Located on top of the Chukung glacier between Ama Dablam and Lhotse Mountains, Island Peak is the most sought after trekking destination because of its challenging geographical conditions. Each year more than 300 groups attempt to scale the summit of Island peak. This trek offers an excellent opportunity to climb a Himalayan Summit [6173m] together with an exhilarating Trek to the Everest Base Camp and Kala Pattar. The most difficult section is a mixed rock and ice wall at a slope of around 45 degrees leading to the narrow summit ridge.
The magnificent views from the summit, however, are certainly a fitting reward for your efforts. Before climbing Island Peak, we trek up the Dudh Kosi valley from Lukla, passing through Namche and Tengboche on our way to Kala Pattar and Everest Base Camp. After being rested and feeling physically fit and acclimatized, we then head up the beautiful Imja Khola valley towards Island Peak. Besides trekking adventure, we also get to witness pristine Sherpa villages and ever-so-serene monasteries. With ponderous memories of the trekking earlier done, we retrace our route back through Namche to Lukla, and from there on we fly back to Kathmandu. This trip can be done during March to May and September to December.
A physically fit and acclimatized person is well qualified to make an ascent over this Peak.
Flying to Kathmandu along the northern border of Nepal on a clear day is in itself an exciting and memorable experience as exotic panoramic view of snow-capped Annapurna mountain range peaks sprawls before you. The Nepali support team will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel..
Kathmandu, being a historical and cultural heart of Nepal, is a popular destination for tourists, trekkers and adventure seekers. The city presents a wonderful mixture of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence in the Valley. Patan and Bhaktapur are its two major neighboring cities which bear immense historical, cultural and religious significance. There will be a half day guided tour to the famous & biggest Hindu shrine PASUPATHINATH, the largest Buddhist stupa in town BOUDHANATH, the 15th century palace of 55 windows and SOYAMBHUNATH. In the evening, a trip orientation meeting will be organized..
A spectacular flight and hair raising landing on a steep mountain runway brings us to the start of our trek at the village of Lukla [2850m]. After meeting the crew, we head up the Dudh Kosi Valley on a well-marked trail to our first camp near the river at Phakding..
From Phakding, we cross and re-cross the river on high suspension bridges. Beyond Monjo is the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park which was set-up in order to protect and preserve this fragile mountain environment. We then ascend quite steeply to Namche and along the way, if the weather is clear, catch a first glimpse of Mt Everest in the distance. Namche is the main trading village in the Khumbu and has a busy Saturday market - a meeting place for the Hindu traders from the lowlands and the Tibetan yak caravans that have crossed the glaciated Nangpa La. Camp is near the bazaar at Namche..
Namche is tucked away between two ridges amidst the giant peaks of the Khumbu and has an abundance of lodges, tea shops and souvenir shops as well as a magnificent outlook. It is an ideal place to spend a rest day, acclimatizing to the new altitude before heading off towards Tengboche. Options for acclimatization walks include a visit to Khunde hospital which was set-up by Sir Edmund Hillary, or a one hour walk up to the Everest view hotel above Namche for the sunset view of Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest. There are also good views from the national park centre and museum just above the town..
From Namche, the trail contours around the side of the valley, high above the Dudh Kosi. Now we get our first really good views of the great peaks of the Khumbu including mt Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam. Passing by several villages and numerous tea shops, we descend steeply to a bridge over the river at Phunki Tenga. The village is an excellent lunch spot, and here we can rest before making the steep climb to Tengboche. Although tiring, the hike up the zigzag path has numerous distractions, with rhododendron bushes, beautiful birds and superb mountain scenery. Tengboche is famous for its legendary monastery, the largest in the Khumbu. We camp near the monastery with Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam framed in the doorway of the tent..
We descend steeply through a forest, cross the Imja Khola and climb steadily to the village of Pangboche. This is directly opposite Ama Dablam [6856m], and has exceptional views of the mountain, with the gompa, mani walls and scattered pine trees in the foreground. A further two hours walk brings us to Pheriche..
