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Island Peak

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  • Jyatha, Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal

Overview

Tucked away up the Chukkung valley this beautiful mountain peak known as Island Peak or Imja Tse indeed look like an island which is dwarfed on both sides by the stupendous Lhotse/Nuptse South Wall to the north and Baruntse to the south. It was actually a training peak used by Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing in 1953 and the route they discovered is the same one that is used today. In fact Island Peak is still a popular training peak for clients attempting Mount Everest because a lot of the skills required - crossing crevasses with ladders, using jumars on a fixed line - are the same.

This trek offers an excellent opportunity to climb a Himalayan Summit (6189m) together with an exhilarating Trek to the Everest Base Camp and Kala Pattar. The most difficult section is a mixed rock and ice wall at a slope of around 45 degrees leading to the narrow summit ridge.

Before climbing Island Peak, we trek up the Dudh Kosi valley from Lukla, passing through Namche and Tengboche on our way to Kala Pattar and Everest Base Camp. After being rested and feeling physically fit and acclimatized, we then head up the beautiful Imja Khola valley towards Island Peak. Besides trekking adventure, we also get to witness pristine Sherpa villages and ever-so-serene monasteries. With ponderous memories of the trekking earlier done, we retrace our route back through Namche to Lukla, and from there on we fly back to Kathmandu. This trip can be done during March to May and September to December.


Trip highlights

  • Summit one of the peaks in the Everest region at an altitude of 6189 meters
  • Explore Khumbu region "Land of Sherpas"
  • Stunning views of the surrounding mountain peaks including - Nuptse,Nuptse, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Makalu, Ama Dablam, and Baruntse
  • Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla with magnificient views all around
  • Visit Tengboche monastery at 3870 meters
  • Climb Chhukung Ri and summit Island Peak
  • Experience traditional high-HImalayan Sherpa Culture in the towns of the Khumbu region
  • Safety back up with supplementary Oxygen Cylinder and medical skills
  • All personal and group climbing gear provided
  • All great adventurous yet comparatively easier climbing experience suitable for beginners

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400m)

As you fly into Kathmandu, you'll have beautiful views over the valley, the snow capped mountain peaks in Himalaya, and of the terrraced fields below. As per your arrival time, our representative will be at the airport to receive you and transfer you to your booked hotel.Overnight in Hotel

Day 02: Fully day sightseeing tour in Kathmandu, Overnight in Hotel

Today after the breakfast we will proceed for sightseeing tour in and around the Kathmandu valley. The Durbar Squares, Pashupatinath temple, Swoyambhunath temple and Boudhanath temple are the major sight-seeing areas around the Kathmandu valley. These all are listed in a  world heritage sites. The Durbar Square shows us the regal lige of ancient periods. Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimages. Swayambhunath Temple and Boudhanath Stupa is the Buddhist temple which is very popular around the globe. Swayambhunath is also known as money temple stands ont he hilltop west of the Kathmandu valley. It can also be known as the viewpoint of Kathmandu valley. Boudhanath temple is the biggest Chhorten ever made around the world. Overnight in Hotel

Day 03: Flight to Lukla (2860 m) - 30 minutes, & trek to Phakding (2656m) - approx. 3 hours

We take a stunning early morning flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, Gatewat to the Everest region, perched above the Dudhkoshi or RIver of milk so named because of the pale milky appearance of the glacier melt-water. We are now in the region of the legendary Sherpas and you will notice the differences in the faces of the people you meet here and those from the Kathmandu Valley.

After lunch we trek north down towards Phakding along a meandering trail which is lined with mani stone walls, made with hundreds of stone tablets and giant carved boulders, brilliantly decorated with brightly colored paints. The Buddhists believe these to be sacred and so as a sign of respect to the local culture we pass them in a clockwise direction. Overnight in tea house. Meals included: Breakfast,lunch and dinner.

Day 04: Trek from Phakding to Namche (3450m) - approx. 6/7 hours

Trek from Pakhding to Namche Bazaar (3440m), which takes about five and half hours. We head onwards and upwards as the trail starts to rise through a forest of rhododendron, magnollia and giant fir-trees. OUr target this evening is Namche Bazaar,a delightful mountain village and the Sherpa capital, but first we must ascend Namche hill;walking at a gentle but steady pace. We finally arrive at the town that is itself an important meeting and trading point for the local people. Overnight in tea house. Meal inckuded: Breafast, lunch and dinner.

