Island Peak Climbing

Island Peak climbing

This peak is as famous a trekking peak as Everest itself in Nepal, and all the reasons are great. Physically based directly below the south face of Lhotse and surrounded by fabulous peaks and glaciers, Island Peak or [Imja Tse in local language] makes for a real doable climb that can also be done by beginner climbers who are in good physical condition. The move toward to the top of the Southwest ridge is a straightforward 50 degree push-up, and the final steps along the ridge offer an exciting, if gently precipitous finish. From the peak itself there are superb 360 degree views, taking in the Nuptse-Lhotse wall, Makalu, Baruntse and Ama Dablam. This is climbing at its best…

From Dingboche the mountain is viewed as an island in a sea of ice. The summit is absorbing and eye-catching with a highly glaciated west face rising from the Lhotse Glacier. The mountain itself is an attachment of the South Ridge of Lhotse Shar separated by a small col. The ridge rising to the south from this point leads to the summit of Island Peak. The linking of this ridge descending south-west is the part of the normal route of ascent and leads to the South Summit. Imja Tse not only provides a fantastic climb but also provides some of the most amazing scenery of Himalayas in the Khumbu region. Seen from the peak itself, the giant mountains, Nuptse (7,879m), Lhotse (8,501m), Lhotse on the South Ridge of Island Peak, send our emotions fluttering; Middle Peak (8,410m) and Lhotse Shar (8,383m) make a semi circle in the north. The views of Makalu (8475m) in the east, Baruntse and Amadablam in the south add more appeal for climbing Island Peak, despite the high altitudes…

Most of the work is done by your porters & crew, such as cooking, carrying group equipment, setting up tents, etc. Yaks and sherpas will carry all of your personal items so you do not have to carry a heavy rucksack. It is not necessary to be in extremely good shape to do this peak. If you have done casual walking for 3-6 hours up and down hills with a few 20 minute breaks in the mix, then you can attempt this trekking climb to glory…

TRIP FACTORS:

Trip duration: 20 Days

Grade: Strenuous – Peak Climbing – Alpine grade: PD+…This is a trip where the challenges are enjoyed…

Activity: Sightseeing and trekking

Starts in: Kathmandu

Ends in: Kathmandu

Accommodation: Hotel, camping or lodge (tea house)

Transportation: Flights, private car or tourist bus

Maximum altitude: 6189m…we peak at Imja Tse

Details Itinerary

Day 01: Kathmandu 1360m

You arrive in Kathmandu and our representative will be on standby with our office vehicle to transfer you to your hotel. A pre-trek briefing will be scheduled to discuss the trekking program and co-ordinate any last-minute arrangements. Your can refresh your self, go for a walk down the street to get familiar with your surroundings before preparing for a tasty dinner of a local Nepalese cuisine which you will truly enjoy accompanied by a cultural dance performed by the local belles. Your first overnight in the city of temples, probably the most in the world
Meals included: 1 welcome dinner

Day 02: Kathmandu Sightseeing

Today we explore Kathmandu on an organized sightseeing tour. This will include a visit to the Bodhnath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world. We also visit Pashupatinath, located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River and home to the most famous Hindu temple in the country. Here we will see Hindu holy men (sadhus) and pilgrims performing ritual bathing, and occasionally, funeral pyres burning on the ghats. The cremation site here is used by the royal family and also for the simple man living next door. Your early afternoon will be free to relax in the hotel garden or visit Thamel for some curious shopping. You will be supplied with your trek departure information in the afternoon. 
Meals included: 1 breakfast

Day 03: Kathmandu-Lukla-Phakding 2652m/9184ft, 3 hours trekking

After an early morning b/fast, we take the super flight from Kathmandu to Lukla at 2827m. Flight time is about 35 minutes to the airstrip built by Sir Edmund Hillary and the Sherpas in the mid-1960s. After landing we will have time to explore the village while the Sherpa crew sort out and load the trekking equipment. In the afternoon, we begin the trek by descending towards the Dudh Kosi River, where we join the main trail to Namche Bazaar, just above Chaurikharka at 2713m. The walking is easy and after passing through the small village of Ghat at 2550m, it’s a short walk to Phakding where we’ll stay overnight.

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch and 1 dinner with tea/coffee.

Day 04: Phakding-Monjo 2835m, 3 hours trekking

From Phakding, we cross the river and head up valley where we’ll see porters from the south ferrying supplies to Namche. The trail keeps close to the river valley and is lined with beautiful blue pine and rhododendron forest that is quite spectacular in the spring months when the flowers are in bloom. We cross the Dudh Kosi at Benkar where there are tantalising glimpses of the snow peaks Kusum Kanguru (6369m) and Thamserku (6623m). From here it is only a short walk to Monjo (2835m) where we arrive in time for lunch. We spend the night in Monjo with the afternoon free to do some exploring around the village. The day has been deliberately kept short to aid acclimatization, a very important process that’s good on the body.

