If you are looking for a guide to the Island Peak Climb visit, here are a few things that can help you get a heads-up before you enter the realms of the mighty mountains. The climb is becoming extremely popular as more and more climbers visit the Island Peak Base camp to reach the point at a height of 6189 meters. All of this about an Island Peak climb and more are delicately put in the following manner:

  • Island Peak: a History
  • Prologue for Island Peak Climb
  • Experiencing Island Peak Climb
  • Hotels and settlements during Island Peak Climb
  • Where to go on Island Peak Climb
  • When to visit Island Peak Climb

Island Peak: a History

The name Island Peak was given by Eric Shipton when he came with his British Everest Expedition crew in 1953. The mountain was so named as it appears to be like an island in a sea of ice and snow. It was later changed to Imja Tse in 1983, but the name Island Peak is more popular than its latest name. The Island Peak climb was originally used by the British expedition as a part of a practice climb before they made their historic ascent of Mount Everest in 1953. The team who climbed Imja Tse comprised Tenzing Norgay, Charles Evans, Alfred Gregory, Charles Wylie, and seven other Sherpas. Since then the peak has been a training climb before making the ascent of the mighty Everest for many mountaineers. The British expedition of 1953 scaled the southwest summit of Island Peak, but the first to make it atop the main summit were the members of the Swiss team comprising Hans-Rudolf Von Gunten and two unknown Sherpas.

Prologue for Island Peak Climb

The trip to Island Peak is a popular trek that includes all the necessary elements required to make your trek in the Himalayas a memorable one. The trekking path towards Island Peak walks us through the green valleys of the Himalayan region. You can indulge yourself in the century-old Nepali and Tibetan culture while you make your way towards the base camp. The Island Peak trip offers the most spectacular scenery of the mountain ranges located in the Khumbu Region. The path lies on the same trail leading the trekking party towards the famous Everest Base Camp until the path separates on reaching Dingboche. Since it runs along the famous trail, you will come across many lodges and settlements in quaint villages as you go forward. You will also make your way through jungles filled with birds and dominated by Rhododendron trees and fir trees. The sceneries you come across on almost every turn once you travel uphill are also worth mentioning. That's probably because there are numerous viewpoints along the path where you can envision the sight of the mighty mountains surrounding the area.

Experiencing Island Peak Climb

The Island Peak climb is considered to be a physically challenging climb, rather than a technically difficult climb. We will be providing the guides for the trek as well as for the climb including the porters to help you with your luggage. However, in order to be successful with the climb, one must be a fit and enthusiastic advanced beginner with basic climbing skills. The whole trip is also adjusted according to the pace taken by the trekking party so that you can enjoy the journey to the maximum. There are some points where we have assigned an extra day for acclimatization, and you can make full use of that particular day. There will be no hassle for lodging during your trek as there are lots of cozy lodges to stay in along the trail. The hosts in these lodges and tea houses are well-known for their hospitality, so you are in good hands. Despite the extremity in terrain and harshness of the climate, our tour guides are properly trained to help you reach the base camp and make the climb successfully.

Hotels and settlements during Island Peak Climb

The only hotel you might get the luxury of staying in will be when you are in Kathmandu for the first time and at the end of the trip. As you make your way up the valleys, the altitude rises rapidly, and the face of civilization falls with the same vigor. But since you will be taking the popular trekking trail leading to many base camps, including Mount Everest Base camp, there are numerous villages with comfy lodges at cheap rates for your disposal. Your first lodging in the mountains after leaving Kathmandu will be held at Phakding, a small hamlet located on the banks of Dudh Koshi. As you go further up the valley, you will reach Namche Bazaar inhabited mostly by Sherpas, and here as well, there are a number of small cozy lodges and tea houses for you to spend the night in. While reaching Deboche via Thyangboche from Namche, you might notice a drop in the density of the villages you pass. Nonetheless, the people hosting their guests at the settlements are the most friendly people and are well known for their hospitality.

You will have a night’s halt at Lobuche where you will be spending the night at a tea house settlement. The same applies when you make your way to Gorak Shep and downhill towards Dingboche. You will be provided with a sufficient amount of blankets to keep yourself warm at night. Even if the days are relatively warmer in the mountains, the night can be extremely chilly and windy. So it is important you keep yourself warm to avoid getting sick at this altitude. As you reach the Island Peak Base camp, the camping experts will help you set up camps for a night’s rest before your attempts to climb the Island Peak. Depending on the itinerary you have chosen, we may visit the 2nd Base camp of Island Peak, where we will need to set up another campsite for the night. As you retrace your steps, you will be visiting the same places you stayed at earlier Until we fly back to Kathmandu, where you will get the first sight of modern civilization after more than 15 days in the Mountain region.

