Island Peak Climbing with EBC Trek is a perfect blend of trekking and climbing. Island Peak Climbing in Nepal offers the best peak climbing experience for novice climbers and mountain lovers. Lying in the Khumbu or Everest Region, the Island Peak or Imja Tse rises like a spectacular island of rock and ice surrounded by glaciers and 8000 and 7000 metre peaks. One of the easiest of Nepal’s trekking peaks, the ascent to Island Peak’s summit at 6189m involves a traverse through glacier and moderate snow and ice climbing.
Take a high altitude hike to Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar and stand beneath the frozen summit of Mount Everest. Cross a high mountain pass Kongma La and arrive at Island Peak Base Camp. Put on your gear and follow your guide to the summit of this beautiful peak.Walk past mountainside Sherpa villages, high mountain passes and glaciers to reach the Island Peak Base Camp, from where you make your summit bid. The ample acclimatization days will ensure that your body adapts well to the rarefied air before your Island Peak Climbing summit bid. For most of you this will be a ‘first’ and thus your most memorable summit. We are sure there will be many more in the future, but the taste of your first victory lingers for a lifetime.
Since your safety is our number one priority, we do a double check on all our climbing equipments and gear that we use for this Island Peak Climbing expedition. We make sure that the safety procedures are on place at the start as well during the trip. Your climbing guide has more than 20 years of experience in mountain climbing. He has summitted several 8000 and 7000 metre peaks including Mount Everest and has reached the top of Island Peak several times. To ensure that everyone makes it to the summit, every 2 climbers will be assisted by 1 assistant guide. Moreover, during the pre-climb training at the Base Camp, you will get valuable inputs from our experienced guides. This is also a good opportunity to brush up on your climbing skills. Our guides will help you reach the top and achieve your goal safely. What's more, we provide you with all the climbing gear and equipment you will need to scale Island Peak! More peak climbing experiences you can try out - Mera Peak Climbing - 18 days and Lobuche Peak Climbing with EBC Trek - 18 days.
If you have a day flight then you will be lucky enough to have a glimpse of the Himalayan mountains from the flight before landing. Our representative will be at the airport waiting for you at the terminal. He will drive you to your hotel and help you check in. Take rest and later on if you feel like it, stroll around Thamel which is a lively tourist hub. Enjoy your first evening in Nepal with a welcome dinner and cultural show at an authentic Nepalese restaurant. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Meet your guide at your hotel or at Third Rock Adventures’ office. A briefing by your guide will familiarize you more with how each day will progress. Listen carefully as there will be helpful tips on what to do and what not do during your trip. Finally if you have brought your own personal gear and equipment, your guide will check it. If you have missed out on anything, do not worry we will be providing the equipment and gear (down jacket, sleeping bag, crampons, helmet, climbing boots, ice axe etc.) needed to climb Island Peak. These are to be returned after the end of your adventure.
If there’s any free time before or after the briefing, you can use it to explore the city on your own or with a guide (ask us!). Overnight in Kathmandu.
Take an early flight to Lukla. The flight to Lukla is filled with inspiring views of the Himalayas and a hair-rising landing at the Tenzing Hillary Airport. This tiny airport lies on a plateau surrounded by high mountains. It is regarded as one of the highest and extreme airports in the world. Once your plane lands, meet your porters and rest of the crew. Sort out your luggage and pack for the final time before hitting the trail. Make your way out of the colourful Lulkla bazaar and descend down the trail to Phakding. Do walk carefully as there will be mule trains and yaks sharing the trail. Cross a metal suspension bridge and arrive at the riverside settlement of Phakding. Head to a teahouse where your rooms have been booked. Rest and afterwards explore the village or make your way down to the Dudh Koshi Khola (Milky River), and take pictures of the scenic valley. Later head back to the teahouse and take rest. Overnight in Phakding.
The walk to Namche is filled with magnificent views. For the first time you get to see Mount Everest and a host of other mountains. Walking alongside the Dudh Koshi River, you take a trail decorated with mani stones and prayer flags. These are placed at various places on the trail by Buddhist monks to safeguard and protect the travellers from negative forces. The path goes through a forest of juniper, pine and rhododendron. En route you cross five metal suspension bridges including the Hillary Bridge over the Imja River. Make your way across the Sagarmatha National Park and hike up to Namche, the Sherpa capital. Carved like a bowl on the side of a mountain, Namche is one of the prettiest and most important Sherpa settlements in the Everest Region. Overnight in Namche.
Spend a day acclimatizing in Namche. A bustling town lined with high end as well as budget lodges, shops, restaurants, bakeries and the only ATM beyond the 3000m mark, Namche is the economic heart of Khumbu region. Traders from all over Khumbu converge in Namche Bazaar to buy or sell food items and other commodities. Start your day early and walk up to the Sagarmatha National Park for a sunrise view. Watch the sunrise over the snowy summits of Mount Everest, Thamserku and Ama Dablam. After breakfast take an acclimatization hike to Hotel Everest View through Shyangboche. It is a steep ascent filled with incredible views of some of the highest views in the world. Hotel Everest View, which was at one time the highest hotel in the world, offers 360-degree views of Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Mount Everest. After enjoying the splendid views head down to Namche. If you still have the stamina you can trek further to the historic village of Khumjung. Visit the Hillary School, the first school in the region established Sir Edmund Hillary. At Khumjung Monastery you can view the scalp of a Yeti, the abominable snowman. Overnight in Namche.
Take a scenic walk to Tengboche, a small Sherpa settlement. The Tengboche Gompa, which is the most important Buddhist monastery in the Everest Region dominates the skyline of this small settlement. Your teahouse lies close to the Gompa. You can visit the monastery and witness the monks praying and chanting. Send out a silent prayer for the success of your expedition and seek blessings from the monks. Sunrise and sunset view of Ama Dablam from Tengboche is not to be missed. Keep your camera ready for this magnificent sight. Overnight in Tengboche.