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch and 1 dinner with tea/coffee

Day 05: Monjo-Namche Bazaar 3446m, 4 hours trekking

Today the walking is a little roughshod and includes the steep ascent to Namche Bazaar. From Monjo, it is a short walk to the entrance of the National Park before we cross the Dudh Kosi to Jorsale at 2805m. The trek continues upstream on generally flat terrain, crossing back to the right bank, to the confluence of the Bhote Kosi and Dudh Kosi rivers. It is here that we start the steep ascent to Namche Bazaar. After crossing a large and stable suspension bridge high above the river we slowly ascend at a steady pace towards Namche. There are some fantastic photographic opportunities as the peaks of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam and Taweche (6542m) come into view for the first time. After arriving in Namche, we’ll have lunch and the afternoon is free to bargain in the shops for 'Tibetan' artifacts, or relax and marvel at the beautiful scenery. Its your day

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch and 1 dinner with tea/coffee

Day 06: Namche Bazaar Hike

We remain at Namche for a second night to allow for proper acclimatization to the altitude. Namche is a prosperous village, situated in a large protected hollow. It gained its importance during the period when Tibetan salt was traded for the lowland grains of Nepal. Today a limited amount of trade exists at Namche and Tibetans are often seen in the village trading rugs and Chinese-made goods, clothing, salt and dried meat. It is recommended that you take the opportunity to see both the sunrise and sunset views from the National Park Headquarters above the village. The view is mesmerising and offers a superb panorama of the Khumbu peaks with great views of Everest. After breakfast, there are a number of options: perhaps a walk towards Thami (3810m) above the beautiful Bhote Khola river valley, or a visit to the National Park Headquarters to see the interesting displays of Sherpa lifestyle and culture. There is also a mountaineering display and details of the park’s flora and fauna. Your guides will be on hand to offer advice and escort you on your walks.

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch and 1 dinner with tea/coffee

Day 07: Namche Bazaar-Phortse 3850m, 4 hours trekking

The trail contours around Khumbilya's lower slopes, passing through beautiful birch forest and on to treeless, grassy slopes to a stupa-3992m on top of a rocky ridge at Mongla. Once again the views of the mountains are magnificent. Phortse can be seen across the valley, a picturesque village set in a patchwork of stone-walled fields. From the stupa you descend on a series of switchback trails to the Dudh Kosi River, 300 meters below, at Phortse Bridge & cross the Dudh Kosi and ascend to the village of Phortse for overnight.

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, and 1 dinner with tea/coffee

Day 08: Phortse-Pheruche

From Phortse, we ascend through the high ridge of Imjakhola. Along the way keep an eye open for Blood and Danphe Pheasant, Musk Deer and, high on the steep slopes of the valley, the Himalayan Thar. Gradually ascend & descend to the village of Pangboche where the peak of Ama Dablam dominates the skyline. We will take lunch here and perhaps view the beautiful monastery that once housed the legendary Yeti scalp. In the afternoon our route ascends gradually, high above the Imja Khola, passing the tea houses at Orsho before crossing the Imja Khola and Pheruche.

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, and 1 dinner with tea/coffee

Day 9 Trek to Lobuche [4930m]

We continue up the wide valley beneath the impressive peaks of Cholatse and Tawache on the left. We then turn right and climb more steeply towards the foot of the Khumbu Glacier. The tea house at Duglha is a good spot to have lunch, before zigzagging up through the boulders of the glacier's terminal moraine. At the top of this climb there are many stone cairns, built as memorials to the many Sherpas who died while climbing Mt Everest. The path then climbs gently along the glacier, to eventually reach the cluster of houses at Lobuche.

Day 10 Trek to Gorak Shep [5184m] Everest Base Camp [5357m] & Kalapathar 5554m]

To reach our next objective, Kala Pattar, the trail follows the Khumbu Glacier, and offers superb views of the surrounding mountains, especially where the path is forced to rise to cross a tributary glacier. We stop for lunch at our camping place for the night, Gorak Shep. Later in the afternoon, when the sunset colors begin to appear on Everest, we make our way to the top of one of the finest viewpoints in the Everest region, Kala Pattar [5554m]. As the light begins to fade we stroll back to our camp at Gorak Shep and have an early night in preparation for our trek to Everest Base Camp the following day.

To reach Everest Base Camp, a very early start is required, as it takes several hours on a trail which weaves its way through ice pinnacles and past the crevasses of the Khumbu Glacier. On the return leg, we can take a higher route to get a spectacular view of the Khumbu icefall and the route to the South Col. We return to either Gorak Shep or Lobuche to camp for the night.

