Island Peak Climbing (Imja Tse)

Island Peak climbing with Everest Base Camp Trek is a fantastic experience in the Himalayas of Nepal. It is designed for energetic and physically fit trekkers with little or no experience in mountain expedition. Island Peak (6,189m/20,305ft) is one of the main climbing peaks in the Everest Region of Nepal with an impressive and highly glaciated West Face that rises from the Lhotse Glacier.

Being one of the 'trekking peaks' with very little technical aspects, Island Peak is not a difficult undertaking for a beginner climber wishing to enter the incredible world of mountain climbing. Hundreds of climbers flock to Nepal every year to get a permit for Island Peak climbing. Our adventure also takes us into the heartland of the Khumbu Valley and Sherpa culture. Before scaling the peak, we also visit, possibly the most popular trekking destination in the world - Everest Base Camp (5,357m/17,575ft) and Kala Patthar - for the up-close views of Mt. Everest and other high mountains.

The Island Peak Climbing Itinerary has proper and gradual acclimatization at suitable intervals. The 19-day journey begins from and comes to a conclusion at one of the most famous airstrips in the world, the Lukla Airport in the Everest Region.

Upon your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, our company representative will meet and welcome you to Nepal and then you'll be transferred to your confirmed hotel. Once you finish the check-in procedure, you can rest & relax at the hotel. Later you will be accompained by the office staff for a short tour of Thamel to make you familiar with some good restaurants, ATMs, money changer and other necessary places you might need during your stay in Thamel.

The very next morning, after breakfast you will leave for a full day sightseeing tour around Kathmandu valley. You can visit the sacred Pashupatinath Temple and Swyambhunath, very ancient and essentially enlisted in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The biggest Buddhist Stupa at Boudhanath and the fine arts and historical architecture of Kathmandu Durbar Square reflecting the ancient Nepalese culture which is the highlights of our guided tour. A visit to Patan City will enchant you with its famous fine arts and historical architecture. On return to your hotel, you will have time to explore the local area, have dinner and perhaps take a leisurely stroll through the famous streets. Finally, day ends with a Authentic Nepalese Dinner in Nepali Cultural Restaurant.

After breakfast, we will be taken to the domestic terminal of TIA for an early morning flight to Lukla. After a 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 our other crew members and after some packing and arrangements, 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, we can take a side trip to a nearby monastery. Overnight in Phakding.

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. This day we cross five suspension bridges, the last one also known as the Hillary Bridge being the highest. It is an uphill walk from Hillary Bridge to Namche Bazaar. Overnight in 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 (5-6 hours) 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!). Overnight in Namche Bazaar.

After breakfast, we trek towards Tengboche. It is an easy walk from Namche to Phunki. Upon reaching Phunki, we ascend towards Tengboche, a village that houses the very famous Tengboche monastery which is the largest monastery of the Everest region. Located amidst the Sagarmatha National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site of 'outstanding universal value”), it is draped with the panoramic 360-degree view of the Himalayas, including Mt. Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and Thamserku. The monastery opens at 3:00 pm so if we are lucky we might just be able to witness a religious ceremony. Overnight in Tengboche.

With the Himalayas as its backdrop, the monastery in Tengboche is in an excellent location. We visit the monastery in the morning and enjoy taking pictures of the monastery and the amazing landscape. We descend for about half an hour through a forest before crossing a river. Next, we trek uphill and notice that as we climb higher, the landscape becomes drier. We walk past a traditional Sherpa village of Pangboche before reaching Pheriche, a beautiful village located on a riverside. Here, we will also see a small helipad that is used for helicopter rescues during emergencies. We may even take a class with a mountain specialist from HRA in a medical clinic at Pheriche. Overnight in Pheriche.

After breakfast, we start with an easy walk towards Dugla. Next, we trek up the steep terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier, and then pass through the boulder-strewn slopes as we ascend Chupki Lhara where we find an array of stones with prayer flags used as memorials to Scott Fischer (American mountaineer) and 10-time Everest summitter Babu Chiri Sherpa (Nepalese mountain guide) who perished on a mission to climb Everest. The trail then continues to the Khumbu Glacier moraine and we find ourselves facing several great peaks - Khumbutse, Lingtren, Pumori and Mahalangur Himal. 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.

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. 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 main rope will be used during the climb for safety. We use fixed rope after successfully climbing on rock. The length of the rope will usually be 350 m. 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 are waiting for us.

