Island Peak with Everest Basecamp

Island Peak with Everest Basecamp

Days from

The ascent of the Island Peak comes at the completion of the acclimatization trek through the famous Khumbu Valley to Everest Base Camp where we get to step foot onto the lap of Mt Everest’s imposing Khumbu icefall. The following day features a climb to the fabulous viewpoint of Kalapatar for spectacular views of Everest. And then an adventurous crossing of the Kongma La brings the group into the Imja valley from where we retrace our step to Lukla before flying back to Kathmandu.

Elevation :  6,160 m Range/Region :  Khumbu Himal/Sagarmatha
Latitude :  27o92'08" Longitude :  86o93'72"
Royalty Group :  B Trip duration :  21 days
Trip Grade :  PD/PD+ Starts :  Lukla

Island peak stands centrally at the head of the Imja Khola (River), a tributary of Khumbu. Due to its striking resemblance as island in a sea of ice when viewed from above Dingboche, the mountain was aptly named “Island Peak” by Eric Shipton’s party in 1952 who were on their way to explore the Barun gorge.  Later, during the 80s, the mountain was renamed as Imja Tse, however, for most people the descriptive (original) name still retains its popularity and is widely known as such.
Standing at a height of 6,110m/20,285ft, it remains one of the most popular trekking peaks of Nepal, attracting a significant number of professional as well as amateur climbers from around the world.  First ascended in 1953 by a very prominent British Expedition team in preparation for an ascent of Mt. Everest, the mountain itself is the extension of the south ridge of Lhotse Shar separated by a small col.   It has a classically beautiful ridge leading to the summit. The continuation of this ridge, descending south west provides part of the normal route of ascent and leads in turn to the south summit, seen capping the rocky west facet of the mountain, when viewed form Chukung.
The 1953 Island Peak Expedition team included such prominent mountaineers as Charles Evans, Alf Gregory, Charles Wylie and Tenzing Norgay.

With an impressive and highly glaciated west face rising from the Lhotse Shar, the summit is quite interesting and attractive with excellent views of Nuptse (7,879m), Lhotse middle peak (8,410m), and Lhotse Shar (8,383m).  The views from the summit of Makalu (8,475m), Baruntse (7,129m), to the east and Mount Ama Dablam (6,812) to the south are simply enchanting.  Whilst providing an enjoyable climb the peak also provides some of the most striking scenery in the Khumbu valley.

After visiting Everest Base Camp (5360m) and walking up Kala Patthar (5545m), the trip then proceeds to Island Peak Base Camp in the next valley.

Suitable for professionals with previous mountaineering experiences as well as amateur climbers; with some initial training, this itinerary provides opportunities for you to explore fully the socio-culture attraction of this region as well the chance of climbing one of the most exciting trekking peaks located in the unusually beautiful Khumbu region of Nepal.

This expedition offers both climbers and trekkers an exciting opportunity to enter the world of the mighty Himalayas.

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Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu International Airport- T I A (1300m) and transfer to hotel.

Day 02: After breakfast we set out for an extensive guided sightseeing tour of Kathmandu valleys cultural, historical, religious (world heritage) sites. During the course, we visit the famous Pashupatinath temple of Lord Shiva situated at the holy bank of River Bagmati where we will also observe the Hindu cremation ritual. We then proceed to the Boudhanath stupa, a major pilgrimage centre for the Buddhist faith which also is the largest of its kind in the world. We then have a short break for lunch followed by a visit to Swoyambhunath stupa also known as the Monkey Temple from where we can have a bird’s eye view of whole of Kathmandu valley. Following this we then proceed for a visit to Kathmandu Durbar Square, the oldest royal palace of Kathmandu and a UNESCO world heritage site.  The whole area of Kathmandu Durbar Square is dotted with numerous fascinating Nepalese architect dating back many centuries. The site is also the home to Nepal’s living Goddess – Kumari, where we will also have the opportunity to experience firsthand this unique Nepali tradition.  In the evening we will attend the welcome dinner hosted by Makalu Adventure with live Nepalese culture shows.

Day 03: Kathmandu ( 1310m) - Lukla (2827m) - Phakding (2652m) 3-4 hours
After a very early start, and an early take off from Kathmandu Domestic Airport, a 45 minute flight is all it takes to propel us into the Everest region of Nepal. The landing at Lukla (2800m) is spectacular and on arrival we are greeted by our sirdar and trekking crew who organise the luggage and hustle us off for tea. After a leisurely lunch we start the trek in earnest, setting off for a gentle walk to Phakding (2800m), a further 3 hours to the north. The trail leads through Lukla, past hotels, shops and airline offices to the edge of the Lukla plateauwhere the trail drops to meet the intersection of the Jiri trail at Chablung. From here the trail follows the Dudh Kosi north through the village of Ghat and then finally to Phakding where we spend the night.

