Upon our arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, we will be greeted by a representative from Himalayan Glacier who will take us to Hotel Shanker or another hotel of a similar category. After checking in, we may take a rest or visit Himalayan Glacier’s office. In the evening there will be a welcome dinner in a traditional Nepali Restaurant where we will be able to enjoy authentic Nepali cuisine with a brief cultural program. Overnight in Kathmandu. Included meal: (D)
* (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Today after breakfast we start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu which are also listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. We visit the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambhunath) and Buddhist shrine (Bouddhanath), which is also one of the largest stupas in the world. After the tour, we get our equipment checked by our climbing leader, get introduced to fellow participants, and discuss our trip at Himalayan Glacier’s office. Overnight in Kathmandu. (B)
After breakfast, we will be taken to the domestic terminal of TIA for an early morning flight to Lukla. After a flying above the breathtaking green and white mountains, we reach Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla. This is one of the most beautiful air routes in the world culminating in a landing on a hillside surrounded by high mountains. Upon our arrival at Lukla, we meet our other crew members and after some packing and arrangements, we start our trek through the prosperous village of Lukla until we reach Phakding. To assist in acclimatization, we only have a short hike today. However, if interested in additional activities, we can take a side trip to a nearby monastery. Overnight in Phakding. (B,L,D)
After breakfast we walk through beautiful pine forests and then along Dudh Koshi River ending our nature-filled journey at Namche Bazaar. After walking for almost over an hour, we come across the glistening Mt. Thamserku (6,608m) on our right and also experience the serenity of pine, fir and juniper forests throughout our journey. If the weather is clear, we may even catch a glimpse of Mt. Everest peering over the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge. We continue walking until we reach the entrance to Sagarmatha National Park, Namche Bazaar, the gateway to Mt. Everest and main trading centre of this region. This day we cross five suspension bridges, the last one also known as the Hillary Bridge being the highest. It is an uphill walk from Hillary Bridge to Namche Bazaar. Overnight in Namche Bazaar. (B,L,D)
This is the day set aside for acclimatization. Health experts recommend that we stay active and move around even during the rest day instead of being idle. There are a few options set aside for this day. We can either stroll around Namche’s quaint villages or come in contact with the Sherpa people and their rich culture, or we can hike up to the Everest View Hotel and enjoy an up-close view of the mighty Everest. While in the Namche village or upon returning from the hike to the Everest View Hotel, trekkers may also visit the local museum containing exhibits displaying the area’s native flora and fauna as well as the history of the Mount Everest region.
For trekkers who want to hike for a little longer, a hike to Khumjung village (5-6 hours) may also be an option. While in the village we can visit the Edmund Hillary School and Khumjung Monastery (a monastery famous for housing the head of the Yeti!). Overnight in Namche Bazaar. (B,L,D)
After breakfast, we trek towards Tengboche. It is an easy walk from Namche to Phunki. Upon reaching Phunki, we ascend towards Tengboche, a village that houses the very famous Tengboche monastery which is the largest monastery of the Everest region. Located amidst the Sagarmatha National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site of "outstanding universal value”), it is draped with the panoramic 360-degree view of the Himalayas, including Mt. Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and Thamserku. The monastery opens at and we reach it by 3:00 pm. And, if we are lucky we might just be able to witness a religious ceremony. Overnight in Tengboche. (B,L,D)
With the Himalayas as its backdrop, the monastery in Tengboche is in an excellent location. We visit the monastery in the morning and take pictures of the amazing landscape. Then we begin our trek by walking through lush forests of birch, conifers and rhododendrons on an easy path. This picturesque trail then dips down to Debuche, crossing the Imja River before climbing up to Pangboche (We can either walk in the upper or lower Pangboche trails). We are most likely to choose the upper Pangboche trails as it provides more pristine view of the Himalayas. We also visit the Pangboche monastery. From here onwards, the walk is fairly moderate as we enter the Imja Valley. The valley gradually unfolds as we approach the confluence of the Lobuche River. We descend into the river and begin the climb up to Dingboche. On arrival at Dingboche, we are greeted by a beautiful array of fields enclosed by stone walls to protect barley, buckwheat and potatoes from the cold wind and grazing animals. Overnight in Dingboche
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 Lobuche. (B,L,D)
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 Gorak Shep. (B,L,D)
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 Lobuche. (B,L,D)
From Lobuche, we trek towards Lobuche base camp. After walking some distance on relatively flatter plane, the path to the Lobuche Base Camp gets steeper and rocky. We move forward along the Lobuche Glacier while enjoying great views of Ama Dablam, Cholatse, Pokalde, Thamserku, Kantega and other Himalayas. Overnight in Lobuche East Base Camp. (B,L,D)
Pre-Climb Training: 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. We strongly believe that the 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.
