NOMADIC
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ISLAND peak climb 

Island Peak is one of the best opportunities to climb a peak over 6000m and take your mountaineering skills to the next level.

Island Peak Climb 

Island Peak in Nepal was named by 1952 by Shiptons party and although it was later renamed Imja Tse, many of the locals still refer to it as Island Peak. From base camp, the climb to the summit involves some steep sections, where the use of crampons, Ice-axe and ropes are necessary, and for this reason we use highly experienced guides who know the mountain very well, to guide you to the summit. All the way top high camp it is a trek but once you start to climb above high camp it becomes a long hard climb. he first section entails a steep 400m section that zig zags up a rock and scree paths that requires some scrambling in places. The rock starts to smooth out in appearance and then you get the bottom of the steep ridge up to cramp-on point. We then rope up and start to hike across the glacier. At around 5,900m/ 19,357ft the altitude slows the pace as you arrive to the 100m/ 328ft head wall which you need to climb. From the top of that there are a few ridges all the way to the summit. The height of Island Peak is 6160m. Seen from the summit are the mountains of Nuptse (7,879m), Lhotse (8,501m), Lhotse Middle Peak (8,410m) and Lhotse Shar (8,383m), as well as Makalu (8475m) in the east, Baruntse and Ama Dablam in the South. For many, climbing Island Peak marks the beginning of climbing on Himalayas as it enables people to practice climbing with the use of technical equipment.

The climb can be done alone or with a pre climb add on to Everest Base Camp to acclimatise.

everest base camp trek profile
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best time to climb

The hike can be done throughout the year, however, Autumn (Sep - Nov) is often considered to be the best season for hiking in Nepal with a great climate and several festivals. although it is a little colder than Spring, the skies tend to be much clearer. Spring, (March - May) is the next favourite and also main summit season for Mt Everest. During spring time, the Khumbu valley erupts with beautiful rhododendron flowers. June to August is monsoon season so the route is quiet. During November and December it is cold but again, some travellers find it worth visiting during this period, as there are fewer tourists. 

travel insurance

The cost of a medical evacuation from the mountain is expensive, which is why adequate travel insurance  is required on all climbs booked through us. Adequate, means you must be covered for 1) Trekking or hiking – this may sound strange, but many insurance list that as an exclusion. 
2) Altitude up to 6,000 meters. Most travel insurance providers do not include this under their standard cover and often limit it to 3500m or less. 
3) Sprains strains and physiotherapy – yes, many insurers exclude this; though ironically, this is what you will most likely need cover for. 
4) Personal accident – this is the horrible part of insurance. Yes, you need to be covered in the case of death. We are often told by clients – “if anything happens to me, just leave me there.” It is not that simple. 

https://www.nomadicadventures.co.za/Travel-Insurance.html

Island Peak Climb Overview

Day-1: Arrive Kathmandu
 Day-2: Guided Sightseeing in Kathmandu 
Day-3: Flight: Kathmandu (1,310m) - Lukla (2,840m). Trek to Phakding (2,610m) 
Day-4: Trek Phakding to Namche (3,440m) (5-6 hrs).
Day-5: Acclimatisation at Namche 
Day-6: Namche to Tengboche (3,860m) 
Day-7: Tengboche to Dingboche (4,410m). 
Day-8: Trek to Chhukung (4730m). 
Day-9: Island Peak Base Camp Climb(5,087m) 
Day-10: Climb Island Peak Summit (6160m) 
Day-11: Contingency Day-12: Contingency 
Day-13: Trek to Namche (3,440m) (4 hrs). 
Day-14: Namche to Lukla (2,840m) (7 hrs). 
Day-15: Flight: Lukla - Kathmandu (1,310m).
Day-16: Free at leisure 
Day-17: Depart Kathmandu                 

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ISLAND PEAK AND EVEREST BASE CAMP CLIMB

Day-1: Arrive Kathmandu

 Arrival and transfer to Hotel.

Day-2: Guided Sightseeing

 Guided sightseeing around Kathmandu Valley.

