Island Peak Climbing – 20 Days


Introduction


Island Peak (6,160m), also known as Imja Tse, is a popular trekking-peak located in the Khumbu region of Nepal. It was named “Island Peak” by Eric Shipton’s party in 1951, since it appears as an island in a sea of ice when viewed from Dingboche. It actually is an extension of the ridge coming down off the south-end of Lhotse Shar separated by a small Col. Ever since a Swiss team first climbed it in 1956, Island peak has popularly been used as the trekking-peak in the Khumbu region. Starting from Lukla, the trek passes through numerous Sherpa villages, offering majestic views of high mountains of the region. Nuptse (7,879m), Lhotse (8,501m), Lhotse middle peak (8,410m), makes a semi circle in the north region. The view of Makalu (8475m) in the east, Baruntse and Ama Dablam in the south adds more charm to the trek.

Itinerary


Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu [1,300m]

Flying through Nepal on your way to Kathmandu offers tremendous views of snow-capped mountain and peaks. It’s an interesting welcoming through knowing you will have conquered these mountains upon your departure. Upon your arrival, the MSM Tours and Treks staff will be waiting to greet you discuss your travels and escort you to the hotel. We will offer some welcome drinks and let you explore through town during the evening.

Day 02 : Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley [1,300m]

Kathmandu is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its mysterious doors to visitors. The city presents a wonderful mix of Hindu, Tibetan, Buddhist and Western influence in the Valley. The neighboring cities of Patan and Bhaktapur provide immense historical, cultural and religious significance. There will be a half day guided tour to the infamous Hindu shrine of Pashupatinath, the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal Boudhanath, the 15th century palace of 55 windows and Swoyambhunath “the monkey temple”. Prior to your departure you will receive more information about the trip and offered an English-speaking guide to give you unique insights into the culture and architecture of each destination.

Day 03 : Flight to Lukla (2840m) and trek to Phakding (2610m) Flight duration: 45 minutes Hiking duration: 3 to 4 hours

You will start off with a flight to one of the world’s most dangerous airports – Lukla Airport in Solukhumbu. The flight takes you over the Himalayas giving you a breathtaking panorama view of the Himalayas, including the famous Mt.Everest, standing there with it snow clad peak in all its glory. As the flight continues, you can feel Mt.Everest grow on you. The landing onto the landing strip is a thrill in itself and is not for the faint-hearted. During the landing, the plane will seem rather unbalance and shaky due to the aggressive turning and tossing that is required to maneuver the plane onto the tiny landing strip. The altitude will hit you the moment you get off the plane. From Lukla you will start the trek along the Dudh Koshi (Milk River) which can be seen meandering into the horizon. You will be trekking amidst rhododendron forest which gives off a strong aroma of evergreen oak. The sighting of snowy peaks acts as an indicator that the trek is gradually going to get more challenging and the beginning of an adventure that will test one’s mental and physical strength. Overnight accommodation will be in a lodge.

Day 04 : Trek to Namche Bazaar (3480m) Hiking duration: 5 to 6 hours

The trail will start off relatively easy but will gradually become harder. You will be able to get your first glimpse of Everest as you are crossing the mighty Dudh Koshi. As you proceed on further the trail will lead you to Monjo where you could make a lunch stop over. The next part of the trail will be more difficult. The trail becomes steeper and will gain in altitude as we head towards Namche, leaving one with shortness of breath. One should not haste but rather progress slowly and steadily. You will be making a pit stop at Namche Bazaar for the night. It bustles with activity and the people of the Solukhumbu region conjugate in that area to do business. There are shops, restaurants, hotels, a bank and internet service which enable you to still get in touch with your love ones back home. Namche Bazaar offers an interesting insight as to how the people in the region live. Overnight accommodation will be in a lodge.

