Island Peak Climbing
Trek Code: HMG-IPTC-03
Island peak: Hiking & climbing to dizzy heights where physical challenges are rewarded with breathtaking views amidst a backdrop of nature’s beauty galore...
The ascent of Island Peak provides thrill and adventure to all adventure seekers in abundance. We follow the famous Everest trail following the footsteps of famous climbers and make our way up the Khumbu valley into Sherpa heartland. The quaint villages, the mesmerizing landscape and the unique culture provide us with a unique experience. We gain altitude steadily and acclimatize as we head towards Kalapattar. The view of Mt. Everest and a host of some of the tallest peaks in the world from Kalapattar provide a sight that will remain etched in your memories forever. We then descend down to the Imja Valley and head towards Island Peak. Though not a very difficult mountain to climb Island Peak does offer some challenges. You need to have a positive frame of mind and enjoy sound physical condition and be able to use competent in using ice axe and crampons. It is a technically straight forward climb that does not require previous climbing experience though it can be an advantage. From the summit of Island Peak you can enjoy spectacular views of the North side of Ama Dablam and the sweeping flanks of Mt Nuptse and the world’s 4th highest peak, Mt Lhotse. Our staffs and Sherpa guides are well trained and experience and will ensure a safe passage on the journey providing the highest level of safety. For those not attempting the climb of Island Peak, there is the opportunity to explore the Imja Khola Valley.
Trip duration: 23 Days
Grade: Strenuous - Peak Climbing - Alpine grade: PD+
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: 6173m
Your Itinerary in brief
Day 01 - Arrive Kathmandu.1, 300m.
Day 02 - A day in Kathmandu with 1/2 day sight seeing.
Day 03 - Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla & trek to Phakding.
Day 04 - Trek to Namche Bazaar 3,440m. Approx. 5-6 hrs.
Day 05 - Rest Day at Namche Bazaar.
Day 06 - Trek to Thyangboche 3,867m.Approx 5 hours.
Day 07 - Trek to Pheriche 4,243m. 5 hrs
Day 08 - Trek to Lobuche 4,930m. 5 hrs.
Day 09 - At Lobuche with trek to Gorakshep 5,140m / Kalapatthar 5,545m.
Day 10 - Trek to Everest Base Camp.
Day 11 - Trek to Dingboche. 4,410m. 4-5 hrs.
Day 12 - Trek to Chhukhung 4,730m. 3-4 hrs.
Day 13 - Trek to Island Peak Base Camp. 4,970m. 3 hrs.
Day 14 - At Base Camp Rest day.
Day 15 - Trek & Climb to High Camp. 5,400m. 2-3 hrs climbs.
Day 16 - Climb to the Summit at 6,189m.
Day 17 - Trek back to Dingboche. 5-6 hrs.
Day 18 - Trek to Thyangboche. 4-5 hrs.
Day 19 - Trek to Namche Bazaar. 4-5 hrs.
Day 20 - Trek back to Lukla. 6-7 hrs.
Day 21 - Fly Lukla-Kathmandu.
Day 22 - Free day at leisure in Kathmandu.
Day 23 - Transfer to Airport for the International departure.
DAY 01 Arrive Kathmandu.1, 300m.
On arrival at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport you will be received by our staff and escort you to the Hotel, where our guide will give you a brief orientation of the Hotel, Kathmandu, your Trek /Camping, and the cultural aspects & other related information that you might require while in Nepal. Your first overnight in Kathmandu.
DAY 02 A day in Kathmandu with 1/2 day sight seeing.
After your first night in Kathmandu, you will be well informed on arrival about the time for your half day guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu at places of interest. Sometime, depending upon your flight arrival if it's late in the night we will do this tour in the afternoon instead of morning to give you a nice sleep and rest before you venture out of the Hotel for our interesting tour.
DAY 03 Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla & trek to Phakding.
