Embark on a wonderful adventure with Island Peak trekking and climbing that takes you into the heartland of the Khumbu Valley and Everest Base Camp (5,357m/17,575ft). Island Peak (6,189m/20,305ft) is one of the main climbing peaks in the Everest Region with an impressive and highly glaciated West Face that rises from the Lhotse Glacier. The Island peak climbing itinerary has been designed very professionally by taking care of proper and gradual acclimatization at suitable intervals. Before scaling the peak, we also take you to possibly the most popular trekking destination in the world - Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar - for the close up views of Mt. Everest and other high mountains. The journey begins from and comes to conclusion at one of the most famous airstrips in the world, the Lukla Airport in the Everest Region.
Island Peak Climbing with Everest Base Camp Trek is designed for those adventurer seekers who are energetic and physically fit and wish for both trekking and climbing experience at one go.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,350m/4,428ft)
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.
Day 02: Kathmandu (1300m/4264ft): Sightseeing and Preparation
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.
Day 03: Fly to Lukla (2,800m/9,184ft) then trek to Phakding (2,652m/8,700ft): 40 min flight, 3-4 hours trek
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.
Day 04: Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,440m/11,283ft): 5-6 hours
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.
Day 05: Namche Bazaar (3,440 m/11,283 ft): Acclimatization Day
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.
Day 06: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (3,870m/12,694ft): 5- 6 hours
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: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.
Day 07: Tengboche to Pheriche (4,200m/13,776ft): 4-5 hours
With the Himalayas as its backdrop, the monastery in Tengboche is in an excellent location. We visit the monastery in the morning and enjoy taking pictures of the monastery and the amazing landscape. We descend for about half an hour through a forest before crossing a river. Next, we trek uphill and notice that as we climb higher, the landscape becomes drier. We walk past a traditional Sherpa village of Pangboche before reaching Pheriche, a beautiful village located on a riverside. Here, we will also see a small helipad that is used for helicopter rescues during emergencies. We may even take a class with a mountain specialist in the Medical Clinic at Pheriche. Overnight in Pheriche.
Day 08: Pheriche to Lobuche (4,930m/16,170ft): 5-6 hours
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.
Day 09: Lobuche to Everest Base Camp (5364m/17,594ft) and back to Gorak Shep (5170 m/16,961ft): 6-7 hours
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.
Day 10: Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar (5545m/18,192ft] and back to Lobuche (4940m/16,207ft): 7-8 hours
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.
Day 11: Lobuche to Kongma La (5,535m/18,159ft) to Chhukung (4,730m/15,518ft): 6-7 hours
After breakfast, we trek via Khumbu Glacier to Kongma La Base Camp (5,000m/16,404ft). The ascent to Kongma La pass is the most difficult part of our trek today. In the Kongma La, we see cairn 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.
Note: If we do not want to undertake the Kongma La pass, we can follow another route via Dingboche to Chhukung instead.
Day 12: Chhukung to Island Peak Base camp (5,200m/17,060ft): 3-4 hours
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.
Day 13: Pre-Climb Training on 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. 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.
Day 14: Island Peak Base Camp to Summit and back to Base Camp (5,600m/18,372ft) 10-12 hours
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.
Day 15: Island Peak Base Camp to Pangboche (3,985m/13,074ft) 5-6 hours
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.
Day 16: Pangboche to Namche Bazaar (3,440m/11,286ft): 4-5 hours
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.
Day 17: Namche Bazaar to Lukla (2,800m/9,186ft): 6-7 hours
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.
Day 18: Fly to Kathmandu (1,350m/4,428ft)
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.
Day 19: Final Departure
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.
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.
- Nepalese visa fee (bring accurate USD cash and two passport photographs)
- International airfare to and from Kathmandu
- Excess baggage charges (if you have more than 15 kg luggage, cargo charge is around $1.5 per kg)
- Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu because of early arrival, late departure, early return from mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
- Altitude chamber (PAC) or oxygen
- Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu (and also in the case of early return from mountain than the scheduled itinerary)
- Travel and rescue insurance
- Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottled or boiled water, shower, heater, etc.)
- Personal climbing equipment
- Personal climbing guide if requested
- Optional trips and sightseeing if extended
- Tips for guides and porters
- Services not listed in the ‘What Is Included’ section
The Climbing Group
For this trip, there will be one seperate climbing leader for climbing 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 (3 nights), standard teahouses during trekking (12 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 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. Above Namche Bazaar single accommodation is not always feasible.
