Climbing represents the ultimate adventure in Nepal, both a touchstone to the glorious days of Mallory and Hillary and a reflection of the fact that the Himalayan giants stand as the preeminent mountaineering challenge in the world. For those who wish to sample such an exhilarating experience Island Peak offers one of the premier climbs available to trekkers, and it's an option Nepal Trekking Experts is well placed to deliver via our many years of working in the industry. What makes this climb even more worthwhile is the bonus of being able to visit Everest Base Camp along the way — if standing on such historic and famous ground isn't enough to impel you to the top of Island Peak, nothing will! The trek also helps climbers to acclimate to the altitude and build up their fitness en route, an important point for those who may be lacking somewhat in conditioning.
A 35-minute flight from Kathmandu to Lukla takes us to the start of our adventure, the classic trek to Everest Base Camp via Namche, Tengboche and Lobuche. From there we continue on to Kala Patthar and the site of our base camp on the lower slopes of Island Peak to prepare ourselves for the excitement ahead.
Island Peak, or Imja Tse as it's known to locals, is a breathtaking climb that can be attempted from either the base camp (4970m) or the high camp (5600m) along a natural line that leads over a narrow ridge to the summit and its magnificent views of Everest and Lhotse. To stand atop Island Peak and behold the magnificent panorama and cloud base below is to feel like you're standing on top of the world - it's a very special moment.
Whether visiting on an individual basis or as a group, Nepal Trekking Experts has the expertise to arrange your Island Peak experience, so why not contact us and let our staff get you on the trail to the mountain's base camp?
Day 01: Welcome at airport and transfer to the Hotel.
Day 02: Free day for trekking preparation.
Day 03: Kathmandu to Lukla by scenic mountain flight then trek to Phakding (2652m, 4/5 hrs).
Day 04: Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3440m, 6 hrs).
Day 05: Acclimatization day in Namche
Day 06: Namche to Tengboche (3860m, 5/6 hrs).
Day 07: Tengboche to Pheriche (4240m, 6 hrs).
Day 08: Another acclimatization day.
Day 09: Pheriche to Lobuche (4940m, 6 hrs).
Day 10: Lobuche to Gorak Shep (5180m, 7 hrs)
Day 11: Early morning, hike to Kala Patthar (Black Rock 5550m) then back to Lobuche for overnight.
Day 12: Lobuche to Kongma La 5535m then descends towards to Chhukung village for overnight.(5555m, 8 hrs)
Day 13: Extra day in Chhukung for Island peak climbing preparation. We can hike to Chhukung Ri if you wish.
Day 14: Chhukung to Island peak Base camp (4970m, 4/5 hrs)
Day 15: Early morning hike to Island peak (6189m) to make your dream true then back to Dingboche. (4410m, 10 hrs)
Day 16: Reserve day in case of bad weather.
Day 17: Dingboche to Namche(3440m, 7 hrs).
Day 18: Trek Namche to Lukla (7 hrs).
Day 19: Early morning fly back to Kathmandu
Day 20: Farewell
Welcome at the airport and transfer to your hotel. An introduction to your trekking program then the rest of the day at your leisure to enjoy the sights, sounds and culture of Kathmandu.
Today is the final opportunity of trekking preparation and explore the cultural valley Kathmandu.
A magical scenic flight takes us to Lukla in the morning, and from there we begin our trek with a hike to the day's first destination, Phakding.
Our day starts by following the Dudh Koshi River and crossing over the Edmund Hillary suspension bridge, then heading towards Sagarmatha National Park and the checkpoint at Monjo. The path ascends markedly until it eventually leads us into Namche Bazaar, the regional capital for the Sherpa district.
A rest day to allow the body to acclimate to the high altitude conditions. Namche is perfect for the situation, as there's plenty to do in the scenic town including paying a visit to Khunde Hospital, the local medical facility set up through Edmund Hillary's charitable work in the area, taking in the panoramas from Everest View Hotel, calling in on the Sherpa Cultural Museum, or hiking up to Khumjung Valley and its monastery, complete with the display of its legendary Yeti scalp.