Day 05: Acclimatization Day - Namche Bazaar: (3440m)

Today is a rest and acclimatization day in Namche Bazaar. Namche is a colorful village with many wonderful and interesting shops and vendors,fabulous food, and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. An early hike above town, before the cluds move in, reward climbers with a spectular Himalayan sunrise andand views of Mt. Everest, Lhotse (the 4th highest peak in the world), and the beautiful Ama Dablam. On the way down, we can visit the Sherpa Museum that houses an exhibit on traditional Sherpa lifestyle and a fabulous photography display by a local Nepalese naturalist,. One room highlights the Sherpa traditions and in another, Sherpa high altitiude climbers are presented.

It is important to note that acclimatization is extremely important  and that by using these acclimatization days correctly we greatly improve our chances of reaching our goal of Kalapatar, which lies ar an altitude of 5545m. Overnight in tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 06: Trek from Namche to Tengboche (3867 m) – approx. 5/6 hours

After having breakfast, you begin to climb through the ups and downs route, passing the Mani wall. Continuing the trek, you pass the small settlement of Sanasa from where the trail drops towards Phunki Tenga (3250m). The steep trail begins through pine forests and around Mani stones as it follows the side of a hill to the saddle on which the monastery of Tenboche situated at 3867m. The excellent views of Mount Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Kwangde will accompany you. OVernight in hotel. Meals Included: Breakfast,lunch and dinner.

Day 07: Trek from Tengboche to Pheriche (4,200 m) – approx. 4/5 hours

When the HImalayan as ita backdrop, the monastery in Tengboche is an excellent location. We visit the monastery in the morning and enjoy pictures of the monastery and the amazing landscape. We descend for about half an hour through a forest before crossing a river. Next, we trek uphill and notice that as we climb higher, the landscape becomes drier. We walk past a traditional Sherpa village of Pangboche before reaching Pheriche, a beautiful village located on a riverside.Here, we will also see a small helipad that is used for helicopter rescues during emergencies. We may even take a class with a mountain specialist in a medical clinic at Pheriche. Overnight in tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 08: Rest day in Pheriche

A day to rest and acclimatize and a chance to wander up the valley to look at a lake, the Tshola Tsho and the perpendicular walls of Cholatse and Tawache. Alternatively, we can climb up onto the ridge overlooking Dingboche for the view up the Imja Valley and the incredible south face of Lhotse. Overnight in tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 09: Trek from Pheriche to Lobuche – approx. 5/6 hours

After breakfast, we start with an easy walk towards Dugla. Next, we trek up the steep terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier, and then pass through the boulder-strewn slopes as we ascend Chupki Lhara where we find an array of stones with prayer flags used as memorials to Scott Fischer (American mountaineer) and 10-time Everest summitter Babu Chiri Sherpa (Nepalese mountain guide) who perished on a mission to climb Everest. The trail then continues to the Khumbu Glacier moraine and we find ourselves facing several great peaks – Khumbutse, Lingtren, Pumori and Mahalangur Himal. Overnight in tea house. Meals included: Breakfast,
lunch and dinner.

Day 10: Trek from Lobuche to Gorak Shep (5170 m), visit Everest Base Camp (5364 m) – approx. 6/7 hours

We take the trail to Everest Base Camp through the once vast Gorak Shep Lake. Continuing straight ahead, we come across the Indian army mountaineers’ memorials. The path from here can be misleading; hence it is important that we follow our lead Sherpa diligently. The walk is strenuous due to thin air in the high altitude. We pass through rocky dunes, moraine and streams before reaching the Everest Base Camp. Upon reaching the Everest Base Camp, we see tents of mountaineers that stand out in bright colors against the monotony of gray
surroundings (especially in the spring). Nuptse, Khumbuste and Pumori are the mountains we
can view from the base camp. We get back to Gorak Shep for a good night’s rest. Overnight in
 tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 11: Trek from Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar (5545 m) and back to Lobuche (4940 m) – approx. 7/8 hours

We prepare for an early morning departure, amid pre-dawn darkness and cold temperatures (- 10 to -14 C). Plus, there is always the potential for chilly winds which are quite common. Familiar peaks such as Lingtren, Khumbutse, and Changtse tower to the east even as Everest begins to reveal itself. But, it is upon reaching Kala Patthar that we get to see360 degree up- close and formidable views of Mt. Everest. We take pictures, enjoy the magnificent mountain panorama, and then return back to Lobuche for a good night’s rest. Overnight in tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 12: Trek from Lobuche to Kongma La (5,535 m) to Chhukung (4,730 m) – approx. 6/7 hours

