Island Peak also known as Imja Tse is one of the most popular trekking peaks in Nepal for climbing on Himalayas. The combination of Everest base camp trek and Island Peak climbing is probably the best trip in Nepal adored by adventure seekers. From Dingboche the mountain is seen as an island in a sea of ice. Imja Tse not only provides an enjoyable climb but also provides some of the most spectacular scenery of Himalayas in the Everest region. Seen from the summit the giant mountains, Nuptse (7,879m), Lhotse (8,501m), Lhotse Middle Peak (8,410m) and Lhotse Shar (8,383m) make a semi circle in the north. The views of Makalu (8475m) in the east, Baruntse and Amadablam in the south add more charm in climbing Island Peak . For many mountaineers climbing Island Peak marks the beginning of climbing on Himalayas to prepare for a big Himalaya expedition in Nepal in the later years. For some mountaineers the peak stands for the purpose of acclimatization before heading to bigger mountain climbing. Trekking to Kalapatthar or Everest base camp is best suited for acclimatization before proceeding to the climbing on Island Peak .
The normal route for climbing Island Peak is South East Flank & South-West Ridge Normally, the base camp is set at Pareshaya Gyab (5,087m), between Imja Tse and the lateral moraine of the Imja Glacier. Proper care should be taken to avoid the possible avalanche in the event of heavy snow fall. For some people reaching to the summit from the base camp is a day activity. However, most of the climbers prefer alpine style camping at high camp which adds the joy of climbing and also helps a safe ascent.
Upon your arrival in the Kathmandu airport (TIA), you will be greeted by a representative from Friendship World Trekking. After completing your custom formalities (Visa, etc) pick up your luggage and look for our representative with a Friendship World Trekking display board at the arrival gate. You will be then transferred to Hotel. After check in you need to visit the office for preparation of the trip and to meet your crew. 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. Included meal:(D)
DAY 02 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 (B,L,D)
DAY 03 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. (B,L,D)
DAY 04: Namche Bazar – Rest Day / Acclimatization day in Namche. (Rest Day): We take the day off to allow our bodies to adjust to the rarefied atmosphere before ascending to higher altitudes. The secret of safe acclimatisation is to ‘climb high and sleep low’. It is safe for the more energetic amongst us to hike up the hill behind Namche to the airstrip at Syangboche, or stroll across to the museum behind the police post. Others may prefer to ‘chill out’ and watch cable TV (seriously), or visit one of the lodges for a freshly baked cinnamon roll and tea. Namche is a busy and bustling trading hamlet.
DAY 05 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.(B,L,D)
DAY 06 Tengboche to Dingboche (4,360 m/14,300 ft): 5 to 6 hrs
Mountains as a backdrop, the monastery in Tengboche looks spectacular more in the morning. We snap pictures of the monastery and the sceneries around and as usual start the day journey. We choose the upper trail for better views to visit Pangboche village and its ancient Monastery. We pass through several Chortens and Mani walls and small villages. We enjoy lunch with fantastic close-up views of Ama-Dablam. In the afternoon, go north to Pheriche or take the eastward trail beneath the towering north face of Ama Dablam. From here onwards the walk is fairly moderate as we enter the Imja Valley. The valley ahead will begin to open up as we approach the confluence of the Lobuche River, we descend into the river and begin the last and steepest climb of the day up to Dingboche On arrival in Dingboche, we enjoy the beautiful array of fields enclosed by stone walls to protect the barley, buckwheat and potatoes from the cold winds and grazing animals. Overnight in Dingboche. (B,L,D)
DAY 07 Dingboche to Chhukung [4,730m/15,518ft]: 3-4 hrs hrs
The walk is pleasant as we leave Dingboche through stone walled fields and alpine landscape. We take the trial from Dingboche through Imja Khola valley to land raven by glacier moraines amidst towering formidable mountains. We walk leisurely as our schedule for today is only 3-4 hours trek. While walking through the valley, Lhotse towers on our left and Ama Dablam on our right. After walking about 3 km, we reach at yak herdman place called Bibre. Straight ahead, beyond a terminal moraine wall, soars the Island peak (Imja Tse), a most popular trekking peak. The pyramidal Imja Tse looks awesome with its step rocky and-icy south face. The trail ahead is intersected by icy streams. We reach Chhukung in about half an hour from Bibre. There are glaciers and massive snowy mountains all around the place. We might choose to hike to the rocky knoll of Chhukung Ri which offers stunning views of Lhotse, Island Peak, Ama Dablam, Makalu and several others including Baruntse. Overnight in Chhukung.(B,L,D)
DAY 08 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 stream side. The route to the Amphu Lapcha lies to the southeast. A cries-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. (B,L,D)
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; thus increasing the chances of scaling the summit as well as to fully enjoy the experience.
