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 Everest Region with an impressive and highly glaciated West Face that rises from the Lhotse Glacier. Our Island peak climbing itinerary has been designed very professionally taking care of proper and gradual acclimatization at suitable intervals. Before scaling the peak, we also take you to the most popular trekking destinations – Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar – for the close up views of Mt. Everest and other highest mountains. After enjoying the magnificent views of Mt Everest and surrounding peaks from Kala Patthar and at the same time acclimatizing properly for the climb, we descend to Chhukung and prepare for the Island Peak ascent. The journey begins from and comes to conclusion at one of the most famous airstrip in the world, the Lukla Airport in the Everest Region.
The Island Peak is located at the heart of Khumbu region which is recognized as a moderate Climbing peak of Everest area. Island Peak was the name given to the mountain in 1952 by Eric Shipton’s who thought it to be reminiscent of an island in a sea of ice. It was renamed “Imja Tse” in the early ’80s, though its original name is still more popular. Our Island peak climbing with Everest Base Camp Trek can also be very interesting to the climbers who are planning to attempt even higher altitude peaks afterwards. Island peak climbing fulfills the dream of the climbers who are seeking the thrill of adventure and wish to widen their experience towards peak climbing & expedition.
The 19-day Island Peak Climbing with Everest Base Camp Trek is designed for those adventurers who are energetic and physically fit and are wishing for both trekking and climbing experience within a limited amount of time to trek. If you’re really an adventurous soul in quest of a challenging and “off the beaten path trekking & climbing experience, we recommend you to try our Island Peak with Gokyo and Everest Base Camp Trek-22 days that crosses some of the most famous high passes in the world with the Island peak climb. However, if you wish to climb one of most famous mountains in the world in just two weeks, we highly recommend you to try our Island Peak Climbing-14 days itinerary that takes you straight to Island Peak. You may also be interested in some other HGT Peak Climbing itineraries: Mera Peak Climbing-22 days; Mera Peak Climbing-19 days
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 01 Arrival Kathmandu -1,350m/4,428ft
Upon your arrival in the Kathmandu airport (KTM), you will be greeted by a representative from Kumar Adventure. After completing your custom formalities (Visa, etc) pick up your luggage and look for our representative with a Kumar Adventure display board at the arrival gate. You will be then transferred to Hotel Shanker or a similar category hotel. After check in, you can take a rest, hang around in the city, visit our office – it all depends upon your interests and condition. In the evening we will organize a “Welcome Dinner” at an excellent traditional Nepalese Restaurant where you will enjoy a Nepalese cultural program as well as a fine meal.
Day 02 Kathmandu [1300 m/4264 ft]: Sightseeing and Preparation
After breakfast, we can enjoy a free day on our own or participate in a sightseeing program. The sightseeing program is focused to introduce some highlights and UNESCO World Heritage sites of Kathmandu such as Durbar square, Swoyambhunath, Pashupatinath and Bouddhanath. After some hours’ sightseeing, we get to the office and get our equipments checked by the climbing leader, prepare things as per need, introduce with fellow participants, and after Kumar Adventure briefs us about the trip, we get chance to ask questions we might have regarding the trip. Overnight at hotel. Included meal: Breakfast
Day 03 Kathmandu – Lukla [2,800 m/9,184 ft]- Phakding [2,652 m/8,700 ft]: 35 min flight; 3-4 hours trek
Early morning after breakfast, we get transferred to domestic airport and fly to Lukla. After an adventurous 40 minutes flight above 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 dramatic landing on a hillside surrounded by high mountains peaks. At the airport, we meet our other crew members. We get time to stroll around while the guide divides and manages baggage to be carried by porters. 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, take a side trip to a nearby monastery. Overnight in Phakding. Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 04 Phakding -Namche Bazaar [3,440 m/11,283 ft]: 5-6 hrs
Trek starts in the morning after breakfast. The walk today is pleasant with few short uphill and downhill with multiple crossings over Dudh Koshi River and magnificent view of Mt. Thamserku (6,608m/21,675ft) from the Benkar village. Cross some more bridges and reach the entrance of Sagarmatha National Park at Monjo, where our trekking permits are checked in order to keep record of trekkers and local trekking staffs as well. A descend and a gradual walk brings us to Jorsale, the last village until Namche Bazaar. The walk is enjoyable through the river bed and we reach Hillary Suspension Bridge. Now, as we climb up hill towards Namche Bazzar, closer and magnificent sight of Kwangde Peak, its sister peaks, Kusum Kangaru, Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Tawache, and many other fabulous mountains are viewed closer, we stop at the Chautara here to admire the view. Finally, we reach the colorful village of Namche Bazzar, the main gateway of Khumbu region. Overnight in Namche Bazzar.