Where to go on Island Peak Climb

The normal and easier route involves the starting of the trip after your arrival in Kathmandu. A day is kept aside to check your equipment and also to get a briefing about the importance of acclimatization at high altitudes by our staff. Another day will be set for local sightseeing, where you can visit the religious Boudha of the Buddhists, and the Swayambhunath and Pashupatinath of the Hindus to receive blessings before you embark on the mountain journey. On the 3rd day, we fly to Lukla Airport via Kathmandu Airport, from where your trekking starts. The first place we come to is Phakding. Being a small hamlet on the banks of the river Dudh Koshi, the location has several lodges scattered along the river. We stay for a night in one of those lodges. The next day is an uphill climb towards Namche Bazaar, which is the capital of the Khumbu Region. It is inhabited mostly by the sherpas who are well known for their hospitality. A day is set for the acclimatization session as the trail gets steeper from here on. You can also witness the Namche Haat, which is held on Saturdays at the nearby marketplace. On this day, Tibetan merchants are allowed to cross the Nepal Tibet Border and sell their wares. It is definitely a colorful sight and if you wish you can purchase souvenirs to take back home in memory of your mountain trip.

After our entertainment at Namche, we head uphill and make our way through to Thyangboche and Thyangboche Monastery. This monastery is visited by many climbers to pay respect to Lord Buddha, and still, some visit the monastery for the splendid viewpoint at this location. It is one of the highest-altitude Monasteries in the world. After coming together with this holy place, we make our way to Deboche to rest for the night.  After visiting the Deboche Convent which was completely restored by Climb High in 2015, we make our way to Periche. The trail is on a broad and gently sloping valley leading to Phalang Karpo (4340m). The trail leads us to excellent viewpoints of Tawachee and Cholatse peaks at a height of 6440 meters. As we make our way to Dungla, the trail becomes steeper and we come across a row of snow monuments built in the memory of the brave climbers who tried on their climb of Mount Everest. As the trail lowers a little, we reach the valley of Lobuche (4930m), and the total hike from Pheriche takes 4 to 5 hours.

After a night’s halt at Lobuche, we make our way towards Gorak Shep and come across Everest Base camp. This campsite is normally a place bustling with people climbing or practicing to climb during Springtime. You can ponder on the thought of being stuck in the campsite while trying to make the ascent of Everest. We turn in a cozy settlement at Gorak Shep after a tiring trek keeping in mind the main task up ahead the next day. That is probably because, in the morning, we will be heading uphill to climb Kala Pattar at a height of 5455 meters.  Kala Pattar is a great vantage point to envision the magnificence of the sunrise and the rays that fall on Mount Everest, from such close proximity, and at such a great height. After the enlightening sight, we head down towards Dingboche to rest for the night.

The following day, we leave Dingboche towards our primary destination, the Island Peak Base camp. The hike is about a 5-hour walk from Dingboche, and we trek across Imja Valley towards Chukkung,  a small summer settlement at a height of 4730m. The view from Chukung towards Island Peak is tremendous and not to be missed. From Chukkung, we keep heading uphill on Imja Valley to finally arrive at our destination, the Island Peak Base camp where we set up camp for the night. The day after this is kept aside for acclimatization to the higher altitude, and also to recheck your equipment and get basic practice to climb Imja Tse from our climbing experts. The next day is a summit day. We scale the island Peak which is at a height of 6189 meters with the help of our climbing experts. After a tiring climb of the Island Peak, we head towards the next base camp to set camp for the night. 

After witnessing the climb we head downhill towards Pangboche and Namche, where we spend a night in each village. From Namche, we make our long walk back to Lukla Airport through the bank of Dudh Koshi, to end your expedition of the Island Peak. We fly back to Kathmandu, where you can get back to the first hit of civilization after almost 2 whole weeks of the mountain.

When to visit Island Peak Climb

Spring season from March to May and the Autumn season from mid-September to November are the best seasons for this trip. Although the Island Peak Climb can be made during the winter season, the cold temperature might not be suitable for everyone. Monsoon is another season not good for visiting the island peak or anywhere nearby in the context as the trekking trails are muddy and slippery. Not to forget the view is foggy and clouded from the best viewpoints in the world.

Resource: Island Peak Climb