From Tengboche you head to Dingboche and descend down a forested trail and cross a couple of suspension bridges. En route you cross a couple of Sherpa villages including Pangboche, the village with the biggest settlement of Sherpas in the region. As you ascend higher the tree line vanishes and you enter a rocky and barren landscape. The gain in elevation leaves you a bit breathless. Dingboche is where many trekkers start feeling the effects of high altitude. Once you reach the settlement, head to a teahouse and take rest. Keep yourself hydrated by including plenty of fluids in your diet. Dehydration leads to AMS (acute mountain sickness), so do take good care. Overnight in Dingboche.
You spend your second acclimatization day at Dingboche. This is a small farming village with few houses and fields with stone walls. As this settlement lies at a trail junction that forks towards Everest Base Camp and Island Peak, this is a popular overnight stop for climbers and trekkers.
For your acclimatization hike you ascend a hill that lies right above Dingboche. Locally known as Nagarjun Hill (5100m), this hill is also called Nangkartshang Peak. This hike is important as this ascent will acclimatize your body for the tough high altitude ascents in the coming days. It is a straightforward climb with no technical maneuvers. Nagarjun Hill is one of the best viewpoints in the Khumbu region. Enjoy 360 degree views of Lhotse, Cholatse, Kantega, Ama Dablam and Makalu. You can view the entire Ama Dablam peak, from the base to the summit from the vantage point. You also get a close up view of Island Peak or Imja Tse, the Imja Glacier and Cholatse. After soaking in the views and taking pictures, you head down to Dingboche. Take a late afternoon stroll around the village. Overnight in Dingboche.
Keeping your pace slow but steady you walk through the Khumbu Valley and reach Thughla. At Thughla Pass you visit the memorials of mountaineers who lost their lives climbing Mount Everest. The ones dedicated to Rob Hall, Scott Fischer and Late Babu Chhiri Sherpa (the daredevil Sherpa who climbed Mount Everest without supplementary oxygen and spent 22 hours at the summit) are covered with prayer flags and khatas(scarves offered as a mark of respect). Hall and Fischer’s ill-fated Everest expedition has been detailed by Jon Krakauer in his best selling book “Into Thin Air” and the movie “Everest”. The trail evens out and we follow a rocky moraine to Lobuche. There are only a handful of teahouses in Lobuche and you follow your guide to the teahouse where your rooms have been booked. Lhotse and Nuptse appear very close. Overnight in Lobuche.
Today you have a long and tiring walk ahead. But the hike is filled with thrilling moments as you reach base camp of Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain. Leaving Lobuche we follow the ablation valley beside the Khumbu Glacier and head up. The walk proves to be difficult because of the altitude gain and thin air. Gorak Shep lies below the dark mound of Kala Patthar. We head to our teahouse take some rest and refreshments and continue onwards to Everest Base Camp. We walk on the moraine crest and carefully make our way through rubble and loose stones. The Everest Base Camp lies beneath the spectacular Khumbu Icefall. Colorful tents of expedition groups dot the grey and frozen landscape. Take photographs and spend some moments taking in the views before retracing your steps to Gorak Shep. Spending a night at Gorak Shep is crucial for acclimatization before you head onward to Island Peak for your big climb. Overnight in Gorak Shep.
We wake up early and take a hike to the most popular viewpoint in Everest Region, Kala Patthar. While the summit of Mount Everest is not visible from Everest Base Camp, one can view the rocky summit of the world’s tallest mountain from Kala Patthar. The viewpoint is surrounded by 7000 and 8000 metre peaks. Enjoy a 360 degree view of Pumori, Nuptse andLhotse. After taking pictures and soaking in the views it’s back to Gorak Shep. Have some refreshments, carry your bags and head onward to Lobuche. Overnight in Lobuche.
Leaving Lobuche we cross the Khumbu Glacier and make an ascent up the Kongma La pass. Today we take a packed lunch with us as we pass cross an isolated route with no teahouses. The walk is difficult as we make our way past a trail filled with rubble and moraine debris. We walk over boulders and scree and reach Kongma La. Cairns covered with colourful prayer flags mark the pass. The views of the 8 mile long Nuptse and Lhotse wall are stupendous and we pause for a moment to take in the glorious sight before heading descending down to the Imja Khola Valley. We walk past a frozen lake and arrive at the valley before making the final descent to Chukkung. Formerly a yak herder’s camp, Chukkung is now an important stop for climbers en route to Island Peak. Apart from teahouses and lodges, there are gear and equipment rental outlets from where you can hire good quality stuff. There will be a final and thorough equipment and gear check. Good quality climbing equipment and gear are available for hire and you can rent any item you need. But please do note large sized climbing boots (size 12 and above) won’t be available. Overnight in Chukkung.
Today’s walk brings us to Island Peak Base Camp. We inch closer to our destination. It is a steep climb and we take the uphill path that winds below the southern flank of the Lhotse glacier. The trail snakes past a stream and a striking glacial valley. We walk across the stunning Imja and Lhotse glacier moraines before finally arriving at the Island Base Camp. Base camp is located on a grassy slope beside the Imja Glacier. By the time we arrive at the base camp, our crew has already set up camp and we make our way to our tents.
Pre-climb training will begin right after lunch. We sort our gear for our climb. The climbing guides will offer special tips on climbing techniques. You can use this session to brush up on your climbing skills. The guides will demonstrate the proper use of harness, ascender, carabiner, rappel device, ice axe etc. As part of the training session you will have to climb up and descend using ropes. This pre-climb training is very important, especially for first-time climbers, as this will boost your confidence level. As the climbing sherpas assigned to your group are seasoned climbers with several years of experience, you will be receiving very valuable inputs form these experts. It’s like being coached by the best mountain climbing experts. Overnight at tented camp.
