Island Peak Climbing
- Days 19
- Max. Altitude 5600 m
- Grade Hard
- Group Size Minimum 2 pax
- Activities Trekking Adventure
- Start / End Kathmandu / Kathmandu
The Island Peak (6189 m / 20305 ft) 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 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 Vistas Himalaya 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 and expedition.
- Day 01 Kathmandu
- Day 02 Kathmandu
- Day 03 Kathmandu - Lukla – Phakding
- Day 04 Phakding - Namche Bazaar
- Day 05 Namche Bazaar (acclimatization day)
- Day 06 Namche Bazaar - Tengboche
- Day 07 Tengboche -Pheriche
- Day 08 Pheriche - Lobuche
- Day 09 Lobuche - Everest Base Camp- Gorak shep
- Day 10 Gorak Shep – Kala Patthar - Lobuche
- Day 11 Lobuche - Kongma La –Chhukung
- Day 12 Chhukung - Island Peak Base Camp
- Day 13 Island Peak Base Camp – Island Peak Summit and back to Base Camp (5,600 m / 18,372 ft): 12-13 hrs
- Day 14 Reserve Day for Contingency
- Day 15 Island Peak Base Camp -Pangboche
- Day 16 Pangboche - Namche bazaar
- Day 17 Namche Bazaar -Lukla
- Day 18 Lukla - Kathmandu
- Day 19 Farewell
Upon your arrival in the airport, you will be greeted by a Vistas Himalaya representative and transferred to 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 with authentic Nepali cuisine.
After breakfast, we can enjoy a free day on our own or participate in a sightseeing program. The sightseeing is focused to introduce some highlights and UNESCO World Heritage sites of Kathmandu such as Durbar square, Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath and Boudhanath. After some hours of sightseeing, we get to the office and get our equipment checked by the climbing leader, prepare necessary things, introduce with fellow participants, and after briefs us about the trip, we get chance to ask questions we might have regarding the trip.
Overnight at hotel.
Kathmandu - Lukla – Phakding
Early morning after breakfast, we get transferred to domestic airport and fly to Lukla (2800 m / 9184 ft). After an adventurous 30 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 (2652 m / 8700 ft) within 3 to 4 hours. 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.
Phakding - Namche Bazaar
Trek starts in the morning after breakfast. The walk today (total of 5-6 hours) is pleasant with few short uphill and downhill with multiple crossings over Dudh Koshi River and magnificent view of Mt. Thamserku (6608 m / 21675 ft) 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 Bazaar, closer and magnificent sight of Kwangde Peak, its sister peaks, KusumKangaru, Mt. Everest, Mt. 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 Bazaar (3440 m / 11283 ft), the main gateway of Khumbu region.
Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
Namche Bazaar (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 Bazaar is the main center 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 down to Namche Bazaar.
Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
Namche Bazaar - Tengboche
After breakfast in Namche, we start our 5 to 6 hours trek towards Tengboche (3870 m / 12694 ft) 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 trek then follows through the pine forests and after we cross the prayer flags festooned bridge over Dudh Koshi River, we reach PhunkiThenga, a small settlement with a couple of teahouses and a small army post amidst the alpine woods. After having a relaxed lunch at PhunkiThenga 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.
Overnight stay at lodge in Tengboche.
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 (4200 m / 13776 ft). 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.
Overnight stay at lodge.
Pheriche - Lobuche
After breakfast, we start easy and straight walking towards left corner of the river and make a gradual walk-up to reach Dugla. Beyond Dugla, we trek up the steep terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. We find our way through the boulder-strewn slope as we ascend ChupkiLhara, a ridge top with great 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 summiteerBabuChiri 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 MahalangurHimal. 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 (4930 m / 16170 ft).
Lobuche - Everest Base Camp- Gorak shep
Take the trail to Everest Base Camp through the once vast Gorak Shep Lake (5170 m / 16961 ft). 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 (5364 m / 17594 ft), 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 snowcapped mountains the resulting scenery is indescribable. For those trekkers who wish to continue to Kala Patthar our guides and Sherpa coordinate a hike to Kala Patthar for amazing sunset view today rather than waiting until the next day.
Overnight in Gorak Shep.
Gorak Shep – Kala Patthar - Lobuche
We start early in the morning to catch the nice views from Kala Patthar (5545 m / 18192 ft) 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 viewpoints 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.
Lobuche - Kongma La –Chhukung
After breakfast trekking via Khumbu Glacier to Kongma La Base Camp (5000 m / 16404 ft) continues ascending to Kongma pass the ascend is difficult part of our trek today. After gaining the Kongma La (5535 m / 18159 ft), we see cairn wrapped in prayer flags, marks of the pass. Then we descend to Chhukung (4730 m / 15518 ft), a small summer settlement.
Overnight in Chhukung where we make final preparation for Island Peak Climbing.
Chhukung - Island Peak Base Camp
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 AmphuLapcha 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 (5200 m / 17060 ft).
Island Peak Base Camp – Island Peak Summit and back to Base Camp (5,600 m / 18,372 ft): 12-13 hrs
Today is the climax of our trip, so we wake up very early at around 1 to 2 am so that we can reach the summit before noon because subsequent to afternoon the strong winds in the high lands might be our barrier for successful Island Peak summit (6189 m / 20305 ft).We eat breakfast and start the venture. The path leads up beyond 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 the hill, we will see that the slope narrows and the path enter 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 is waiting for us.
We celebrate on our successful Island peak climb.
Reserve Day for Contingency
There is no such guarantee that we can get quite a favorable weather on our planned day for the summit, so this day is used as a contingency in case if we are unable to summit the Island Peak on the planned day 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 for today. 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.
Island Peak Base Camp -Pangboche
Today is much easier walk down 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 might 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 trial to reach Pangboche (3985 m / 13074 ft), a scenic village which is blessed with Everest to the north, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Kangtaiga to the east, the Kongde range to the south and the Imjatse river flowing through the wide fertile valley itself.
Pangboche - Namche bazaar
From Pangboche we retrace our footsteps down to the ImjaKhola and up through the forest to Tengboche or if interested, we might pay our visit to nuns at the Tengboche monastery. After lunch at Tengboche, we continue through the hillside blanketed by rhododendron and juniper trees. After crossing the prayer flag festooned bridge over the Dudh Koshi River, trail then follows the Dudh Koshi gorge descending rapidly through the pine forests. The path eventually reaches 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 of Namche Bazaar. We would like to take a long last look (and picture!) back to Lhotse, the tip of Everest and Tengboche from here.
Upon reaching our lodge, we take a nice hot shower and have very relaxed sleep in our room in Namche Bazaar.
Namche Bazaar -Lukla
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.
Lukla - 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 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.
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 our representative 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.
1. All applicable tours and transfers accompanied by an English speaking representative
2. Accommodation based on twin sharing as detailed in the itinerary.
3. Activities as shown in the itinerary, note this may vary from day to day
4. Sterilized drinking water during trek
5. All trekking related permits and fees
6. Experienced English speaking guide
7. Assistant guides and porters to support the group size
8. Applicable taxes
1. Personal Travel Insurance (cover your adventure activity as well as medical, emergency evacuation and personal belongings). It is imperative to be insured with suitable cover
2. Personal clothing and footwear such as down jackets, waterproofs, hat, gloves, hiking boots
3. Personal equipment, for example rucksack, day backpack, torch, water bottle, sleeping bag and mat
4. Personal medical supplies and vaccinations
5. Personal expenses such as bar bills, tips to guides, porters and drivers, laundry
6. Expenses incurred during emergency evacuation due to any reason