Friday, 23 April 1982

30 years ago: 23 April 1982, Everest Trek day 4, Thyangboche to Periche

Friday 23rd April 1982:  Thyangboche Monastery to Periche (8 miles)
I was up at 05:30 to the most amazing clear crisp morning imaginable, with all the peaks showing and a slight overnight snowfall/very heavy frost adding to the spectacle.  Thyangboche had been amazing last evening as the clouds cleared but this was something else again.  Not sure views could get better than this I soon dispatched a film.  I quickly breakfasted on pancakes and jam and was on my way by 06:30, only to get as far as a very approachable male Impeyan Pheasant feeding in a field at the edge of the clearing which I took 12 photos of.  I followed the trail which dropped down to cross the Imja Khola through excellent looking forest.  Not many birds but some very good ones including brilliant views of Blood Pheasant.  I reached Pangboche at 09:20 having taken things very slowly.  Quite a few women were working in the potato fields here.  I had a brief tea stop and continued on my way at 09:40, arriving at Periche (13,900 ft) at 12:00 after first taking the wrong turning and ending up near Dingboche before realising my mistake and cutting back over the ridge.  It was clear until 10:00 (again) and then began to cloud over, with light snow falling when I arrived at Periche.  The scenery is really splendid - Periche is in a wide valley with only very stunted moorland type vegetation.  I stayed in Himalaya Hotel where I was the only guest.  It was more basic than usual - just three small square rooms, a ‘dorm’, warm kitchen (where the family slept) and store room - but very friendly and excellent food.  One of the most memorable days ever, the mountains here are really superb and much better and closer than those on the Jomson Trek.  I can’t wait to see what Kala Pattar or Base Camp are like and hope to get to both.  Birding is not so good, with fewer species but this doesn’t seem to be so important somehow.  I spent 2 hours wandering about in the valley bottom in the snow before returning to the lodge again at 15:30.  I then passed a pleasant 2-3 hours in the lodge’s kitchen, keeping warm by the fire and watching the family running it and, through the open door, the snow falling outside.  I had four bowls of Sherpa stew - excellent, mainly potatoes with some large (kidney type) beans, spinach and mushy daal.  I’m not sure I’ve ever easten so much before!

Birds seen:  Lammergeyer 1, Hen Harrier 2, Blood Pheasant 5 males and 3 females, Impeyan Pheasant 1 male, Snow Pigeon 100, Olive-backed Pipit 5, Rosy Pipit 12, Black-backed Wagtail 4, Brown Dipper 2, Rufous-breasted Accentor 6, Robin Accentor 1, Alpine Accentor 1, Red-flanked Bluetail 6, Hodgson’s Redstart 1 male, Blue-fronted Redstart 25, River Chat 3, Blue Whistling Thrush 1, Orange-barred Leaf Warbler 1, Lemon-rumped Warbler 4, Tickell’s Warbler 1, Black-faced Laughingthrush 20, Grey-crested Tit 4, Black-crested Tit 6, Coal Tit 1, Chough 50, Large-billed Crow 30, Hodgson’s Mountain Finch 100, Brandt’s Mountain Finch 3, Beautiful Rosefinch 25, White-browed Rosefinch 2 (same), White-winged Grosbeak 6.

Thyangboche Monastery at dawn, Ama Dablam dominating
the cold air at over 12,000 feet made this truely breath-taking

a hard frost added to the spectacle

Thyangboche Monastery and Ama Dablam

Everest just peeking over the Nuptse-Lhotse ridge

Nuptse, Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam, an impressive roll-call
Nuptse, Everest and LhotseNuptse

Everest and prayer flags

minor peaks behind Thyangboche chorten

more views of Thyangboche

Beautiful Rosefinch at Thyangboche

Black-faced Laughingthrush at Thyangboche

leaving Thyangboche ...

... but I didn't get very far

Impeyan Pheasant feeding in a field at Thyangboche

pheasants are known for their spectacular plumage and this one is no exception in matching its surroundings

Everest from near Dewche (north of Thyangboche)

Everest from Dewche (further north of Thyangboche)


Ama Dablam and a chorten by the trail on the way to Pangboche

looking back at the chorten and Thyangboche ridge

Everest hiding in the clouds

looking back at a bridge on the trail to Pangboche

Pangboche fields and Ama Dablam


looking down on Periche, note the deterioration in the weather

the Himalaya Hotel at Periche, basic but very friendly and served excellent food

Yak at Periche

storm at Periche

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