Day 05 Namche Bazaar [3,440 m/11,283 ft]: Acclimatization Day
This is first scheduled ‘acclimatization’ day for this trek. Health experts always recommend us to stay active and moving during the rest day too instead of being idle. We either spend the day taking a day hike to Thame or visiting Khunde or carry out relaxed exploration of Namche Bazaar itself. Namche Bazzar is the main centre of the Everest (Khumbu) region and has government offices, ATMs, Internet cafes, shops, restaurants, a bakery and a colorful market each Friday evening and Saturday. If we trek a few hundred vertical feet during the day, it will help us to properly acclimatize. Visit the Tourist Visitor Center near the Sagarmatha National Park headquarters and observe an assortment of things related to the first Everest ascenders, Sherpa culture and learn about the various plant and animal life of the Everest region. We also take an interesting side trip up to Khumjung and climb up to famous airstrip at Syangboche. Just above the airstrip is the Everest View Hotel, a Japanese scheme to build a deluxe hotel with great views of the highest mountains on Earth. The Khumjung valley surrounded by the snowy peaks of Kongde and Thamserku and the sacred peak of Khumbila hosts a well known monastery that houses a yeti scalp. Visit Hillary School which is at the same site. After having lunch and spending some time in Khumjung, walk back down to Namche Bazzar. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
Day 06 Namche Bazzar to Tengboche (3,870m/12,694ft) – 5 to 6 hrs walk
After breakfast in Namche, we start our trek towards Tengboche enjoying superb view of Mt. Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and close up view of Thamserku. Our trek follows on the gradual trail with few ups and downs overlooking magnificent view of the great Himalaya. Along the way we can spot wild lives like pheasant, musk deer, or a herd of Himalayan Thar. The trail goes gradually down up to Kayangjuma. The path eventually reaches Sansa which is the major trail junction to Gokyo valley and Everest Base Camp. The track then follows through the pine forests and after we cross the prayer flags festooned bridge over Dudh Koshi River, we reach Phunki Thenga, a small settlement with a couple of teahouses and a small army post amidst the alpine woods. After having a relaxed lunch at Phunki Thenga we then have a little tough climb steep up through the pine forests while before we reach Tengboche. Tengboche is a great place for close up views of Ama-Dablam, Nuptse, and Everest and it has a biggest Buddhist Monastery all over in Khumbu region. We visit the monastery the same day at around 3 p.m. to witness the ceremony in the principal and popular monastery of Everest region. Over night stay at lodge in Tengboche.
Day 07 Tengboche to Pheriche [4,200m/13,776ft]:4-5 hrs
Mountains as a backdrop, the monastery in Tengboche looks spectacular more in the morning. We snap pictures of the monastery and the sceneries. We descend for about half an hour to riverside through nice forest. We cross the river and start trekking up towards opposite hill and landscapes starts more dry and desert afterward. We will cross a traditional and cultural Sherpa village Pangboche where we can see a close up daily activities of Sherpa people. After this, we make a gradual up towards a small hill while trail goes to wide mountain valley called Pheriche. This is a nice wide village located on the riverside. We can see a small helipad here that is used for helicopter rescue in emergency. We can take a class with a mountain specialist in the Medical Clinic at Pheriche. Over night stay at lodge.
