Island peak was renamed "Imje Tse" in the early '80s, though its original name is still more popular. The mountain was named "Island Peak" in 1952 AD due to its striking location in the middle of the Chhukung valley, like an island on a sea of ice. Island Peak has an impressive highly glaciated west face that rises from the Lhotse Glacier which is a bit tough to do, however the magnificent views from the summit are certainly a fitting reward for our efforts.
The 14-day itinerary for Island peak expedition is a short cut, aggressive, and adventurous itinerary. It is meant for keen adventure seekers who only have a few weeks’ time but are highly interested in Island Peak expedition. As this trip takes us to the summit very fast, it is recommended only to those who have sufficient high altitude trekking experience and good health.
For this trip, there will be one seperate expedition leader and one trekking leader (during the trek), assistant leader (4 trekkers: 1 assistant guide), Sherpa porters for luggage carrying (2 trekkers: 1 porter) and other helpers as per requirement in climbing section. This arrangement ensures that should anybody in the group get sick; the trip can still go ahead as planned. We can run the Island Peak Climbing trip for a minimum of two people to maximum of twelve as this is the optimum size for a successful trip. However, if you'd like to make a group booking for more than twelve people together, we can arrange this too.
We will be staying in Hotel Shanker, a four-star hotel in Kathmandu (2 nights), standard teahouses during trekking (8 nights) and tents when climbing (3 nights). Most teahouse accommodation will only have shared toilet facilities. For tent accommodation, a 4 season sleeping bag and foam mattress will be provided. In climbing section, toilet facilities will be provided with necessary natural preservation. All accommodation are on twin-shared basis. However, single room will be provided on request and by paying a single supplement of USD 250. Also, understand that there are several places that do not allow single room accommodation. On paying single supplement, you will get a single room in Kathmandu but sometimes it is feasible only up to Namche Bazaar. Above Namche Bazaar single accommodation is not always feasible.
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 visit Himalayan Glacier’s office for trip preparation and also to meet your crew. 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)
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)
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 3:00 pm so we reach there by three. 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. (B,L,D)
Dingboche is a summer settlement and here the great peaks of Ama Dablam, the ridge of Nuptse-Lhotse, Tawache and Chalotse surround us. We begin today’s trek to Chhukung by walking thorough stone walled fields, Imja Khola valley before walking in glacier moraines. On our walk, we will be surrounded by Lhotse and Ama Dablam mountains. Later, beyond Pipre village we see Island Peak soaring above us. The trail ahead is intersected by icy streams. We reach Chhukung, a small settlement in about half an hour from Pipre. While the camp is being set up, we may ascend Chhukung Ri. From here, directly across the valley is the fantastic Ama Dablam and the Amphu Labtsa mountains. We also check our equipments today in order to better prepare ourselves for the next day's climb. 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 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 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 ridgeline, 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 are 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 5000 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.
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.As this 14- day Island peak expedition itinerary takes you to the summit very fast, it is recommended only to those who have sufficient high altitude trekking experience and good health.
Island Peak climbing with Everest Base camp trek 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. Our itineraries generally allow sufficient time to acclimatize. So, for a safe trek/climb , it is absolutely essential to allow sufficient time for acclimatization. Sensible planning is therefore required to minimize the risk of AMS. 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 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 the expedition, enjoyable and memorable is the skilled, experienced, courteous and helpful leader(s) and the crew members with ability of operating our days in the mountain smoothly. Our trip will be led by the best and most professional leaders. All of Himalayan Glacier's 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:
To meet Himalayan Glacier's team, check out the Guide Profile Page
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)