Island peak /Imja Tse 6189m is one of the most popular trekking peaks to climb in Everest region. It is located on the top of the Chukung glacier between Ama Dablam and Lhotse Mountains, the most sought after trekking destination because of its challenging geographical conditions. This mountain was named “Island Peak” in 1952 AD, by a climbing team of Eric Shipton, due to its striking location in the middle of the Chhukung valley, like an Island on a sea of ice. Island peak was first ascended in 1953 by a British team as preparation for climbing Everest.
This climbing trip fulfills the dream of every amateur and serious climbers, who have been looking for the thrill of adventure and wish to take adventure climbing trips beyond simply trekking in Everest. Island peak is the most popular trekking peak in Nepal. The summit is interesting and attractive with a highly glaciated west face rising from the Lhotse Glacier. The mountain itself is the extension of the South Ridge of Lhotse Shar separated by a small col.
Welcome to the Himalayan country of Nepal! Upon your arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport one of Community Trek representatives will be there to welcome you before taking you to your hotel in Kathmandu.
Sightseeing around Kathmandu Valley (Monkey Temple) with your guide then your Trekking guide briefs you regarding our trek as well as provides us opportunity to ask any questions we may have regarding our upcoming adventure.
The day starts with an early morning fly from Kathmandu to the tine airstrip of Lukla. The scenic flight duration is just above 40 minutes so don’t forget to take your cameras, although you’ll have a second chance of taking beautiful snaps on the way back to Katmandu. Upon landing, while the guides and porters will divide the baggage you can have a good look around, take pictures and get prepared for adventure. Depending upon the time we land at Lukla, we might have our lunch there. From Lukla, we will walk to Phakding village. The walk is fairly easy and we will stay overnight in Phakding. We can spend our evening strolling around the village.
Our day’s hike will start after having breakfast. We will start by walking along the banks of Dudh Koshi River and we will have to cross this river twice in the same day. We will then arrive at a small village called Monjo. Monjo is the gateway to Sagarmatha National Park. After entering the National Park, we will descend to Bhote Koshi River upon which we arrive at Jorsalle village. We will walk further from there heading off to Namche Bazaar, a prosperous trade hub in the lap of the Himalayas which is also the capital of the Khumbu region. We will stay overnight at a hotel in Namche Bazaar.
After having ascended an altitude of 3,440 m (11,253ft), we will use the day for acclimatization. It is very important to have our body prepared for further ascending. You will have the day at your disposal and you can choose to do whatever you wish. One option can be to walk up to the Everest View Point Hotel and enjoy the view it offers. You can also choose to have a walk around Namche Bazaar and observe the local proceedings and lifestyle. If it is Saturday, there will be the traditional “Saturday Market” which is a wonderful experience and a great market to explore. There is also Sherpa Museum in Namche which would be the place to visit if you are interested into Sherpa’s culture and history.
On the fifth day, after breakfast, we start our trek with a pleasant walk through the forest with a magnificent view of mountains. The great view of the mighty peaks of Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Kwangde will be at our disposal all day long. Today’s trail ascends through the forest on its way to Tyangboche. The first thing that could draw your attention after reaching Tyangboche might be its beautifully big monastery. Tyangboche has a large campsite, tea houses and lodges overseeing Mt. Ama Dablam. We will finish the day by spending the night in a hotel in Tyangboche.
We descent and trek through forests filled with a variety of lush trees – birch, conifers and rhododendrons. This journey again rewards us with tremendous views of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam. The picturesque trail dips down to Devuche, crosses the Imja River and takes us to Pangboche. The upper Pangboche trails reward us with a more pristine view of the Himalayas and the Pangboche Monastery. The trek moves ahead towards the Imja Valley, Lobuche River and ultimately begins climbing up to Dingboche. At Dingboche, we see a beautiful array of fields enclosed by stone walls to protect barley, buckwheat and potatoes from the cold winds and grazing animals. Overnight at Dingboche.
We start the day with a gradual climb to Duglha at the end of the terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. From here, we climb up a steep trail to Chupki Lhara, where we find an array of stones with prayer flags used as memorials to Scott Fischer (American mountaineer) and 10-time Everest submitter Babu Chiri Sherpa (Nepali mountain guide) who perished on a mission to climb Everest. Next, we continue to the Khumbu Glacier moraine and find ourselves facing several great peaks – Khumbutse, Lingtren, Pumori and Mahalangur Himal. The trail then eases off as we follow the valley to Lobuche. Overnight in Lobuche.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. The guides will fix a rope when required. 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 which are approximately 3 and 4 meters long. 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 is 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.
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 successful completion of our journey. Overnight in Kathmandu.
A leisure day in Kathmandu which can used for an early morning mountain flights to Everest or can extended into further more tours to Chitwan, Lumbini etc. Further adventure activities like rock climbing, hiking, biking around the Kathmandu valley with bungee jumping, rafting near the valleys can be done on this free day. (This is also spare day in case of cancellation of flights)
A representative from Community Treks will check your flight tickets and transfer you to the airport before two hours from your flight with a hope of seeing you again.