Wake up at midnight and make an early start by 1 AM or earlier. It is important to have an early start as the wind begins to pick up speed in the mountain as the day progresses. We have to make it to the summit before the wind gathers force and halt our ascent to the top. We carry a packed lunch and some energy bars and take the trail away from the Island Peak Base Camp. After walking several metres we reach a steep hill right above High Camp. From High Camp it takes around 3 hours to reach Crampon Point. It is called Crampon Point as the route becomes icy and we wear our crampons from this point. At around 5,700m we begin to use man rope for safety. We follow a narrow ridge that leads to the base of Imja glacier. From the glacier we enjoy stunning sunlit views of Ama Dablam, Makalu, Baruntse, Mera Peak, Chamlang, Cho Polu, Peak 38 and other Himalayan giants. Ropes will be fixed by our guides and we cross the glacier following the rope line.
The climbing is not too technical as the path tilts to an angle of about 45 to 50 degrees. Depending on the weather and season, there will be crevasses or no crevasses en route. If there are crevasses en route, we will be using ladders (longest 8 metres and shortest 2 metres) to cross them. The number of crevasses may vary as per the weather. We are welcomed by the massive frozen wall of Lhotse’s south face as we reach the summit ridge. The guides will fix the ropes at some sections for safety. We follow the snowy ridge and finally reach the summit of Island Peak.
From the summit it becomes clear as to why the peak is so named. The peak stands alone like an island surrounded by jagged mountains and glaciers. This is a moment of triumph and we capture this momentous occasion in our camera. Before we head down we soak in the panoramic views of the highest mountains in the world for one last time. We take time to enjoy the magnificent views Imja glacier and Lhotse before arriving to the base camp. From the base camp we retrace our steps back to Chukkung. Evening we celebrate our success with our teammates and crew. Overnight in Chukkung.
A spare day which can be used if bad weather or sickness foils your summit attempt on Day 14. This day can also be used as contingency day in case of flight delays or cancellations. If everything goes as planned you can use this spare day to explore a village en route on the trail. You can also walk at a leisurely pace on your return trek. If you would like, you can use this spare day to explore Kathmandu once you get back to the city.
We have a long and arduous walk to Namche. But this tiring walk is filled with inspiring Himalayan views. If we are lucky we will find the trail covered with rare Himalayan wildflowers like the Himalayan Edelweiss, Black pea and Spiny Mountain Poppy. A Himalayan Tahr or a Musk Deer may cross our path. We walk past Dingboche, Shomare, Tengboche and Sansa en route. As we walk through forests of pine and juniper, we are greeted with grand views of Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Everest and other peaks. Once we get to Namche, we enjoy a hot shower and have our favorite meal. Overnight in Namche.
The final leg of your trek takes you from Namche to Lukla. Tread carefully as it is a steep descent. Once we reach Lukla, we head to a teahouse and rest our aching knees. As this is our last day in the mountains, we celebrate with our crew. There is local brew (chhyang) and Sherpa music to get us in the mood. Overnight in Lukla.
Take an early flight to Kathmandu. Once you are back in the city you can rest at your hotel, visit a spa and pamper yourself or go shopping for souvenirs. Your hotel lies close to business hubs and local markets where you can buy locally made gift items. In the evening attend a farewell dinner hosted by us. Overnight in Kathmandu.
This is your last day in Nepal. Bid goodbye to the friends you have made. You will be driven to the airport at least three hours before your flight departs. If you want to explore more of Nepal or want to extend your trip and visit other Himalayan destinations, do let us know.
You can change this itinerary, services, accommodation, duration of this trip etc.to suit your needs and budget. The choice is yours. Let us help you tailor your perfect holiday.
During your Island Peak Climbing With EBC Trek, you spend 3 nights in Kathmandu at a 3 star hotel - Oasis Kathmandu Hotel or Thamel Boutique Hotel. These hotels are centrally located in Thamel, Kathmandu’s tourist hub. The rooms have comfortable beds with en suite bathrooms and air cons. Other amenities include in-house restaurant, café, bar and free wi-fi.
During climbing, you will be spending 2 nights sleeping and dining in tents. 1 single sleeping tent will be assigned to each climber for comfort. We provide foam mattress for camping. If you want you can bring your own Therm-a-Rest sleeping pad for extra comfort. Solar batteries will be used to charge the electronic devices and light up the tents while climbing. No additional charge will be imposed for the use of this service.
While trekking you will be staying at the best available teahouses. These are run by locals and are a source of livelihood for Sherpa families.
At the teahouses in Lukla, Phakding and Namche you will get rooms with attached bathrooms and can enjoy free hot showers. Beyond Namche, the lodges will have only basic facilities – bed, shared washroom and a communal sitting and dining area.
The rooms have thin walls and are not insulated. Most rooms have two single beds with a small table in between. The beds come with mattresses, pillows and blankets. Using your sleeping bag and pillow liner will be more hygienic. Layer your sleeping bag with the blanket for warmth as it can get quite cold during the night.
Carry toilet paper rolls as most teahouses’ toilets don’t have toilet paper rolls. You will have to pay extra for using the wi-fi hotspot and charging your electronic devices. To save on cost, you can bring extra batteries.
At hotels and tea-houses, accommodation is on a twin-sharing basis. A single room will be available on request, at an added cost. Single rooms are available in Kathmandu and at lower elevations while trekking. But at higher elevations, where only a handful of teahouses operate, single rooms are not available during high season.
During your stay in Kathmandu, breakfast will be complimentary. There are many multi-cuisine restaurants and eateries around Thamel which serve good food. From fine dining options to budget eateries, you will be spoilt for choice. On your last night in Kathmandu, we invite you for a complimentary farewell dinner at an authentic Nepali restaurant.
On the trail, everything will be arranged for you. Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and accommodation cost are already included in the package. While breakfast and dinner will be served at the lodge you will be staying at, lunch will be taken at a teahouse en route. During camping, your expedition cook will serve you nutritious and energy-giving meals.