Day-3: Flight: Kathmandu (1,310m) - Lukla (2,840m). Trek to Phakding (2,610m).

Our early morning hike to begins with a flight into Lukla - is a lifetime experience, in itself. The airfield is on a slope and the difference between the two ends of the runway is about 460 meters! You will land  on an airstrip built by Sir Edmund Hillary and the Sherpas in the mid-1960s. After meeting with guides and porters and a short break for tea we hike away from Lukla towards Everest base camp for a few hours along the Dudh Kosi River to Phakding 2,610m. Once you have trekked through the small village of Ghat (2550m), Phakding is a short walk away. 

Day-4: Phakding (2,610m) Namche bazaar (3,440m).

After leaving Phakding the path takes us through a magnificent forest of rhododendron, magnolia trees and giant fir trees alongside the Dhud-Kosi river through small villages like Bekar and Monju. You will crisscross over the river a few times on high suspension bridges until you eventually come to the Sagarmatha Check Point where your permits needs to be checked. The climb then goes downhill to the river and then all the way back up to Namche.    The trail heads up through blue pine forests and as you climb there are rhododendron trees which bloom in Spring   time. Namche is the largest Sherpa village  and is the unofficial capital of the Khumbu, gateway to the high Himalayas.  This relatively small town is a bustling tourist zone and  trading hub literally is perched on a sloping hill. It is surrounded on all sides by mountains, from Thamserku to Kongde Ri. Trekkers  heading to Mt. Everest, Gokyo, Island Peak and many other  destinations for both trekking and expedition, have at least  two nights  stopover in Namche to acclimatise.

Day-5: Namche bazaar (acclimatisation 3,440 m)

We will spend time here on short walks to acclimatise. Although it says acclimatisation, this means you need to walk for the principle of climb high and sleep low, meaning we gain altitude,   then descend again to sleep low, enabling our bodies to better adjust to the altitude. A slow and steady pace with adequate time for acclimatisation is key to success. So we hike up to Everest View hotel for just that, a view of Mt Everest, assuming the weather is clear.

Day-6: Trek from Namche to Tengboche (3,860m)

With incredible views of the Thamserku we steadily descend to the Imja Khola where we see a series of water driven prayer wheels at the little river spot of Pungi Tanga. After a lunch we begin the slow long steep climb to the famous Tengboche Monastery (3,860m) - one of the most beautiful places in the world.  Apart from natural scenery mountain views, many festivals take place here, such as Mani Rimdu festival. This festival performed at the monasteries in Tengboche, Chiwang, and Thame. This sacred ceremonies held for nineteen days; culminating in a 3-day public festival.  Lamas and monks dress in colorful attire with elaborate and dance to the victory of Buddhism over Bon. We will get amazing views of Mt. Ama , meaning Mother's Charm Box. According to legend, Lama Sange Dorjee, who came from Tibet's Rongbuk Monastery, founded Thyangboche Monastery in the 17th century. Thyangboche was destroyed by an earthquake in 1933, rebuilt and again badly damaged by a fire in 1989. Construction of the present monastery was completed in 1992. We may continue down to Deboche for the night where it is warmer and accommodation options better.    

Day-7: Tengboche to Dingboche (4,410m)          

Continuing up the Imja Khola valley, we hike towards Dingboche (4,410). The route is easier with a lot less steep ascents than on Namche or Tengboche trek. The terrain becomes like a tundra of grasses and vast open plains as the opens up ahead of you. Dingboche is the highest permanent Sherpa settlement in the region and also lies on the  Island Peak.

Day-8: Dingboche to Lobuche 

We have a gentle climb away from Dingboche above the Pheriche valley. After ascending up a small ridge we contour around the base of Khumbu Glacier before climbing for about two hours up Thokla Pass for about 210m in altitude gain. At the top of the are several memorial sites with endless strands of prayer flags dedicated to Himalayan climbers who lost their lives in pursuit of their climbing dreams.  We then continue alongside the terminal moraine to Lobuche (4,930m).

Day-09: Lobuche to Gorakshep (5,140m) to Everest Base (6-8 hrs).                  