From Lobuche Base Camp, we continue on a rocky moraine path to reach the High Camp. Upon reaching the High Camp, we set up our camp, take lunch and rest. It is important that we take rest after fixing the camp as it will prepare us for the next day's long climb. Overnight in Lobuche East High Camp. (B,L,D)
We wake up early today at around 2 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 high lands might become a barrier for a successful summit. Lobuche East offers more panoramic views of the mountains than any other trekking peak. From the summit, you get to enjoy magnificent views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Cholatse, Pumori, and many more. We spend some time at the summit celebrating and taking pictures, then we get back to the High Camp again for an overnight stay. (B,L,D)
After breakfast, we retrace our steps to Dughla. Then we enter the Imja Khola valley at the beautiful village of Dingboche. We trek for a few more hours before reaching Chhukung which is the last settlement of the valley. We also notice small group of nomadic huts strategically located at the foot of the Imja glaciers. Chhukung is the point of departure of Island Peak base camp which also offers great views of Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam. (B,L,D)
After completing our expedition of the Lobuche East we will be too tired to attempt Island Peak immediately. Therefore, this day is set aside as a rest day so that we get all the rest we need to begin our next expedition to Island Peak. However, if we prefer to keep ourselves busy then we can visit nearby places as well. Overnight in Chhukung. (B,L,D)
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. (B,L,D)
We wake up early today at around 1 to 2 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 high lands 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 enters 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 ridge-line, which leads to an exhilarating and exposed traverse onto the snout of the summit glacier. We need to rope up for the glacier as it contains several crevasses. The guides will fix a rope wherever necessary. A steep snow slope leads us onto the summit ridge. After enjoying the summit views, and taking pictures, we descend all the way to Island Peak Base Camp where some of our crew will be waiting for us. We celebrate on our successful Island Peak climb. (B,L,D)
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. (B,L,D)
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 Namche Bazaar. (B,L,D)
The trail descends steeply downward so we need to walk cautiously as our shaky legs continuously battle the rocky terrain. After crossing the suspension bridges over the fast flowing Dudh Koshi and its tributaries, the trail becomes more level and natural. After our arrival in Lukla, we stretch those sore legs and recall the experiences of the last couple of weeks. Overnight in Lukla. (B,L,D)
We catch an early morning flight to Kathmandu after our long mountain journey. After reaching Kathmandu, we can take a rest or do some souvenir shopping. If we want to explore any other areas of Kathmandu, we may do that today. Our guides can help you with both souvenirs shopping or sightseeing. There will be a farewell dinner in the evening to celebrate the climbers’ successful summit of the Island peak. Overnight in Kathmandu. (B, D)
Your adventure in Nepal comes to an end today! There is nothing to do but trade emails with your travel companions and organize your photos. A representative from Himalayan Glacier will take you to the airport, approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight. On your way home you'll have plenty of time to plan your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal. (B)
Please note that often the Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu flight gets delayed by a few hours or may even be canceled for one, two, or more days due to unfavorable weather conditions. Such conditions may arise even in the best seasons. Hence, in such cases, you must be prepared for long waits both at Kathmandu or Lukla airports, as this can happen either at the start or end of the trek or even both! We do our utmost to avoid such delays, and fix you on next flight. Still, we suggest you to be prepared for possible delays/cancellation, and if possible to come with some extra buffer days (1-2 days) at the end of the trip to accommodate such delays. We also organize heli rescue in such conditions, if it's available and upon request by our clients. The helicopter charges around USD 3500 and it can lift 4-5 persons per flight. If everything runs smoothly and if interested, you can also enjoy other activities like sightseeing, rafting, wildlife activities, shopping, etc during your buffer days.