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 main rope will be used during the climb for safety. We use fixed rope after successfully climbing on rock. The length of the rope will usually be 350 m. 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 are waiting for us.

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.

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. Overnight in Lukla. 

After having breakfast we head toward airport for our flights. The terminal building is extremely cold; drinks and snacks are limited. The flight is exciting – once you have taken after off hurtling down into the void. After the plane has missed the hillside below Number Peak and dodged over the lamjura pass , it’s on to Kathmandu. Then you will be picked by Wongchhu Peak Promotion representatives at Domestic airport. Overnight in Hotel.

Leisure day at Kathmandu followed by farewell dinner & celebration. You can ask your guide to take you on a sightseeing trip inside Kathmandu Valley. On this day you can go to the various museums around the valley including the Narayanhiti Museum which earlier used to be the residence of the last king of Nepal. You may also go to the hilltop of Nagarkot. After some sightseeing around the world heritage sites in the valley, you will have a farewell dinner and enjoy with your Nepali friends and guide. You might even make plans for extending your stay for Chitwan jungle safari, rafting activities, and more with your guide.

Finally it’s SEE OFF TIME. There is nothing to do but trade emails with your travel companions and organize your photos. You will be picked from Hotel by representatives of Wongchhu Peak Promotion staff and dropped at Tribhuvan International Airport 3 hours earlier than your flight time with a hope to see you again. On your way home you'll have plenty of time to plan your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.

  • Airport / Hotel / Airport transfers by private vehicle
  • Domestic flights
  • Ground Transportation
  • Hotel Accommodation in Kathmandu including breakfast
  • Guided Tour of Kathmandu City with expert tour guide and private vehicle
  • Government license holder experienced, climbing & trekking guide (trained in
  • Wilderness First Aid & altitude sickness), porters (1 porter for between 2 trekkers basis), cook, helpers with their food, accommodation, salary, equipment, and accidental insurance, clothing, and medicine
  • Local transportation to and from the starting and ending points of the trek by Tourist bus/Private Car/Van and Flights depends on Clients requirement and budget
  • Tea house/Lodges Accommodation during the trekking
  • Daily Meals for trekking and camping (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • All camping gears (waterproof dining tents, kitchen gears, dining table, chairs, toilet tents, shower tent, etc) with High-quality tents.
  • High altitude climbing food, fuel, Gas, etc.
  • Permits for Expedition
  • Group medical supplies (first aid kit will be available)
  • Above the Wongchhu Peak Promotion duffel bag
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information and trip dossiers
  • Welcome/Farewell Nepali Dinner in Kathmandu
  • All necessary paper works, office Service charge and all Government Taxes
  • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu because of early arrival, late departure, early return from mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
  • If required to change from airplane to helicopter to/from Lukla due to weather issues, the additional cost of the helicopter will be shared amongst clients.
  • Personal trekking and climbing gear
  • Meals in Kathmandu (except breakfast and farewell dinner)
  • Alcohol and Beverages during the trek and climbing season
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, shower, etc.)
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation & any medical costs

Boots, Crampons, Gaiters

  • Light Hiking Boots
  • 8000m Climbing Boots
  • Gaiters
  • Crampons

Climbing Tools

  • Ice Axe
  • Seat Harness
  • Locking Carabineers
  • 2 folding – ski pole

Technical Clothing

  • Polypro or Capaline long underwear (4sets)
  • Pile jacket and pants (pants must have full separating side zips)
  • Gore Tex shells (top and bottoms must have full separating side zips)
  • Down jacket (medium & heavy weight)

Mitts & Gloves

  • Light synthetic gloves (Capaline or polypropylene)
  • Wool (or pile) mitts & Gore-Tex overmitts

Socks

  • Wool or pile socks

Headgear

  • Head lamp (spare bulbs & batteries)
  • Glacier sun glasses
  • Wool or pile hat

Sleeping

  • Sleeping bag (expedition quality) rated -15 &40 f
  • Sleeping pads

Camping

  • Backpack
  • Pee bottle
  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen (maximum block)
  • Lip sunscreen

Traveling

  • Large duffel bag (provided by Wongchhu Peak)
  • Toiletry bag
  • Travel Clothes
  • Personal First Aid Kit
  • Small day pack for trekking days

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Trip-Code: WPP-005-ISP
Destination: Nepal
Region: Everest Khumbu
Altitude: 6189 M
Season: Spring/Autumn
Difficulty: Strenuous
Accommodation: Hotel, Tea House & Tent
Duration: 21 Days

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