ALL ITINERARIES CAN BE CUSTOMIZED AT YOUR REQUEST. CHECK OUT “EXTENSION” FOR SOME SUGGESTIONS.
1. Airport pick up and transfer to hotel
2. 3 star Standard hotel in Kathmandu on BB plan
3. Wages, food, accommodation, equipment, insurance and other facilities to staffs
4. A Day rock climbing course in Kathmandu or guided city tour of Kathmandu valley
5. Required private transport at Kathmandu
6. Kathmandu- Lukla- Kathmandu flight, airport taxes and transfer
7. 16 nights/ 17 Days Island Peak Climbing with Everest Base Camp Trek (3 Days on climbing excursion with tented camp), full board of meals and accommodations.
8. Everest National Park Permit/ trekking & TIMS Card
9. Island Peak Special Climbing Permit
10. Necessary group climbing gears
11. One AA Climbing guide for climbing section & One Advanced Adventures Trek Leader for trekking Section( both leaders are English speaking, first aid trained, Climbing leader is trained & licensed from Nepal Mountaineering Association- Rock climbing and mountaineering trained), the cost of camping and trekkers crew/ insurance/s
12. Advanced Adventure duffle bag & T- shorts
13. Gamow Bag for the security measure- provided on request for Group only
14. Medical kit bag
15. All necessary Gov. Taxes and service charges
1. Nepal Visa fees, intl. airfare in/out Nepal
2. Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu except welcome dinner
3. Personal Climbing equipment (Ice Axe, Crampons, Harness, Zoomer, Descender, Carbines & climbing boots etc.)
4. Travel and rescue Insurance
5. Personal nature expenses- phone calls, laundry, hot shower, bar bills, cold beverages etc.
6. Personal tipping
7. Cost of any extending trips
The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. The packed weight of your trek bag while trekking should be no more than 15 KG.
You must bring the following items:
Trekking trousers / pants
Waterproof overtrousers / rainpants
Casual shirt and/or T-shirts
Fleece jacket or warm jumper/sweater
Warm and waterproof over gloves or mittens
Headtorch/Headlamp with spare bulb and batteries
Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
Water bottles 1 L.
Sleeping bag 4 or 5 season * (rated down to – 20ºC)
Warm jacket (down)*
Basic First Aid Kit including: A broad spectrum antibiotic, antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhea treatment (Imodium), altitude (Diamox), painkillers, plasters (band-aids) and blister treatment, insect repellent, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose tablets
Climbing gear you should bring:
01: Ice Axe w/Leash (General mountaineering tool. Sizing is important: under 5’7″ use a 60cm tool; 5’7″- 6’1″ use a 65cm tool; over 6’1″ use a 70cm tool. (Too short is preferable to too long).)
02: Crampons (With flat rather than “cookie cutter” frame rails)
03: 40 ft 6mm perlon (For Prussiks or bring your glacier rig.)
04: Alpine Climbing Harness (Harness should fit over all clothing; have gear loops, adjustable leg loops and be reasonably comfortable to hang suspended in.)
05: Carabiners (2 Large Pear or D-shaped locking. 2 standard ovals or D’s)
06: Climbing helmet (Must be adjustable to fit, with or without hat or balaclava on)
07: 1 Ascender (Recommended: left or right hand.)
08: Ski or trekking poles (Snow baskets required. Helpful for balance when carrying a heavy pack or if you have knee problems)
09: Double plastic climbing boots.
10: Gaiters (Please make sure your gaiters fit around the plastic boot without being to tight around the boot.)
Note: Walking pole, down jacket, sleeping bag, etc available on hire in Kathmandu.
Because of bad weather we could face problems with domestic flights to/from Lukla (Delayed or even canceled). It is very rare, but it could happen even in best trekking season. Thus, we always recommend you to add supplement night/s in Kathmandu after your trek if that is possible for you (just in case). If everything runs smoothly, you can enjoy other activities like sightseeing, white water rafting, wildlife activities, shopping, during the extra days.
Responsible tourism is something which our company takes very seriously. This is why we recommend you to read the following lines and learn about responsible tourism before your trip.
1. It is advisable to eat as the locals do: eat the rice, the lentils, the fresh fruit and vegetables.
2. Tourists tend to bring with them plastic water bottles, packets of crisps and chocolate bars for energy, so without thinking, they are adding to the rubbish problem. It’s fine to eat foods like that, but take your rubbish with you back to Kathmandu and throw in the bin there because up in the Himalaya, they bury it in the ground, or they burn it and that’s no good.
3. Respect any animals and wildlife you might encounter. Do not feed any animals unless you are specifically given permission, avoid picking flowers no matter how beautiful they may be, do not touch or move fossils, and importantly, don’t stroke dogs – they can be aggressive towards strangers and stray dogs in Nepal may carry rabies.
1. Before you buy souvenirs. Beautiful shahtoosh shawls are woven in the Himalayas from the wool of the Tibetan Antelope, or chiru. The chiru is now endangered as a result of hunting for its precious wool – avoid buying anything made from it.