If you are gluten-intolerant, we advise you to bring your own gluten-free snacks and extra food as there will be limited food options for you at the teahouses.
The meals served at the teahouses are freshly prepared. Items on the menu include the traditional Nepali and Tibetan fare like dal-bhat (rice, lentils, curry), momo, Tibetan bread etc. as Indian and continental dishes (chapattis, apple pie, pancake, pizza, mac & cheese, noodles etc.).
At breakfast, you can expect bread, eggs, hash brown, cereal or porridge with tea or coffee. During lunch and dinner, you can choose from the extensive menu. Nepalese traditional meal of ‘Dal-Bhat’ (rice, lentil soup, curry and pickle) with unlimited refills is the most filling and energy-giving.
We urge you to stick to vegetarian foods as the meat served on the trail could be several days old and not safe for consumption. As slaughtering animals is not allowed in the Khumbu Region due of the Sherpa’s Buddhist belief of not harming a living being, meat is transported from the lowlands by porters. It takes a couple of days for the meat (unrefrigerated) to reach the Sherpa settlements.
If you feel you need your dose of protein, you can bring canned tuna or sardine. These are readily available at departmental stores in Kathmandu.
It is advisable to stay away from alcohol and carbonated drinks, as these will adversely affect your body’s acclimatization process.
Choose your own travel dates and book your trip online through our safe and secure online booking portal. Once you have booked and paid, it's 100% confirmed that your trip will run on schedule.
We have more than 23 years of experience in planning adventure holidays in the Himalayas. Our trips are fully-supported and we offer personalized service to our clients. The care and attention that we put in your trip ensures that your holiday is more enriching, satisfying and successful. When you travel at your personal timeframe with your own group it's guaranteed that you will have the trip of a lifetime.
Spring (March to May) and autumn (mid-September to November) are considered as the best seasons for Island Peak Climbing with EBC Trek. The weather stays stable and clear during these times which makes it ideal for trekking and climbing. The days are warm and the nights chilly. On the downside however, these are peak seasons and the trails get crowded and busy.
Spring is the most popular climbing season in Nepal. During this season the weather is warm and there is less snow on the mountains making climbing easier. While trekking, you enjoy breathtaking views, as the verdant hillsides are covered with wildflowers, including rhododendron blooms.
The second season preferred for climbing is Autumn. With the end of wet monsoon season which clears the skies of dust and impurities, one can enjoy crystal clear views during this season. Timing your expedition around October will allow you to experience the most important festival in the Everest region, Mani Rimdu. This festival is held in the monasteries of Tengboche, Chiwong and Thame.
Timing this expedition during monsoon or late winter season is not recommended as the precipitation and snow makes climbing risky.
The easiest way to reach Lukla (2840m), the starting point of your Island peak adventure is via a flight. One of the highest and most extreme airports in the world, flying to Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla has its own challenges. The chief among them is weather.
The airport is built on a narrow plateau, over a steep cliff. Navigating the plane along the short and narrow runway is difficult when strong winds whip across the mountains. Surrounded by some of the highest peaks in the world, the weather here is unpredictable and changes frequently. It would be clear and sunny one minute, and the next moment the clouds will appear and everything will turn hazy. Flights operate only when the weather is stable and visibility clear.
The chances of your Lukla flight getting cancelled cannot be ruled out. If this happens your expedition may get extended by a day or two. A contingency day is included in your itinerary, but we recommend you to keep additional buffer days so that you may not miss your international flight.
If there is a long delay due to bad weather, we will try to secure a space for you on a helicopter flight. The cost for the heli flight is not included in the trip price and should be borne by you.
Due to congestion at the Kathmandu airport during high season (spring and autumn), flights to and from Lukla now operates from Manthali Airport in Ramechhap. The airport lies 132km (4hrs 30mins drive) from Kathmandu.
However, airline companies operate their first and last flights directly from Kathmandu and Lukla (KTM-LUKLA-KTM). If you book your trip early, we can try to secure a place for you on the direct flight to or from Lukla. It will be easier and more comfortable to fly directly from Kathmandu to Lukla and vice versa, instead of making that additional journey to Ramechhap.
Helicopter Flights to Everest Region will operate from Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu.
The permits you need for the Island Peak Climbing With EBC Trek are – 1) Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit, 2) Khumbu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit, and 3) Island Peak Climbing Permit.
While it is possible for individual trekkers to get the permits for trekking, climbing permits can only be obtained by government registered trekking agencies. So one needs to book an expedition with a registered agency to get the climbing permit.
Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit can be obtained from the Nepal Tourism Board’s Office in Kathmandu or at the park’s entrance gate in Monjo by paying NRS 3000. For citizens of SAARC countries the fee is NRS 1500. You need to fill out the permit form and show your passport or a copy of your passport.
To get the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit, you need to be in Lukla. You have to pay NRS 2000 for the permit at the rural municipality counter which lies at the edge of the village.
If you are planning to trek from Jiri, you will be required to pay Gaurishanker Conservation Area Project Entry Permit fee of NRS 2000 too. The permit can be obtained from the Nepal Tourism Board’s office in Kathmandu before the start of your trek.
The climbing permit fee for Island Peak varies according to season.
You won’t have to worry about queuing up to get the permits as the company or our guides will arrange all the permits for you.
Island Peak lies at an altitude of 6189 metres. Though a dwarf compared to Mount Everest (8848m), Island Peak is higher than the tallest peaks in four continents - Africa, Europe, Australia and Antartica. You will be walking to the world’s highest destination, Everest Region, where the views are incredible but the environment, harsh and unforgivable. Here the air is thin and trail treacherous. You should be cautious at every step as one small mistake may cost you your life.
One of the main concerns of this climbing adventure is altitude sickness. As you go higher, the level of oxygen in the air decreases and it get difficult to breathe. To let your body get used to the thin air, you need to walk slowly, steadily and keep your body hydrated. If you try to hasten and walk fast to reach your destination in less time, chances are you may suffer from AMS or Acute Mountain Sickness.