Day 08 Pheriche to Lobuche [4,930m/16,170ft]:5-6 hrs
After breakfast, we start easy and straight walking towards left corner of the river and make a gradual walk-up to reach Dugla. Beyond Duglha we trek up the steep terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. We find our way through the boulder-strewn slope as we ascend Chupki Lhara, an eerie ridge top with dramatic mountains views. At the top of the ridge we will find an array of stones with prayer flags used as memorials to Scott Fischer (American mountaineer) and 10 times Everest summitter Babu Chiri Sherpa (mountain guide from Nepal) who perished on a mission to climb Everest. As the trail drops to the Khumbu Glacier moraine, we find ourselves right “in front of” several great peaks – Khumbutse, Lingtren, Pumori and Mahalangur Himal. We are now in the vicinity of Everest but the great mountain still remains hidden. By this stage the effects of the altitude will be kicking in and we can feel colder nights. Overnight in Lobuche.
Day 09 Lobuche- Everest Base Camp [5364 m/17,594 ft]-Gorak Shep [5170 m/16,961ft]: 6-7 hrs
Take the trail to Everest Base Camp through the once vast Gorak Shep Lake. Continuing straight ahead, come through the Indian army mountaineers’ memorials. The path from here can be misleading, hence follow the lead Sherpa, every year the trail changes due to the movements of the glacier – the walk is quite strenuous due to thin air in high altitude, passing through over rocky dunes and moraine and streams – until we reach the base camp. As we reach Everest Base Camp, we cannot stop ourselves from appreciating the Everest climbers who take the hazardous route through the Khumbu Icefall. Everest Base Camp is lively with commotion during the high expedition season. Mountaineer’s tents stand out in bright colors against all the dull gray surroundings (especially in spring). Nuptse, Khumbutse, Pumori are the mountains we can view from base camp but Everest itself is not visible from here. We get back to Gorak Shep for a good night’s rest. However, the sunset view from Kala Patthar is more admirable than the sunrise view. As the setting sun’s rays strike the snow capped mountains the resulting scenery is indescribable. For those trekkers who wish to continue to Kala Patthar our guides and Sherpas coordinate a hike to Kala Patthar for amazing sunset view today rather than waiting until the next day. Overnight in Gorak Shep.
Day 10 Gorak Shep – Kala Patthar [5545 m/18,192 ft] – Lobuche [4940 m/16,207 ft]: 7-8 hrs
We start early in the morning to catch the dramatic views from Kala Patthar witnessing the first light of day shining on Mount Everest. However, we need to get prepared for an early morning, dark and cold temperature (-10 to -14 C) departure beforehand. Plus there is always the likelihood of chilly winds. Familiar peaks such as Lingtren, Khumbutse, Changtse tower to the east even as Everest begins to reveal itself emerging between the west shoulder crest and Nuptse. During the ascent to Kala Patthar, we can pause to catch our breath at several outstanding view points to snap pictures. After several hours of an ascent, we reach Kala Patthar. From here scramble to climb the rocky outcrop near to the summit marked by cairns and prayer flags. As we reach the top, we sit on the Kala Patthar rocks our eyes taking in the unbelievable Himalayan Panorama, wandering from one mighty massif to another. We take as many pictures as we can with our camera and take views in with our mind’s eye to last lifetime. On being back to Gorak Shep, we have breakfast followed by a gradual descending down to Lobuche for a good night’s rest. Overnight in Lobuche.
Day 11 Lobuche – Kongma La (5,535m/18,159ft)- Chhukung [4,730m/15,518ft]: 6-7 hrs
After breakfast trekking via Khumbu Glacier to Kongma La Base Camp (5,000m/16,404ft) continues ascending to Kongma pass the ascend is difficult part of our trek today. After gaining the Kongma La, we see cairn wrapped in prayer flags,-marks of the pass. Then we descend a gradual walks up the Imja Khola valley to Chhukung, a small summer settlement. Overnight in Chhukung where we make final preparation for Island Peak Climbing.
Note: We can follow another route via Dingboche to Chhukung.
Day 12 Chhukung -Island Peak Base camp [5,200m/17,060ft]: 3-4 hours
The path from Chhukung leads fairly steep way climbing south then turning east to the main line of the valley. It then winds along or below the southern flank of the moraine from the Lhotse Glacier. We continue short pleasant walking along a streamside. The route to the Amphu Lapcha lies to the southeast. A criss-cross 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.
