Peak Climbing in Nepal

Overview

Island peak climbing (6189m/20305 ft) is the most popular trekking peak in Everest region of Nepal. Island Peak also known as Ima Tse Peak. It can be climb in both the spring and autumn season. Island peak was named by Eric Shipton in 1952 and the first ascent was made by members of the 1953 British Everest team as a training climb. The climbing is challenging for the beginning alpine climber and the summit ridge provides one of the most dramatic views of the Himalayas. The summit of Island Peak stands nearby to the South Face of Lhotse, one of the world’s largest ice walls, and offers stunning views of beautiful Ama Dablam and Makalu.

After arriving Nepal, you will have a day to explore the exotic city of Kathmandu before flying into the remote mountain town of Lukla where you begin your trek into the Khumbu region of the Himalayas. Once at Lukla, we follow an ancient route that journeys through tiny villages and remote Himalayan valleys. Along the way, we visit Buddhist monasteries and begin to appreciate the unique mountain culture found in the Himalayan foothills. The views grow more spectacular as we venture up the Dudh Kosi River to Namche Bazaar - the gateway to the Khumbu region at 3,440m/11,283ft. We spend a night next to the Tyangboche monastery (3,867m/12684ft), where you are rewarded with spectacular views of Ama Dablam, Mt. Everest, and Lhotse. A rewarding hike leads to the summit of Kalapatthar (5,545m/18,192ft) and provides a truly spectacular panorama of Mt Everest (8848m/29,028ft), Lhotse (8516m/27,932ft) and many more.

Our journey then continues to Imja Tse, also known as Island Peak, tops out at 6,189m/20,305ft and rewards us with magnificent views of Ama Dablam, South Face of Lhotse and Everest. From the summit of Island Peak there are stunning views of Lhotse and Makalu, the 4th and 5th highest mountains in the world, respectively. The return trek continues to delight adventurous souls with more spectacular mountain views, lush forested valleys, and opportunities to learn about the Nepalese religion and culture.

Highlights

  • Sightseeing tour of historical, cultural, religious heritages sites of Kathmandu valley
  • Spectacular Lukla mountain flights with great views
  • Sherpa villages, monasteries and culture
  • Namche Bazaar and its market
  • Khumjung Monastery and the yeti scalp
  • Tyangboche Monastery and the 360º mountain views
  • Everest Base Camp and walking on the famous Khumbu glacier
  • Kalapatthar and the close-up views of Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse
  • Morning ascent of Island Peak and the stunning views from the top

Trip Summary

Trip Grade Moderate to Adventures
Trip Duration 20 nights/21 days
Trip code NAP-LPK-210
Trip Start/Ends Kathmandu-Lukla/Lukla-Kathmandu
Maximum Altitude Island Peak Summit (6189m)
Trip Cost Prices on request
Group Size Minimum 2 upto 12 persons in one group
Accessibillity Round trip from Lukla, trek start from and returns to Lukla and the flight takes about 35 minute.
The Route Maximum altitude Island Peak (6189m) Kalapatthar BC (5545m) Everest BC (5450m), 5/7-hrs average walking per day, Moderate to strenuous trail.
Season Sept – Nov/March - April
Permit Fee Spring: (Mar-Apr-May) USD 250 – Autumn: (Sep-Oct-Nov) USD 125 – Winter: (Dec-Jan-Feb) USD 70 – Summer: (Jun-Jul-Aug) USD 70 per passenger and maximum number of members in a team is 15 people
Trip Facilities 3+ hotel in city on B/B, teahouse/lodges and tented accommodation during the climbing period.

Itinerary

Upon our arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, a representative from Nepal Adventure Point will pick us up from the airport and take us to our hotel. After checking in, we may take a rest. 

Today after breakfast we begin our tour to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu. We visit the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swoyambhunath) 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.

After breakfast, we will be taken to the domestic terminal of TIA for an early morning flight to Lukla. After 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 remaining members of our climbing team.  We begin 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, our Leader/Guide can take a side trip to a nearby monastery.

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. On this day we cross five suspension bridges, the last one also known as the Hillary Bridge due to it being the highest. It is an uphill walk from Hillary Bridge to Namche Bazaar.

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 (3/4hrs) 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!).