Early morning after breakfast, you will be transferred from the Hotel to domestic Airport with a short drive of half an hour, after the necessary security formalities (keep your penknife- lighter-matches and other sharp cutting items including scissors and other equipments in the bigger baggage& not in hand bags) board in the Twin Otter, Dronier or similar type of plane for the sweeping panoramic flight to Lukla, on arrival you will be received by our trekking guides. In Lukla, you will have time to wander around, while the Sherpa crew sort and divide the loaded baggage on the Ghopkyo (mix breed of Yak & normal cow, as the Yak cannot survive below 3000m) some loads are carried by porters. We then have Lunch, depending upon the time of arrival at Lukla either in Lukla or few walks farther down on route to Phakding. The walk is gradual most of the way, with few ups from Tarhe khola, where you can have a superb view of Kusum-Kangru 6,369m crossing a short suspension bridge, from here after a short climb brings us to the Ghat village, another 11/2hr of gradual walk brings you to Phakding village for the overnight stop near the bank of the Dudh-Kosi river. We crash out here for the night
DAY 04 Trek to Namche Bazaar 3,440m. Approx. 5-6 hrs.
From Phakding, the walk is pleasant with few short uphill and downhill and re-crossing the same river again, with magnificent view of Thamsarkhu 6,608m, from the village of Benkar, cross the long suspension bridge over the Dudh-Koshi River, then reaching to a small village of Monjo. On the way you can observe an interesting water-mill grinding roasted corns and barley for Tsampa, one of the staple foods of the Sherpas, Tibetans and other mountain people. Monjo is situated below the magnificent peak of Thermasharkhu and near the entrance of Sagarmatha National Park. From here a short descend and a gradual walk brings you to the last village at Jorsalle before Bazaar is reached, after a short walk, a second bridge is reached over the same river, the walk is pleasant on the river bed till the last bridge over the Imjatse river is reached, from here the walk is along the winding uphill path all the way to Namche Bazaar, with magnificent view of Kwangde peak and it other sister peaks towards east, with Kusum Khangru on the back as you climb higher, view of Mt.Everest- Nuptse wall, Lhotse and the closer view of Taweche peak can be seen all the way up to Thop Danda, where there's a resting stone wall for the porters and trekkers, from here another one to two hours walk brings you to the famed Namche Bazaar, the colorful houses are situated in an amphitheatre U shaped bowl. Overnight at bustling Namche Bazaar.
DAY 05 a day for Rest at Namche Bazaar.
Suggested activities would be a short walk uphill to the Sagarmatha National Park Headquarter, a magnificent spot perched on top of Namche Bazaar with breathtaking view of the surrounding snow capped giants and of the rolling hills, this place houses an interesting museum with all kinds of information regarding the history of the Himalayas, geographic, culture, mountaineering history and existing information on flora and fauna of this region. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight at Namche.
DAY 06 Trek to Thyangboche 3,867m.Approx 5 hours.
The walk is fairly easy for the first half, with few minutes climb to the top ridge of Namche Bazaar. Once at the top the walk follows on the gradual trail with few short up and downs overlooking magnificent view of the great giant snow peaks from Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Thermasharkhu and Kwangde-ri peak after a pleasant walk of two hours coming to a small place at Shanasa, on this area there is chances of seeing the beautiful colorful Danphe pheasant (Impeyan Pheasant) national bird of Nepal and the elusive musk deer, and sometime even herd of Himalayan Thar (mountain goat like large antelope) from Shanasa with short up and downhill, the trial descend to Imjatse river at Phungitenga
3,250m, a small settlement with couple of teahouses in the midst of the alpine woods of mostly silver fir blue pines, rhododendron and some few magnolia and birch trees. From here the walk is all uphill for an hour or two with great view of Thermasarkhu and Kantenga, Kantenga from this angle it looks more like an icy Sphinx or a big cat on a sitting position, the walk finally reaches you at the great spot of Thyangboche. This is one of the most beautiful spot in the Himalaya, the first thing that comes to your
eye is the big Monastery, then the large field with campsites and teahouses, lodges beneath the towering majestic peak Ama Dablam with Everest looming above the Nuptse wall in the north with Mt. Lhotse and Lhotse Shar towards north east with more peaks all around you. Overnight in a lodge.
DAY 07 Trek to Pheriche 4,243m. 5 hrs
the path begins to descend steeply through woods, then crossing the Imja Tse Khola and we climb steadily to the village of Pangboche. This is directly opposite of Ama Dablam (6,856 m.), and is a good place to stop for a break. Pheriche is a good two / three hour's walk beyond and is situated beneath the impressive spires of Cholatse (6,440 m.) and Taweche (6,542 m.). From Pangboche the walk is on the gradual winding path above the Imjatse River then with a short climb to Somare for lunch, from here the walk leads to a good trail before the short climb towards Pheriche. After the good climb the path descends towards the Pheriche Valley and to the village for the overnight stop. Pheriche is pretty windy with great views of Mt. Ama Dablam, Tawache, Cholatse and as far as to Cho Oyu which can be seen in the distance. Overnight in lodges.