Pre-Climb Training : After lunch, our guides will provide training on peak climbing techniques and using climbing gears such as ice axe, climbing boot and crampons, harness, ascender, etc and on how to go up and down using ropes. Although it is not mandatory to have prior training experience for Island Peak Climbing, we believe that some training experience will boost up your confidence and climbing skills to increase the chances of scaling the summit as well as to fully enjoy the experience.
Day 13 Island Peak Base Camp to High Camp [5,600m/18,372ft]: 2-3 hours
We move to Island Peak High Camp. The path leads up beyond base camp for several hundred meters before striking off left up the steep hillside. Initially sandy, the path soon turns to grass before becoming boulder strewn. As we climb the hill, we will see that the slope narrows and the path enter a steep rock channel. Overnight in Island Peak High Camp.
Note: Climbers often find it easier to attempt for Island summit in one push directly from the Base Camp. If you would like to attempt the summit push from the Base Camp, spend two nights at the Base Camp for acclimatization and training. Make an acclimatization climb to the High Camp after taking breakfast on the second day, spend some time there, and come back to the Base Camp. Generally, we take lunch after completing the hike. It would be also easier for the porters to stay at the Base Camp instead of staying at a higher altitude at High Camp for a long time which might cause altitude problems, climbers too find it more convenient to
Day 14 High camp-summit Island Peak-Base camp -Chhukung: 8-10 hours
Island Peak Ascent (6,189m/20,305ft): We begin our climb early in the morning, generally around 1 AM. In the beginning, 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 Chhukung for overnight and to celebrate on our success Island peak climb.
Day 15 Reserve Day for Contingency
There is no such guarantee that we can get quite a favorable weather on our planned day for the summit (day 14), so this day is used as a contingency in case if we are unable to summit the Island Peak on day 14 due to bad weather condition or some other reasons. If weather gets exceptionally unfavorable we wisely have to postpone the program of summiting the peak on day 14 for toady (Day 15). Sometimes somebody in the group may get some problems in acclimatizing well enough to make the ascent; the day can be used in that condition too. If the trip goes smoothly, we do not need this spare day.
Day 16 Chhukung to Namche Bazar: 8-9 hours
This is a long trekking day. The Imja Khola joins the Dudh Koshi River a little above the Pangoche village. There is a famous gompa at Pangboche believed to have been the oldest in the Khumbu region. Descend out of the alpine dessert and back into landscapes of pine forests. The path leads to a steep uphill climb into Tengboche. Visit the Tenboche Monastery. Making a steep descent leads back to the Dudh Kosi river. The final steep climb traverses the hill side into Namche Bazaar. In case our contingency day remains unused and you want take today’s long trek relaxed manner, we can divide long trekking of today into two days.
Day 17 Namche Bazaar to Lukla: 6-7 hours
The trail descends steeply downward so we need to walk slowly and under control 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. Although we are travelling the same route down, we feel completely different views. Walk through the Sherpa villages’ noticing impressive faith in Buddhism and culture of prayer stones and prayers flag while we walk through the villages. On arrival at Lukla, we stretch those sore legs and recall the experiences of the last couple of weeks. We experience the culmination of a fantastic trek on a happy note with everyone back safe and sound with smile on their faces! Overnight in Lukla.
Day 18 Fly back- Lukla to Kathmandu
We fly back to Kathmandu after our long mountain journey. The early morning flight drops us at Kathmandu. You can rest and relax throughout the day in your hotel. If get interested to take some gifts home from Nepal for friends and relatives, visit some nearby shops or venture out in Thamel for typical Nepalese goods which can be assisted by our guides or you can do it yourself too. If you want to explore any other areas of Kathmandu take the time to do that today! Remember, we will be hosting a fantastic celebration dinner together for successfully completing the adventure. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 19 Departure
You are saying good bye to the mountains as your adventurous trip in Nepal comes to an end today! There is nothing to do but trade emails with your travel companions and organize your photos. If you have more time you can do some shopping or sightseeing. Approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight a representative from Kumar Adventure will take you to the airport. 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.