AMS symptoms like dizziness, headache, nausea, shortness of breath, fatigue etc., are seen at elevations above 2000 metres. Usually these symptoms occur once you reach Namche or beyond Namche.
Taking Diamox and a good night’s rest may work for mild cases. Drinking plenty of fluids (water, tea, soup etc.) and keeping your body hydrated will also help to keep the sickness at bay. One should take the necessary precautions to ensure that the condition does not worsen. But if the symptoms worsen, one may have to return to a lower elevation and get medical help.
There are clinics at Lukla, Namche and Pheriche which offer basic care for minor ailments. In the worst case scenario, an air evacuation will be arranged, where the patient will be flown to Kathmandu to receive medical aid. AMS, if untreated or ignored can take your life.
For this adventure, acclimatization is very important. Your body needs time to get used to thin air which can be done by resting at a lower altitude before reaching a higher level of elevation.
Our experts have included two days in the itinerary for acclimatization and a contingency day for summit delay or emergencies. You will be spending extra days at Namche (3440m) and Dingboche (4410m) to acclimatize successfully before trekking further.
The chart given below will give you a rough idea about the level of oxygen in the atmosphere on the trail.
It is important to keep your body hydrated on the trail as dehydration also causes AMS. One should drink at least 3-4 litres of fluids daily.
We dissuade you from buying bottled water as it adds up to the thrash problem in the mountains. Moreover like everything else, bottled water is also expensive on the mountains.
We highly recommend you to carry a reusable water bottle with you, one that can hold hot water.
You can use one with a steri pen or an inbuilt filtration system like LifeStraw.
You can also use water purification tablets to treat the water. While the water in the mountains tend to be pure and without impurities, it’s better not to take chances and filter or treat the water before drinking.
Using chlorine or iodine tablets to treat the water may alter its taste. You can add flavored electrolyte powder (which are readily available at pharmacies in Kathmandu) to mask the bitter chemical taste. Adding electrolyte to your drinking water may also be beneficial as the minerals (sodium, potassium, magnesium etc.) you lose while walking gets replenished.
Teahouses offer boiled drinking water at an additional cost. It can cost anywhere between 1 USD to 4 USD. Up to Namche, you may have to pay around 1 USD per litre or pot (every teahouse use a different sized pot). The price increases gradually as you climb higher. You pay the highest for boiled water at Gorak Shep, ie, 4 USD.
While climbing, drinking water will be treated and boiled by the kitchen staff.
Despite being the world’s highest inhabited region, internet connection (though erratic and irregular at some places) is available in the Everest Region.
You can connect with your loved ones while trekking, post updates and upload pictures on social media. Wi-fi is available at all teahouses. While it is free at some cafes in Lukla and Namche, most teahouses will charge you extra for using their Wi-Fi hotspot.
It will be cheaper and easier to get a sim card (preferably Ncell) in Kathmandu and purchase internet data that could last you for your entire trip. Ncell offers 3G connectivity up to Everest Base Camp (5364m).
Everest Link, another local internet provider also offers paid internet access on the trail. You can purchase the username and password at any of the teahouses or shops along the trail.
For emergencies, our climbing guide carries a satellite phone. Even if there is no network, our guides will be able to contact us in case there is an emergency.
Here’s a basic checklist of the most essential items that you should not forget to bring with you during your Island Peak climbing and EBC trek:
These are only some of the essential items. Check a more detailed packing list for trekking. The mountaineering equipment will be provided by us. But please do note climbing boots of large size (size 12 and above) is not available at the rental outlet from where we rent our gear and equipment. If your shoe size is 12 and above, please bring your own climbing boots.
If you want to use your own personal climbing gear, you can bring it from home.
Most of the trekking equipment are available on hire in Kathmandu. You can keep your baggage light by only packing the most essential items and renting or buying the rest in Kathmandu. Shops in Thamel offer branded as well locally made gear and equipment.
You can leave your spare luggage at your hotel’s storage room. It is completely safe and free. But do make sure to lock your luggage before leaving it at the storage unit.
Island peak Climbing with EBC Trek takes you to the highest trekking trail in the world and one of the most popular trekking peaks in Nepal.
It is important to have an experienced guide with you while climbing and trekking. A guide who is experienced and has an in-depth knowledge of the mountain will enrich your experience as well as keep you safe and secure.
When you book with us, we pair you up with our best climbing guide who has more than 20 years of experience in mountain climbing. Our guide has climbed many 8000 and 7000 metre peaks, including Mount Everest. He has guided several groups to the top of Island Peak numerous times.
To ensure a successful summit attempt, there will be one chief climbing guide or leader and every 2 climbers will be aided by 1 assistant guide. A pre-climb training at the Island Peak Base Camp will be used as a warm-up and help you get helpful tips from our guides. This training will especially help novice climbers hone their climbing skills.
While trekking you will be guided by our trekking guides. Our guides have an experience of more than 10 years and have a vast knowledge of the area you are visiting. They have completed the trekking guide course and have the required government license to work as a mountain guide. They can communicate in English and have received training on wilderness first aid and crisis management.
The trek will be led by a chief guide or trek leader. For every 4 trekkers, there will be an assistant guide assisting them personally. One porter will carry the luggage of 2 clients. Make sure that your luggage does not exceed 15 kg, as the porter can only carry a weight of 30 kg.
We believe in the ethical treatment of our staff. All our Guides and Porters are provided with weather-appropriate gear and clothing to battle the harsh weather in the mountains. Before the start of a trek, we ensure that our mountain guides are fully insured. They are given fair wages and treated with respect.
We seriously follow the guidelines set by IPPG (International Porter Protection Group) and offer assistance to porters to develop other skills. A portion from the booking fee goes to fund the education of our field staffs’ kids.
