Pangboche - Dingboche - Chukhung

Pangboche Travel Blog

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Island Peak in the distance
The early arrival of the afternoon cloud in Pangboche the previous day bought with it weather worries, so it was with some relief that we awoke, once again, to bright blue skies and, crucially, a complete absence of wind.

If I thought the Khumbu beautiful at Lukla, our short trek away from Pangboche, through Dingboche and up to Chukhung, revealed a diifferent, but very satisfying beauty. The trail followed a wide elevated terrace above the river, with mini paths breaking off and rejoining the route constantly, past wiry scrub and around boulders and the occasional memorial to dead climbers from previous years.
Island Peak


We were now directly below Ama Dablam, and ahead of us Nuptse's multiple summits were flanked by the utterly awesome Lhotse Wall - the mountain's South face. Ama Dablam would claim two lives the week we walked past it - next year there would be more memorial stones no doubt...

Besides Lhotse, sat our goal, the 6189m high Island Peak. Anywhere else in the world, Island would have looked like an impressive hill in its own right, but sitting alongside a 3km high vertical face of rock on the shoulders of Everest, it looked almost laughably small.

Not that we were laughing at it though - our pleasant three day stroll in the beauty of the Khumbu was coming to an end and, after the debacle on Mera, we all knew things would get a lot harder from here.

After an indifferent lunch at Dingboche, an hour or so before Chukkung the Everest Base Camp highway swung off to the North and Pheriche, leaving us in relative isolation as we continued up the valley.
Doesn't look so big next to Lhotse!
Anyone we now met coming the other way had either climbed Island Peak, or come over the Amphu Labsta Pass from the Hongu Valley, as we were now walking towards the dead end of the Imja Tse Glacier.

Chukkung is a scraggy place which feels like it is on the edge of the world. Go left and you hit Lhotse, go right and you hit Baruntse. That's it - no more villages, no more lodges.

Our lodge had electricty, but no running water and it had bedrooms, but not one for me - even though Sumba had been sent up from Pangboche to reserve us rooms, but with the Island Peak climbing season at its height, and a French team already in residence, I drew the short straw. So, I would sleep in the dining room with our Sherpas and the lodge staff. Fine by me - the stove was close and the room was warm through most of the night.
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Island Peak in the distance
Island Peak in the distance
Island Peak
Island Peak
Doesnt look so big next to Lhotse!
Doesn't look so big next to Lhotse!
Pangboche
photo by: cja17