 

From Namche Bazaar the trail climbs up and down to Sanasa where the trail descends gradually to Teshinga and then it drops steeply to Phunki Thanga. Climbing two hours from Phunki Thanga you will reach Tyangboche. Tyangboche is a religious place for the Sherpa people and the entire Solukhumbu area. Here you will see the Tyangboche Monastery which is one of the oldest monasteries in Nepal. Maybe you can get a chance to see the monks chanting and singing.

 

From Tyanngboche you will reach the tiny village of Dibuche and after climbing some magnificently carved stones you will be at Pangboche (3860m). Walking the lower route from Pangboche and entering the alpine meadow you will be at Shomara. The trail then passes to Orsho. Beyond Orso the route divides to Dingboche/Pheriche (4260m). Pheriche is the windiest place of the Khumbu area; here you will find the Health post and Himalayan Rescue Association.

We spend a day in Dingboche for acclimatization. We enjoy a refreshing breakfast while admiring views of the looming Ama Dablam (6,856 m). To better appreciate Mt. Ama Dablam, Mt Lhotse and other peaks visible from Dingboche, we climb a ridge on the north behind the village. From the ridge, we can see three of the world's six highest peaks, Mt. Lhotse, Mt Makalu and Mt Cho Oyu. Additionally, we will also be surrounded by Cholatse and Taboche mountains. To our northwest is an array of peaks rising at the head of the Khumbu Khola valley. The Lobuche West and Lobuche East peaks are most dominant along with Lhotse which stands over 8500 m. From a vantage point high on the ridge, we can scan the sweeping Imja Khola valley as well as the picturesque fields and pastures of Dingboche

The trail ascends from Dingboche and after crossing some bridges you will reach Thukla. From Thukla the trail steeply goes up to the Khumbu glacier and drops a bit to the valley of Lobuche (4930m). 

The trail from Lobuche progresses gradually upwards providing splendid views of Mt Pumori. In the afternoon you will reach Gorakshep which is surrounded by mountains. After lunch, we ready for our adventure to the targeted destination and we continues our hike towards the Everest Base Camp and to the Khumbu Ice-fall, the path from here can be misleading, follow the lead Sherpa, every year the trail changes due to the movements of the glacier, the walk is quite strenuous due to the high altitude and thin air, the walk passes through over rocky dunes and moraine and streams, till you reach the base camp. Everest Base Camp is lively with commotion during the high expedition season. It takes 2-3 hrs to get to base camp and after a grand time here retrace the journey back to Gorekshep for the overnight at lodge.

Early morning our journey continue steep climb to the Kalapatthar base camp top after 2 hour walk on our pace. After reaching the top, you will feel beaming as you achieve the moment that you been dreaming, since the beginning of the journey. Top of Kalapatthar is a small rocky peak on the southwest ridge of Mt. Pumori, the view from here is beyond imagination as the Everest looks amazing, the panoramic view from this spot is something to cherish, and you feel it’s worth the hard climb up to here and to feel at the top of the world, and can be seen to the south Khumbu glacier sweeps below you, and you can also see the Everest Base camp down below on the moraine of Khumbu glacier and lot of picturesque scenery. Re-track to Gorakshep and after the breakfast at Gorekshep we trek down to Dhugla then go straight up the hill from the bridge to reach an upper trail. Staying high above the valley floor, we pass the yak pasture at Dusa to a Chorten at the head of the Imja valley.

From here we have four hours of walking to Chhukung (4710m), as it is very important to adjust to the high altitude in order to climb Island Peak. Our guide will give provide important information about climbing Island Peak and the next day’s activities.

 

 

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 Lapcha lies to the southeast. A crisscross route through the Imja and Lhotse glacier moraines leads to a wide valley flanking the South West side of Island Peak. 

Pre-climb training: 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. 

14/15: Island Peak Base Camp to Summit and back to Base Camp: We wake up early today at around 1/2 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 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 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. 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. 

14/15: Island Peak Base Camp to Summit and back to Base Camp: We wake up early today at around 1/2 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 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 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. 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 Tyangboche. If interested, we can also visit nuns at the Tyangboche monastery. After lunch at Tyangboche, 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, e reach the army camp at Namche Bazaar.

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.

 

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. 

We allow a Leisure day in Kathmandu incase the flight from Lukla is canceled due to weather. If you are in Kathmandu we will take you on a guided tour to Bhaktapur Durbar Square, one of the oldest cities in the valley.

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 Nepal Adventure Point 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.