DAY 09 Island Base Camp- 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 ridge line, 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. (B,L,D)
DAY 10 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 9), so this day is used as a contingency in case if we are unable to summit the Island Peak on day 9 due to bad weather condition or some other reasons. If weather gets exceptionally unfavorable we wisely have to postpone the program of summit the peak on day 9 for toady (Day 10). 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. (B,L,D)
DAY 11 Chhukung to Tengboche: 7-8 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. Overnight at Tengboche (B,L,D)
DAY 13 Tengboche to Namche Bazaar: 7-8 hours
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 trekking in a relaxed manner, we can divide today long trekking into two days. 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 traveling 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. Overnight in Namche Bazaar. (B,L,D)
Day 14: Namche Bazaar To Lukla: 7 to 8 Hours
we can divide today long trekking into two days. 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 traveling 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. (B,L,D)
DAY 15 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.(B, D)
DAY 16 Farewell Friend
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 Friendship World Trekking 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.(B)
In some circumstances we could face problem of internal flights to/from Lukla delayed by few hours or canceled for a day or more because of bad weather. Very rarely, but it could happen even in best trekking season also as you know how climate change is effecting our globe. Thus, we always recommend you to add supplement night/s in Kathmandu after your trek if possible (just for incase). If everything runs smoothly, you can enjoy other activities like sightseeing, rafting, wildlife activities, shopping, as you wish in those additional day. However, if you want heli rescue in the state of flight cancellation to/from Lukla-we can organize it. A helicopter charge around USD 5000 and it can lift 4 persons per flight.
Friendship World Trekking has a philosophy with trip inclusions: as much as possible expenses is included so that customers know the total cost of the adventure trip up front
For the Island Peak Expedition, there will be one expedition and trekking leader, assistant leader (4 climbers: 1 assistant guide), Sherpa porters for luggage carrying (2 climbers: 1 porter) and other helpers as per requirement in climbing section. This arrangement ensures that should anybody in the group is sick, the trip can still go ahead as planned. We can run the Island Peak expedition for at least a group of two, and include maximum of twelve people only, as we've found this to be the optimum size for a successful trip. However, if you'd like to make a group booking for more than twelve people together, we can arrange this too.
Island Peak is not a technical peak but you need good stamina for a long day effort while climbing it. You can climb Island peak without any previous expedition experience and skills of using climbing equipment but knowledge on using equipment and previous experience would be beneficial although not mandatory because a pre-ice climbing training is provided to you in Base Camp to make you skillful on using climbing gears such as ropes, ice pick, harness, crampons.
As this 15- day Island peak expedition itinerary takes you to the summit very fast, this itinerary is recommended only to those who have sufficient high altitude trekking experience and good acclimatization health although Island peak itself do not need any previous climbing experience.
This itinerary plans you to take straight to Island peak, lead you to successful summit and bring you back to Kathmandu, so you should be well prepared for the trip before embarking it.
A Typical day in Trekking and Expedition...
