Warbler 3, Ashy-throated Leaf Warbler 1, Rufous-gorgetted Flycatcher 2, Yellow-bellied Fantail 3, Scaly-breasted Wren Babbler 2, Black-faced Laughingthrush 4, Fire-tailed Myzornis 5, White-browed Fulvetta 8, Grey-crested Tit 1, Black-crested Tit 2, Stoliczka’s Treecreeper 1, Common Treecreeper 2, Fire-tailed Sunbird 15, Large-billed Crow 2, Dark-breasted Rosefinch 2, Pink-browed Rosefinch 2, White-browed Rosefinch 2, White-winged Grosbeak 10.

very rough country looking west from Gopte, the Laurebina Pass is over the far ridge

Fire-tailed Myzornis near Gopte.  With a name like that it is bound to be a stunner, and it is, just not in this photo! 

Saturday 29 May 1982

30 years ago: 29 May 1982, Langtang Trek day 13, hut to rock

Saturday 29th May 1982:  Dongal Pati Cholang hut to overhanging rock E of Laurebina Pass (8 miles)
We were woken by a small group of Indian pilgrims at 03:45.  They quickly built a fire (putting our earlier efforts to shame), had a brew and continued on their way.  What they made of us I’ve no idea.!  We were then up at 05:00, or thereabouts, to a dull, cloudy dawn.  We breakfasted on biscuits, eggs and cheese, packed our bags and were off by 06:00, with the cloud clearing giving the prospect of a good day ahead.  The trail soon re-entered the forest which was mainly stunted rhododendrons (in bloom) and juniper and started climbing steeply up the ridge which was excellent for Golden Bush Robins.  As we climbed higher the forest thinned out considerably, with Plain-backed Mountain Thrushes breeding around the tree line.  Climbing out of the remaining stunted and scattered trees we had good views of Impeyan Pheasants and Rufous-breasted Accentors.  Leaving the trees far below the trail continued climbing the ridge, with very few birds in evidence on the barren slopes around us, but fine mountain views to the west.  After about half an hour of steady climbing we disturbed a pair of Snow Partridges on the path above us.  A very welcome new bird for me after earlier disappointments and we saw a further 3 pairs before reaching Gosinkund Lake (14,100 ft) just before 10:00.  Close to the lake 3 Red-breasted Rosefinch performed well, our target bird for the area, and with the prospect of no low cloud to hamper us we abandoned our earlier plan to spend the night in a hut at the lake and decided to press on over the Laurebina Pass.  We left the lakes at 10:00 and with most of the way under snow, knee deep in places, it took 90 minutes of hard climbing to reach the top of the pass (15,200 ft).  On the far side of the pass the snow was much reduced and the trail down the other side was more obvious.  We stopped for a well earned lunch break, but while eating biscuits and cheese the clouds started to roll in.  We continued, descending boulder strewn slopes and skirting snow fields and as the trail levelled out we stopped to watch a loose feeding flock of dazzling Grandalas.  Half an hour later the Grandalas moved off and we followed the trail down beside a fast flowing stream. We entered juniper scrub once more and the trail stopped descending but started to undulate along the high side of a valley at about 13,000 ft.  After about half an hour Nick, who was ahead at this stage, turned around to comment on us ‘being in shortwing habitat anytime now’, when out of the corner of my eye I saw a Gould’s Shortwing hoping about on a boulder 25m below us.  It took Nick and Dave a while to realise I’d got one but luckily it remained on view long enough for them to see it and me to photograph it (albeit at some distance) before moving out of view.  About half an hour later (at 16:00), and a further half a mile on, we came to a big overhanging rock with fairly flat ground underneath it, providing just about enough room for us to sleep provided it did not rain too heavily.  We left our bags there and wandered on, splitting up to explore dried up stream beds and more accessible juniper forest and bamboo clumps, while keeping an eye out for a more suitable dwelling for the night.  However, the cloud was coming in with visibility dropping to less than 10m at times and I turned back and returned to our rock soon after 17:00 soon to be joined by the others.  We celebrated Gould’s Shortwing with some biscuits and cheese and I sorted out my gear and wrote up my notes.  We crashed out under the rock about 19:00, none of us having seen anywhere better to sleep.  A brilliant day, probably the best of the trip and three new birds was my best showing for over a month.  We saw no other people at all today since the pilgrims in the night (I’d assumed they were going up but perhaps they were on their way down as there was no sign of anyone at Gosinkund).