In case, the flight delay/cancellation happens at the start of trip and it goes so long that it disturbs your onward travel schedule, you are free to choose an alternative trip: such a trek in the Annapurna, Langtang, or any other regions. If you are not interested in the alternative trip and would rather wait for the trip, you are welcome to wait in Kathmandu for as many days as it takes to get a flight to Lukla. However, please note that there will be no refund, if you lose your time waiting at the airport and do not take an alternative tour or you only do short trek later due to time limitation. If the cancellation happens before the trip, we will provide you accommodation and lunch in a guesthouse in Kathmandu. In case of the flight delay/cancelation after finishing of the trek, you will be responsible for all your expenses. Please also note that you will not be entitled to any refund for the services (such as hotel, transport, flight, etc) included in the package that you would not use later.
The expedition will usually require 5-6 hours of walking every day. In the Island Peak summiting day however, you will be required to walk for 10-12 hours. Therefore, it is advised that you prepare yourself by jogging or walking 12 km every day for around 3 months before your actual trip.
Understand that by choosing Lobuche East and Island Peak Expedition, you are considering walking in high altitude and remote areas for many days. In order to make your expedition successful you must have lots of willpower, the ability to tolerate harsh weather conditions along with reasonable fitness and stamina. It is vital for participants with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, lung, and blood diseases to consult their doctor before taking the trip. It is also important that you consult your doctor for vaccination and other medical requirements for your trip. Himalayan Glacier reserves the right to require a medical certificate prior to booking your trip. Medical and evacuation expenses are the responsibility of the participant.
Lobuche East and Island Peak Expedition’s itinerary is planned with a high degree of awareness of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). Going up at higher altitudes too fast causes a medical condition serious enough to result in death. The higher the altitude, the less oxygen will be in the air. For example, at an altitude above of 5000m, there is 50% less oxygen than at sea level. Therefore, our body needs many days to adapt to an environment with less-oxygen. During this trip, a separate day is set aside (in Namche Bazaar) for acclimatization. Also, the visit to Everest Base Camp and Kalapathar will help you acclimatize to the high altitude.
Himalayan Glacier advises guest(s) with known heart, lungs or blood diseases to consult their doctor before traveling. Mild headaches, fever, loss of appetite or stomach disorders are symptoms of AMS. Check out "Altitude illness" by Dr Jim Duff. Himalayan Glacier's itineraries are designed to try to prevent AMS as much as possible. But, it is important to remember that some visitors are more vulnerable than others.
The most significant thing that makes our Island peak Climbing with Everest Base Camp Trek successful, enjoyable and memorable is the skilled, experienced, courteous and helpful trek leader and the crew members with ability of operating our days in the mountain smoothly. Our trek will be led by the best and most professional leaders. All of Himalayan Glacier's trekking leaders are carefully selected on the basis of their appropriate experience, leadership skills and personal aptitude. With an objective of sustaining local communities, Himalayan glacier only employs local staff who have adequate knowledge about culture, ecosystem, flora, fauna, geography, and history of their local region/s. The trek and expedition leaders have undergone the following trainings:
Though often overlooked, it's no exaggeration to say the entire trekking and expedition industry in Nepal is built on the back of hard working local porters. It is their tireless efforts carrying supplies, equipment and baggage that make journeying to these remote areas possible. Therefore, we are firmly committed to porter rights. We make sure that all our porters are well treated, well paid and we provide the level of shelter, clothing and footwear that these harsh environments demand. Porters who become sick are treated with the same care and attention as other team members and we have previously used helicopters - at our expense - to rescue porters from dangerous situations. We support the work of the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG), making our resources available to them to help improve the working conditions of the porters. (International Porters Progress Group)
Himalayan Region of Nepal is stunningly beautiful, but equally fragile. Future generations have just as much of a right to appreciate it as we do and so the tourism industry has an obligation to protect and preserve it. Himalayan Glacier employs a 'zero impact' policy on the natural environment and the traditional communities that live there. Himalayan Glacier, therefore, enforces number of do's and don'ts. Himalayan Glacier's experienced staffs can advise us on how to minimize our impact on the local environment. To find out more about the clean-up campaigns and environmental awareness events, Himalayan Glacier works with KEEP. read more...