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Things to remember for Island Peak Climbing


Island peak climbing offers an excellent opportunity to climb a Himalayan Island Summit together with an exhilarating trek to the Everest Base Camp and Kala Pattar. In this journey, you will come across many mountain ranges in the Himalayas, as the trekking trail falls on the main trail leading to the Everest Base Camp. Here we will study the main things to remember for Island Peak Climbing and the context is as follows:

  • Introduction to Island Peak climbing

  • Overview of Island Peak

  • What to expect on Island Peak climbing

  • Where do we go during Island peak climbing

  • Itinerary for Island Peak climbing

  • The best time to visit Island Peak

Introduction to Island Peak climbing

Island peak is the popular name for Imja Tse. It was so named by a British mountaineer in 1953 because it stands majestically as an island in a sea of ice when viewed from Dingboche ( a Sherpa village in the Khumbu region of northeastern Nepal in the Chukhung Valley). Island Peak is a mountain located in Sagarmatha National Park of the Himalayas of eastern Nepal. This peak is actually an extension of the ridge that comes down from the south end of the Lhotse Shar, situated hardly 10 kilometers away from Mount Everest.

Overview of Island Peak

The Island Peak was originally used as a training peak by the pioneers Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Hillary before they made their historic ascent of Mount Everest. The route is still being used today and climbers also use the Island Peak to train themselves for their climb of  Mount Everest. This is mainly because the terrain of the Island peak is similar to that of Mount Everest, and climbers get ample knowledge and practice to make them ready for a much challenging climb. Island Peak climbing may be considered as a physically challenging climb, but it is not a technically challenging ascent. The climbing of Island Peak assures to give the climbers a splendid view of the surrounding mountains with a complimentary view of the hillside, glaciers and some famous mountain trails. It is advised that, even though the climb to the summit of the Island peak doesn't require much technical knowledge, one must have proper physical training at least 4-5 months prior to your trip. If you do not have any previous experience in high altitude climbing, then you will need to train a little extra to come up to the standards. 

What to expect on Island Peak climbing

Standing at a height of 6160 meters above sea level, the Island Peak trek cum climb provides a glorious view of the surroundings and of course towering mountain ranges, while you make your way towards the base camp of Island Peak. The trekking trail towards the base camp of the island peak goes through the main trekking trail of the Himalayas in Nepal and the route promises to be through beautiful valleys and wonderful scenery of the Khumbu region. Therefore, Island peak adventure offers a series of thrilling sceneries of Mount Everest and several other peaks alike. Additionally, you can explore the Buddhist monasteries and shrines as you go along the path. Hence the climb of Island Peak not only promises to be a pleasant and enjoyable one but also proves to provide some spectacular scenery of the surrounding Himalayas of the Khumbu region. You can witness the breathtaking view of the surrounding ranges including Mount Everest (8848m), Mount Nuptse (7855m), Mt. Lhotse (8516m), Mt. Makalu (8475m) along the east side of Island Peak. Towards the south of Island Peak, you come across the splendid view of Mount Baruntse (7720m) and Mount Ama Dablam (6856m). The pathway along the track also passes through smaller villages of Khumbu, Khunde, and Khumjung inhabited by Sherpas mostly. You will be provided with all the required briefing and equipment’s so as to provide you with hassle-free trekking experience.

Where do we go during Island peak climbing

Almost all the treks and expeditions to the Himalayas start with a Kathmandu visit and then Lukla airport. So your first halt will be at a hotel in Kathmandu. You can gather last-minute supplies which you think you might need for the journey and also have an equipment check. Please make sure your gears are in order and are functioning correctly by getting advice from our experts. A day is also kept aside for a sightseeing visit to Boudha, Swayambhunath and Pashupatinath temples. After this, we leave civilization towards Lukla airport the hilly airport closest to the Himalayas. The first night’s halt in the mountain region will be at Phakding which is located on the riverbank of Dudh Koshi. It is a small hamlet with a few cozy lodges scattered around. From Phakding we head towards Monjo to go past the Khumbu National Park, then we reach Namche Bazaar where we conduct the first acclimatization session. The next stop is Thyangboche, the home of the famous mountain monastery, which has a splendid view of the three enormous Himalayan valleys. From Thyangboche, we head towards Pheriche and after descending down a valley, we trek to Lobuche. From Lobuche, we visit the Everest Base Camp and then head towards Gorak Shep. After checking out the magnificent view of the Mount Everest atop Kala Pattar, we head down towards Dingboche. From Dingboche, we take the 5-hour walk towards our primary destination the Island peak Base camp where we rest for 5-hours the night and also have an acclimatization session and prepare ourselves for the climb. After climbing up the Island peak summit we head back towards Pangboche and then towards Namche. After spending a night each there, we make our way to Lukla airport where the plane will take us back to Kathmandu and back to civilization. 

Itinerary for Island Peak climbing

The trip to Island Peak starts with an hour flight from Kathmandu to Lukla Airport. The trail from Lukla, leads north from the airstrip and drops steeply for a bit, then descends gently to Phakding (2700m), your first overnight here. This is a two-hour trek. 

From Phakding the trail continues north up the Dudh Koshi Valley. (Koshi which means river in Nepali and it comes down from the Everest glacier). All along this part of the trail leading to Island peak, there is a magnificent forest of Magnolia, rhododendron and giant firs. On the cliffs above the river, it is possible to see musk deer and Himalayan tar. At Monjo, the trek enters the Sagarmatha National Park. The trail then follows the river and crosses Dudh Koshi and makes a steep climb to Namche (3440m). 

Namche is a very colorful Sherpa village where you will see vendors selling antiques and each Saturday there is an important weekly haat or market. The village is the best place to acclimatize to the extreme weather in the region. From Namche, The trail follows the Imja Khola (a River) and gradually ascends to Dingboche (4410m). From here the views are great and the mountain views are outstanding. This is a four hrs walk.

We continue the hike up the Imja Khola valley to Chukkung, a small summer settlement at 4730m. The views from Chukkung and further up the valley on the moraines towards Island peak (6189m) is of course, marvelous. The great south face of Lhotse towers above to the north. From Chukkung, we keep heading up the Imja Khola valley and camp at base camp 5087m. After further rest and gear check at the base camp, the climb continues till we reach the summit. 

This is just a basic pathway that takes 16days to complete including the sightseeing in the capital city,  Kathmandu. For a more vivid trek, the pathway will be adjusted and accommodated as per the requirement.

The best time to visit Island Peak

The monsoon is not the best time to take the adventure as heavy rainfall may become a hindrance and make it very uncomfortable for you during your visit to the Island peak. There are chances of extreme landslides and definitely slippery roads. 

The best time for a visit is the Autumn season (October-November) when you can witness clear blue skies and freshness all around, leading to much magnificent scenery. Spring season (March-May) can be considered as another good season to visit the Island peak. At this time of the year, you can take in the sight of different varieties of rhododendrons blooming and strewn across the hillside and covering it with a mixture of colors.  

On the contrary, Winter is not the best time to make the journey when the weather is too cold for comfort at such a high altitude, plus the snow can block the passes leading to the summit of Island Peak.

It is advised that, even though the climb to the summit of the Island peak doesn't require much technical knowledge, one must have proper physical training at least 4-5 months prior to your trip. If you do not have any previous experience in high altitude climbing, then you will need to train a little extra to come up to the standards. 


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