Birds recorded:  Common Buzzard 1, *Snow Partridge 4 pairs, Common Hill Partridge h, Impeyan Pheasant 3 males and 3 females, Cuckoo h, Little Cuckoo h, Himalayan Swiftlet 20, Asiatic House Martin 2, Rosy Pipit 20, Wren 1, Rufous-breasted Accentor 15, Alpine Accentor 50, *Gould’s Shortwing 1, Golden Bush Robin 11, Blue-fronted Redstart 6, Grandala 8 males and 12 females, River Chat 6, Little Forktail 2, Blue Whistling Thrush 1, Plain-backed Mountain Thrush 7, Aberrant Bush Warbler 1, Rufous-capped Bush Warbler 4, Greenish Warbler 4, Orange-barred Leaf Warbler 3, Black-faced Laughingthrush 6, Chestnut-tailed Minla 2, Fire-tailed Myzornis 1, White-browed Fulvetta 3, Black-crested Tit 4, Fire-tailed Sunbird 12, Alpine Chough 1, Chough 1, Large-billed Crow 4, Dark-breasted Rosefinch 3, Pink-browed Rosefinch 1, White-browed Rosefinch 11, *Red-breasted Rosefinch 1 male and 2 females, White-winged Grosbeak 10.

flowers on the climb to Gosainkund provided an excuse for a brief rest

Streaked Laughingthrush, perhaps the dullest of a normally superb group of species

Fire-tailed Sunbird, show off its tail - I'm over here!

Golden Bush Robin on the climb to Gosainkund

Snow Partridge near Gosainkund

most welcome after I'd missed them on the Everest Trek and at Kyangjin

Nick, me and Dave at Gosainkund.  They waited for me this time!

Gosainkund Lake and a snowy Laurebina Pass.  The trail goes around the left hand side of the lake and starts to climb, out of picture, continuing up the ridge to the pass in the centre of the picture

looking back down on Gosainkund Lake from half way up Laurebina Pass, empty pilgrims huts to the right of the lake

A superb male Grandala, one of 8 (and 12 females) we saw coming down the snow-free side of the Laurebina Pass

Pica or Mouse Hare

the almost mythical Gould's Shortwing.  It did not disappoint even if the photo is poor

Friday 28 May 1982

30 years ago: 28 May 1982, Langtang Trek day 12, chorten to hut

Friday 28th May 1982:  Chorten above Syabru to Dongal Pati Cholang hut (5 miles)
We woke at dawn (04:30).  It was quite cold and my sleeping bag was a bit damp, but not as bad as I had feared it might be.  A Tragopan started calling soon after dawn and once we’d hidden our rucksacks - not that there was likely to be anyone else about - and eaten a few biscuits and eggs it was light enough to go in after it.  After two minutes I had excellent views of a female with just as excellent views of a male five minutes later.  Absolutely brilliant.  I then went to try and track down a Common Hill Partridge that was calling further around the hillside but failed despite getting close on two occasions.  The first time I heard it flying off and the second I was edging around a hillside to overlook it when I flushed a deer which bolted in the direction of the partridge flushing it too!  Good birding otherwise until 09:00 when we decided to continue on to Chandrabari.  It was a steep climb and quite hard work with a loaded bag but we soon got to a ridge giving excellent mountain views to W.  We arrived at Sing Gomba/Chandrabari (10,700 ft) by 12:00 and ate in a lodge there - Tibetan bread and butter from the cheese factory.  I bought 1 kg of yak’s cheese for 52 rupees and also added a litre of water to my load.  We weren’t sure whether there would be any water before Gosinkund as we were basically climbing up along a ridge.  We left Chandrabari at 15:30 and climbed steadily along a forested ridge for 70 minutes, the last part in the rain, before arriving at a doorless and therefore draughty stone hut in a clearing at Dongal Pati Cholang (11,500 ft).  At least it had a reasonable corrugated iron roof.  We made futile attempts to light a fire while hail stones bounced in through the open doorway!  Despite this I felt very content.

