If you are in search of more than just a scenic trek and daunting escapade among the stunning Himalayas, then climbing Island Peak is exactly what you are looking for. Island Peak, also known as Imja Tse, is situated in Nepal’s Everest region and stands at an elevation of 6189 meters above sea level. It stands somewhere between Mount Ama Dablam (6812 m) and Mount Lhotse (8516 m) and is considered one of the challenging yet achievable trekking peaks, possible even to novice climbers with proper acclimatization and trainings. From afar, this snow-capped mountain seems like an island rising tall in the center of the Chhukung Valley, surrounded by a sea of ice. Hence, the peak is known as Island Peak. Most people combine an expedition to Island Peak with the famous Everest Base Camp trek because of its ideal location and acclimatization purpose. If someone wants to stretch the adventure a bit, then they also choose to trek via Kongma La (5,535 m), one of the three popular passes of Everest Region. Opting the Kongma La route provides an opportunity to experience glacier walking prior to Island Peak climbing.
Why climb Island Peak? Simple answer is it is a Himalayan peak but an achievable one. However, climbing Island Peak is not limited to this only. Trip to Island Peak offers an awesome views of Himalayan ranges, forests, valleys, beautiful landscapes and amazing glaciers. Island Peak not only provides you a tremendous chance to experience all the aspects of Himalayan encounter that takes you through remote villages and rugged trails but also offers you the pleasure of climbing a Himalayan peak at the close quarter of the mighty Everest with an acclimatization trek to Everest Base Camp, which is a reward in itself. Another important thing is the peak is 6000 m +, an achievement you can really be proud of. Finally, the ultimate joy you get after the successful climb is beyond imagination. So, no doubt it’s worth it!
Is it difficult to climb Island Peak? Climbing a Himalayan mountain is a challenging sport due to altitude and extreme geographical condition. So, Island peak is also a technical climb. It has everything of a Himalayan mountaineering – altitude (at the height of 6819m, there is just about 47% oxygen of the sea level), steep ascent, rock shambles, glacier fields, and what’s more crevasses as well. So, the bottom line is it requires basic mountaineering skills and it definitely should not be your first Himalayan adventure. But the good news is anyone with little mountaineering experience or no experience can do it. The only thing required is proper acclimatization and training from experienced Sherpas. However, prior mountaineering experience is always an advantage.
Let’s have a look at the general overview of the climb. The beginning part of the ascent is strenuous as the terrain is rough and it’s over 5000m. As you climb higher, you reach the glacier field from where you need to use climbing equipment like rope and crampons. As there are also some crevasses en route, there is also the need to use ladders. The final 150 m stretch is a straight wall and is very strenuous. However, summit push won’t be very difficult as after you cross the wall, the summit ridge is short and comparatively easier.
What are the trainings required for Island Peak climbing? Now you know that Island Peak is bit demanding. For this adventure, you need to be in good shape with proper physical trainings of at least 3/4 months with prior trekking experience. Focus on strength and endurance training like hiking, running, cycling etc. Hitting gym is a good idea. Keeping positive frame of mind during your training is a must. The summit day is very strenuous as one has to walk approx. 12-14 hours for summit and back to base camp. You will also be carrying a backpack of 5-7 kg during the trip. So, while practicing simulation hiking in wilderness, do it with at least 10 kg pack. It is also necessary to train yourself with the hiking and mountaineering boots you are going to use in the trip. Remember, they should be well-worn! Regarding the mountaineering skills, you will get required trainings by your Guides once you reach the Base Camp. However, it is always an advantage if you are familiar with the skills prior to your trip.
What to eat and where to stay during the trip ? Good food and comfortable accommodation is very important in every trip. During the journey, you can remain in one of the many tea houses along the way. The majority of teahouse lodgings have shared rooms and good toilet facilities. You can get any of your calorie replenishment food choices such as potato dishes, noodle dishes, rice dishes, dal bhat, egg dishes etc. during your stay in teahouses. While you are in Base Camp or High Camp, you will stay in tented camps and your kitchen team will prepare your healthy and nutritious food for you.
