Island Peak Climbing Faqs - Himalayan Glacier
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Island Peak Climbing Faqs

It is really wise to take the hassle out of your trip planning when you have answers right before you. Our Island Peak Expedition FAQs brings out the basic information so that you can plan your trip during the right time of the year and bring with you the required gears and equipment or other essentials needed for the trip.

Frequently Asked Questions

Island peak climb is basically recommended for beginners willing to step into the world of mountaineering. Even then, climbing Island peak requires having an experience of trekking in high altitude. Island peak is a difficult climb at an extreme altitude with a steep ascent and thin air to breathe. The foot of the headwall is the hardest part of the climb. Nevertheless, the climbing route is safe with fixed lines all the way to the summit.

Although it is possible to climb Island Peak throughout the year except during the monsoon months, the best time to climb Island Peak is during spring and fall seasons. March to early June is the spring time and also the busiest climbing season of the year. September to November is the fall season when temperatures are moderate and weather tends to be clear. Climbers have attempted to climb Island Peak even in winters in the past, but the extreme cold during winter months could really be perilous for some. Summer season invites rain and does not offer great views during the climb.

Absolutely yes! Under normal circumstances, our booked trips are guaranteed to run. You will still be doing your trek even if other trekkers cancel their trip. This is the reason why Himalayan Glacier is different from other agencies, who usually cancel their whole trip a month or even a week before the trip date. We are a tailor-made company and the number of participants does not stop our operation. If your trip has been canceled by your operator and you are in a last-minute stress, remember to find us to sort out your trip decisions. Please feel free to book your stress-free holidays with us. Unless there is a situation which is out of control such as a political riot, natural disaster, pandemic, epidemic or weather catastrophes, our trips are 100% guaranteed to run.

Himalayan Glacier offers a lifetime deposit policy which allows you the flexibility to transfer your deposit to anyone or any other trip. If you wish to cancel your booked trips, certain cancelation charges apply. Please visit our booking terms and conditions for detailed information.

You will be climbing along with other like-minded people unless you book for a private tour or we do not have a group on your preferred date. You will be guided by Himalayan Glacier’s experienced and knowledgeable local climbing instructors or Sherpa climbing leaders who have been to the top of the peak successfully multiple times. Some climbing leaders have also summited Mt. Everest at least once or few times in their climbing career. Your guide will provide you with important tips and teach you the tricks while assisting you from day one. He will also provide you with pre-climbing training the day before summit at the base camp. Lot of cheap operators do not take this climbing trip seriously thereby risking your health or well-being, so be very prudent when you choose your climbing operator.

Island Peak is technically known to be a ‘trekking peak’, but when it comes to packing, a lot more stuff is required than what you can expect from a regular trek. The right types of equipment and gears play a crucial role to successfully attempt the Island Peak climb. We recommend the following gears and kits for Island Peak climbing:

  • Hiking boots
  • Climbing boots
  • Back pack (daypack)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Head torch
  • Water & wind proof jacket
  • Shirts and t-shirts
  • Thermal base layers
  • Sun hat & sun glasses
  • Gloves
  • Thermal bottoms
  • Socks
  • Trekking trousers
  • Water & wind proof trouser
  • Water bottles
  • Sun cream & lip balm
  • Personal toiletries
  • Gaiters
  • Trekking poles
  • Scarf & warm hat
  • Apart from the other regular items that you would pack for a typical trekking trip in Nepal, read more for other essential peak climbing equipment and familiarize yourself with the kits you will be carrying along for the trip.

Island peak, also known as Imja Tse, is a mountain within the Sagarmatha National Park in the Khumbu region in eastern Nepal standing at an elevation of 9,189 meters (30,147 feet). The peak got its name for appearing as an island in the sea of ice when viewed from Dingboche. Eric Shipton, a famous English Himalayan mountaineer named it as Island Peak in 1952 while exploring the Barun Gorge. The island peak was first summited back in 1953 by C. Evans, A. Gregory, C. Wylie, T. Norgay, and seven other Sherpas. Later in 1983, the peak was renamed Imja Tse by Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), but even then, the mountain retains its name as Island Peak.

You will enjoy 3 hearty meals each day. Generally, you will have your breakfast and dinner at the same lodge where you will be staying. Lunch will be provided at tea houses or small restaurants along the trail. However, while staying in tented camps during the climb, we will serve packed lunch along with tea or coffee. Nevertheless, both breakfast and dinner are freshly prepared by our own climbing cooks. The meals contain fresh fruits and organic ingredients sourced from Kathmandu or local villages throughout the trek. The meals include a balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats designed by the nutritionist. The chefs are trained in hygienic food preparation. If needed, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and kosher diets can be arranged with prior notice.