During our Island Peak climbing trip, we can enjoy typical Nepali food, different ethnic cuisines as well as all types of international cuisines (Tibetan, Continental, Italian, Indian, etc.) A welcome dinner, a farewell dinner and breakfasts will be provided during your stay in Kathmandu. During trekking/climbing, breakfast will be taken in the same place we stay the night. Similar arrangements can also be made for dinner. Lunch will be taken en route to the next destination. During climbing session, hygienic freshly cooked food will be provided.
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. 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. Also make sure you make your conditions known to Himalayan Glacier at the time of booking. Medical and evacuation expenses are the responsibility of the participant.
It is a condition upon joining any of Himalayan Glacier's trips that all clients be insured for comprehensive expenses that might incur due to medical issues or accidents (this includes air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs). Please note that we don't arrange or sell insurance.
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. 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 before embarking on the Island Peak Climb.
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.
You are advised to consider the following equipments as essentials while packing for Island Peak Climbing with Everest Base Camp Trek. Please use this list as a guideline. Adjustments to the list can be done according to your needs, interests, duration of your trip, season of your trip, etc. You can find variety of these gears to hire or buy in Kathmandu. Majority of the gears which are in sale in Kathmandu are locally manufactured (hence a lot cheaper) and some gears found here are imported from China and are obviously of better quality.You can find very high quality branded gears too in some famous stores here.
The gears in the list below with an asterisk (*) are also provided by Himalayan Glacier Trekking included in the service but if you are choosy or want to use your own private piece, we encourage you to bring your own. Many of the personal climbing gears can be hired in the base camp, however the quality of equipments at base camp can be not as high as those found in Kathmandu to hire.
Personal Climbing Gears:
Group Climbing Gears:
- Ice axe
- Tape Slings (2)
- Screwgate Karabiners (2 lock, 2 unlock)
- Descender/Abseil Device
- Plastic Mountaineering Boots
- Helmet (optional)
- Snow bar*
- Ice Hammer*
- Ice Screw*
- Sun hat or scarf
- Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Under Garments
- Hiking shorts
- Lightweight cotton long pants
- Light and expedition weight thermal bottoms
- Fleece or wool pants (seasonal)
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell pants
- Thin, lightweight inner socks
- Thick, warm wool hiking socks
- Hiking boots with spare laces
- Camp shoes (sneakers and/or sandals)
- Gaiters for hiking in winter to the base camp
- Light and expedition weight thermal tops
- Fleece jacket or pullover
- Fleece Wind-Stopper jacket (optional)
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket
- Down vest and/or jacket *
- Lightweight gloves
- Heavyweight gloves or mittens with a waterproof shell outer (seasonal)
- Sleeping bag rated to -30 degree centigrade and below (depends on season)*
- Headlamp (e.g. Petzl Zoom) with spare bulbs and batteries
- Trekking Bags/Duffel bag *
- Basic First Aid Kit
- Large plastic bags - for keeping items dry insidetrekbag
- Daypack (approximately 2500 to 3000 cubic inches)
- Trekking Poles
- Water bottle (2) or camel bag
- Toiletries (Small wash towel, Toilet papers etc)
- Ear Plug (who know some people on group are snoring)
- 1 medium sized quick drying towel
- Tooth brush/paste (preferably biodegradable)
- Multipurpose soap (preferably biodegradable)
- Nail clippers
- Face and body moisturizer
- Feminine hygiene products
- Small mirror
- Wet wipes (baby wipes)
- Tissue /toilet roll
- Anti bacterial hands wash
- Reading book
- Trail Map/Guide book
- Journal & Pen
- Pencils and small notebooks
- Travel game i.e. chess, backgammon, scrabble
- Swimming customs (for Kathmandu)
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:
- Intensive Wilderness First Aid
- Trekking Guide Training
- Eco Trekking Workshop and Adventure Meet
- English Language
- Conservation and Biodiversity
- Rock climbing, Ice Climbing and Mountaineering (for expedition leaders)
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
Responsible Tourism Practice
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...
Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November) are the best months for this trip. Although Island Peak can be climbed during winter, the cold temperature might not be suitable for everyone.