After breakfast, we trek via Khumbu Glacier to Kongma La Base Camp (5,000m/16,404ft). The ascent to Kongma La pass is the most difficult part of our trek today. In the Kongma La, we see cairn wrapped in prayer flags to mark the pass. Then we descend gradually to Imja Khola valley, followed by another descent to Chhukung, a small summer settlement. After reaching Chhukung we will also check our equipment in order to get ready for our ultimate climb. Overnight in Chhukung. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 13: Trek from Chhukung to Island Peak base camp (5,200 m) – approx. 3/4 hours

The trek to Island Peak Base Camp is on a fairly steep trail. First, we climb south then turn east to the main line of the valley. We then walk on a winding path below the southern flank of the moraine from the Lhotse Glacier. Next, we continue walking on a pleasant trail along a streamside. The route to the Amphu Labtsa lies to the southeast. A crisscross route through the Imja and Lhotse glacier moraines leads to a wide valley flanking the SW side of Island Peak. Overnight at Island Peak Base Camp. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 14: Pre-climb training on Island Peak Base Camp

We begin our pre-climb training today after breakfast. Our guides will provide training on peak climbing techniques and the proper ways of using climbing gears such as the ice axe, climbing boots and crampons, harness, ascender, etc. The training will also include using ropes to go up and down. Although it is not mandatory to have prior training for Island Peak Climbing, we strongly believe that some training experience will boost your confidence and climbing skills to increase the chances of scaling the summit as well as to fully enjoy the experience. We can spend the rest of the day hiking to high camp and back or resting for the next day’s climb. Overnight at the Island Peak Base Camp. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 15: Island Peak base camp to Island Peak summit (6,189 m),back to base camp – approx. 10/12 hours

We wake up early today at around 12 to 1 am and have our breakfast before beginning our climb. It is important we reach the summit before noon because in the afternoon the strong winds in the highlands might become a barrier for a successful summit. The trail moves up beyond the base camp for several hundred meters before striking off the steep hillside. Initially sandy, the path soon turns to grass before becoming boulder strewn. As we climb up the hill, we will see that the slope narrows and the trail enter a steep rock channel. We climb the rock gully. This is not difficult, but there are several short rock steps to climb before we emerge on the right side of the gully. The route then follows a ridgeline, which leads to an exhilarating and exposed traverse onto the snout of the summit glacier. The guides will fix a rope when required. A steep snow slope leads us onto the summit ridge. Both fixed rope and man rope will be used during the climb for safety. We use fixed rope after successfully climbing on rock. The length of the rope will usually be 350 m. However, the length depends on the time of the season and the crevasses. There are two newly formed crevasses which are approximately 3 and 4 meters long. We will be using ladders to cross them. After enjoying the summit views and taking pictures, we descend all the way to Island Peak Base Camp where some of our crew are waiting for us. We celebrate on our successful Island Peak climb. Overnight at Island Peak Base Camp. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 16: Trek from Island Peak Base Camp to Pangboche (3,985 m) – 5/6 hours

Today’s walk will be a much easier as we descend to the lower altitudes. Following the same route back through the wide valley of Khumbu Khola, we pass through the beautiful Sherpa villages, Orsho and Shomare. We can also take a different trail to visit the Gompa in Upper Pangboche, which is believed to be the oldest in the Khumbu region or take the regular trail to reach Pangboche. Pangboche is a scenic village surrounded by Everest to its north, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, and Kangtaiga to the east, the Kongde range to the south and the Imja Tse river flowing through the wide fertile valley. Overnight in tea house. Meals included:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 17: Trek from Pangboche to Namche Bazaar (3,440 m) – approx. 4/5 hours

From Pangboche we retrace our steps down to the Imja Khola and up through the forest to Tengboche. If interested, we can also visit nuns at the Tengboche monastery. After lunch at Tengboche, we continue through the hillside blanketed by rhododendron and juniper trees. After crossing the bridge over the Dudh Koshi River, our trail follows the Dudh Koshi gorge descending rapidly through the pine forests before reaching Sansa. We keep a lookout for wildlife such as mountain goats, snow leopards, colorful pheasants, etc., while passing through the forest. After passing a chorten, we reach the army camp at Namche Bazaar. Overnight in tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 18: Trek from Namche to Lukla (2860m) - approx. 5/6 hours

Take the downhill trail to Lukla. We will follow the descending trail and walk through rocks and boulders to the suspension bridge over Dudk Koshi River. On reaching Lukla, you head to a local teahouse where you will stay overnight. In the evening, you celebrate the completion of your trip with your trekking crew.