Sample Menu

Breakfast

  • Beverage: black tea, milk tea, ginger lemon honey tea, lemon tea, hot lemon with honey, black coffee, milk coffee, hot chocolate
  • Toast with jam or honey, toast omelet, pancake, Tibetan bread, porridge/ muesli
  • Eggs on your choices
  • American breakfast or Continental breakfast

Lunch

  • Rice item: veg fried rice, egg fried rice, mixed fried rice, dal-bhaat
  • Noodle item: vegetable fried noodle, mixed fried noodle
  • Potato item: chips, fried potato, hash brown potato, veg fried potato, boiled potato
  • Burger: veg burger, chicken burger, veg sandwich, chicken sandwich
  • Pasta: spaghetti tomato sauce, macaroni cheese sauce
  • Pizza: veg pizza, tomato cheese pizza, chicken pizza, mushroom pizza
  • Momo (Nepali style dumplings): veg momo, chicken momo
  • Meat item: chicken sizzler, chicken steak, yak steak
  • Beverage: black tea, milk tea, ginger lemon honey tea, lemon tea, hot lemon with honey, black coffee, milk coffee, hot chocolate

 
Dinner

  • Soups: vegetable soup, mushroom soup, chicken soup, chicken noodle soup, Rara noodle soup, French onion soup, pumpkin soup, potato soup

Main Meals

  • Rice item: veg fried rice, egg fried rice, mixed fried rice, dal-bhaat
  • Noodle item: vegetable fried noodle, mixed fried noodle
  • Potato item: chips, fried potato, hash brown potato, veg fried potato, boiled potato
  • Burger: veg burger, chicken burger, veg sandwich, chicken sandwich
  • Pasta: spaghetti tomato sauce, macaroni cheese sauce
  • Pizza: veg pizza, tomato cheese pizza, chicken pizza, mushroom pizza
  • Momo (Nepali Dumplings): veg momo, chicken momo
  • Meat item: chicken sizzler, chicken stake, yak stake
  • Dessert: apple pie, chocolate cake, carrot cake, apple fritter, canned fruit
  • Beverage: black tea, milk tea, ginger lemon honey tea, lemon tea, hot lemon with honey, black coffee, milk coffee, hot chocolate

While on your trek, you will stay in the lodges, teahouses or hotels till Chhukung. From Chhukung to Island Peak base camp and until you finish your climb, you will stay in camping tents. You will have guest tents, dining tents, toilet tents, and kitchen tents fixed during the expedition.

Climbing Island Peak can be done by following different routes and takes from 14 to 20 days depending on the route you choose. If you are an experienced climber with knowledge of high altitude and climbing techniques, then this climb can be completed in 14 days without a detour to Everest Base Camp. It is a very aggressive plan for which you must be well prepared. If you include a trek to Everest Base Camp allowing you proper acclimatization, then your overall trip will be 19 days including 2 days in Kathmandu for arrival and departure. As Himalayan Glacier is open to tailor-make your trip, you can consult with our travel experts and plan your expedition accordingly.

Mt. Everest is not visible from the summit of Island peak as the peak is tucked behind the shoulders of Mt. Lhotse. However, you can marvel at the magnificent views of Mt. Ama Dablam, Mt. Lhotse and Mera Peak.

Island peak is perfect for beginners intending to do mountain climbing. You can do Island peak if you have already done Kilimanjaro climb or Everest base camp trek or at least otherwise trekked or climbed up to 5,000 meters (16,404 feet). For summiting Island Peak, you must be physically fit and strong as you need to climb on ice and rock on vertical slopes with ropes, snow boots, and crampons. You are also required to have knowledge of ascending and descending on ropes. As you will be dealing with high altitude climbs, you will require good preparation. Himalayan Glacier will provide you with the necessary guidelines before your arrival and on the pre-climbing training during the trip.