Soon after first light your Sherpa wakes you up and offers you a cup of warm tea with a smile. After freshening and finishing up your tea, you will have hearty breakfast before setting off. After approximately 3 or more hours of trekking you take a break for lunch in a teahouse in the trail. Throughout the day, you will take frequent rest breaks and take time to admire and take pictures of the fascinating scenery. After a relaxing lunch, you typically spend around 2-3 hours or even more sometimes on the trail before reaching your teahouse/lodge. Once you arrive at your teahouse, you take a brief rest, shower, and have a light snack with tea or coffee. If you are so inclined, you may take a short walk through the village and surrounding neighborhood. After checking into your room you have time to read or chat with fellow trekkers and your Himalayan Glacier crew. Following a warm dinner in a cozy dining hall your trek leader briefs you on the next day`s itinerary. You place your order for breakfast which allows your guide to have everything ready for you for the next morning. Extra time can be spent reading, enjoying some drinks or playing cards. Your Himalayan Glacier crew loves to teach various Nepali card games as well as learning new Western games. Finally, it`s off to bed for a well earned night`s rest before starting all over again the next day.
Your schedule of climbing day (esp., summit day) is different than other days. Your crew will wake up around 1 am to prepare. They prepare breakfast and pack some food for lunch. You also should wake up around 2-3 am and will have an early breakfast. After packing and putting on the gears, you set on for the journey to summit. After summiting, you get back to your camp where the cook and helpers prepare food for you. You will find the food more delicious today after the toughest day of your adventure. You get back to sleep very tranquilly as you strike goal of your adventure today.
It is a condition of joining any of our trips that be protected against comprehensive expenses potential to incur due to medical issues or accidents (to include air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs). Please be noted that we don't arrange or sell insurance.
Accommodations are included in the trip cost and Friendship World Trek has chosen the best deluxe accommodation for 2 nights in Kathmandu in a 4-star Hotel, and 8/9 nights in standard teahouse/lodge, and two/three nights in two-men camping tent. We provide attached rooms in major towns like Namche, Lukla, however teahouses/lodges in most of the places only have shared washing and toilet facilities. To sleep in tent, 4 season sleeping bag and foam mattress will be provided. We maintain standard comfort in every matter based on the enforceable conditions such as weather calamities. In climbing section, toilet facilities will be provided with necessary natural preservation. If you are a solo traveler, you will share a room/tent with someone else of same sex of your group. If you prefer a single room, you may indicate your preference and get single rooms on request by paying single supplement USD 250. However, we like you to understand the fact that there are several places that do not allow single room accommodation. On paying single supplement, you will get single room in Kathmandu but sometimes it is feasible only up to Namche Bazzar only during the trek. Above Namchhe Bazzar single accommodation is not always feasible. However, we will try our best to provide you with single rooms in all places as much as possible.
During your Island Peak expedition trip, you can enjoy typical Nepali food, different ethnic cuisines as well as all types of international cuisine (Tibetan, Continental, Italian, Indian, etc.) from pizza and Chips to apple pie. You can even enjoy hot chocolates, variety of breads, variety of drinks, and snacks. Breakfast of a day will be provided from the teahouse/lodge menu where you spent your night. Lunch will be served on the way to destination, dinner and breakfast in the teahouse/lodge where you will spend the night. During expedition session, a freshly cooked hygienic food or a packed food (as per condition) will be provided. A welcome dinner, a farewell dinner and breakfasts will be provided during your stay in Kathmandu.
While packing for “Island Peak Expedition” certain gears are essential to be considered.
Our Island Peak expedition itinerary is planned with a high degree of awareness of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness).The higher the altitude the less oxygen there is in the air. However, the 14-day Island peak itinerary is only suggested to experienced who have good acclimatization health.
For example, on the high camp & at summit, there is 50% less oxygen than at sea level. Going up too fast causes a medical condition serious enough to kill. Your body needs many days to adapt to this less-oxygen environment. Our itineraries generally allow sufficient time to acclimatize. So for a safe trek and climb, it is absolutely essential to allow sufficient time for acclimatization. Sensible planning is therefore required to minimize the risk of AMS. We advise specially the guest(s) with known heart, lungs or blood diseases to consult their doctor before traveling. Mild headaches, fever, loss of appetite or stomach disorder are symptoms of AMS. Check out "Altitude illness" by Dr Jim Duff Friendship World Trekking itineraries are designed to try to prevent AMS as much as possible, but it is important to remember that some people are more vulnerable than others.