Our distance is quite far as we walk past Gorekshep and continue to base camp Everest itself. We then retrace our steps from base camp to Gorek Shep for our night stop. If there is a chance of clear weather  in the afternoon we may ascend Kala Patthar instead and watch the sunset though what we do will be a decision with the group and guide. Overnight Lodge.

Day-10: Hike up to Kala Patthar (5,545m) return to Dingboche.                  

After climbing Kala Patthar for early more sunrise views across Everest, you retrace your steps to Gorekshep, down to Lobuche and then head to Dingboche (4,410m) 

Day-11-Dingboche to Chhukung (4730m).

From Dingboche, we then head east into the Chhukhung Valley Lhotse. From here you will also have magnificent views of the incredible Amadablam (6856 m.), probably the most photographed mountain in Nepal.

Day-12: Island Peak Base Camp 

Today, we climb along the Imja Khola to Island peak base camp, a pleasant site by a small lake with fine views of the Lhotse Glacier and Nuptse-Lhotse wall. You will reach the Base Camp of Imja Tse today. Once camp has been set up you will be free to get your climbing gear in order and get organized for your ascent of the peak tomorrow.

Day-13: Climbing Island Peak Summit to a height of 6160m

You will start early for the summit climb. The going gets difficult once you reach the bottom of the steep icefall below the summit. Great care and caution must be exercised while climbing the wall to emerge on the ridge leading to the summit. After the summit of Island Peak, you will descend back down to Base Camp and Chhukhung.

Day-14:Contingency

Day-15: Contingency                                

 Day-16: Trek to Namche (3,440m) (4 hrs). 

The trail today will descend quite steeply as we head back down towards Namche.

Day-17: Namche to Lukla (2,840m) (7 hrs).       

Trek further to the mountain airstrip at Lukla to catch your return flight to Kathmandu . Weather permitting your crew might prepare a farewell treat for you. You would be expected to join in the singing and the dancing!

Day-18: Flight: Lukla - Kathmandu (1,310m). 

Day-19: Free at leisure

Day-20: Depart Kathmandu

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Island Peak Frequently Asked Questions

What is a trekking peak?

‘The term 'Trekking Peaks’ describes mountains that can be attempted without prior technical climbing experience. The term is most often associated with Group "B" NMA Climbing Peaks classified by the Nepal Mountaineering Association or easier. Because of the term's loose classification of peaks it can be misleading, encompassing peaks of significant varying difficulties. Some may use the term "Trekking Peak" to solely describe peaks requiring little to no technical climbing experience.  In Nepal there are currently 15 Group "B" NMA Trekking Peaks. 

In terms of the International French adjectival system grading system, Island Peak is graded as PD, peu difficile (slightly difficult). Routes may be longer at altitude, with snow and ice slopes up to 45 degrees. Glaciers are more complex, scrambling is harder, climbing may require some belaying, descent may involve rappelling. More objective hazards.

How difficult/challenging is Island Peak?

The first part of the trek takes you along the normal route to Everest Base Camp so as to give you plenty of time to acclimatise to the altitude prior to climbing Island Peak. Once you reach Base Camp on Island Peak the steepness increases quite drastically and entails so loose rock and scrambling to get to Crampon point. From this point on you will be moving on fixed rope lines wearing crampons and working with an ascender and belay. In certain seasons the use of ladders may be required if there are open crevasses. The real crux of climbing Island Peak is the final 150 meters at the head wall and then ridge to summit.

What is the hardest part of Island Peak?

For the vast majority of people it is the head wall/ ice wall leading to the summit.

This section requires a lot of technical skill and strength as you maneuver between the anchor points while using your climbing axe and crampons to grip the ice.

What are the tea houses like on the main trail?

The rooms are all generally basic.  The higher elevation rooms do not have toilets, and some facilities only have squat toilets. Lodges at lower levels may have attached private bathrooms.  There is no heating and electricity is often solar and on only for a few hours in the evening. Rooms have a bed, pillow and a thick blanket a small light.

