ISLAND PEAK CLIMBING

ISLAND PEAK CLIMBING

ISLAND PEAK CLIMBING

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Island peak climbing in the Himalayas is the most famous trekking route that gives you an extraordinary experience, impressions, calm emotions, and a memory for life. Along with the Island peak climbing, exceptional views of Everest, Ama Dablam, and Lhotse will accompany you throughout the route. You can feel the power of the Nepalese mountains, the strength of your own capabilities, and the special atmosphere of Nepal along the path. 

A 6160 m high Island Peak is located in the very center of the mountains of Nepal and is a direct continuation of the southern part of the Lhotse Shar peak. This mountain is also often referred to as Imja Tse. It is like an island in a sea of ice among the giants Nuptse (7861 m), Lhotse (8516 m), Lhotse Central (8410 m), and Lhotse Shar (8383 m), located in a semicircle in the north. 

And in the east rise the icefalls hanging from Lhotse Shar, and behind the top of Cho Polu (6735 m), you can see the red granite Makalu (8463 m). And in the south, the gaze glides past the icy slopes of Baruntse (7162m) and the peaks of Amphu to the high rock tower of Ama Dablam (6812 m), which is like a giant sea guard guarding the entrance to this glacial bay located around Island Peak.

The first conquest of the mountain occurred in 1953 by Charles Evans, Charles Wylie, Alf Gregory, and Tenzing Norgay, with 7 Sherpas on the southeast slope and south ridge. The ascent was made in preparation for the ascent of Everest. Participants also tested new oxygen equipment.

The name Island Peak was given to the peak in 1951 by members of the British expedition led by Eric Shipton. Island Peak was given the name Imja Tse in 1983 as part of a summit renaming campaign, but its original name is better known in the mountaineering world. 

The route begins, as well as trekking to the Everest Base Camp – from the arrival in Lukla. A further transition takes you to the capital of the Sherpas – Namche Bazaar. The further way to the top passes through the Khumbu valley. From the moraine in Dingboche, the peak does not look too impressive, as it is lost against the background of the South Face, located next to it, one of the Himalayan giants, Lhotse. However, if you get closer to it and look from the glacier descending from the western side of Lhotse, you can see Island Peak in all its glory. 

How difficult is Island Peak to climb?

Climbing Island Peak is relatively easy and doesn’t require technical expertise or special skills and special physical training. All you need to know is tethering, working with a rope, and a belay device. Therefore, climbing Island Peak can be combined with a family trip with your loved one: your soulmate or parents. You can let them go on the Everest base camp route, go to Island Peak for 4 days, and then meet together in Kathmandu. This is a common practice among tourists.

However, the trek should not be taken lightly as you will be walking on snow and ice fields, moving in with ice axes along the railings, stairs through cracks, and at the end – 150-200 meters of a steep take-off and working with a jumar. The trek can be adventurous and relatively easy if you have experience from previous ascents to heights above 5000 m. However, the Island peak is changing; the glacier itself is quite indented. It has become very crooked. It has even become somewhat similar to the Khumbu glacier in some areas.

Such a climb is much more interesting than just trampling, and Island Peak will serve as excellent preparation for subsequent ascents to higher and more technical peaks.

Best Time To Climb Imja Tse

There are two optimal periods for this trek: spring season (April – May) and autumn (October – November); at this time, you can expect the least amount of precipitation. During the day on the top of Mount Island Peak, the air temperature is about -8 ° C, accompanied by clear blue and cloudless sky, greater visibility, longer daytime periods, no rainfall, and, more importantly, stability of the ice. The Nepal Government issues a permit to climb in the winter and summer seasons as well; however, these periods are not considered favorable. The Winter season beginning from late September to February can be followed by snowfall, avalanches, shorter days, and bone-chilling temperatures at night. The summer season from June to August is also unfavorable as the hot, humid days will go hand in hand with heavy rainfalls making the path more slippery with the potential risk of landslides. 

How much does it cost to climb Island Peak? 

The approximate cost for climbing Island Peak ranges from $1500- to $3000 per person, depending on the number of days you aim to stay and explore the mountain. The overall cost includes: 

  • Your flight from Kathmandu to Lukla that may charge $360-$380 per person.
  • Porter cost $280 for the entire route.
  • Meals on the route can be a little more expensive because Island Peak is the most expensive path in Nepal. Food expenses can vary from 20-25 dollars a day. 
  • Equipment rental up to 50-60 dollars. Equipment can be rented directly in front of the mountain in the village of Chukung; there is always everything there since the mountain is popular.
  • Expedition permit cost depending on the time of your trek varies: Spring season expeditions cost you $250 per person, $125 per person in autumn, and $70 per person in winter and summer. 

The personal expenses that you have to cover yourself are:

  • Nepal Tourist Visa cost upon your arrival at Tribhuvan International airport. 15-20 days is more than enough for climbing Island Peak, so you can issue a 30 day Nepal tourist Visa at $50 per person.
  • Be attentive to your well-being, and do not forget about taking out an insurance policy for outdoor activities in the mountains at the fee of $150-$200 for a 30 day time period.
  • Personal expenses include a hot shower, personal equipment and toiletries, tips for porter and guide, and Kathmandu stay and meals in the city. Set aside $200-$300 for these expenses. 

