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Climbing Island Peak: Assumption VS Reality

  • 23-Dec-2016
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Looking forward to climbing Island Peak? Wondering how close is your assumption to the actuality? Follow along with Icicles Adventures’ Island Peak journey “Climbing Island Peak: Assumption VS Reality”.

All of us had assumed something about the exciting Island Peak Climbing. There was a certain level of excitement along with curiosity and expectation. While we had free time jelling with each other of our group members, we would talk about our assumptions and expectations on Island peak climbing. As all of us had done a certain level of preparations and research which were different from person to person. Some relied on guide books, online references regarding packing, gears, and equipment. It was quite presumable that all of us had assumed what type of culture, nature, and adventure it would be. Some of our assumptions were right, whereas some varied a little.

Training and Preparations

Assumption: You need to have fitness like of an athlete

Reality: You need to train and can make it if you have been to EBC

Proper preparations and training are always necessary to make an adventurous trip a successful one. You need to be strong and fit to be a summit of Island Peak. But it is not true that only professional climbers and athletes can only embark on the trip. If we have a fit mind and body, then surely Island Peak is the peak to climb.

The Team

Assumption: There will be one Sherpa guide and porter for each climber.

Reality: Climber and Porter ratio was 2:1

I was assured that the team was professional and they were indeed very good in their respective job. But I failed to figure out how much load to pack for the ultimate climb. A standard climber to porter ratio was 2:1 for our group. However, we enjoyed the experience with a big smile on our faces.

The Meal

Assumption: Dal, Bhat Tarkari everyday

Reality: There were many varieties

It was a known fact that Dal, Bhat, and Tarkari are like the national food of Nepal. And I had assumed that we will be eating mostly the same thing only. Yes, I had rice, lentil soup, but the egg toast, porridge, Tibetan butter, milk, potato, yak stew, shyabhale, momo, soup, and other delicacies were absolutely mouth-watering.

The Music

Assumption: Sherpas listen to Om Mani Padme Om

Reality: They love Nepali, Bollywood, and Taylor Swift

I had assumed that Sherpas at the Everest region listen to Om Mani Padme Om on repeat mode. But I was quite surprised when I heard a local boy listening to ‘Lovestory’ song by Taylor Swift. When I asked who is your favorite singer, he replied Arijit Singh. So I concluded that music connects every human being regardless of boundaries and religion.

The pieces of equipment

Assumption: We will look like Everest summiteers

Reality: Man, Everest is 2659m higher than Island Peak.

I had read somewhere, Island peak is like the acclimatization peak before summiting Everest. And most of the climbers climb Island Peak before taking on the highest Himalaya. So, I assumed the gears and pieces of equipment also be used like we are summiting Everest. But it was not the case. It was just a single day taking on the summit of Island Peak and getting back on base camp.  The pieces of equipment required were made very clear by my trip planner and everything went according to the plan.

The Summit Day

Assumption: It will be an amazing experience

Reality: It was beyond anything I had ever experienced

Summit day was the most important day of our trip, we all knew that it will be an amazing experience. But it was beyond amazing. From early morning push to challenging temperatures, from magical sunrise to exceptional views of Himalayan panoramas, if I could I would build a home and live there.

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