When is the best time or months to climb Imja Tse/Island Peak?

The best time to visit Island Peak is either side of the late May to mid-September monsoon season. The autumn months of September, October and November are prime times to climb Island Peak, with October being the busiest time when conditions are the most stable. The second most suitable time to attempt Island Peak is during spring (March to early June).

Can I charge my camera batteries and mobile phone during the trek?

Yes, you can charge your batteries and mobile phones in every place by paying extra at the rooms do not have charging facilities. The price of charging may vary in different places. It is wise to bring your power bank which you can charge in Kathmandu and use it in the higher area as charging batteries in the higher area is quite costly. Chukkung is the last place you may be able to charge anything before you head to base camp where you will be camping. Remember that charging is done via solar power so no sun, means no charging.

What gear do I need for the climb?

Before setting out we will provide you with a full equipment list. However there are certain basics for all peaks over 6000m. Plastic boots are essential and should be the double boot (with a soft inner and hard plastic shell), as temperatures can drop to below -20C. If you plan on buying these before you leave then make sure you can wear a double layer sock in them with plenty of room for your toes to move. Otherwise you can rent them in Nepal as they are an expensive item to buy or rent from Chukkung where is will cost less in the long run.

Crampons are worn with the plastic boot as either a strap on or clip on depending on the type. You will use these for the majority of the time you spend on the glacier and summit day. Again, these can be rented.

A climbing harness is the next essential item which you will wear over your trekking pants.


What is crampon point?

Crampon point is the point which separates from rock section above high camp from the snow line of the mountain and is the point at which you put on your plastic boots and crampons on, and attach yourselves to rope line.


How will the altitude affect me ?

This is a really difficult one to answer directly - "how will I cope with the altitude". To be honest, this is an ' unknown' factor as no-one can predict how your body will cope at altitude. People, who have been to altitude many times in the past without problems, may on one climb suddenly develop problems. There are many factors that play a role. The only way to help combat this is to take all of the necessary precautions, and walk slowly.

What is the weight limits for the plane to Lukla?

The flights to Lukla have a limit of 10 kilograms per person of checked luggage and 5 kilograms per person in hand luggage.  They weigh all bags and will charge you if your bags are overweight. It is for this reason that it is a good idea to rent your climbing gear in Chukkung.

Where can I get climbing Insurance for Island Peak?

If you are going hiking or climbing or trekking then you need extra cover for your activities. Hiking and Climbing have become popular for many adventure seekers looking to add a climb up Kilimanjaro or a trek to Everest Base Camp, Annapurna or even Island Peak to their list of amazing adventures. But any climb to high altitude carries with it a number of risks and having the correct and good trekking insurance is an absolute must. We recommend two different groups depending on which country you reside in. For further details, click here


Are there crevasses on Island Peak?

Yes there are. The extent to which you encounter them will depend on the snow and ice conditions on the mountain at the time of your climb. The glacier en-route to summit has some deep crevasses which are constantly moving, opening and closing. For this reason you ‘may’ need to be comfortable with ladders.

How fit do I need to be?

You need to be in good physical shape and able to sustain extended periods of hard climbing, as summit day can be up to 12 hours long. You should start training a good 4-6 months prior to the trip with extended periods of cardio workouts and hill walking. Although you will receive training at the peak on using mountaineering equipment, you should also take a course in basic climbing skills so that you are familiar with the rope work before you arrive.  

Why do we need contingency days?

These are built in, in case of bad weather or heavy snow fall that may delay your summit, either from Chukkung or even up to High Camp. If you do not need them you can return to Kathmandu earlier but the cost of the extra days in a hotel will not be covered by the climb cost.

What happens if I cannot continue my climb or have to turn back?

Unfortunately this is something every trekker has to consider.  Anything from a stomach bug to altitude sickness can quickly stop a trekker in their tracks. If you are ill and need to turn back or even too tired to continue,  a porter will walk off the mountain with you and your gear. If you require emergency evacuation, this will be contingent on your insurance cover. It is for this reason that insurance cover for this purpose is mandatory.