DAY 08 Trek to Lobuche 4,930m. 5 hrs.
Our hike continues up the wide valley beneath the impressive peaks of Cholatse and Taweche on the left. Then turning right with a steep climb towards Thugla at the foot of the Khumbu Glacier. The tea house at Thughla is a good spot to have lunch, before the steep climb zigzagging up through the boulders of the glacier terminal moraine. The top of this climb surprises us by numerous stone cairns-memorials to the many Sherpa who have died while climbing on Mount Everest. The path then continues more easily on the left side of the glacier, to eventually reach the cluster of houses at Lobuche for the overnight halt.
DAY 09 At Lobuche with trek to Gorakshep 5,140m / Kalapatthar 5,545m. 5-6 hrs.
We hike towards the Khumbu Glacier which is straight forward at first, but later the path gets rocky and awkward, as the route climbs across the moraine; the going gets closer to the world’s highest mountain. The sugar loaf dome of Pumori (7,145 m.) lies directly ahead and on the opposite side of the glacier, Nuptse rises in a sheer spire. Just behind it, to the left is Mt. Everest. Finally reaching at Gorak Shep after a good two to three hours walk. Gorakshep has two large tea houses. Directly above Gorakshep is Kala Pattar (5,545m) climbing starts to Kalapatthar; It takes about two hours or so. Kalapattar summit is the best view point for close-up view of the Mt. Everest 8,848 m. After getting to the top of Kalapattar, we head down to Gorakshep for the overnight camp.
DAY 10 Trek to Everest Base Camp.
The trekking day of this great adventure, continues towards Everest Base Camp and to the Khumbu Ice-fall, the path from here can be misleading, follow the lead Sherpa, every year the trail changes due to the movements of the glacier, the walk is quite strenuous due to the high altitude and thin air, the walk passes through over rocky dunes and moraine and streams, till you reach the base camp. Everest Base Camp is lively with commotion during the high expedition season. On reaching at the foot of Everest, great views of the Khumbu icefall await you. After a grand time here retrace the journey back to Lobuche for the overnight.
DAY 11 Trek to Dingboche. 4,410m. 4-5 hrs. We
retrace the hike back to Thugla. From Thugla, a pleasant trek leads to Dingboche into the Imja-Tse valley with great views of the surrounding snow capped peaks, including the classic view of Island peak. Island Peak, on close inspection reveals itself to be an interesting and attractive summit with a highly glaciated West Face rising from the Lhotse glacier. The mountain itself is an extension of the South Ridge of Lhotse Shar and is separated from it by a small col. above this gap, rising to the south, is a classical beautiful ridge leading to the summit of Imja Tse. The continuation of this ridge, descending southwest, provides art of the normal route ascent and leads in turn to the South summit, when viewed from near Chhukhung.
DAY 12 Trek to Chhukhung 4,730m. 3-4 hrs.
Today, we hike easy for about three to four hours, climbing up gradually to a small settlement of Chhukhung and for the overnight camp. The afternoon is spent relaxing and doing necessary preparations or for an optional hike around, with the exceptional great scenery of the surrounding high peaks and glacier.
DAY 13 Trek to Island Peak Base Camp. 4,970m. 3 hrs. from
the route to Base Camp, the path at first climbs quite steeply to the south before following the moraine east along the main valley below the southern or true left bank of the Lhotse Glacier. The trail then follows glacial streams to the snout of the Imja glacier. At this point the path swings north-east and crosses a dried up lake bed between the Lhotse and Imja Glaciers. From a base camp at Pareshaya Gyab, a well acclimatized party in good condition can make the summit and return in a day back to Base Camp.
DAY 14 At Base Camp which is a day for rest. Acclimatization and necessary preparations, we sort out our gear in preparation for the ascent.
DAY 15 Trek & Climb to High Camp. 5,400m. 2-3 hrs climbs.