There will be singing,dancing and endless local brew rounds with the porters,guide and assitant guides. This is an excellent time to thank the local crew for helping you realize your EBC dream. Offer them tips before retiring for the night and bidding goodbye to most of them. Overnight in teahouse. Meals included: Breakfast,lunch and dinner.

Day 19: Fly back from Lukla to Kathmandu, Overnight in Hotel

You successfully conclude the trek and proceed for flight to Kathmandu. We will enjoy our last view of the high mountains while flying back to the Kathmandu from Lukla. The snow-capped mountains will be worth to watch. After 25 minutes of flight, our representative will be waiting for you at domestic airport to take you back to the hotel. You can spend the rest of the day at your leisure; feel free to relax or explore the local markets. Overnight in Hotel

Day 20: Departure from Kathmandu.

As per your flight time you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back home or any other destinations. The airport check-iin is 3 hours prior to the departure time and the hotel checkout time is 12PM.

Or inform us if you want to stay longer for short tours such as Jungle Safari at National Parks, Mountain Biking, Rafting, a Tibet tour, a tour to Bhutan or India Tour. We will be happy to assist you.

  • Trip facts

  • Trip duration : 20 days
  • Grade : Strenous
  • Activity : Cultural sightseeing tour and trekking & Climbing
  • Starts in : Kathmandu
  • End in : Kathmandu
  • Trek Type : Tea house & Camping
  • Accomodation : Hotel & lodge (tea house) & Tented Camp
  • Max Altitude : 6189m

Cost Includes

  • Airport pick-up and drop off services by private A/C vehicle
  • 3 nights accommodation in Kathmandu on twin /double sharing basis with breakfast only
  • All meals during the trek & climb
  • Tea/coffee, boiled water will be provided during the climb
  • Best available twin sharing lodge to lodge accommodation during the trek and tented accommodation during the climbing
  • Domestic Airfare : Kathmandu/Lukla/Kathmandu airfare
  • Government licensed holder English speaking guide during the trek and climb, require porter (1 porter between two clients) and their food, accommodation, salary, equipment, and insurance
  • Island Peak Climbing permit fee
  • General climbing equipment such as rope, ice screw, snow bar etc.
  • TIMS Fee- Trekkers' Information Management System (Please bring 3 passport size photos for permit)
  • Airport transfers in AC private vehicle
  • Sightseeing tour in Kathmandu with English Speaking local Tour Guide, entry fees and private AC vehicle
  • Insurance for all staff & porters
  • Rescue assistance (Should any emergency arise during your trek, we will provide prompt and professional rescue and medical services. For this, we recommend you to have your own travel insurance that can cover helicopter evacuation and medical treatment cost in case required)
  • Farewell dinner in Kathmandu with live cultural performance at authentic Nepali restaurant on the last evening
  • All tax, VAT and company service charge

Cost Excludes

  • International flight & any other airfares
  • Nepal visa
  • Extra baggage charge if any (weight allowance 12kg+3 kg in domestic flight)
  • Personal gears & clothing (available on hire)
  • Hot shower during the trek
  • Tips for Guide, porters, drivers etc.
  • Any expenses incurred in emergency evacuation/road block due to any reason
  • Personal expenses such as table drinks, snacks while walking, hot water/shower, internet, telephone etc during the Everest Base Camp trek.
  • Client insurance and Medical expenses
  • Personal trekking equipment
  • Any other tours, transfers and hotel accommodations other than mentioned above
  • Lunch & Dinner in Kathmandu


Extension Tours

Paragliding
Jungle Safari
Pokhara Tour
Rafting

Necessary Information

1. Visa to Nepal

You can obtain the Nepalese visa from Nepalese consulate in your country easily or upon your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. For that, you require a valid passport with 2 copies of passport size photos. Similarly, A visa for Nepal can be obtained at Nepal India border entry point at Birgunj, Nepalgunj, Kakadvitta, Bhairahawa, Gaddachowki and Kodari on the Nepal China border. A15/30/90 day multiple entries Nepalese visa can be obtained by paying USD 30/50/125 or equivalent foreign currency respectively. For more information, please visit http://www.nepalimmigration.gov.np/page/tourist-visa

2. Welcoming upon your arrival in Nepal

We will be at the airport to welcome you upon your arrival to Nepal. We will be carrying the Raj BalaTreks & Expedition placard with your name underneath. From airport you will escorted to your hotel and we help you to check-in.

3. Why climb Island Peak with Raj Bala Treks & Expedition?

We have been organizing Island Peak Climbing Package since 90’s. We provide all Island Peak climbing equipment such as climbing rope, climbing boot, crampons, harness set, ice axe in free of cost. We have a qualified climbing sherpa guide as an instructor. Your safety is our first priority when climbing Island Peak. So, we are specialized in peak climbing in Nepal.