Day 05 : Rest day at Namche Bazaar

Namche Bazaar is known as the Sherpa “capital”. You can use your time to acclimatize, relax and explore around Namche Bazaar. Most of the trekkers prefer to get up before sunrise to take in the impressive views of Mount Everest, Thamserku, Ama Dablammand other magnificent peaks from the Sagarmatha National Park Headquaters which is perched on the east side of town which houses a museum. One can get a chance to witness the shadow of the mountains being projected onto the clouds above and truly appreciate the magnitude of the mountains. One should try salt-butter tea and Champa – a kind of barley often consume by the sherpas in the region as it is one of the main energy supplements there. The lively cultural Saturday market is worth a visit and is usually brimming with traders who are trying to desperately sell off their products. Overnight will be in a lodge.

Day 06 : Trek to Tengboche [3867m] Hiking Duration: 4 to 5 hours

From Namche, the trail contours around the side of the valley, high above the Dudh Kosi. From there, we will be able to get our first decent views of the great peaks of the Khumbu including Mt Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam. Passing by several villages and numerous tea shops, we will be descending steeply to a bridge over the river at Phunki Tenga. We can make a stopover at the village to have lunch and rest before making the steep climb to Tengboche. Although tiring, the hike up the zigzag path has numerous distractions, with rhododendron bushes, beautiful birds and superb mountain scenery. Tengboche is famous for its legendary monastery, the largest in the Khumbu. Overnight accommodation will be in a lodge.

Day 07 : Trek to Pheriche (4240m) Hiking duration: 5 to 6 hours

Beyond Tenbboche you can feel the altitude difference and can affect you. The trail to Pheriche leaves one wanting for more. The trail drops down to Devuche, crosses the Imja Khola and climbs past many unique Mani stones in Pangboche. These stones have carvings of the Tibetan Buddhist chant (Om Mani padme hum) that virtually speak about the rich culture of the area. Pangboche is believed to be where the Sherpa’s originally settled in Khumbu. Due to pressure of famine and feudal warfare, they migrated from Kham, in eastern Tibet. Pangboche gompa is the original gompa established by Lama Dorje, who guided the Sherpas from Kham into Khumbu. The gompa is worth visiting and donating to the lama will ensure viewing of some yeti relics. The village is a nice place for a stopover for lunch. The trail then climbs to Pheriche which stands at 4240m. Overnight accommodation will be in a lodge.

Day 08 : Trek to Lobuche [4930m] Hiking Duration: 4 to 5 hours

We will continue up the wide valley beneath the impressive peaks of Cholatse and Tawache on the left. We will then turn right and climb a steeper incline towards the foot of the Khumbu Glacier. We can make a stopover at the tea house at Duglha, before continuing on with our zigzagging up through the boulders of the glacier’s terminal moraine. At the top of this climb there are many stone cairns, built as memorials to the many Sherpas who have died while climbing Mt Everest. The path then climbs gently along the glacier and eventually leads the cluster of houses at Lobuche. Overnight accommodation will be in a lodge.

Day 09 : Trek to Gorakshep [5184m] Hiking Duration: 4 to 5 hours

Today our goal will be to reach Kala Pattar. We will start off by taking the trail that follows the Khumbu Glacier, and which offers superb views of the surrounding mountains, especially where the path is forced to rise to cross a tributary glacier. We will be stopping for lunch at Gorakshep. Later in the late afternoon, when the Sun begins to set behind Everest, we will make our way to the top of one of the finest viewpoints in the Everest region, Kalapattar [5554m]. As the light begins to fade we will stroll back to Gorakshep and have an early night in for the preparation for our trek to Everest Base Camp the following day. Overnight accommodation will be in a lodge.

Day 10 : Trek to Everest base camp [5357m] Hiking Duration: 4 to 5 hours

To reach the Everest Base Camp at the most optimum time period, we will have to begin in the wee morning as it will take several hours on a trail which weaves its way through ice pinnacles and pass the crevasses of the Khumbu Glacier. On the return leg, we can take a higher route to get a spectacular view of the Khumbu icefall and the route to the South Col. Or we can choose to return to Gorakshep. Overnight accommodation will be in a lodge.

Day 11: Trek to Dingboche (4360m) Hiking duration: 5 to 6 hours

From Gorak shep, you will be descending through Duglha. It is a long but easy trail down to Dingboche. The trail is mostly isolated with only the flattering and flapping of prayer flag to remind you of the existence human activities there. Overnight accommodation will be in a lodge.