From the base camp the route skirts south-east around the base of Imja Tse between the moraine and the mountain before turning north-east and climbing steep grassy slopes and small rocky steps. Occasional cairns are to be found marking the path. Easy scrambling up an open gully leads between two well defined ridges and the site of high camps on the left-hand ridge below and to the right of a small hanging glacier at 5,280m / 17,323ft. Care should be taken pitching of a camp or bivouac to avoid possible avalanche danger from the ice above. At high camp we will be relaxing and planning, making necessary preparations for the next early morning day climb.
DAY 16 Climb to the Summit at 6,189m.
From a high camp on the left-hand ridge we scramble across the broad open gully and gain the right-hand ridge. Following through, this gives easy scrambling to the snow-covered glacier above. A route needs to be found out leftwards, avoiding seracs and crevasses before turning back northwards over snow covered scree in the margin between the glacier and the base of the main summit ridge. After crossing a gully with some stone and icefall danger, a steep snow and ice ramp leads upwards for nearly 100 meters (300ft), to the summit ridge. The last moves on to the ridge often prove difficult and many climbers leave fixed rope in place to aid descent. The ridge itself is a classic and undulates towards the main summit which is reached by a final tricky snow pitch. Standing atop we have the stunning close-up view of the South face of Lhotse (8,501 m.) in vastness that looms before us. We have the impressive dramatic views of the mountains -Amadablam (6,856 m.), Chamlang and Baruntse in the far horizon. Descent is made by the same route to the lower base camp.
DAY 17 Trek back to Dingboche. 5-6 hrs.
Descend to Pareshya Ghyab, and then continues further along (4,343 m.) the easy trail to Chukung. After lunch, we trek for about three hours then finally reaching to a village of Dingboche for the overnight camp.
DAY 18 Trek to Thyangboche. 4-5 hrs.
From Dingboche the path descends all the way to Pangboche. After lunch here, we then walk towards the bridge; a small climb through the cool shade of the forest reaching to nice spot at Dingboche, from here, another 30 minutes of climbing brings us to Thyangboche for the overnight stop.
DAY 19 Trek to Namche Bazaar. 4-5 hrs.
An easy downhill walk to the bridge, from here a steep climb for a while and then reaching the level path towards the village of Shanasha, from here one can take an optional walk to Khumjung and Khunde village before Namche Bazaar. From this village another two hours of good walk leads to Namche Bazaar. Overnight in Namche to relax.
DAY 20 Trek back to Lukla. 6-7 hrs. the
Last day of this great trek will be one of the good hikes to Lukla, you can walk at your own best pace, leisurely and enjoying the lush green scenery around. Apart from few short hikes uphill, the only long climb will be just before Lukla which will take approximately 45 minutes from a place called Choplung or from the old big oak tree. On reaching Lukla, prepare for the last day great dinner and a party with the fellow Sherpa crew, porters and trekking members. This is a time to enjoy & remember the wonders of our climb & trek. Overnight at Lukla.
DAY 21 Fly Lukla-Kathmandu.
The flight times are generally scheduled for morning normally, because of the strong winds in the afternoon, sometimes the flight time can be delayed due to bad weather and other reasons beyond our control. After getting the boarding pass depending upon the flight time, make your way to the terminal for security check, this scenic flight from Lukla takes about 30 to 40 minutes to Kathmandu, a panoramic view of the snow capped peaks can be seen from the window of the plane. Arriving at Kathmandu domestic terminal, our staff will receive and escort you back to the Hotel.
DAY 22 Free day at leisure in Kathmandu.
A free day in Kathmandu; please let our staff know if you would like to go on another short tour in and around Kathmandu Valley or for scenic mountain flight. In the evening, we visit a reputed Nepali kitchen for dinner & a thrilling cultural dance performed by the local belles. This is a complimentary treat provided by HimalayanMountainGuide.com for the good welfare of our guests & future relations. Overnight at your hotel.
DAY 23 Transfer to Airport for the International departure.
Today as per your international flight time, keep your confirmed air ticket, and your passport handy. Our staff will take you to the airport for your final departure from Nepal.
Note: The above itinerary should be taken only as a guide line; since we will be trekking on some of the most remote terrain on earth, it could change due to weather, availability of clean water and campsite, trail or any other unforeseen conditions.