Birds recorded:  Golden Eagle 2, Common Hill Partridge h, Satyr Tragopan 1 pair, Impeyan Pheasant 1 pair, Speckled Wood Pigeon 4, Large Hawk Cuckoo h, Cuckoo h, Oriental Cuckoo h, Little Cuckoo h, Darjeeling Pied Woodpecker 2, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker 1, Long-tailed Minivet 5, Red-flanked Bluetail 1, Grey Bushchat 2, White-collared Blackbird 4, Rufous-capped Bush Warbler h, Golden-spectacled Warbler 2, Blyth’s Crowned Leaf Warbler 1, Large-billed Leaf Warbler h, Lemon-rumped Warbler 3, Goldcrest 1, Slaty-blue Flycatcher 1, Variegated Laughingthrush 2, Spotted Laughingthrush 1, Streaked Laughingthrush 1, Black-faced Laughingthrush 2, Scaly-breasted/Nepal Wren Babbler 1, Black-capped Sibia 2, Rufous-vented Yuhina 1, Rufous-fronted Tit 2, Grey-crested Tit 1, Black-crested Tit 3, Coal Tit 2, Gold-billed Blue Magpie 3, Large-billed Crow 4, Spotted Rosefinch 1, White-winged Grosbeak 4.

view from the climb towards Chandrabari.  Tragopans seen, rhodedendrons in flower, sun shining, only a lighter bag could make it better ...

view from Chanrdabari

view from above Chandrabari, a perfect morning

Thursday 27 May 1982

30 years ago: 27 May 1982, Langtang Trek day 11, River Lodge to forest chorten

Thursday 27th May 1982:  River Lodge to chorten in forest above Syabru (9 miles)
We were up early and after a bowl of porridge walked quite fast to Lama Lodge for a more substantial second breakfast.  Why do I often think of the Lord of the Rings while trekking?  We then took our time walking to Syabru, seeing three Grey-bellied Tesias and a male and two female Scarlet Finches in the gorge by the river crossing on the way.  Once across the Langtang Khola the trail followed the river down a long way before a steep climb up to Syabru (7000 ft).  We ate at Syabru and bought lots of supplies (seemingly most of what its one shop had that was portable).  We then started the steep 90 minute climb up the trail into the forest above, keen to sleep out at a Satyr Tragopan site to be sure of being there for dawn.  My bag was far too heavy with the supplies and the climb just about killed me, much to Dave and Nick’s apparent amusement!  They would climb on ahead, sit waiting for me and just as I reached them get up and continue on.  These youngsters have no respect for their elders thought me, soon to be 28, about a couple of 24-25 year olds!  We eventually got to the chorten in the forest (c8500 ft) at dusk and sorted out the most confortable places to sleep in the open.  We heard a tragopan just after our arrival but it was too dark to go wandering around to look for it (a torch might have helped here).  There were lots of rustling noises in the forest after dark and a bit of thunder and rain during the night but my first night in the open in the Himsalayas went better than expected.  The food I bought in Syabru, hopefully be sufficient to last 5 days, was:  6x100g tins of sardines (54 rupees), 24x100g packets of Nebico biscuits (84 rupees), 12x100g packets of malt biscuits (42 rupees), 2x100g packets of Orange Nut biscuits (8 rupees), a 400g bag of cornflakes (15 rupees) and 9 hard boiled eggs (20 rupees).