For Island Peak Climbing With EBC Trek, you need a good travel insurance policy that offers you coverage for all activities and altitudes included in your itinerary. You reach an altitude of 6,189 metres and your travel insurance should offer you suitable coverage up to this elevation.
Though we take your safety as our number one priority, we cannot rule out mishaps and emergencies that may occur at this altitude. There is less oxygen in the environment and trekkers usually suffer from Acute Mountain Sickness, which could prove to be fatal if not treated on time.
Walking and climbing on a treacherous mountain environment also expose you to physical injuries. Therefore make sure that your insurance covers the cost of all injuries and emergencies that you can possibly face during this trekking and climbing adventure.
Your insurance policy should especially cover the cost of helicopter evacuation and hospitalization in case of an accident or medical emergency as these happen to be quite expensive. Check for vaccination requirements as some travel insurance policies makes it mandatory to immunize yourself before you leave your country.
Before you decide on a policy, be mindful and don’t forget to read the fine print. It would be advantageous for you also to choose a company that offers insurance cover on both domestic as well as international flight cancellations and lost or stolen baggage.
We ensure the safety of our clients by following all safety protocols during the trip. This itinerary has been designed by travel experts and veteran guides who have climbed Island Peak innumerable times.
To prevent AMS, the required number of rest days has been added to the itinerary. Our guides always carry a first-aid kit and pulse oximeter (to measure the oxygen level in your blood) with them. The climbing guides assigned to you have climbed several 8000-meter peaks and have more than 20 years’ of mountaineering experience. They have guided several groups of climbers to the top of Island Peak and know what steps to take during an emergency. They are well-trained in wilderness first aid and crisis management. To communicate during emergencies our guides always carry a satellite phone with them.
While climbing our guides will keep you safe by taking care of all the hard and risky jobs – fixing ropes, ladders, setting up tent etc. You will only have to follow them and pay heed to their instructions to reach the summit safely.
If a client shows symptoms of AMS and needs to descend to a lower elevation, an assistant guide will escort him/her and will follow the safety protocol. He will closely monitor the client’s condition and will take the required steps needed for the well-being of the client.
If he/she feels alright after a night’s rest, the guide will escort the client back to join the group. But if the condition worsens, the client will be escorted down to Lukla or get airlifted to Kathmandu for expert medical aid.
A typical day on the trail begins with a wakeup call at around 6 AM by your guide. Freshen up and get ready. Pack your belongings and head to the dining area for breakfast by 7 AM. Check your luggage for the final time and fill your water bottle, before you hit the trail by 8 AM along with your guide.
To avoid walking in the heat and to enjoy clear views of the mountains, you make an early start. En route, there will be short breaks to enjoy the views and take photographs. You stop for lunch at a local teahouse around noon or mid-day. After a quick rest of about an hour or 40 minutes, you get back on the trail and continue till you reach your overnight stop.
Upon reaching the stop for the night, you head to your teahouse, check-in and have some rest. Tea with some light refreshments (cookies or biscuits) will be served at 5 PM. As the rooms are not insulated, you can warm yourself by the heater or stove in the communal area.
Exchange stories or play cards with other trekkers and sherpas till dinner is served (around 7 PM). After dinner, your guide will brief you about the next day’s trek – the route you will take, difficulty, where you will stop for lunch etc. Afterward, retire for the night and have a well-deserved rest.
On average you may have to walk 6 to 7 hours daily. On Day 11, a hike to Kala Patthar for the sunrise view is scheduled. So you will have to wake up before 4 AM to reach Kala Patthar before sunrise. Your guide will share the details of the hike at the post-dinner briefing on Day 10.
On Day 13 there will be pre-climb training at Island Peak Base Camp. This training is very important for novice climbers as you get some valuable insights from our guides. You learn how to use the equipment and gear safely and effectively.
You spend a night camping at the Island Peak Base Camp. After the pre-climb training, you can spend the day exploring the Imja Glacier or saving your energy for the summit push by resting in your tent. Our expedition cook will keep you nourished and hydrated by serving you healthy and nutritious meals. There will be a briefing by the chief climbing guide on the evening before the summit push.
On Day 14 you wake up early at 1 AM. To beat the winds which batter the summit during the day, you make the summit push early. You carry a packed lunch and some energy bars with you to keep you energized. After reaching the Crampon Point, you climb up using the man-rope.
From Imja Glacier a rope will be fixed by our guides and you climb using the support of the fixed rope. Follow our guides safely to the summit of Island Peak, take pictures, enjoy the magnificent views and descend back to Base Camp. After a brief rest, continue descending to Chukkung. This day is probably the toughest day of your journey as you climb and walk for 12 to 13 hours.
Travel responsibly and try to limit any negative impact on the environment. Limit the use of plastic and be mindful about throwing waste in the mountains. When you trek with us, you will be supporting local communities (from the guides and porters to teahouse owners). We as a company support sustainable tourism and patronize local businesses. We partner with service providers who work towards saving the environment. As an active member of KEEP (Kathmandu Environmental Education Project), we make sure that our trips are environment friendly.
Technically Island Peak is more difficult to climb than Mera Peak. Even though Mera Peak is the highest Trekking Peak in Nepal, the route up the mountain is straightforward and non-technical. Climbers get up to the mountain using ‘man-ropes’ (walking roped up), ice axe and crampons. On the other hand, the route up Island Peak is more technical and involves crossing crevasses on ladders and using fixed rope to reach the summit. While both the peaks can be attempted by novice climbers, Island Peak is more technical and challenging.
When you are up in the mountains in Nepal, we would suggest you to be ready for anything. Weather forecasts for Lukla are never correct and different sources will give you different information. If it is a really bad day in terms of weather, the airlines will themselves cancel the flight and you might have to wait till the weather clears. Yes, flying in high altitude is never easy, even on a clear sunny day, the plane might face turbulence because of the wind blowing from the mountains. But overall the flight to Lukla is very exciting and it’s an experience that you will never forget
These are the best months to do this trek, as the weather is mild and the temperatures range from 12 to 15 degrees. The skies generally remain clear and the days are pleasant and warm. You can expect an occasional spring shower and hazy weather during spring. The mountain views are stunning in September, as there is more snow on the mountains. Nights can be freezing as the temperature dips after sun down.