The most significant thing that makes your Island Peak Expedition successful, enjoyable and memorable is the skilled, experienced, courteous and helpful trek and climb leader and the crew members who have ability of operating your days in the mountain smoothly. Your trip will be led by the best and most professional leaders. All of our trekking/expedition leaders are carefully selected on the basis of their appropriate experience, leadership skills and personal aptitude. With an objective of sustaining local communities Friendship World Trekking employs Nepalese staffs who have adequate knowledgeable about culture, ecosystem, flora, fauna, geography, and history of Nepal. Trek/climb leaders of Friendship World Trekking are also trained with following trainings to make them educated on potential medical issues during their trek, biodiversity and environmental issues, English language, etc:
Our Trekking and expedition Leaders obviously speak English sufficient enough to communicate but please consider this is not our mother language. The guides and porters know the routes and locality like the back of their hand, they practice the local culture themselves and they are extremely passionate about their country and its cultural aspects.
Though often overlooked, it's no exaggeration to say the entire trekking and expedition industry in Nepal is built on the back of hard working local porters. It is their tireless efforts carrying supplies, equipment and baggage that make journeying to these remote areas possible. So it's very unfortunate that they have endured a history of exploitation and abuse at the hands of the industry. In an effort to combat this, we are firmly committed to porter rights. We ensure all our porters are well treated, well paid and we provide the level of shelter, clothing and footwear that these harsh environments demand. Porters who become sick are treated with the same care and attention as other team members and we have previously used helicopters - at our expense - to rescue porters from dangerous situations. We support the work of the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG), making our resources available to them to help improve the working conditions of the porters. (International Porters Progress Group)
Himalayan Region of Nepal is stunningly beautiful, but equally fragile. Future generations have just as much of right to appreciate it as we do. So, the tourism industry has an obligation to protect and preserve it. We employ a 'zero impact' policy on the natural environment.
Best Time for Island Peak Expedition
the best months for Island Peak Expedition are Spring (Mid March to May) and Autumn (mid September to November). As these are best seasons, routes are a bit crowded. Island peak can be climbed during the months of December, January and February but we need to be well prepared to adjust with the cold weather during these months.
Trip Cost Includes
Friendship World Treks has a philosophy with trip inclusions: as much as possible expenses is included so that customers know the total cost of the adventure trip up front
All airport/hotel transfers
Guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu with temple/monuments entrance fee
Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu flight and departure taxes
Three nights in 4-star hotel (Hotel Manaslu or similar category hotel) in Kathmandu
Teahouse/Lodge and tented accommodation during trekking and climbing session
Breakfast in Kathmandu and all meals in mountain
All ground transportation as per the itinerary program by private vehicles
All necessary staffs with experienced English speaking climbing and trekking leader (guide), cook, assistant climbing leader (4 trekkers: 1 assistant guide), Sherpa porters to carry luggage (2 trekkers:1 porter), other helpers as per requirement for the climbing section including their salary, insurance, equipment, flight, food and lodging
All necessary paper works; trekking permits and Island Peak climbing permit
Down jacket, four seasonal sleeping bag, Friendship World Trekking duffel bag, t-shirt, and trekking map
Group Mountaineering climbing and camping equipment for climbing part -very high quality North Face or Mountain Hardware tents for camping and kitchen, dining, toilet tents, mattresses, kitchen equipments
Travel and rescue arrangements
Welcome and farewell dinner
Exclusive Medical Kit Bag
All government and local taxes
Trip Cost Does Not Include
Nepal Visa fee (bring accurate USD cash and two passport photographs)
International airfare to and from Kathmandu
Excess baggage charges (if you have more than 20 kg luggage, cargo charge is around $1.5 per kg)
Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu because of early arrival, late departure, early return from mountain(due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
Altitude chamber (PAC) or oxygen
Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu(and also in the case of early return from mountain than the scheduled itinerary)
Travel and rescue insurance
Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottled or boiled water, shower, heater, etc.)
Personal climbing equipments
Personal climbing guide if requested
Optional trips and sightseeing if extended
Tips for guides and porters