Birds recorded:  Common Hill Partridge h, Satyr Tragopan h, Impeyan Pheasant h, Woodcock 1, Rock Dove 1, Rufous Turtle Dove 5, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon 3, Large Hawk Cuckoo h, Cuckoo 3, Oriental Cuckoo h, Little Cuckoo 1, Darjeeling Pied Woodpecker 2, Brown-fronted Woodpecker 2, Bay Woodpecker 1, Nepal House Martin 2, Black Bulbul 4, Brown Dipper 2, Indian Blue Robin 1, Plumbeous Redstart 6, Grey Bushchat 5, River Chat 2, Spotted Forktail 1, Blue Whistling Thrush 4, Pied Ground Thrush 1 female, Grey-bellied Tesia 3, Striated Prinia h, Golden-spectacled Warbler 2, Chestnut-crowned Warbler 1, Black-faced Warbler 1, Blyth’s Crowned Leaf Warbler 3, Large-billed Leaf Warbler h, Beautiful Niltava 4, Verditer Flycatcher 2, Grey-headed Flycatcher 2, Striated Laughingthrush 1, Variegated Laughingthrush 2, Red-headed Laughingthrush 3, White-browed Shrike Babbler 1, Black-capped Sibia 5, Stripe-throated Yuhina 1, Red-headed Tit 2, White-tailed Nuthatch 1, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker 2, Ashy Drongo 1, Bronzed Drongo 4, Gold-billed Blue Magpie 1, Tree Sparrow 2, *Scarlet Finch 1 male and 2 females.

flowers above Syabru - any excuse for a five minute rest!

in the forest above Syabru

Wednesday 26 May 1982

30 years ago: 26 May 1982, Langtang Trek day 10, Kyangjin to River Lodge

Wednesday 26th May 1982:  Kyangjin to River Lodge (10 miles)
We left Kyangjin quite late (08:50) after breakfast and my buying another 500g of yak cheese – something I’m becoming addicted to.  It was an excellent day’s walk with good weather all the way.  We stopped at Ghora Tabela for lunch and ended up staying there for nearly 2 hours – I had two bowls of porridge and some cheese.  Dave was keen to stay the rest of the day but Nick and I persuaded him to continue.  We arrived at River Lodge at 17:00 after a slow walk down through the forest where we saw a nice pink orchid growing on a tree in the forest but it was eclipsed for me by a male Indian Blue Robin!  Another trekker coming up from Lama Lodge told us he’d seen the others and Colin et al arrived at River Lodge as it was getting dark.  It was great to see them again and to hear that they’d seen nine (!!) Gould’s Shortwings, amongst other things, between Gopte and the Laurebina Pass.  Our plans for a direct return to Kathmandu went straight out of the window, but with no lodges in the area it meant stocking up with food in Syabru, the nearest village, and sleeping out for 3 nights, the logistics of this having put us off originally.  I’m more excited by the prospect of doing this than I have been for some time.  It should be really good to get to such a remote area, provided the weather holds.

Birds recorded:  Kestrel 1, Snow Pigeon 100, Cuckoo 2, Little Cuckoo h, Himalayan Swiftlet 5, Darjeeling Pied Woodpecker 2, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker 1, Asiatic House Martin 1, Olive-backed Pipit 10, Grey Wagtail 2, Brown Dipper 1, Indian Blue Robin 1 male, Blue-fronted Redstart 6, Plumbeous Redstart 2, Grey Bushchat 2, River Chat 4, Blue Whistling Thrush 4, Golden-spectacled Warbler 5, Blyth’s Crowned Leaf Warbler 5, Large-billed Leaf Warbler 2, Ashy-throated Leaf Warbler 2, Lemon-rumped Warbler 2, Beautiful Niltava 1, Rufous-gorgetted Flycatcher 4, Yellow-bellied Fantail 2, Variegated Laughingthrush 10, Streaked Laughingthrush 1, Chestnut-tailed Minla 2, Black-capped Sibia 5, Rufous-fronted Tit 1, Grey-crested Tit 1, Black-crested Tit 3, Green-tailed Sunbird 1, Grey-backed Shrike 3, Nutcracker h, Chough 4, Large-billed Crow 1, Beautiful Rosefinch 4.

