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 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 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!
Lukla Flight Alert: Due to congestion at the Kathmandu airport during high season (Spring- March, April, Autumn - October, November) flights scheduled to and from Lukla will operate from Ramechhap Airport. The airport lies 132km (4hrs 30mins drive) from Kathmandu. However, most airlines will operate their first and last flights directly from Kathmandu and Lukla (KTM-LUKLA-KTM). If you make an early booking, we can try to secure a place for you on the direct flight to Lukla (KTM-Lukla). It will be easier to fly directly from Kathmandu instead of making that additional journey to Ramechhap. Helicopter Flights to Everest Region will continue to operate from Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu.
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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 and your team mates 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, Makalu and Cho Oyu. 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, Lhotse and Cho Oyu. 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.
The best Island Peak Climbing seasons are Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November). During Spring and Autumn the weather remains clear and favorable for climbing. Climbing is possible during the winter months too, but conditions remain extreme and harsh during this period.
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Hotel as well as teahouse accommodations are included in your trip cost. Spend 3 nights in Kathmandu at the 3-star deluxe Hotel Moonlight in Kathmandu. The hotel lies in Thamel,close to popular restaurants and shops. Hotel Moonlight features well-appointed rooms with en suite bathrooms, a spacious patio garden, spa, restaurant, bar and a rooftop terrace with amazing 360-degree views of Kathmandu.
While trekking you will be staying at the best available teahouses run by locals families. At Lukla, Phakding and Namche you will get rooms with attached bathrooms and can enjoy free hot showers. At higher elevations, the lodges will have only basic facilities – bed, shared washroom and a communal sitting and dining area. You will have to pay extra for using the wi-fi hotspot and charging your electronic devices.
2 nights full board camping at Island Peak Base Camp. You will be sleeping and dining in tents. For your comfort we assign 1 sleeping tent per climber.
At hotels and tea-houses, accommodation is on twin-sharing basis. If you are a solo traveller, you get to share the room with a fellow traveller of the same gender. Single room will be available on request, at 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 offered.
In Kathmandu enjoy breakfast, welcome and farewell dinners.
During the trek all meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) will be provided. You can choose from a selection of meals offered on the menu. Traditional Nepali and Tibetan items include local Dal-Bhat (rice, lentil soup, curry), momo(meat or vegetable dumplings), thukpa (noodle soup), thenthuk(a vegetable or meat stew), Tibetan bread etc. Indian and continental items include chappati, curries, pancake, pizza, hash brown potatoes, macaroni, spaghetti etc.
While camping, your expedition cook will serve you nutritious and energy giving meals.
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Click this tab for a detailed Trip Note containing essential information about this trip, including gear and equipment lists and practical information.Essential Trip Information
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Island peak Climbing may involve less technical climbing but the trip is physically challenging and strenous. You need to have a high level fitness and stamina to enjoy this trip. Even if you have no climbing experience but have trekked in high-altitude, you can climb Island Peak. The itinerary includes high altitude hikes and challenging crossing over glaciers and mountain pass that are above 5000 metres. These places are higher than Mont Blanc(4807m), the highest peak in the Alps.
You will have a more rewarding experience if you condition your body for this trip well in advance by including exercises in your daily routine. Hill walking and stair climbing conditions your feet, heart and lungs for climbing. Go for hikes carrying a backpack with enough weight. Stimulating the activity is the best way to train yourself. Jogging, cycling, swimming and aerobic exercises will also fortify your heart and lungs.