A day to rest and acclimatize and a chance to wander up the valley to look at a lake, the Tshola Tsho and the perpendicular walls of Cholatse and Tawache. Alternatively, we can climb up onto the ridge overlooking Dingboche for the view up the Imja Valley and the incredible south face of Lhotse..
We continue up the wide valley beneath the impressive peaks of Cholatse and Tawache on the left. We then turn right and climb more steeply towards the foot of the Khumbu Glacier. The tea house at Duglha is a good spot to have lunch, before zigzagging up through the boulders of the glacier's terminal moraine. At the top of this climb there are many stone cairns, built as memorials to the many Sherpas who have died while climbing Mt Everest. The path then climbs gently along the glacier, to eventually reach the cluster of houses at Lobuche..
To reach our next objective, Kala Pattar, the trail follows the Khumbu Glacier, and offers superb views of the surrounding mountains, especially where the path is forced to rise to cross a tributary glacier. We stop for lunch at our camping place for the night, Gorak Shep. Later in the afternoon, when the sunset colors begin to appear on Everest, we make our way to the top of one of the finest viewpoints in the Everest region, Kala Pattar [5554m]. As the light begins to fade we stroll back to our camp at Gorak Shep and have an early night in preparation for our trek to Everest Base Camp the following day. .
To reach Everest Base Camp, a very early start is required, as it takes several hours on a trail which weaves its way through ice pinnacles and past the crevasses of the Khumbu Glacier. On the return leg, we can take a higher route to get a spectacular view of the Khumbu icefall and the route to the South Col. We return to either Gorak Shep or Lobuche to camp for the night..
We head back down today, through Duglha, to the summer village of Dingboche, where the houses are dotted about in the fields..
Today, we have an easy walk for about 2 hours, climbing up gradually to the small settlement of Chukhung. Along the way we have great views of Island Peak and the challenge that awaits us..
Another easy day, the trail crosses the river and follows the valley for approx 3 hours, passing beneath the magnificent south face of Lhotse. Base camp is by the side of the Imja glacier, below steep grassy slopes which mark the start of the climb on Island Peak..
We ascend a little further to high camp where we will relax and make final preparations for our climb tomorrow..
Crossing the gully above the camp the trail makes a climb for another hour to a narrow ridge, leading on to the glacier. Here it is time to rope-up and put on our crampons as the most interesting part of the climb begins with the glacier crossing. This is followed by the steep snow slope that leads onto the summit ridge. This ridge is wonderfully airy and on reaching the summit we have stunning close-up views of the south face of Lhotse looming over us whilst in the other direction, there are more dramatic mountain views. We descend along the same route, down to base camp..
A contingency day allocated for weather etc..
After descending along the trail to Chukhung, we continue on to Dingboche for lunch. It is then another couple of hours to the lovely village of Pangboche where we'll camp for the night..
Today we follow the river and, after crossing it, climb back up through birch and rhododendron forest to Tengboche. Kwangde, Tawache, Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Kantega and Thamserku are just a few of the Himalayan giants to be seen. From Tengboche we descend to the bridge over the Dudh Kosi at Phunki Tenga, where there are water driven prayer wheels, before making our way back to Namche. .
Our final day's trekking follows the Dudh Kosi back down to Lukla. This last evening in the mountains is the ideal opportunity for a farewell party with the Sherpa guides and porters, where we can sample some chang, try Sherpa dancing and look back on a memorable trekking experience..
We pack up early and head for the airstrip for the flight back to Kathmandu.
Our The Nepalese support team will take you to the airport for your flight home. (Or stay longer for short tours such as game drive at National parks, rafting, Tibet tours, mountain biking etc). .
The meeting and handling and services of the supporting staff were very good. We had a very friendly and well-organized trek guide (Moule Tamang) who looked after us and the porters well. The camping services were very good but a lighter table would be good for the porters. Dhana was an excellent and friendly kitchen assistant and porter. The transportation was very good. Our itinerary was suitably flexible.