Cost Included

  • Documents:  Island Peak permit, national park entrance permit & TIMS card 
  • Activities:  Sightseeing, trekking and climbing as per itinerary.
  • Equipment:  All necessary camping equipments, kitchen utilizes and sleeping bag if necessary. 
  • Accommodation:  4 nights hotel in Kathmandu and 17 nights lodges/Tent during trekking
  • Food:  Full board on teahouse/camping Brieakfast, lunch and dinner] during the trekking and 4 breakfasts in city.
  • Staffs: Group Leader/Guide, Climbing Sherpa and necessary supporters
  • Transportation:  Arrival/Departure transfer and surface road-head transportation and Kathmandu to Lukla  and return flight
  • Company & Government’s service charge: All applicable Government taxes & official service charges. And Crew’s, daily wages/salary, food, equipment, air and road-head transportation

Cost Excluded

  • Your international flight
  • Travel insurance covering with emergency Helicopter rescue
  • Personal travel, trekking and climbing equipments 
  • Lunch and Dinner while in City
  • Bar bills and Beverages
  • Tips/Gratuities for trekking crews
  • Temple and Monastery entrance fee while sightseeing in city
  • Optional activities
  • And unforeseen expenses which are out of control by Nepal Adventure Point

Trip Notes

Please request our Trip Note advice and detailed itinerary.

Packing list: While packing for trekking and Climbing, warm clothing is important to ensure comfort and safety, while non-essential gear such as a knife may simply come in handy. Here we have a suggested packing list to guide you in preparation:

Suggested Clothing and Equipment List

Footwear:
Plastic mountaineering boots.
Walking boots. For the trek you will need a pair of water repellent boots with ankle support.
Gaiters. A pair used to keep boots dry if walking through deep snow or on wet ground.
Wool and liner socks.
Trainers/sneakers. Can be used in camp/lodge in the evenings.

Clothing:
Waterproof jacket and trousers (Goretex or similar).
Trekking trousers.
Long sleeve shirts (not cotton).
Micro fleece.
Mid to heavyweight fleece.
Sleevelessor body warmer type fleece.
Thermals or baselayer for top & bottom (merino wool or synthetic).
Fleece pants.
Medium weight down jacket (eg. Nuptse jacket by The North Face).

Handwear:
Fleece gloves.
Warms mittens and/or gloves.

Headwear:
Wool or fleece hat.
Sun hat.
Bandana or scarf.
Neoprene face mask.
Sunglasses.
Ski googles.

Climbing equipment: Climbing harness with two slings, four screw gate carabiners, belay plate and 3m of 5mm static cord for prussiks [we have a limited number of “Harness packs” for rent, this includes harness (medium size Black Diamond Alpine BOD), ATC belaydevice with large carabiner, three screwgate carabiners, Petzl handle ascender, two slings and prussik cord. Please contact TMC office for further prices and availability]

Jumar ascender (eg. Petzl handle ascender).
Crampons (10 or 12 point general mountaineering type are the best).
Mountaineering ice axe with leash.

Personal Equipment:
Sleeping bag.
Sleeping mat (eg. Thermarest). On trek we provide everyone with one foam mat however we recommend two layers for maximum insulation and comfort.
Backpack large enough to carry water bottles, camera, lunch and extra clothing.
Stuff sacks for keeping your gear dry and organized.
Headtorch. Bring extra batteries.
Two water bottles (Nalgene wide mouth bottles are the best).
Sunscreen and lipsalve with a high SPF.
Insect repellent.
Water purification tablets (Pristine, Biox Acqua or Acqa Mira).
Trekking poles (Black Diamond with “Flick Lock” are best).
Camera with spare batteries and memory cards.
Insurance certificate.

Travelling: Duffle bag or large backpack for your personal gear on the trek (carried by a porter). Bring a small combination padlock to secure the bag.

Travel clothes. You will need casual clothing for air travel days and time spent in Kathmandu.

Toiletry bag include toilet paper, soap, towel, toothbrush, etc.

Personal first aid kit:

Note: we provide a comprehensive group first aid kit but please bring personal medications and other items you might use regularly such as:

Any personal medications.
Blister treatment (Compeed patches are the best).
Analgesics (paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin).
Plasters and zinc oxide tape.
Throat lozenges.
Diamox
Earplugs (optional).
Baby wipes (optional).
Hand sanitizer (optional).

 

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