|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 expedition. Breakfast in Kathmandu|
|Accomodation:||3-star hotel in Kathmandu, teahouses during trekking and tent (camping) for expedition|
On your 16-day Island Peak Expedition you will not only reach the summit of the magnificent Island Peak but also experience trekking in the most coveted Everest region. 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 your efforts.
Upon our arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, a representative from Himalayan Glacier will pick us up and take us to our hotel. After checking in, we visit Himalayan Glacier’s office for our trip preparation and also to meet our crew. In the evening there will be a welcome dinner where we will be able to enjoy authentic Nepali cuisine. Overnight in Kathmandu.
After breakfast, we take 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 the rest of our crew members. Next, we begin our trek through the prosperous village of Lukla to 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. 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.
Today is set aside for acclimatization. Health experts recommend that instead of being idle we stay active and move around even during the rest day. We can either stroll around Namche’s quaint villages and get acquainted with the Sherpas 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. 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.
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 and is also the biggest monastery in the Khumbu region. We visit the monastery the same day at around 3 p.m. to witness a religious ceremony. Overnight in Tengboche.
With the Himalayas as its backdrop, the monastery in Tengboche is in a perfect location to enjoy the beautiful Himalayan landscape. 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.
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 through 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 Bibre 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 Bibre. From here, directly across the valley is the fantastic Ama Dablam and the Amphu Labsa mountains. Overnight in Chhukung.
Today is another day set aside for acclimatization. Climbing Chhukung Ri should help our body adjust to the high altitude. Chhukung Ri is a peak located directly above the Chhukung village. The climb to Chhukung Ri involves some easy scrambling near the summit. From the top, we can look directly across the valley for a fantastic view of Ama Dablam and Amphu Labsa peaks. We descend back to Chhukung to spend the night.
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.
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. Usually we will be climbing on rock surface for up to around 5770m. 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 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.
We wake up early today at around 12 to 1 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 highlands 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. Both fixed rope and man rope will be used during the climb for safety. We use fix rope after successfully climbing on rock. The length of the rope will usually be of 350m. However, the length depends on the time of the season and the crevasses. There are two newly formed crevasses. We will be using ladders to cross them. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For this trip, there will be an expedition leader and a trekking leader, assistant leader (4 trekkers: 1 assistant guide), Sherpa porters for carrying luggage (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 at Hotel Moonlight, a 3-star hotel in Kathmandu (2 nights), standard teahouses during trekking (9 nights) and tents when climbing (4 nights). Most teahouse accommodations will only have shared toilet facilities. For tent accommodations, a 4 season sleeping bag and foam mattress will be provided. In climbing sections, toilet facilities will be provided with necessary natural preservation. All accommodations are on twin-shared basis. However, a single room will be provided on request and by paying a single supplement of USD 350. 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.