Island Peak is sometimes called ‘trekking peak’ because of its non-technical nature. Trekkers with good physical condition and some mountaineering skills could possibly accomplish this feat without difficulties. Moreover, people who have already done the Everest Base Camp trek or the Kilimanjaro climb or any other trek or climb up to 5,000 m (16,404 feet) can easily do the Island Peak climb. You need to be physically strong at the same time because you will be climbing on ice and rock on vertical slopes with ropes, snow boots and crampons. However, just being fit and healthy does not mean that you are ready to scale the peak. We recommend climbers going through a series of fitness routine several months prior the actual climb. Make climbing a regular part of your daily activity or simply start an outdoor hiking routine carrying around 20-25 pounds of backpack while ascending to build up stamina. Next, build up your overall body strength by doing free weight training and other body weight exercises. Incorporate some cardiovascular training to build up your body conditioning, including jogging, running, walking on an inclined treadmill, aerobic workouts, and walking up and down a hill. Himalayan Glacier will send you instructions and guidelines before you arrive in Nepal for your climb.

As long as you are fit and strong enough to walk several hours for several days on varied terrains, hold the ropes, use ice pick, harness and ice boot on the slopes, you do not require other technical mountaineering experience for Island Peak climbing. Island Peak is technically a ‘trekking peak’ and comparatively very easy, hence we recommend enthusiastic beginners and experienced trekkers looking for something more than just trekking in the Himalayas. During Island Peak climbing, you will be dealing with high altitude, so it is advisable to be well prepared with the heights. Himalayan Glacier will send you instructions and guidelines before you arrive in Nepal for your climb. Depending on your knowledge and experience, we will also set aside a day or two at the base camp for pre-climb training including climbing techniques and the proper use of climbing equipment.

The cost of any trip in the Himalayas depend on a number of factors including the company you choose, the services they offer, number of days, various routes and more. The cost is something similar like buying an iPhone – some come with less features at a low cost while the latest ones with increased features will cost a bit more. In general, the price for climbing Island Peak ranges from $3200 to $4600 per person.

During the trekking days from Lukla until Chhukung, you will be staying in teahouses or lodges at the end of your trekking day. So, you will be able to charge your electronic devices here at a small extra charge. But, after leaving Chhukung and until you climb Island Peak and get back to Pangboche, we will be reliable on solar chargers as long as the days are sunny otherwise charging your device is not possible. We recommend bringing extra batteries and power banks.

Climbing as high as 6,200m (20,341ft.) is really not a JOKE! Island Peak is considered as one of the most technical climbs although it is comparably lower than Mera Peak climbing. You may encounter numerous life-threatening situations on the snowy trails and the rocky paths. Weather is always unpredictable on the mountains so there are safety concerns to be taken into account. To deal with all the safety parameters including altitude sickness and adverse weather conditions, it is always wise to choose a highly reputed operator with long years of handling experiences and that possesses a strong ground team members. Himalayan Glacier is one of the most highly reputed adventure companies with successful track records of Island Peak climbing arrangement with full safety precautions and the most affordable prices.

All climbing members including guides and porters will walk together in a group so there is no chance of a climber or a crew member getting lost or left behind. However, when there is an emergency and you need to communicate with the office or a family member from a no coverage area, then satellite phone is the only and best mode of communication. Himalayan Glacier is prepared with all kinds of communications including mobile and satellite phones so that we can always remain connected with our climbers and crew members. High up in the mountains, cell phones don’t always work so for emergency communications, we make use of a satellite phone that is with the climbing leader.

Bringing out typical tastes of peak climbing in Nepal, both Island Peak and Mera Peak have their own set of peculiarities. There are some significant differences in the climbing aspects of Mera Peak vs Island Peak Climbing. Mera Peak is slightly higher than Island Peak while Island Peak, with more steep ice climbs, is considered a little more technical than Mera Peak. Mera Peak is high but has very few challenges like crevasses while Island Peak has numerous challenging sections and the headwall, the narrow ridge to the top and several icefalls make it rather difficult. Mera can be climbed without proper mountaineering skills while climbing Island Peak demands basic mountaineering as well as some technical knowledge. The rocky ridge, glacial walk, tapering summit, and ice walls make Island Peak climbing more susceptible to altitude sickness. In the final say, the climbing section at Island Peak is harder than that of Mera Peak. But, the trekking section up to the base camp of Mera Peak is harder than that of Island Peak. Also, the trail to Island Peak Base Camp is much more crowded that the trail to Mera Peak Base Camp.