Day 04: Phakding - Namche Bazar (3440m) 6 -7 hours
The trail starts through a level path along the right bank. Thamserku looms skyward on the opposite bank. We cross a stream and climb the terraced hill from the Dudh Koshi route, to arrive at Benkar. The trail now climbs from the riverbed on the left bank into the mountain, through a forest to Chumoa. We continue along a path with many ups and downs; cross a stream, and pass by the tiny village of Monjo. Now we descend the path of stone steps and return to the right bank. After a short climb we come to Jorsale’s tea house and hotel, also stop at the National Park entrance counter where National Park fee is collected. After Jorsale we enter a forested mountainside and follow a short walk along the riverbed of this V-shaped valley where the river forks - the right is the Dudh Koshi and the left is the Bhote Koshi that leads to Nampa La. After covering a short distance along the Bhote Koshi River we begin the steep ascent to Namche Bazaar. As the  mountain path zigzags uphill, we will emerge at a ridge atop a rest area that offers excellent views of Everest (8848m) and Lhotse (8516m.), The climb eases somewhat, and Namche Bazar appears ahead of us as we travel along the path surrounded by thick pine forest. We then pass the plateau where the Saturday bazaar is held and enter the ever thriving Sherpa town of Namche Bazaar - (3440m) surrounded on three sides by mountain ranges and opening out only where it faces the Bhote Koshi. The village is a central hub of the area and food, sundries and even mountain climbing equipment may be purchased here.  Overnight at Camp or Lodge.

Day 05: leisure (acclimatization) in Namche Bazaar:  
We will rest a full day at Namche Bazar allowing our bodies to acclimatize to the altitude of 3440m. Namche is tucked between two ridges amidst the giant peaks of the Khumbu and has an abundance of lodges, tea shops and souvenir shops with state of the art internet cafes and bakeries. It is an ideal place to spend a rest day for acclimatization to the high altitude before heading off onwards. There are various options for short hikes within Namche during our acclimatization rest. We can have an hour’s walk up to Syangboche (3800m) where the Everest View Hotel is situated with outstanding view of Mt. Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Kusum Kangaru. Alternatively we could as well have a leisurely stroll up to the National Park Centre and Museum just above the town and enjoy the mesmerizing views of the Khumbu Himalayas.

We return back to the hotel in the early afternoon for lunch and spend the rest of the day either just laying down or on self exploration.

Day 06: Namche -   Tengboche (3,860m. /12,665ft) 5-6 hrs:
From Namche, the trail now follows the Imja Khola (river) along the rushing glacial water of Dudh Koshi with incredible views everywhere. We continue our walk until the final descent into the base of Dudh Koshi River from where we ascend through the conifer and Rhododendron forest and arrive at Tengboche, located on a ridge below the impressive north ridge of Kang Taiga. Tengboche with its famous monastery is the spiritual center of the Khumbu region and the site of the annual Mani Rimdu festival, held during the full moon of Oct- Nov every year.

Day 07:  Tengboche - Pheriche (4,312m) (5 hrs)
After Tengboche the trail passes on a slop track climbing gently and gradually becoming steeper. Passing through the forest and small lodges on the way, the trail drops down significantly before arriving to Pangboche (3860m), where we stop for leisurely lunch, taking in the beautiful scenery. Since we are ascending over 4000 meters today, there is obviously very limited foliage on the way but we see lots of mosses on the rocks all around the trail. Scattered throughout the valley are small granite boulders. On a clear day, today’s walk is complemented with beautiful Himalayan peaks including Ama Dablam as well as Mt. Everest.

After Pangboche the trail passes through the meadow fields and several tea houses and arrives to Pheriche after 3 hours. Pheriche is the home of the Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) clinic which is dedicated to the treatment and prevention of altitude sickness. Today’s walk is much more of a level walk for the most part and is most enjoyable as well;  involving some 9 km of pleasant hike and gaining 470m in altitude.

Day 08:  Pheriche - Lobuche (4,920m) 4-5 hrs
We continue up the valley from Pheriche to Lobuche with spectacular views of the surrounding peaks, Cholatse and Taboche standing majestically to the left. The trail then climbs gently uphill to Duglha accompanied by amazing scenery of Ama Dablam and Kangtaiga to the south. We continue climbing uphill through a boulder field to the snout of the Khumbu Glacier before the valley opens up exposing views of Pumori, Nuptse and Kala Patthar and a range of other snowy peaks and finally arrive to Lobuche for overnight. It is not much of a place, just a few scruffy lodges surrounded by a tented village. There is not much space at Lobuche, the village has steep mountain sides to the north and west and a river between it and Nuptse to the east looming majestically.

