|Group size:||1-12 people||Max-Altitude:||6,189m/20,305ft|
|Arrival on:||Kathmandu, Nepal||Departure from:||Kathmandu, Nepal|
|Meals:||All meals during trekking and climbing, Breakfast in Kathmandu|
|Accomodation:||3-star hotel in Kathmandu, teahouses during trekking and tent during climbing|
Island Peak Climb and Everest Three Passes Trek takes us to a series of beautiful turquoise lakes in the Gokyo valley, the famous Renjo La (5,360m), Cho La (5,420m) and Kongma La (5,535m) passes and the base camp of Mt. Everest before climbing the Island Peak (6,189m). On our 22-day journey we also ascend Gokyo Ri (5357m) and Kala Patthar (5,545m) which provides magnificent close-up views of the world's highest mountains including Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Makalu and more.The Island Peak Climb and Everest Three Passes Trek incorporates proper acclimatization to its itinerary and is ideal for adventure seekers in a quest for a challenging trekking and climbing experience.
Trekking : While trekking, we will provide you a fully trained, English speaking, experienced trekking guide. Every 4 members are entitled to 1 assistant guide, also 1 porter for every two members to carry the luggage.
Climbing : We will provide you a licensed, English speaking, veteran climbing guide. There is also the provision of assistant guides, for a group size of 2-4 people; there will be 1 main guide and 1 assistant guide. In a group size of 5-8 people, there will be 1 main guide and 2 assistant guides. Finally with a group of 9-12 people, we shall be offering you 1 main guide and 3 assistant guides. Other staff members will include one experienced cook and necessary Sherpa staff, mostly assistants who will assist in setting up camps during the climb.This arrangement of staff will ensure the safety of each and every member in the group; also if any member falls ill, the trip will still go ahead as planned. Please also note that the maximum number of people in a group will be 12, as this is the optimum size for a successful trip.
Island Peak is not a technical peak but you will still require a good stamina to summit it. No prior climbing experience is required; however having some knowledge on using climbing equipments will still be an asset. There will also be a pre -ice climbing training for participants in the Island Peak base camp. The training will mostly be about using climbing gears such as ropes, ice pick, harness, crampons.Island Peak climbing usually requires 5-6 hours of walking every day. In the summiting day however, you will be required to walk for up to 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 Island Peak trip, you are considering walking in high altitude and remote area for many days. In order to make your Island Peak climbing 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. Also make sure you make your conditions known to Himalayan Glacier at the time of booking.
Upon our arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, a representative from Himalayan Glacier will pick us up from the airport and take us to our hotel. After checking in, we may take a rest or visit Himalayan Glacier’s office. In the evening there will be a welcome dinner which will introduce us to the Nepalese food culture. Overnight in Kathmandu.
After breakfast, we will be taken to the domestic terminal of TIA for an early morning flight to Lukla. After 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 remaining members of our climbing team. We begin 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.
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. On this day we cross five suspension bridges, the last one also known as the Hillary Bridge due to it being the highest. It is an uphill walk from Hillary Bridge to Namche Bazaar. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
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.
Our trail heads west along the valley of the Bhote Koshi River. The views of the Himalayas including Kongde Ri (6187 m), Khumbi Yul La (5765 m), Kusum Kanguru (6,373 m) are fantastic. The first village we pass through is Phorte where a nursery was established by Sir Edmund Hillary's Himalayan Trust. We continue along the balcony path. After descending to the river, we cross a bridge before making a steep climb to Thame, situated at an important juncture along the old primary trade route to and from Tibet via the Nangpa La (pass). Overnight in Thame.
After breakfast we visit Thame Gompa which is a 350-year-old monastery beautifully located in the cliffs above Thame. After spending some time here we continue our trek to Lumde. The trail climbs gently over the moraine and continues our ascent to Lumde. We follow the route used for centuries by the Himalayan traders who ferried salt and grains across the Nangpa-La pass into Tibet. Overnight in Lumde.
Today we cross the first of the three passes, Renjo-La. It is a tough climb but the view from the top makes the climb worthwhile. As we trek further we see prayer flags that signal the pass. The view from the top of the pass is spectacular. We see Gokyo Lakes, Ngozummpa Glacier, Everest, Lhotse and other Himalayas. From here we descend to Gokyo. Overnight in Gokyo.
If the weather is good, we climb Gokyo Ri today instead of the next day and enjoy amazing mountain vistas from the best viewpoint of the Everest Region. Climbing Gokyo Ri is obviously strenuous as it is steep and takes about 3 to 4 hours to reach the top. But the sight of the Gokyo village located at the edge of the third lake overlooked by Cholatse and the broad Nogzumpa Glacier is spectacular. At Gokyo Ri we are surrounded by more than 10 mighty Himalayas. The sight of sunrays kissing Everest which towers over all the surrounding peaks is astounding. However, if the weather is not fit for climbing, we visit the fourth and fifth Gokyo lakes. We can also climb on a hill, also called Scoundrel's Viewpoint, at the edge of the lakes to get astounding views of Cho-Oyu, Gyachung Kang, Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Makulu. Overnight in Gokyo.
If the weather was not good for climbing Gokyo Ri the previous day, we then do so today. After breakfast, we climb out of the Gokyo village to a ridge then trek through the Ngazumpa Glacier to the mountain on the other side. Next, traverse along the edge of that mountain and then meander into Thaknak. It will be a short hike today with an afternoon of rest which will prepare us for long hiking days and elevation gain to come. Overnight in Thaknak.
Today is going to be one of the toughest days of the trip. The Cho La pass is not itself difficult, but it is steep and involves a glacier traverse on the eastern side. We need to be careful as the trail is vertical and the rocks glazed by ice may cause trouble by making the trail slippery. The trail from Phedi climbs through a ravine and a rocky trail. While trekking through the side of a frozen lake, we reach at the top of the pass which is decorated with prayer flags. The pyramidal Ama Dablam presides over a range of mountains on the south even as Cholatse soars to the west and Lobuche East and Baruntse rises sharply to our right. We need to pass through some crevasses before we reach Dzongla, another beautiful place with a complete view of Mt. Cholatse, Mt. Ama Dablam, Lobuche Peak and the Pheriche Village far below. We climb down from Dzongla and walk through a grassy trail while enjoying the view of Lobuche Peak. The trail curves through the wide river bed before reaching Lobuche. Overnight in Lobuche.
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 see 360 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.
After breakfast, we trek via Khumbu Glacier to Kongma La Base Camp (5,000 m/16,404 ft). The ascent to Kongma La pass is the most difficult part of our trek today. In the Kongma La, we see cairns 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. (B,L,D)
Note: If we do not want to undertake the Kongma La pass, we can follow another route via Dingboche to Chhukung instead.
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 Lapcha 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.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. 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. Usually we will be climbing on rock surface for up to around 5770 m. After that, we climb on ice and use ropes when necessary. However, the use of the rope and the length depends upon the season and the crevasses.
We descend on a steep trail so it is important that we 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. After reaching Lukla, we stretch those sore legs and recall the experiences of the last couple of weeks. Overnight in Lukla.
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 souvenir 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.