heading back down the Langtang Valley towards Ghora Tabeloa

back to the tree-line

signs of cultivation too

further down the valley

Tuesday 25 May 1982

30 years ago: 25 May 1982, Langtang Trek day 9, Kyangjin

Tuesday 25th May 1982:  Kyangjin and hill opposite (7 miles)
After a long wait for breakfast I headed down to Nick’s female White-bellied Redstart site and soon saw it.  Buoyed by this success I decided to try for Dave’s Snow Partridges too and headed into the forest opposite Kyangjin where I saw 4 Blood Pheasants before climbing high onto the hills above.  Here I searched in vain for Snow Partridges for several hours without success.  Either Dave had sdone a very successful job of scaring them all off, or he’d given me duff directions (or I’d misinterpreted them) or I was too late in the day.  By the end I’d’ve been quite happy to have seen just one or two but it was not to be.  On the way back I saw a superb Long-tailed Mountain Thrush singing a very quiet mournful song which was some consolation.  I got back to the lodge at 15:30 feeling really tired and hungry and didn’t go out again.  James Wolstencroft had caught up with us again which was good value.  He had a short-wave radio - not much happening in South Atlantic much to Nick’s relief (as his brother was there).

Birds seen:  Lammergeyer 1, Sparrowhawk 1, Blood Pheasant 4, Ibisbill 2, Snow Pigeon 1, Cuckoo 1, Olive-backed Pipit 10, Rosy Pipit 15, Wren 2, Rufous-breasted Accentor 15, Red-flanked Bluetail 1, Golden Bush Robin 2, Blue-fronted Redstart 8, *White-bellied Redstart 1 female, River Chat 4, Blue Whistling Thrush 2, Long-tailed Mountain Thrush 1 singing, Greenish Warbler 2, Orange-barred Leaf Warbler 2, Tickell’s Warbler 4, Variegated Laughingthrush 1, Coal Tit 1, Alpine Chough 6, Chough 4, Large-billed Crow 2.

view west from Kyangjin

flowers opposite Kyangjin

Blood Pheasant opposite Kyangjin

climbing above Kyangjin

looking down on Kyangjin village and across to Kyangjin glacier

Langtang Lirjung from opposite Kyangjin

looking north to the head of the Langtang Valley

Monday 24 May 1982

30 years ago: 24 May 1982, Langtang Trek day 8, Kyangjin

Monday 24th May 1982:  Kyangjin glacier and valley (11 miles)
I was up and out early.  The views around Kyangjin were wonderful and I took a few photos.  I returned for breakfast then walked up to the Kyangjin glacier on my own.  It was nice but there were few birds there.  I returned for an early lunch and then walked up the valley towards the Tibetan border (probably without getting very close to it).  I counted 24 Ibisbills along the Langtang Khola on the way back.  The river was very braided at this point which seemed to be to their liking.  My quiet day contrasted with Dave's, who got back from climbing high up the other side of valley towards Kangja La where he'd seen 21 Snow Partridges.  Nick had gone further down the valley and seen a female White-bellied Redstart, both would be new birds for me.  Still there is always tomorrow, or the next day ...