Clothing and Gears Every trail and elevation needs different types of gear. Right clothing and gears are always the gateway to your success. So, it is mandatory to have good clothing and gear for your trip to Island Peak. Comfortable hiking and climbing boots, good gloves to keep your hands warm, a good fleece and down jacket, light weighted trekking pants and climbing gears such as Harness, axe, crampons etc are some of the important gears you need during the climb. And yes, make sure that you have a sleeping bag that can keep you warm in a -30-degree centigrade weather. All clothing gears and equipment are easily available in Kathmandu and surprising at Chhukung as well. It is not necessary to buy all the gears, you can hire them. At Chhukung, the approx. cost could be USD 100 for all set of gears for a period of 2 days. We recommend you to have your own jacket and boots because of the size problem (and boots are to be pre-worn). Your travel company will help with the full list of required clothing and gears.
What is the best season to climb Island Peak? The best season to climb Island peak can be considered in Spring (March-May) or Autumn (Mid-September-October). The weather in the Himalayan region and most places of Nepal stays stable throughout these seasons, which is ideal for adventure activities. The majority of the 8000+m expeditions in the Everest region takes place in the Spring, so expect crowds on the trails. However, once you arrive at your Island Peak camping spot, you can notice that the number of people on the trails has significantly decreased.
Winter climbing is still feasible, but we just recommend it to those who have a lot of mountaineering experience, nearly to the standard of pro athletes. The temperature is very cold, and the atmosphere is extremely harsh during winter.
What permits do you need to climb Island Peak? Climbing Island Peak requires a climbing permit. Permits are also required to access Sagarmatha National Park. Standard security checkpoints are located along the road. To get through them, you must display your permits.
Sagarmatha National Park Area Entry Permit: Nrs. 3,000 NPR + 13% VAT, totaling 3,390 NPR (Approx. US $34)
Island Peak climbing permit cost according to the seasons:
March, April, and May: US $250
September, October, and November: US $125
How to avoid altitude sickness? When you are trekking in high altitudes, you are likely to get altitude sickness. Headaches and a lack of appetite are common among trekkers, but severe AMS symptoms can be fatal. To avoid having to turn around, many trekkers may try to conceal their worsening condition from their Sherpas and guides. This, however, can be life threatening, and you must be aware of when your body is asking you to avoid climbing further. The best practice to avoid altitude sickness is having a good itinerary that allows proper acclimatization. Here are some of the tips to consider while you climb Island Peak.
Climb slowly: Always remember, climb slowly while you ascend Island Peak. Doing this can help you adjust the level of oxygen in your body and there is a less chance that you could gain altitude sickness.
Drink enough water: If you stay hydrated, it may prevent you from altitude sickness. But drinking too much water is also not good as it dilutes your body’s sodium level that may lead to weakness or nausea which is similar to AMS.
Be psychologically prepared: If you fear that you might get altitude sickness while trekking in high altitude then sometimes the psychological factor may guide you to get altitude sickness. Always stay positive and enjoy the great picturesque during the trip.
Acclimatization: You should consider rest for 1 or 2 days if you are trekking in high altitude areas. Acclimatization helps you to adapt to the high altitude environment and assist you to avoid altitude sickness.
Island Peak Trek Distance, Time and Elevation
Day 1: Fly to Lukla & Trek to Phakding [2652m]
Distance Flight Hours walking hours Elevation Gain
145 km 30 min 4 hours 1400m-2610m
Day 2: Phakding to Namche [3450m]
Distance walking hours Elevation Gain
7.4 km 3 hours 2610m-3440m
Day 3: Rest day in Namche
Distance walking hours Elevation Gain
3.8 km 2 hours 3440m – 3840m
Day 4: Namche to Tengboche [3867m]
Distance walking hours Elevation Gain
6 km 3 hours 3840m-3867m
Day 5: Tengboche to Dingboche [4350m]
Distance walking hours Elevation Gain
11 km 5 hours 3867m-4350m
Day 6: Rest day in Dingboche (Hike to Nangkartshang Peak)
Explore Himalaya congratulates Miss Wasfia Nazreen from Bangladesh on completion of her Climbing Course and for trekking upto Island Peak located in the Khumbu Region of Nepal from 17th November to 4th December 2010. After the completion of her climbing course, Ms. Nazreen climbed Island Peak (6173m) and was able to reach upto 5890m. before she had to descend due to bad weather. Her expedition and climbing course was arranged Explore Himalaya.