The trail leads away from Namche Bazaar through a number of small villages and a suspension bridge en route to Phunki Tenga, and then climbs through a series of switchbacks and dense rhododendron forests to Tengboche. The village is renowned for its monastery, the largest in the Khumbu region, and has a long association with mountaineering expeditions to the area.
We continue climbing steadily after our departure from Tengboche, making our way through scenic stretches of dense forest and across another of Nepal's ubiquitous suspension bridges until we ascend to Pangboche and hike on towards Sumare. After a pause to take in a meal we head out again on the final stretch to Pheriche, a sizable village noteworthy for its exceptional views of Ama Dablam, Tabuche and Cholatse.
A further rest day gives us ample opportunity to fully explore the scenic beauty of Pheriche and its surrounds.
With plenty of rest from the previous day our bodies are fully prepared for the next stretch towards Thugla, where we pass numerous cairns and monuments dedicated to the many Sherpas and climbers who have perished on Everest's slopes. Further along on the trail through the barren terrain we come to Khumbu glacier at the foot of the famous mountain and marvel at the terrible beauty and chaos of the inexorable mass of ice. The day finishes up with our arrival at the jumble of buildings that make up the remote human outpost of Lobuche.
Our trek reaches its climax today with the much-anticipated arrival at Everest Base Camp, truly one of the most memorable experiences in Nepal. The morning is spent traversing Khumbu Glacier and hiking to Gorak Shep, where we typically pause for a well-deserved meal and extraordinary views before heading out again for the journey's reward, the historic base camp, temporary home through the decades to some of the most legendary figures in the annals of mountaineering. After pausing to drink in the astonishing spectacle, and perhaps view the latest expeditions mounting their challenge, we reluctantly turn around and make our way back to Gorak Shep for our night's rest.
Everest may not be in our reach but Kala Patthar is on hand to give added meaning to the visit via unmatched views of the entire Khumbu basin and a sense of accomplishment in scaling the peak. After returning for breakfast and to retrieve our trekking gear we hit the trail once more for the pronounced descent to Lobuche.
Today we scale the highest of the three passes in the Everest region, Kogma La, with its outstanding views of the Himalayas and nearby Khumbu Glacier. From there it's a steady descent to Chhukung village, the last outpost of civilization before we head out on our expedition. Chhukung is where we'll meet up for the first time with our climbing guide.
The day is spent in consultation with the guide regarding preparation for the climb. Safety is paramount and will be discussed in depth, and then we'll run through the gear, the weather, and our approach to the climb on the morrow. A hike up to nearby Chhukung Ri and its wonderful views is also an option during the day if you feel like stretching out your legs and further acclimating for the ascent.
The sense of genuine adventure builds as we work our way up the steep trail, past the outflow from Lhotse glacier towards the sweeping valley below Island Peak's flanks, where we'll set up our base camp for the night.
Our path to the top of Island Peak takes us to the left of the sharp incline and on across a rock-strewn slope that funnels us further upwards to the ridgeline and the long traverse towards the peak. We rope up for the summit glacier and head across this final obstacle towards our ultimate goal; the ridge leading to the top of Island Peak. Once at the top we can pause to celebrate the moment and take in the breathtaking views of Everest, Lhotse, and the surrounding Himalayan amphitheater of formidable peaks before turning to the task of our return journey to the base of the mountain and on to Dingboche.
Weather in the Himalayas can be unpredictable, so prudence demands that we set aside an additional day to maximize your chances of making a successful climb.
Though the trail is a familiar one the hike to Namche Bazaar provides a different perspective on the scenery as well as a more relaxed journey.
Our final day, easing back to Lukla along the Dudhi Koshi and its suspension bridges. Once at Lukla we can finally throw off our backpacks, take a refreshing shower, and sit down to relax and savor the heady accomplishment of making it to the foot of Everest and the summit of Island Peak.
After breakfast we take a flight to Kathmandu where you'll have enough time to sample the city's treasure's one last time before departure.
Farwell and drop-off at the airport, or the opportunity to join another of our programs.