Scale the summit of Island peak and experience the thrill of Himalayan adventure while certifying yourself a step ahead to mountaineering. Yes, if you want to take next step from trekking to mountaineering, climbing Island peak is the perfect ice climbing trip to try first among the 33 “trekking peaks” of Nepal. Although Himalayan Peaks should not be underestimated, Island Peak has the potential to offer the fit and experienced hill walkers a window into the world of mountaineering in the greater ranges. Island peak actually an extension of south end of Mt. Lhotse Shar stands as a spectacular peak amid the giants of the Himalaya. Situated only about 10 km away from the Mt. Everest, the summit of Island peak provides 360 degree panorama of many of the highest mountains in the world.
Our Island Peak Climbing-16 days program is designed to provide mountaineering experience to adventure lovers who have some high altitude trekking experience. Island peak climbing-16 days program starts with an exciting flight to Lukla and trekking through classic Everest base camp trekking trail through the Sherpa villages of Phakding, Namche, Tengboche, Dingboche. We take right turn to Chhukung and climb Chhukung Ri to aid acclimatization. We will learn and revise knowledge of using climbing equipment and climbing skills at Island Peak Base camp. We spend a night in base camp. Next day, taking into account the group’s acclimatization, weather, snow conditions and other factors, we either ascent up to high camp to spend night there or reach the summit same day. The ascent begins with a scramble up a rocky gully to a ridge where we put on crampons and rope up for the glacier crossing heading towards the south ridge. The Island peak climbing is mostly trek and scrambling but 100m head wall just below the summit is technical section. The route across the glacier is easy-angled, but it can be crevassed in places. From the bergshrund at the base of the headwall, 100m of snow and ice, as steep as 45° is climbed to land on the summit ridge from where you can enjoy fabulous views of Lhotse Shar, Makalu’s west face, the north face of Baruntse and Ama Dablam’s north ridge and many other mountains.
Note: Our Island Peak-16 days program is quick going itinerary designed for trekkers/climbers who have past high altitude trekking experience. Those who don’t have high altitude trekking experience but would like to climb Island peak, we suggest our another program –Island Peak Climbing with Everest Base Camp Trek-19 days or Island peak climbing with Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp Trek-22 days. These programs allow the participant plenty of time to acclimatize before attempting the Island peak itself.
Island Peak Climbing – 16 days Day to day Itinerary
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,338 m/4,390 ft)
Welcome to Kathmandu! As you land at Kathmandu airport (Tribhuvan International Airport), reclaim your luggage and finish your custom formalities (visa, etc.) and get to the airport waiting terminal, you will find our representative waiting to greet you. He/she will be holding Icicles Adventure Treks & Tours signboard with your name. You will be then transferred to your respective hotel in our private vehicle. You can rest at your hotel to recover from jet lag or if you have plenty of time you can visit Thamel market for any lacking gears for your Island Peak Climbing-16 days. Overnight in hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 02: Fly to Lukla (2,800 m/9,184 ft) and Trek to Phakding (2,652 m/8,700 ft)
Wake up at dawn and be ready for the adventure. We will escort you to domestic terminal of Kathmandu airport for an early morning flight. After an adventurous 35 minutes flight above the array of beautiful green and white mountains, we arrive at the Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla (2,800m/9,186ft), an entry town from where your trek begins. This is one of the most beautiful air routes in the world concluding in a dramatic landing site on a hillside surrounded by high mountains peaks. In Lukla, we meet our additional crew members and do some packing and arrangements, we start our trek through the prosperous village of Lukla, descend to Chaurikharka, head up the Dudhkoshi valley until we reach Phakding. As we just land at the altitude of almost 3000m today, to assist in acclimatization, we only have a short walk today. Yet, if you are interested in additional activities you can take a side trip to a nearby monastery. Overnight in local lodge. Walking time 3 -4 hrs, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 03: Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,440 m/11,283 ft)
We start our walk soon after breakfast. Today’s trek is exciting not only due to few uphill and downhill walks but also because of crossing and re-crossings of Dudh Koshi River and magnificent view of Mt. Thamserku (6,608m/21,675ft) from the Benkar village. We cross more bridges and reach Monjo. We get our trekking permits checked at the entrance of Sagarmatha National Park at Monjo. We tumble down 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. As we climb up towards Namche Bazzar, magnificent sight of Kwangde Peak, Kusum peak, Kangaru peak, Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Tawache, and many other magnificent mountains greet us. We break at the Chautara to admire the view. Finally, we reach the colorful village of Namche Bazzar, the main trading village in the Khumbu. Overnight in local lodge. Walking time: 5-6 hrs, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 04: Namche Bazaar: Acclimatization Day - Hike to Everest view hotel