Birds recorded:  Tibetan Snowcock h, Ibisbill 24, Snow Pigeon 50, Cuckoo 1, Olive-backed Pipit 8, Rosy Pipit 100, Black-backed Wagtail 10, Brown Dipper 1, Rufous-breasted Accentor 10, Blue-fronted Redstart 30, River Chat 10, Blue Whistling Thrush 4, Greenish Warbler 1, Tickell’s Warbler 12, Alpine Chough 80, Large-billed Crow 4, Hodgson’s Mountain Finch 30, Beautiful Rosefinch 3.

waiting for the early morning sun at Kyangjin

Langtang Lirjung

Kyangjin glacier

Kyangjin glacier, any ideas of an early morning swim were soon dismissed

small avalanche on Langtang Lirjung

Upper Langtang Valley at Kyangjin, ideal habitat for Ibisbill

Tickell's Warbler at Kyangjin

Rosy Pipit
Ibisbill, as brilliant as ever

one of 24 seen today
clouds coming in
small village of Kyangjin, being end of season this was about as lively as it got!

Sunday 23 May 1982

30 years ago: 23 May 1982, Langtang Trek day 7, Ghora Tabeloa to Kyangjin

Sunday 23rd May 1982:  Ghora Tabela to Kyangjin (10 miles)
I walked to Kyangjin (12,300 ft) ahead of Nick and Dave, the last part in falling snow.  The whole walk was very reminiscent of that to Chukung on the Everest Trek, but with more vegetation.  The view from Kyangjin should be nice if it is clear in the morning, it certainly wasn’t now!  Temperature at mid day was apparently 0.5°C but it doesn’t feel cold.  I hate to think what it fell to at Loboche!  The snow stopped at 15:00 and I had a really excellent afternoon walk down to the Langtang Khola where I saw 12 Ibisbills.  I'd seen them wintering at Hetauda on my previous trip to Nepal but there was something rather special about seeing them on their breeding grounds, more so in such a remote area (the best part of a week's walk from the nearest road).  The yak cheese made at Kyangjin is good, as is the food at the lodge.  It was not ultra cold in the evening and nice and warm in my sleeping bag at night.  The main trekking season seems pretty much over as we are the only ones staying in the lodge.

Birds recorded:  Golden Eagle 1, Impeyan Pheasant h, Ibisbill 12, Snow Pigeon 200, Rufous Turtle Dove 4, Himalayan Swiftlet 15, Nepal House Martin 10, Olive-backed Pipit 3, Rosy Pipit 20, Grey Wagtail 2, Black-backed Wagtail 6, Rufous-breasted Accentor 6, Blue-fronted Redstart 15, Grey Bushchat 10, River Chat 6, Blue Whistling Thrush 10, Blyth’s Crowned Leaf Warbler 3, Large-billed Leaf Warbler h, Lemon-rumped Warbler 1, Tickell’s Warbler 7, Slaty-blue Flycatcher 1, Rufous-gorgetted Flycatcher 4, Variegated Laughingthrush 6, Streaked Laughingthrush 12, Black-faced Laughingthrush 2, Chestnut-tailed Minla 1, Stripe-throated Yuhina 4, Rufous-fronted Tit 2, Grey-crested Tit 1, Black-crested Tit 2, Green-tailed Sunbird 6, Fire-tailed Sunbird 2, Grey-backed Shrike 2, Alpine Chough 10, Chough 30, Large-billed Crow 10, Pink-browed Rosefinch 3, White-browed Rosefinch 1, Beautiful Rosefinch 3.

the trail just north of Ghora Tabela

between Ghora Tabela and Langtang - I took a number of photos but don't remember where they all were

an attractive plant by the trail
a forested section of the trail
still below the tree-line ...
... but not for long

approaching a village in a more open part of the Langtang valley

looking back the way I'd come, even I found it warm enough for shorts

a Tamang village on the way to Langtang

house near Langtang, well stocked with firewood, purple stain a chemical blemish on the slide 

water driven prayer wheels near Langtang

Snow Pigeon at Kyangjin

view from Kyangjin back to Langtang peak

view of Kyangjin airfield, unlikely to have been used recently!

the braided Langtang Khola at Kyangjin, ideal breeding habitat for Ibisbill 

Ibisbill, one of the main attractions of the Upper Langtang Valley in summer and well worth a week of walking to reach

getting excellent views of such a superb species was one of the trip highlights