4. Any specific health and physical fitness requirements for Island Peak Climbing

You must be in good physical condition with ability to walk, ascend and descend 6 hours a day in average. If you have any illness specially respiratory and cardiac and neurology ones, consult your doctor before planning. Symptoms of AMS is normal if you haven’t been to high altitude before, we take precautions and try to avoid AMS as possible. All of our climbing guides are high altitude trained professionals. If AMS condition worsens, they will take you to lower elevations and call for helicopter rescue to Kathmandu if further medical attention is required.

5. Accommodation on Island Peak Climbing

You can choose from standard to luxury accommodation in Kathmandu. Generally, we offer accommodation in 3-star hotel in Kathmandu with breakfast. Whereas, on the trekking trails, tea houses with basic facilities and tent or camping accommodation at Island Peak Base Camp.

6. What Food do we eat on Island Peak Climbing Trip?

While you are in Kathmandu, enjoy delicious breakfast included in cost while full board meals during the trek and camping day on Island Peak Base camp. You are advised to get a packet of energy bars and high energy producing items like raisins and cashew nuts etc. in Kathmandu. On trekking trails, mostly you will be offered with soups, porridge, noodles, rice and lentils, omelette, bread, pasta, tea, yak butter milk, yak cheese are served at most of the tea houses while, while at base camp dried packaged foods and other meals prepared by our camping cooks.

7. Equipment Checklist

You can purchase or hire some of the equipment here in Kathmandu as well, the conditions and quality of the equipment are topnotch. One porter would be available for two people while on the trek, and the porter is able to carry about 25 kg of weight, so it is advised to keep the luggage light. Duffel or rucksack bags, day packs (approximately 20-25L), Down Jackets and 4 seasons’ sleeping bags are required in general.

Head:

  • Sun hat or Scarf
  • Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
  • Sunglasses with UV protection

Feet:

  • Thin, lightweight inner socks
  • Thick, warm woolen hiking socks
  • Hiking boots with spare laces
  • Camp Shoes (sneakers and/or sandals)
  • Gaiters for hiking in winter

Hands

  •  LIghtweight Gloves
  • Heavyweight gloves ot mittens

Lower body:

  • Undergarments
  • Hiking shorts
  • Lightweight cotton long pants
  • Light and expedition weight thermal bottoms
  • Fleece or wool pants (seasonal)
  • Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell pants

Upper body:

  • T-Shirts
  • Light and expedition weight thermal tops
  • Fleece jackets or pullovers
  • Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell pants

Accessories

  • Sleeping bag rated to zero degrees F
  • Headlamp with spare batteries
  • Trekking Bags/ Duffel bags
  • Basic First Aid Kit
  • Large plastic bags - for keeping itms dry inside the trekking bags
  • Trekking poles
  • Water bottles
  • Toiletries

Toiletries

  • Toothbrush
  • Multipurpose soap
  • Nail cutter
  • Small mirror
  • Personal hygience
  • Wet wipes
  • Tissue/toilet roll
  • Anti-bacterial hands wash 

 

8. How technical is Island Peak climbing?

The first part of the ascent is physically very hard. You will trek through a rough terrain at over 5000m. Once you reach the glacier field, you must rope-up and wear crampons. The foot of the headwall is the toughest part of the climb. The ascent is very steep and the air at its thinnest. However, the climbing route is safe because of fixed lines. With strong determination, you will get up to the summit ridge. The climb from summit ridge to the top is a short and easy ascent.

The route to Island Peak Base Camp (5,100m) itself is a challenging task. If you chooseto climb Island peak on a 10-day trip, you are lowering your chances of easy success. But if you choose to spend more days on the trek, the climb will be easier. Be familiar to mountains, the weather, and climatic conditions there. This aids to your climb.

9. Best Time for Island Peak Climbing

Best time for climbing in Nepal is spring (March, April and May) bring warmer weather and secondly autumn season (September, October-November) fair weather in Nepal. You need to be prepared for sudden weather changes while trekking and climbing. That's why trekking equipment should be chosen carefully before the trip. Sudden rain storms or snow are always a possibility which needs to be considered. The weather during the trekking season is somewhat more stable.

10. Do I need insurance to climb Island Peak?

We strongly suggest you to have an all-inclusive travel insurance policy covering all the aspects of your adventure. However, we ensure you that there would be hardly any evacuations or any health catastrophe as your leader is medically trained and has ample knowledge to deal with any life threatening situation. But it’s always wise to have insurance as your back up.