Island Peak 6173m, a stunning mountain in the Everest region could be climbed in just one day.Challenges to conquer the peak best suits the novice climbers however, skilled mountaineers can enjoy to the fullest during the expedition of Island Peak. The trial to Island Peak cross passes culturally unique Sherpa hamlets and lush vegetation to barren yet, dramatically contrast snowy and rocky landscapes dominated by towering peaks. Proper acclimatization during the trek to Island Peak and caring guidance by veteran Sherpa climbers makes you feel very special throughout the trek. On reaching the summit of Island Peak which is one of the vantage points for the close-up view of high peaks of the Everest region, climber excitement simply goes to the highest limit.
Autumn 2013, Mr. Clement Irbil and Mr. Rasmus Hansen from Denmark successfully made to the summit of Island Peak. Earlier to this, they conquered Pokhalde Peak . The climbers from our exclusive country partner Kipling Travel shared their experiences of the trek and Island Peak Expedition.
Standing on the top of Island Peak,!WOW!, the memory that would remain forever. We would rate our host 5 stars for providing us an incredible holiday in the mountains of Everest Region.
The trip to Nepal began perfectly. The city staffs of the company were professional, helpful, flexible and smooth. The hospitality we experienced was amazing. Hotel rooms and food were great.
The guide and the staffs during the trek were exceptionally good, highly experienced and helpful. We would specially thank our guides Temba Sherpa and Lhakpa. The expedition to Island Peak became easier and more interesting with their wonderful support.
Hansen Rasmus Valentin, is a young Danish mountaineer who recently was on the mission to Island Peak 6189m in Nepal with Explore Himalaya. He was among the Himalayas in the Everest region for 3 weeks. He loved mountains and hence he was quite a fast mountaineer, in acclimatizing the altitudes. On October 9, he arrived at Kathmandu and the next day, he was trekking to Monjo after landing at Lukla Airport.
Himalayas: Origin of Rivers in Nepal.
Island Peak is the classic 6000m+ mountain in the Khumbu region which is very close to Everest.Hansen took enough time to go around the major mountain points in the region. He was at the Gokyo Ri 5360m on 18 October, 2012. He had the absolute adventurous fun in the Himalayas amongst the snow and the mysteries in there. He made his way towards Kalapattar. Kalapattar means a Black stone in Nepalese language. Kalapattar 5545m is the place where the highest altitude cabinet meeting was held in December 4, 2011.
Usual view in the Himalayas but a very rare view in other parts of the world.
Hansen was in no rush to summit the Island Peak. He trekked towards the Pokalde Peak (Dolma Ri) 5806m on October 23. Pokalde Peak is 12 kilometers southeast to Everest and is the easiest mountain in the Everest region to climb. Unfortunately, because of some technical problems Mr. Hansen had to let go this opportunity to summit the Pokalde Peak. Mr. Hansen now wanted to go towards the Island Peak. So, he was at Island Peak Base Camp at October 26.
Fascinating destination: Himalayas.
After a day rest at the base camp, Hansen was again unfortunate on his mission to summit the Island Peak so on October 28 he started trekking down to Lukla . He relaxed for a day each at Lukla and Kathmandu after the long tiring mountaineering expedition. On November 4, he was way back to his home. Explore Himalaya felt very sorry for him.
Mountaineers in queue.
Pics: Explore Himalaya.