Day 09: Lobuche - Gorakshep (5,364m) 4hrs – EBC- Gorakshep 4 hrs:
It takes about 4 hours to reach Gorakshep from Lobuche. This part of the hike is rather easy involving a short series of little climbs. It gradually descends over rocky glacial moraines, no more than 100 m or so at any time. There is almost no foliage at this point, just rocks and sand. Traversing a couple of these moraines brings Everest and the majestic Himalayan panorama into view, making the whole trek worthwhile. Besides the mountains, we can see several glaciers and glacial lakes all around us during today’s hike and finally arrive to Gorakshep later in the day.

Much of the afternoon activities today will be kept optional as some people prefer climbing up to Kala Patthar whilst others go to Everest Base camp and some opt out for a complete rest. So we are free to undertake the activities we prefer most. Generally the views from Kala Patthar are often clearer in the morning, though the position of the sun means that photos are often better taken in the evening. By having two nights at Gorakshep, we can decide when to hike up to Kala Patthar or to trek to the Base camp.

Day 10: Hike up to Kala Patthar (5545m) 2 hrs / Trek to Base Camp (5333m) 2-3 hrs:
After an early breakfast, and having already decided during previous night’s briefing, the group now leaves for a hike either to Kala Patthar or to the Base Camp. Alternatively, it can also be split into two, one going for Kala Patthar and the other to Base camp. And if some of the group members are feeling stronger they can also do both the Kala Patthar and the Base Camp.  In any case, the climb to Kala Patthar from Gorakshep is an ascent over 2 km trail gaining some 400 meter in altitude. The climb takes about 2-3 hours and can be hard work, but the effort is rewarded by the classic view of Everest and the Khumbu icefall, as well as the giants of Lhotse, Nuptse, and Pumori immediately above. Most of the famous photographs of Everest were taken from the top of this unassuming black rock.  And for most of us, this is as far as we could go up the Everest trail. Situated high above the Khumbu Glacier and Everest Base Camp an ascent of Kala Patthar provides valuable acclimatization which certainly adds to our experience and especially when we set off to climb Island peak later. Please note that the views from Kala Patthar are often clearer in the morning, though the position of the sun means that photos are often better taken in the evening.

For those of us going to  the Basecamp, today we will get a real taste of what Everest climber’s life is like living at Base Camp and above for many weeks. We will feel the challenge as we hike up the glacial moraine towards base camp. Situated at the foot of the Khumbu icefall the Base Camp site is the famous temporary habitat among the glacial boulders and ice of the upper Khumbu Glacier.  Here we will have the chance to meet the climbers and to explore the area thoroughly. The full mass of the Khumbu icefall will not be viewed until we walk into the base camp, but the cracks and groans of the glacier and the roar of avalanches from the slopes around will be heard during the entire hike. Back to Gorakshep for overnight.

Day 11: Gorakshep- Dingboche (4530m/ 14,800ft): 6-7 hrs:
After Breakfast, we start descending down to Dingboche while stopping by Dughla for lunch.  Situated at an altitude of about 4530 meter, this is quite a popular place for visitors heading to the Everest region. As by now we are thoroughly acclimatized, the descend is a long but easy day down the moraine and flood plain of the Khumbu glacier.

Day 12: Dingboche – Chukung (4730m) - Island peak Base Camp (5087m) 6-7 hrs:
After Dingboche, we now head toward Island Peak Base Camp via Chukung (3 hours). Hidden in the moraine of the Lhotse and Nuptse glaciers, Chukung is a small summer settlement at 4,730m, from where the views of surrounding peaks are excellent. As we keep heading up the Imja Khola valley today, the sceneries from up the valley on the moraines towards Island peak are tremendous.  The great southern face of Lhotse towers above the north while the ever changing vista of Ama Dablam’s northern side keeps us accompanied throughout most of our journey. From Chukung, the trail follows the moraine of the Lhotse glacier to the snout of the Imja glacier where it branches to the east and skirts around the base of the Island peak. The main camp is made or set up at a spot known as Pareshaya Gyab at 5087m below the south ridge of Island peak. We could either make the summit attempt from this spot or from the high camp, situate at about 5600meters.

Day 13:  Training and Review
After breakfast, we set off for climbing and skill review training course under the guidance of one of our expert climbing Sherpa (guide) who shall also led the expedition the next morning.  During the training, he will teach us the skills needed to ascend safely, covering all aspects of the climb such as handling with ropes, self arrest with ice axe and ascending and descending ropes safely etc.  This (pre climb) training is very important for reviewing the climbing skills of participants (if any) and fitness required for attempting the summit. Most of our time today is spent practicing the climb and checking gears to ensure the safety and success of the summit bid. With all the proper acclimatization we have had during the past few days and the training being provided, everyone should be able to make the summit bid successfully.