Day 12: Trek to Chukhung [4750m] Hiking Duration: 4 to 5 hours

Today, we have an easy walk for about 2 hours, climbing up gradually to the small settlement of Chukhung. Along the way we have great views of Island Peak and contemplate about the challenge that awaits us. Chukkung is a scraggy place which feels like it is on the edge of the world.On the left is Lhotse and on the right is Baruntse. Overnight accommodation will be at camp.

Day 13: Trek to Island Peak Base camp [5150m] Hiking Duration: 4 to 5 hours

Another easy day, the trail crosses the river and follows the valley for approx 3 hours, passing beneath the magnificent south face of Lhotse. The base camp is by the side of the Imja glacier, below steep grassy slopes which mark the start of the climb on Island Peak. We will be overnighting at camp.

Day 14: Trek to High camp Hiking Duration: 4 to 5 hours

We ascend a little further to high camp where we will relax and make the final preparations for our gruesome climb tomorrow. We will be overnighting at camp.

Day 15: Ascent of Island peak [6173m] Hiking Duration: 4 to 5 hours

Crossing the gully above the camp the trail makes a climb for another hour to a narrow ridge, leading on to the glacier. Here we will rope-up and put on our crampons as the most interesting part of the climb begins with the glacier crossing. This is followed by the steep snow slope that leads onto the summit ridge. This ridge is wonderfully airy and on reaching the summit we will be shrouded by stunning close-up views of the south face of Lhotse looming over us and more dramatic mountain views. We will descend along the same route, down to base camp and overnight at camp.

Day 16: Trek to Pangboche [3950m] Hiking Duration: 6 to 7 hours

After descending along the trail to Chukhung, we will continue on to Dingboche where we will be stopping over for lunch. It will take another couple of hours of hiking to reach the lovely village of Pangboche. Overnight accommodation will be in a lodge.

Day 17: Trek to Namche [3450m] Hiking Duration: 6 to 7 hours

Today we will be following alongside the river and, after crossing it, climb back up through birch and rhododendron forest to Tengboche. Kwangde, Tawache, Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Kantega and Thamserku are just a few of the Himalayan giants that can be seen standing radiantly. From Tengboche we will descend to the bridge over the Dudh Kosi at Phunki Tenga, where there are water driven prayer wheels, before making our way back to Namche. Overnight accommodation will be lodge.

Day 18: Trek to Lukla [2800m] Hiking Duration: 5 to 6 hours

Our final day’s trekking follows the Dudh Kosi back down to Lukla. This last evening in the mountains will be the ideal opportunity for a farewell party with the Sherpa guides and porters, where we will be able sample some chang- local alcohol, try Sherpa dancing and look back on a memorable trekking experience. Overnight accommodation will be in a lodge.

Day 19: Fly to Kathmandu Flying Duration: 45 minute

We pack up early and head for the airstrip for the flight back to Kathmandu

Day 20: Farewell

A representative of MSM Tours and Treks will take you to the airport approximately 3 hours from your scheduled flight. On your way home you will have plenty of time to plan your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.

Cost


Cost Included

  • Kathmandu to Lukla to Kathmandu flight ticket for you and trekking guide.
  • All necessary permits to trek and climb.
  • One Professional Trekking guide and his wages and salaries.
  • Insurance for the trekking staffs.
  • One climbing guide and his wages and salaries.
  • Accommodation on a normal lodge during trek and accommodation on camp during climb.
  • Food (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) and 3 times of tea or coffee per day during climbing period (4 days).
  • First aid kit for trekking guide.
  • Good equipment for your guide to trek (wind jacket, Water bottle, hiking shoes).

Cost Not-Included

  • Tips and Bonus for Staff and guide
  • Personal Expenses.
  • Entrance fees for temple and monastery.
  • Donations in Temples, schools, Monasteries, etc.
  • Personal trekking and climbing gears.
  • First aid kit (for you).
  • Emergency Rescue evacuation.
  • Insurance of any kind.
  • Which is not mention on Cost Includes

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