Explore Himalaya urges all the adventure addicts around the world to contact us for any sort of Mountaineering adventures in Nepal.
Samy Awlia an Arab national is professionally a General Manager and founder of Adrenaline Production Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He is now in Nepal with the objective to climb Island Peak 6173m. Middle East has rare mountaineers but Himalaya explore found Mr. Samy to be a very enthusiastic adventurer and was keen to summit the Island Peak. Despite of being an economic graduate from the King Abdul Aziz University and the commercial project manager in several MNCs for almost a decade, his passion towards the adventurous trips has brought him to Nepal for his first ever mountain climbing. Explore Himalaya got the opportunity for his exclusive interview.
EH: Welcome Samy, how are you doing?
Samy: I am doing great and enjoying in Nepal.
EH: So you are here to summit the Island Peak.
Samy: Yes. Since, this is my first ever mountain climbing I am very much excited and fingers crossed. (Takes long gasp)
EH: Despite of being a Graduate in Economics you are into the world of marketing your own adventure company, why did you decide to change your profession?
Samy: I am marketing professional for my own adventure company Adrenaline Production and I love adventures. Since, I am very much into the adventurous world I would like to have plenty of adventure seekers in the Middle East. So, I try to organize trips all over the world collaborating with other companies like Explore Himalaya. I am looking for trekking, biking, rafting, skydiving and other adventure trips all around the world.
EH: You are here in Nepal to climb the Island Peak, is it for the reason of knowing the Himalayas in the better way and to encourage the young adventure seekers back in the Middle East to explore their adventure enthusiasm here in the Himalayas?
Samy: Yes, that is completely true. In the mean time I am trying to build the partnership with Mr. Suman here in Nepal so that we can encourage people in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East to make the adventurous trips to Nepal. I am also planning to working on adventure training courses on leadership and team building in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia so that the every adventure trip could be successful. Besides my mission on climbing the Island Peak also has the charitable motive towards International Islamic Relief Organization.
EH: As per our experience we find very few people coming to Nepal for the adventurous trips from the Middle East and you are one of them. Do you think the people of Middle East can find the interesting adventurous trips to Himalayas in Nepal?
Samy: The trips to Nepal can be very much interesting but the proper marketing strategies shall be used. The first thing is that people in the Middle East must know the adventure trips in Nepal are safe and secure. They shall be well informed regarding the experiences of the adventure trip organizers of Nepal. People in the Middle East are unaware of the world class adventure expertise and the perfect safety measures being implemented in the Nepalese adventurous trips. We shall focus on providing the appropriate knowledge to the people in the Middle East regarding the adventure trips to Nepal. We shall inform to every adventure seekers in the Middle East about the risk free highly adventurous trips in Nepal.
Samy Awlia, an enthusiastic climber from the Middle East.
EH: We heard the people from Middle East have no adventurous passion. However, you have travelled a long way to Nepal to climb Island Peak. Do you think this adventurous trip of yours will attract the other adventure seekers in the Middle East towards the adventurous trips in Nepal?
Samy: I hope so. This is the strategy of the marketing and advertising. Basically, I am planning with my marketing strategy back home in two parts. Entertainment and Education, the people in the Middle East shall be well informed regarding the realities of the adventurous trips to the Himalayas. They shall be well trained with the leadership and team building qualities required during the adventurous trips. Secondly, they shall be introduced to risk free adventures and entertainments available in various adventurous trips. If we are capable of doing so, I believe we can bring plenty of adventure seekers to the Himalayas of the Nepal.
EH: Samy, you look very much excited to climb the Island Peak and before climbing you shall probably get lessons regarding climbing and ice works, we hope you will successfully climb the Island Peak.
Samy: Thank you so much. I am very much excited on climbing the Island Peak and next month I am going to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Hopefully, one day I will climb the Everest.
EH: Oh! Your ultimate target is to climb the Everest.
Samy: No, my ultimate target is to climb seven peaks and Everest is one of them.