Day 14: Summit Island Peak (6183m) - back to BC:
Using an early morning start, we continue up a rocky gully before traversing to the right. We gain elevation up the rocky ridge before coming to the base of the glacier. Here we rope up and continue up the glacier until the South ridge is reached. We follow this superb and classic ridge to the summit where outstanding views of Lhotse (27,890 feet), Makalu (27,805 feet), Ama Dablam (22,493 feet) and Baruntse (25,328 feet) are revealed. We then continue down to base camp for overnight.

Day 15: Extra Summit Day
In case of bad weather, we usually have an extra day for the summit. The next day we rise early, disassemble camp and continue back down the valley to the village of Chukung. We arrive in Chukung (4730m) by lunchtime, and relax and relish from our summit success.

Day 16: Chukung to Tengboche: 5-6 hrs
The trail makes a gradual descent through scrub junipers and around Mani stones as it follows the hillside. The trail passes many Mani walls in deep rhododendron forests where crossing after the Imja khola, the trail climbs many carved Mani stones to Pangboche. Pangboche Gompa is the oldest in Khumbu; a visit will be well worth. Walk down to the valley from where the trail is shallower through alpine meadows. Followed by climb gradually up to Tengboche (3,870m/12,697ft) where the biggest monastery lies in the whole of Khumbu.

Day 17: Tengboche – Namche Bazaar:  4-5 hrs
Walk down from the rear of monastery and continue down until we reach Phunki Tenga. Climb up gradually through a forest. Once we are out of the forest, we will be walking along a ridge from where there are views of some of the deepest gorges of Nepal. The trail drops sharply down to the Dudh Koshi and up toward Namche Bazaar, winding high above the river with views north towards Everest. In spring, the rhododendrons look beautiful making the valley very colorful. We reach Namche Bazaar for (3,440m/11,286ft), overnight.

Day 18: Namche Bazaar – Lukla: 6-7 hrs
From Namche, we trek back to Lukla today, along the same trail. This will obviously be the last day on the trail involving a hike down to Lukla by crossing eleven suspension bridges and reentering the fertile valleys of the lower Dudh Koshi. On arrival at Lukla, we rest and relax for a while before joining in the group celebration marking the successful completion of our trip. We say good bye to the rest of the crew members before retiring to bed and getting ready for an early morning take off to Kathmandu the next morning.

Day 19: Lukla – Kathmandu
We board on an early morning flight back to Kathmandu and say farewell to the mountains.  Upon arrival at Kathmandu Airport, we will be met by the Makalu Adventure representatives and taken to the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure or if you would like, you could spend your time doing some last minute shopping or exploring the ever puzzling Kathmandu bazaars, high streets, shopping malls or great restaurants. Farewell dinner in the evening and overnight at hotel.

Day 20: Kathmandu sightseeing
Today we set off for a guided sightseeing tour of the rest of the Kathmandu valley’s cultural, historical sites and attractions including the fascinating cities of Patan and Bhaktapur. In the evening we attend the farewell dinner hosted by Makalu Adventure.

Day 21: Final departure

Trip Cost Includes
  • All ground transfers as per our itinerary.
  • Thamel Eco resort Hotel in Kathmandu (including breakfast and all taxes).
  • Guided sightseeing in Kathmandu (including all entrance fees).
  • Welcome Dinner with Live Nepali Program hosted by Makalu Adventures.
  • Island Peak Climbing Permit Fee.
  • National Park Permit Fees (including all other entrance fees wherever applicable)
  • Mountain guide for climbing support (including his daily wages and insurance).
  • Airfare: Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu.
  • Fully organized camping trek arrangement (best camping equipments, tents, mattresses & etc)
  • Guide, cook, kitchen helper/porters - with their daily wages, insurance, foods and other expenses occurring in connection of this trip.
  • Everyday three times meals on trek, prepared by our very professional kitchen crew.

For Lodge-to-Lodge Trek (if and where applicable):

  • Accommodation and foods as available on the local lodges on the way while trekking.
Trip Cost Excludes
  • Nepal visa fee.
  • Airport taxes.
  • International airfare to and from Kathmandu.
  • Excess baggage charges.
  • Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu.
  • Extra night accommodation.
  • Travel and rescue insurance.
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, showers etc).
  • Helicopter rescue and evacuation if required.
  • Tips and gratitude

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Comming Soon