In order to assist acclimatization today is a rest day at Namche Bazzar, which is an ideal place to spend a rest day to acclimatize to the new altitude before heading off towards higher elevation. It is recommend staying active and mobile during the acclimatization day instead of resting in your lodge. If you trek a few hundred vertical feet during the day, it will help you to properly acclimatize. You can either spend the day exploring Namche Bazzar or taking a hike to Thame or Khunde. Tucked away between two ridges amidst the giant peaks of the Khumbu, Namche Bazzar is centre of Everest region and has plenty of lodges, tea shops, souvenir shops, money exchangers, government offices, ATMs, Internet cafes, restaurants, bakeries, etc. You can also even enjoy colorful market each Friday evening and Saturday. You can visit Visitor Center near the headquarter of the Sagarmatha National Park where you can observe an assortment of things allied to the first Everest ascenders, Sherpa culture and learn about the various flora and fauna of the Sagarmatha National Park. You can also take an interesting side trip up to Khumjung, Syangboche airstrip and Everest View Hotel, a Japanese build deluxe hotel which offers you great views of Mt. Everest, Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse and others. Surrounded by the snowy peaks of Kongde and Thamserku and the scared peak Khumbila, Khumjung hosts a well known monastery that houses a yeti scalp. You can also visit to Hillary School which is in the same location. Overnight in local lodge. Walking time 4 – 5 hrs, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 05: Namche Bazzar to Tengboche (3860m/12660ft)
Upon breakfast in Namche, we set out towards Tengboche, enjoying superb view of Mt. Everest, Mt. Nuptse, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Ama Dablam and close up view of Thamserku. Our trek follows more or less smooth trail with few ups and downs which will not bother us as the magnificent view of the Himalayas keeps our company all through the journey. Along the way, we can spot wildlife musk deer, a herd of Himalayan Thar and multicolored pheasants. 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 the 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 gear up for a slightly tougher climb through the pine forests before we reach Tengboche. Tengboche is a great place for close up views of Mt Ama Dablam, Mt Nuptse, and Mt Everest, and it has the biggest Buddhist Monastery of the Khumbu r egion. We pay our visit to the monastery the same day at around 3 pm to witness the ceremony in the principal and popular monastery of Everest region. Overnight in local lodge. Walking time 5 – 6 hrs, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 06: Tengboche - Dingboche (4410m/14464ft)
This part of the trek has a five hundred metres gain but it is a little more gradual. Give a good lovely look to the Everest today morning because you will not see Everest from your trial until you reach Gorekshep. We set off and straight away through musk deer trail (the trail is called so as plenty of musk deer is seen there among birch and rhododendron forest) and the village of Deboche and descend down to the suspension bridge over Imja Khola. This stage of the trek has Ama Dablam towering over us on our right the whole time with the bluest of sky showing every detail of this magnificent mountain. We pass through several Chortens and Mani walls and small villages. You would better have a tea break at Pangboche to enjoy the view of the most beautiful mountain on earth, Ama Dablam while sipping your tea. After Pangboche, we spent most of the day walking close to the river with a reasonable ascent towards the end of the walk before arriving Dingboche. At this altitude 4410m the lack of oxygen in your breath is normality. At Dingboche you will notice there are no more trees around and the only vegetation present is small spiny shrubs. While trekking in these parts you better watch where you land your foot. There are stones and rocks everywhere and accidentally kicking one really hurt. On arrival at Dingboche, we will see beautiful array of fields enclosed by stone walls to protect barley, buckwheat and potatoes from the cold winds and grazing animals. Overnight in local lodge. Walking time 5 – 6 hrs, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 07: Climb Chukkung Ri (5546m/18190 ft) and trek to Chhukung (4730m/15514ft)
This is second acclimatization day on our trip. As per the preventative rule of altitude sickness, it is necessary to have an acclimatization day at about every 1000m gain, so we spend a day here to let our body acclimatize with the altitude and you are suggested to stay active. After breakfast, to aid acclimatization our guide will take you to climb Chhukung Ri, a hill located on the edge of the Chhukung valley directly above Dingboche. The trail becomes steep at times, resulting in a physically challenging day but the view says – keep going. Ascending the hill could take up to 5 hours at altitude. Taweche (6367m), Cholatste (6335m), Lobuche (6119m), Awi Peak (5245m), Amphu Gyabjen (5630m), Ama Dablam (6856m) seen from a different angle, Lhotse (8516m) 4th highest peak, Nuptse (7861m), Island Peak (6189m), Mt Peak 38 (7590m), Makalu (8481m) 5th highest peak, Thamserku (6608m), Kangtega (6685m) and Chola Tsho a lake at 4590m are just some of the named peaks that surrounded us, there were also the peaks that remain unnamed. The Pheriche Valley looks beautiful as well. After a short rest, we descent back to Chhukung. Rest at your lodge after lunch. Overnight in local lodge. Walking time 6 – 7 hrs, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 08: Chhukung to Island peak base camp