2. Food & Taboos – once you’ve touched something to your lips, it’s considered polluted for everyone else. If you take a sip from your own, or someone else’s water bottle, try not to let it touch your lips and don’t eat from someone else’s plate or offer anyone food you’ve taken a bite of.
3. Right or Left? Mmm… Right! The left hand is reserved for washing after defecating. You can use it to hold a drink or cutlery while you eat, but don’t wipe your mouth, or pass food with it.
4. Right hand & Manners. To show respect, offer money, food or gifts with both hands, or with the right hand while the left touches the wrist.
5. Keep Calm. The Nepalese are a very calm and contemplative people. You may find yourself in social situations that are completely out of your western comfort zone, but it is important to remember that the locals exercise discretion in expressing their feelings, anger and affection towards each other. If you don’t understand something, ask quietly and be patient.
6. Think before you take pictures. It’s easy to get snap-happy when presented with Nepal’s incredible landscape and lifestyle. Remember, this may be your trip of a lifetime, but it’s their reality, so introduce yourself and ask permission. Whenever possible, it is good idea to ask for a postal address and follow through by sending photographs back to local families.
7. A conservative country. Women should have their legs and shoulders covered and men should wear full-length trousers and tops with long sleeves. The forehead is regarded as the most sacred part of the body and it’s impolite to touch an adult Nepali’s head. Do not stretch your legs in public or point your feet at anyone as feet are considered the lowest and dirtiest part of the body.
8. Girls in Kathmandu and Pokhara do wear shorts or short skirts, but this is new to Nepal and you run the risk of being seen as sexually available if you do the same.
9. Spitting is normal in Nepal and you will see men, women, and children spitting on the street. The same goes for littering. Don’t pull a local up for these behaviours, but don’t join in either.
10. Avoid showing affection in public. Although some younger couples hold hands in public, this is relatively new and it is still frowned upon.
11. Ancient and sacred sites: there are a few protocol that are handy to know and easy to follow: don’t climb on ruins, avoid touching any religious object, and when you walk around monuments and temples, do so in a clockwise direction, that is – keep the monument on your right. It is generally not a problem to enter temples, but take your shoes off when you do and don’t take photos while you’re in there
12. When visiting temples, respect both the place and the people that pray there. Do not throw anything into the fire as it considered sacred and, if for some reason – time of day, particular prayer time – you are not permitted to enter, accept this graciously and ask your guide to ask when might be a better time to come back.
13. Some Hindu temples and their innermost sanctums are usually out of bounds for nonbelievers, who pose the threat of ritual pollution. If you are allowed in, be respectful, take your shoes off before entering and don’t take photos unless you’ve asked permission.
14. Though no one will ever ask, a small donation to temple that you’re visiting will be much appreciated. Donations support the operations of the day. Place your donation on the altar, or if you want to make a specific donation look for a donation box.
15. If you’re granted an audience with a lama at a Buddhist temple or monastery, it’s traditional to present him with a kata: a ceremonial white scarf (usually sold nearby).
16. If you are invited into a private home for a meal, you can bring fruit or sweets, but don’t expect thanks – it is considered offensive to make a fuss in these situations. Take your shoes off when entering, unless shown otherwise. When the food is served you may be expected to eat first, so you won’t be able to follow your host’s lead. Take less than you can eat – asking for seconds is the best compliment you can give. The meal is typically served at the end of a gathering and when the food is finished, everyone leaves.
17. Don’t give pens, money, or sweets to the local people you encounter on visits to villages and it can encourage begging and may be seen to establish a non-equal relationship between tourist and local with tourists being seen as simply ‘givers’ giving to ‘the poor’. Instead, buy local handicrafts directly from villagers and show an interest in their skills. Sweets may seem like an ideal gift for children, but access to dentists is extremely limited to rural dwellers and the last thing you want to give them is tooth decay!
18. Hassle by touts is on the rise in Nepal and it’s likely you’ll get accosted at the airport and in Kathmandu and offered drugs, treks and sex. They’re not as aggressive as in India – ignore them and they’re likely to ignore you. If they don’t, ask politely if they’ll leave you alone – do not be rude, as they’ll take it personally.
19. Dealing with beggars is par for the course in Nepal. Adjust to the pathos quickly – few beggars are bona fide and helping those that are will only encourage those that aren’t. Do not give away medicines either; instead donate them to the destitute at Kathmandu’s Bir Hospital, or at the Himalayan Buddhist Meditation Centre in Kathmandu.
20. The litter problem in Nepal is growing and has increased with the wider availability of pre-packaged goods. Keep your waste to a minimum – avoid accepting plastic bags from shops and reuse the ones you have, buy additional food from local markets to avoid packaging, take an empty plastic bag with you on treks, so you can pick up any additional litter you might spot and take particularly harmful waste, such as batteries, back to Kathmandu with you.
21. Marijuana and other ‘recreational’ drugs are widely available in Nepal although totally illegal. If caught in possession, drugs carry huge fines and up to 20 years imprisonment.
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