If you have booked a package with us you won’t be spending much as accommodation and 3 meals are already included in your trip price. You may have to personally pay for items like beverages and drinks, extra snacks, hot showers, electronic device charging, wifi etc. USD 20 to 30 (NRS 2000-3000) per day will suffice.
Solar batteries will be used to charge the electronic devices and light up the tents at Island Peak Base Camp. No additional charge will be levied for the use of this service. At teahouses en route you may have to pay extra to charge your electronic devices.
Our top priority is the safety and security of our customers and staff during all of our trips. We have incorporated the requisite number of acclimatization days in all our trekking and climbing itineraries. Our guides are all thoroughly trained and highly experienced in leading groups through the Himalayas. Our climbing guides have more than 15 years’ experience. They are the most reliable and trustworthy guides you would want while traveling in the wild and remote mountain regions. They are trained in first aid and as well as crisis management. At the Island Peak Base Camp, a pre-climb training will be conducted. Novice climbers will be taught how to best use the climbing equipment and abseil and rappel using ropes, harness, carabiners, descenders etc. To ensure that everyone makes it to the summit we assign 1 assistant climbing guide for 2 climbers.
We carry normal first aid kits on all of our adventures, which is readily available for both customers and staff. However, bringing your own first aid kit with a set of your own medicines will also prove helpful. We are constantly in communication with our field office and monitor all aspects of government and weather issues that might affect your trip. In the rare case of an untoward incident occurring on the trek they can organize a rapid medical evacuation. We always keeps our phone lines open 24 hours. For remote or challenging treks, where the nearest village might be a long walk away, our staff carries a mobile /satellite phone for communication and in case of emergency helicopter rescue is available but to use this service, the client’s insurance policy should cover high altitude mountain air rescue and evacuation.
If the flight gets cancelled due to bad weather there is no alternative but to stay an extra day. You will have to bear the cost for the accommodation. Sometimes even when the airlines cancel their flights, helicopter companies offer charters. If you would like, you can take a heli flight. This will incur an extra cost and you have to pay for it.
There is mobile network in the Everest Region. If you get a local SIM (Ncell or NTC) you can use your mobile phone to communicate easily. As this is a mountainous area the network may get erratic at times. At most places the network is good enough for internet use and video calls. Our climbing guides also carry a Satellite Phone for emergencies.
You can either buy bottled mineral water or fill up a reusable water bottle with boiled or sterilized water. During the trek, the teahouses or lodges serve you bottled and filtered water which is generally safe and have to be paid for. A liter of water would cost anything between 1 to 4 USD. As you go higher the cost of all commodities, including water, increases. But do note there is no dearth or scarcity of drinking water at teahouses. We encourage our guest to use iodine and other purifying agents to treat the water before drinking. You need to drink at least 3-4 litres of water each day to stay hydrated at higher altitudes. Keeping your body hydrated helps you to keep away the symptoms altitude sickness.
No, the company won’t provide drinking water or any extra drinks or beverages other than the ones that are specified in the trip cost.
If you want to add extra activities and sites to your itinerary it can be done. Our Travel Consultant will help you customize your trip. Just let us know which places you want to visit and what you want to do and we will add these in your itinerary.
While tipping is not mandatory it is a nice way of showing your appreciation to the people who have helped you enrich your holiday experience. It all depends on how far you are pleased and satisfied with their services. There is no fixed amount, but many of our clients offer 8-10 percent of the total tour price as tips.
You need to be in good shape and have an ability to walk 6 – 7 hours uphill and downhill per day. This trek is suitable for passionate trekkers. Positive attitude, excellent health, and strong determination are required for successful finish. Past hiking experience would be an asset but no technical skill is required for this trip. Besides, it is advisable to trek with a highly reputed trek operator like us, with experienced guides who can help you with significant mental preparation with a personal touch.
Regarding the difficulty, the only challenging factor is the altitude. Our Everest Base Camp trek itinerary provides ample time for acclimatization. Neither ropes nor ice picks are needed for this trip and no vertical climbs are involved. Novice travelers in a good physical shape, who exercise regularly, has positive attitude and has healthy heart and lungs can easily complete this adventurous trip.
As Everest Base Camp is situated at a high altitude of 5,364 metres, you spend only 1 to 2 hours at the base camp. Since the base camp lies at the foot of the world’s tallest mountain Mount Everest, the hike to EBC is probably the highlight of your trek. Though one cannot view the summit of Mount Everest from the base camp (as the mountain is too huge) you can get close up views of the massive walls of Everest, Khumbutse, Lingtren and Nuptse. The Khumbu Icefall appears spectacular. Though the icefall lies close to the Base Camp, it is not possible explore it as you need proper climbing gear to walk on it. But you get to explore the actual base camp of the Everest expedition groups. During climbing season, it is like a mini city of tents and you get to meet mountaineers (sometimes celebrities too!) from different countries attempting to summit Mount Everest. After taking pictures and soaking in the magnificent views you descend down to Gorak Shep again. Please do note the visibility of mountains depends on the weather. If it’s foggy you may not get good views of the mountains.
No, we do not spend the night at Everest Base Camp as there are no teahouses or lodges there. Moreover it is advisable and more comfortable to spend the night at a lower elevation. After enjoying the views we trek down to Gorak Shep and stay overnight at a local teahouse.
No, the summit of Mount Everest is not visible from Everest Base Camp. Rising above 8000 metres, the mountain is just too gigantic to be viewed in its entirety from its base. The summit of Everest can be viewed from Kala Patthar and from places en route to EBC. If you want to view Mount Everest without having to trek to Everest region, you can do it by driving to Nagarkot, taking an Everest Mountain Flight and an Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour. The best view you get of Mount Everest is from Kala Patthar.