Day 11 Trek Gorakshep to Dingboche [4350m]

We head back down today, through Duglha, to the summer village of Dingboche, where the houses are scattered about in the fields.

Day 12 Trek to Chukhung [4750m]

Today, we have an easy walk for about 2 hours, climbing up gradually to the small settlement of Chukhung. Along the way we have picturesque views of Island Peak and the challenge that waits for that unique feeling of success.

Day 13 Trek to island peak base camp [5150m]

This is a pretty cool day; the trail crosses the river and follows the valley for approx 3 hours, passing beneath the magnificent south face of Lhotse. Base camp is by the side of the Imja glacier, below steep grassy slopes which marks the first start of the climb on Island Peak.

Day 14 Trek to high camp

We ascend a little further to high camp where we will relax for a breather and make final preparations for the big climb tomorrow.

Day 15 Ascent of island peak [6173m]

Crossing the gully above the camp the trail makes a climb for another hour to a narrow ridge, leading on to the glacier. Here it is time to rope-up and put on our crampons as the most interesting part of the climb begins with the glacier crossing. This is followed by the steep snow slope that leads onto the summit ridge. This ridge is wonderfully fresh and on reaching the summit we have jaw-dropping close-up views of the south face of Lhotse looming over us whilst in the other direction, there are more theatrical mountain views that stop our breath for a few seconds as we gasp at the surrounding beauty that envelops us, perhaps, this will be a moment we will never ever forget for the rest of our lives, because there is no other place on earth like this, it has a beauty of its own, as the other peaks of Nepal all have their exclusive own identities. We descend along the same route, down to base camp.

Day 16: Chhukung -Tengboche 4252m

Early in the morning we will make a steep ascent to Kala Patar. You will need to start very slowly and try to ascend at a steady rhythmic pace. Our goal, Kala Patar, is the rocky hilltop below Pumori. It is a tough walk due to the altitude but the view from the top surpasses the wildest imagination. It will probably take a good hour and a half to reach the summit from Gorak Shep, although lower viewpoints will provide views almost as good. Pumori, Nuptse, Changtse, Ama Dablam, Taweche, Kantega and Everest surround us in panoramic display. About 3kms away in distance and some 200m below, the area of Everest Base Camp can be seen in a bowl at the bottom of the Khumbu Ice Fall. For many trekkers, reaching Kala Patar is a very emotional experience and it is worthwhile spending as long as you can to relish this special moment.

The descent back down to Gorak Shep is easy. Today we go downhill most of the way, as we retrace our steps to Duglha and descend to Pheriche. The Himalayan Rescue Association has a trekkers’ aid post here and it is quite interesting to visit. After lunch we cross the Khumbu Khola on a wooden suspension bridge and follow the valley to Pheriche. The trail descends through Lobuche to Pheriche and on a clear day, there are still stunning views of mountain landscapes.

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch and 1 dinner with tea/coffee

Day 17: Tengboche-Namche Bazaar-Monjo 3440m, 5 hours trekking

After breakfast we descend steeply through beautiful forests of juniper, rhododendron and fir to Phunkitenga. After a welcome break and perhaps a cup of tea we cross the Dudh Kosi, and ascend to Trashinga. From here the trail contours high above the valley through Shanasa and its then a gradual walk to Namche Bazaar where we have lunch and descend to Monjo for an overnight stay.

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch and 1 dinner with tea/coffee

Day 18: Monjo-Lukla 2800m, 3-4 hours trekking – our last day on these lovely mountains

Today is our last day of trekking. It’s only a short walk along the valley before we make the final climb up to the airstrip at Lukla. We’ll have lunch at our lodge and the afternoon is free for you to wander around, relax or perhaps have a hot shower! In the evening, we’ll have a farewell dinner party followed by a few celebratory drinks. We can taste some ‘Chhang’ {mountain beer brewed from fermented rice} and do a jig to some Sherpa dance steps; and enjoy with the crew whom we’ve come to know so well over the weeks being together. It’s a time to make merry after the success of our climb. We then hit the sack for some blissful rest after a truly great venture that was successful.

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch and 1 dinner with Tea/coffee 

Day 19: Lukla-Kathmandu, 35 minute flight to Kathmandu

We get up early in the morning, enjoy our b/fast & get ready for the arrival of our aircraft for the flight back to Katmandu. We will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel and the warmth of a soft comfortable bed.

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch.

Day 20: Katmandu Departure for home sweet home

Today is free to relax and do your own things; perhaps some last minute shopping or pen a few post cards to the loved ones at home, until your departure or to commence any additional trips or activities you may have booked. If you are departing, you’ll be transferred to the international airport in time for your return flight home.

Meals included: 1 breakfast.

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