Today is short trek to the Island Peak base camp. From today we will stay in tented camps for the next two days, with food prepared by our staff in the camp. The trek to Island Peak Base Camp is on a moderately steep trail. First, we climb south then turn east to the contour of the valley. We then walk on a zigzag path below the southern flank of Lhotse Glacier moraine. We continue walking on a pleasant trail along a streamside. At southeast, we see the Amphu Labtsa route. A network route through the Imja and Lhotse glacier moraines leads to a spacious valley (Pareshaya Gyab) nearby the southwest side of Island Peak where we will set our tents. After a brief rest, our climbing guide will instruct you the methods of using climbing equipments and some technical climbing skills. Along with practical knowledge on using climbing gears like ice axe, climbing boots and crampons, harness, ascender, etc., you will also learn using ropes to go up and down. Although it is not mandatory to have prior training for Island Peak Climbing, we strongly believe that some training will boost your confidence and climbing skills to increase the chances of scaling the summit safely together with a fun experience. Walking time 4 hrs, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 09 & 10: Reach the summit of the Island peak (6,189m/) and return to Chhukung (4,730m/15,518ft)
We have allowed two days to climb the Island Peak, although we will probably not require more than one if weather conditions are fine. The strategy for the climb will be decided by our climbing leader at the time, taking into account the group’s acclimatization, weather, snow conditions and other factors. Generally we ascend from the Base Camp to the High Camp (5,600m/18,372ft), a steep, two-hour climb up grassy slopes on a well-defined trail. The site of the camp is just below the permanent snowline. On the summit day, we wake up very early in the morning (at around 2 am) to take advantage of the calm mountain weather in the mornings of Himalayan region. We climb through the steep rock gully. We get to the right side of the gully. The route then follows a ridgeline, which follows to steeper 100m headwall section, just below the summit ridge, about 60 degrees steep. Our climbing guide will fix rope in this section as the glacier has several crevasses. From the top of Island peak, you can see a breathtaking panorama of gigantic mountains – Nuptse (7,879m), Lhotse (8,501m), Lhotse Middle Peak (8,410m) and Lhotse Shar (8,383m) which form a semi circle in the north and the stunning views of Makalu (8475m), Baruntse (7129m) in the east and famous expedition peak of Amadablam (6812m) in the. After enjoying the summit views, and taking pictures, we descend back to Chhukung. Walking time 10-11 hrs, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 12: Contingency Day in case of bad weather
Day 13: Trek back Chhukung to Namche Bazzar
We trek back following the main trail. Today, we will feel a lot better due to gradual drop in altitude. Breathing in is much easier. The walk is much easier today as we descend down to lower altitudes. You have still to go uphill trail too but most of the trail today is downhill so you will feel enjoyable if your knees do not bother. You can really enjoy the scenery and feel like chat with your friends and crew as now you don’t have to struggle to take each step. As we descend the Dudh Kosi River is raging more and more furiously with the joining of its tributary streams and the fact that the temperature that has risen quite dramatically melt water making the river to swell. The walk today is in the shadow of the pine trees and rhododendrons bushes that line these well-trodden trails. Watch out for faunas such as mountain goats, snow leopards, colorful pheasants, etc too in these trails. After several ups and downs we come near by the army camp at Namche Bazzar from where we take last look at the Everest which will be no more visible ahead on this back trek. On reaching our lodge at Namche, we take a nice hot shower that will help relief our tired muscles. You will have a very relaxed sleep in one of the room with private restroom in Namche Bazaar. Overnight in local lodge. Walking time 6-7 hrs, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 14: Namche Bazaar to Lukla
Today the trail goes steeply downwards, so we need to walk carefully having control over our shaky legs. After again multiple crossings over the prayer flags festooned suspension bridges over the fast flowing Dudh Koshi and its tributaries, the trail becomes more level and natural. The more we trek downwards the more we feel easier to breathe as the air gets denser. Any remaining sore throats and colds will be gone by today. Although we are following the same route down, we feel completely different views with open plains, rhododendron and pine forests, and in the distance snow covered peaks. Upon arrival in Lukla, stretch those sore legs and summon up the experiences of the last couple of weeks. Celebrate your successful and safe trek with your crew. Overnight in local lodge. Walking time 6 – 7 hrs, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 15: Fly back to Kathmandu
The early morning flight drops us in Kathmandu. Flights to Kathmandu are usually scheduled for morning because wind can create problem to fly the aircraft after noon. But sometimes the flight can be delayed and even canceled due to bad weather and other reasons that are beyond our control. You will be transferred to hotel in Kathmandu after arrival in Kathmandu. You can rest in your hotel, could do some last minute shopping and packing, or stroll around Thamel. Overnight in Kathmandu Hotel. Walking time 8 -9 hrs, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 16: Departure
Today your Island Peak Climbing trip comes to an end. If you have more time you can do some shopping or sightseeing. Approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight a representative from Icicles Adventure Treks and Tour will take you to the airport for your flight back home. Hope you are overtaken by Nepal, a country of hospitable people, beautiful scenery, and a large variety of cultural traditions and you will come back again! Included Meals: B