Each day you can expect 5 to 7 hours of walking, covering around 10 to 14 km. However when you reach 3500m, you will be walking around 5 to 7 hours but the distance covered will be less as you will be walking slowly at higher altitudes. We want you to know that all our itineraries are flexible and can be altered by weather, geographical and physical condition of the individual participants.
In all our Everest Treks the teahouses that we use have western toilets. In luxury lodges and teahouses in the lower elevations the rooms come with attached bathrooms and hot showers. At higher elevations the facilities may be a bit basic and you may have to share the bathroom with other travellers. Please do note that in case of extreme cold, the water in the toilet basin may freeze and you may have to use an Asian (also known as ‘squat’) style of toilet that is located outside. Please do carry toilet paper rolls with you at all times. It is important that you carry enough rolls of toilet paper and hand sanitizer while trekking.
We provide sleeping bag and down jacket but you need to bring your own personal gear. We can recommend some good stores where you can hire or buy new ones.
Teahouses offer boiled and filtered drinking water to trekkers for a price. Though you can purchase bottled water, we discourage the use of plastic bottled water on the trail because of the adverse effect on the environment. You can bring along with you a reusable bottle nd fill it up with drinking water.
Your guide will check the condition of the water of the filtered water before you purchase it. Please be assured that our guide will thoroughly check whether the water has been boiled and treated properly before you drink it.
Teahouse trekking is one of the most popular ways of trekking in Nepal. Teahouse trekking has almost replaced old style camping treks in Nepal along the popular trekking routes of Annapurna and Everest regions. Teahouse Trek involves resting or stopping at teahouses or lodges scattered along the trail for the night. The teahouses are locally owned and they provide accommodation and food. While the standard of teahouses varies, most of these establishments usually offer basic services - small rooms (usually on a twin sharing basis with comfortable beds), shared washroom, a heated communal dining area and a menu with a range of dishes. Some may offer wi-fi and hot shower. As these teahouses are located in remote locations, one should not expect the service of a city hotel while staying in one. But in popular trails like Everest Base Camp trail and Annapurna Base Camp trail one can expect luxury standard accommodations too.
You need to have local currency to purchase items on the trail. While Lukla and Namche in the Everest Region may have lodges that would accept payment with cards, we strongly advise to carry enough local cash with you to buy essential items en route. You can exchange your currency at any of the money exchange centres in Kathmandu or use your credit or debit card at the local ATMs to get local currency.
You can store it at your hotel (most hotels in Kathmandu have storage facilities) or you can leave it at our office.
Yes, single supplement will be available in the cities and at lower elevations while trekking. At higher elevations there are very few teahouses. During peak season when there is high demand for rooms, it will be difficult to book single rooms. However if you are travelling during off season a single room can be arranged at all places.
Most of the guides in our adventure company come from the mountainous areas. They are carefully selected on the basis of their experience, leadership skills and personal aptitude. We provide guides that are experienced and fluent in English. With the objective of sustaining local communities, we employ guides from different ethnic backgrounds who have adequate knowledge about the culture, ecosystem, flora and fauna, geography and history of Nepal.
Our guides have the required government license to guide tourists. They have all gone through intensive training programs like wilderness first aid, trekking guide training, eco training workshop and rock climbing, ice climbing and mountaineering, which are certified and approved by the government of Nepal.
Yes, wifi hotspots are available on the Everest Base Camp trail. But please do keep in mind, due to the mountainous terrain the network maybe erratic. Often times the signal gets lost or the strength is poor.
We carry a first-aid box with us while trekking. But if you want you can carry along some essential medicines like ibuprofen, codeine, paracetamol, lozenges, anti-diarrhea tablets and diamox for AMS.
Please do note, all our trekking itineraries incorporate adequate number of acclimatization days. You will get an extra day’s rest at a lower elevation to prepare your body for a walk up in the higher reaches.
AMS or Acute Mountain Sickness usually occurs due to the lack of oxygen in the atmosphere in high altitudes. Our body is not used to walking in high altitude and it requires a lot of time to adapt to thin air in the mountains. Technically there is no way of stopping AMS but you can surely prevent it by following the given tips:
We would recommend all our clients to purchase travel insurance before booking any of our treks. Trust us you will have a pleasant holiday knowing that you have a good insurance cover. In the event of any sickness or injury while trekking in the mountains, the cost of emergency treatment and evacuation will be considerable. Therefore, traveling with an insurance cover is strongly recommended for everyone who signs up for any of our trips. But be careful while choosing a policy as some policies make special exceptions for adventure travel.
Do read the fine print. Before buying insurance make sure your insurance company is aware of your travel itinerary and is agreeable to cover all activities being undertaken during the trip. Such as if you are planning to trek or climb (mountaineering expedition) in the Himalayas, your insurance must cover emergency air ambulance/helicopter rescue including medical expenses. For a group tour in an urban area, insurance cover of air ambulance or helicopter rescue is not mandatory. While booking a trip with us you need to send us a copy of your insurance policy (e.g. your insurance certificate) or carry it with you while you come for the trip.
No, you cannot get insurance in Nepal. Please also note that Third Rock Adventures does not arrange or sell insurance.
If you have to leave the expedition due to ill-health or injury, an emergency air rescue will be arranged whereby an air ambulance/helicopter will fly you out of the mountains to Kathmandu for medical attention. Make sure your insurance covers high altitude mountain rescue. If you are able to walk down, one of the assistant guides will guide you down to a lower elevation where you can wait for the rest of the team or fly out to Kathmandu ahead of the group. Whether for health or personal reasons, please do note refunds for the unused days of your trip will not be given. Even if you leave the expedition beforehand, we are committed to pay the porters, and guides for the duration of the trip for which they are hired.