There are several factors to be considered when you have to choose the right peak-climbing operator. There are lots of operators offering peak climbing in Nepal these days and the only visible difference among them is their price tag. It is indeed very hard to choose a reliable operator just by looking at the price that they offer. The best possible way to choose the right operator for your climb is to check their itinerary – whether they have incorporated sufficient acclimatization days or not. Next, check out what their price includes, read customer reviews to find about the company’s safety and success records in the past. Don’t forget that your climbing leader and operational team are the key part in making the trip safe and successful. There are many hundreds of agencies operating treks and peak climbing trips but make sure the agency you choose is legally registered and licensed. It is also advantageous for you if your agency has a good many numbers of years of experience in the tourism industry. Stay away from cheap operators at all costs because they will manipulate their price by using untrained and unprofessional staff. They will use old or cheap gears and equipment which is prone to serious accidents during the climb. Also, make sure that the climbing operators you choose hire local trekking and climbing staff and cover different alternatives of traveling. Check out if the agency follows sustainable and responsible tourism or not and check out for their accomplishments and achievements.

Since Island Peak is a mountain that is above 6,000m (19,685ft.), we recommend mountain air ambulance at least up to the altitude of the Island Peak, which is 6,189m (20,305ft.). Other insurance that we recommend are medical, trip cancellation due to pandemics, political riot, community violence, natural calamities, and flight delays or cancellations. For more information regarding our insurance policy, please read our travel insurance section or contact us for more details.

Drinking water issues have really been chronic in the entire country since a long time. The sources of drinking water in the mountains are river or stream water but we do not recommend these to our clients as far as possible. The water may be highly contaminated causing various illnesses during your journey. While trekking up to the base camp, drinking water will be available in the teahouses, either from taps, boiled water or bottled water. We also suggest for the use of steriPEN or other water purifying agents. During the peak climbing time, water is not available so it needs to be carried all the way up to the top. For our customers, we will provide bottled water or boiled and sterilized water to refill in the water bottles or water bladders.

Different agencies have their own group sizes for trekking as well as for peak climbing trips. Himalayan Glacier always considers a small group adventure. Moreover, we are specialized for customized and tailor-made trips. Although 8 to 10 people are the right group size for effective costing factors, we do not stick to this rule. Even if we have a solo traveler who is unable to join a group due to any reason, we will make arrangements for his climb.

Through immediate or long-term acclimatization, the human body can adapt to high altitudes. The main problem that can arise at high altitude is the Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and the symptoms vary from one person to another. When it comes to trekking and climbing in the Himalayas, altitude sickness has always been a major concern. Exposure to higher elevations means the lack of enough oxygen and more dry air in the atmosphere. This exposure causes increase in your metabolism while suppressing your appetite, vomiting, headache, nausea, lethargy, dizziness, cough, disturbed sleep, pneumonia, and hyperthermia. These symptoms are more prevalent in climbers who rush quickly to elevations above 2,500m (8,202ft.). However, it is not the same for people residing in locations at high altitudes as they are used to these elevations all through their lives. Himalayan Glacier has a great team of climbing leaders and crew members to ensure your safety and well-being. We suggest you to always listen to your leader and follow his instructions and always tell him if you are not feeling well on the way.

There are many boots available in the market for high altitude but it is really important to find the right ones for you. In Nepal, the highest peak climbing mountain in Mera Peak at 6,461m (21,190ft.) and for higher altitude than this, proper mountaineering boots will be required. We suggest three types of shoes – for camping section, for trekking section, and for climbing section on the trail. For camping, normal running shoes or trainers are required. For trekking section, a good quality, warm, waterproof hiking boot with good ankle support is needed. While for the climbing section, mountaineering boots, high-altitude boots or double boots B3 will be necessary. We recommend La Sportiva and Scarpa boots. Shoes for trekking and climbing section are compulsory and they must be of the right fit and previously broken so that you may prevent possible blisters and ankle injuries.

First and foremost, your fitness level, food and hygiene, regular exercise and workouts, immunity and your entire preparation for the trip affects how altitude sickness will respond to you. In fact, the prevention of altitude sickness starts right from the very day that you start planning your trip. Other factors that lower the chances of getting the sickness are your climbing leader’s knowledge, skills and experience, duration of the trip, and sufficient acclimatization. Reaching the top without any trouble related to altitude sickness, you should keep a few tips from our experienced leaders and travel consultants in mind, namely:

  • Slow ascend with proper rest and sufficient acclimatization
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other fluids
  • Eat enough balanced food and sleep well on the trip
  • Avoid alcohol, cigarettes or tobacco during the entire trip
  • Be head-strong and mentally prepared
  • Train your body sufficiently with uphill hikes or cardiovascular and gym workouts 3 months before your trip
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