Island Peak Altitude Profile

Island Peak Climbing Altitude Profile


Trip Details

  Outline Itinerary

  • Day 1. Arrival in Kathmandu
  • Day 2. Fly to Lukla - Phakding
  • Day 3. Namche Bazaar
  • Day 4. Acclimatization in Namche Bazaar
  • Day 5. Tengboche
  • Day 6. Dingboche
  • Day 7. Lobuche
  • Day 8. Gorak Shep - Everest Base Camp- Gorak Shep
  • Day 9: Trek to Chukung
  • Day 10: Trek to Island Base camp and High Camp
  • Day 11. Climbing Island Peak
  • Day 14. Descent to Pangboche
  • Day 15. Descent to Namche Bazaar
  • Day 16. Lukla
  • Day 17. Flight to Kathmandu
  • Day 18. Reserve day - Kathmandu Valley
  • Day 19. Flight home

Itinerary

    • Arrive at Tribhuvan Airport, Kathmandu, and settle in a hotel. Sightseeing of the city and appreciating the originality of the locals at a glance. Preparation for the trek and last-minute shopping.

    • Early morning flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. The flight time is approximately 45 minutes. You can enjoy the views of Everest from the plane window. After landing, you will then resume your trek to Phakding village.

    • Slowly gaining altitude, you set off for Sagarmatha Park, the capital of the Sherpas and the base center for all expeditions to Everest – Namche Bazaar. You will pass the famous Hillary Bridge. In Namche, you are likely to experience mild symptoms of altitude sickness, so you will rest and give the body time to adapt.

    • From Namche bazaar, you can visit the village of Khumjung, from where you can have unsurpassed views of the highest peaks of the Himalayas: Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam. In Khumjung, you can walk into the local Buddhist monastery to look at the scalp of Bigfoot.

    • Having adapted to the height, you will begin to climb a pleasant traverse. You will stop near the most famous Sherpa monastery – Tengboche, against the backdrop of the beautiful Ama Dablam. Climbers come here for a blessing before climbing to the Top of the World. 

    • You will leave the forest zone to the rocky terrain, admiring the views of Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam. You will rise to the picturesque mountain village of Dingboche, where you will settle for the night.

    • You will continue to climb, moving to the village of Lobuche, located next to the huge Khumbu glacier. Enjoying the panoramas of the Himalayan mountains, you will walk along the Khumbu moraine, descending directly from the slopes of Everest.

    • Today you will rise above the mark of 5000 meters! In the village of Gorak Shep, you will leave your things and go to the Everest Base Camp. Here you will have the opportunity to touch the seracs of the Khumbu icefall and observe the life of serious expeditions. You can take memorable photos and go down to Gorak Shep and prepare for the next stage of the expedition.

    • You will follow the familiar path to Chukung. Here you will begin preparations for the ascent to Island Peak. With Nepalese high-altitude guides, you will check the equipment and get instructed to work with ice axes, crampons, belay systems, jumars, and everything necessary for a successful ascent. 

       

    • You will hike at the foot of the south face of Lhotse to the base camp of Island Peak. After a short delay to rest, you will gain another 300 m of altitude to the high camp. 

       

    • The moment you have been waiting for has arrived. Night exit, several hours of transition to the snow-ice plateau. Here you will put on crampons and the rest of the equipment, then go in bundles and along the railing. Slowly you will pass heavy sections and ladders through cracks. You will reach the summit within a short time, time for triumphant cries, photos for memory, and attempts to remember the beauty of the Himalayas.

    • You will now descend into civilization in Pangboche. Here you can charge gadgets and treat yourself to goodies in a local institution.

    • In the evening you will be in Namche Bazaar. After the silence of small mountain settlements, it seems that life here is seething to the fullest.

    • You will return to Lukla, where you will prepare for tomorrow’s flight to Kathmandu. You are near the end of your hike, so say goodbye to the beautiful views of the Himalayan peaks that accompany you along the way.

    • If the weather turns out, you will fly to the capital of Nepal for a well-deserved rest. It’s time to get to know Kathmandu better: see the streets, visit the sights and taste the local dishes.

    • Dedicate this time to reviewing the sights of the capital. You can visit the temples of Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, the Boudhanath stupa – the spiritual centers of Nepal and world heritage sites. Learn more about local culture and customs and hunt for bright souvenirs. 

    • Today you fly home, inspired by new achievements. After such a landmark adventure as climbing Island Peak and getting to know the special charm of oriental culture, you will definitely want to return here.

Inclusion & exclusion

FAQ's

    • You can climb the Island peak alone if you have sufficient experience and skill. Getting information nowadays is simple, thanks to the internet. However, you need an expedition permit, for which you may need the help of the local agent. After the required documentation, you can set out on a journey on your own without any guides and porters. The cost will definitely be minimal, and you will certainly won’t be alone on the way. The summit is quite popular among mountaineers and tourists. One of the downsides of traveling alone is that you may not get the help and service you need during your acclimatization and climbing the summit. The weather in high mountains like Island peak can be unpredictable. You may suffer from altitude sickness or face any kind of medical emergency for which you may not be prepared. In such times, a company of a local guide, porter, or local agency staff is essential. So plan very carefully and consider every aspect before deciding whether to set out on these types of remarkable journeys alone.

    • At the altitude of 6476 m above sea level, Mera Peak is slightly higher than the Island peak. Both are six thousanders which don’t need any technical and climbing experience. However, despite these similarities and the fact that Mera peak is slightly higher than Island peak, Mera peak is easier to climb from the point of view of climbers. The climb to Mera peak is straightforward; there are no challenges of crevasses or narrow ridges or risks of icefalls, whereas you have to go through steep ice climbs, headwall, numerous challenges like icefalls, narrow rocky ridges, and glacial walk to reach the summit of Island Peak. But comparing the trek route, the route to Island peak is easier and simpler than that of Mera peak. Both mountains need your ability to own crampons and ice axes, and a basic level of climbing training would be an added advantage.