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Island Peak Climbing

Island Peak Climbing

Island Peak aka Imja Tse is a mountain situated in the Everest region. The peak of Imja Tse was named as Island Peak by Eric Shipton since it looked like an island in a sea of ice when viewed from Dingboche. Island peak is one of the most popular trekking peaks in the Khumbu region. Climbing the peak is an exciting experience for every trekkers and climbers. Scaling the Island peak also lays a foundation for climbers who would later wish to climb other higher peaks. The trip takes you to the world of mountains where you enjoy scenic view of world’s tallest mountains while exploring the tradition and culture of people living in the higher Himalayas.

Our expedition begins with a scenic flight to Lukla from Kathmandu airport. The next day we fly all the way to Hillary airport in Lukla. We will then go to Namche Bazaar which is a junction for trekkers, the Sherpas’ and the expeditors en route to the mighty Everest. En route you will see the interspersed villages, the forest filled with colorful rhododendrons, magnolia and giant firs and many scenic views that adds more excitements to your expedition. Leaving Namche behind we trek along a high traversing path where we have our first glimpse of Mt. Everest. Walking further we reach Thyangboche Monastery which resides at the height of 3867m. The monastery is located on a ridge top which offers the scenic view of Everest landscape. The trail further descends to Imja Khola and continues to the villages of Pangcoche and Pheriche before reaching Khumbu Glacier. The Island peak climbing begins after reaching to Base camp and trekking further to High camp (5600m). We start early in the morning usually between 1-3 AM. We struggle to summit the peak by hiking some rocky path and passing through the broad open gully. We do not need prior experience to scale the Island peak but knowledge about the climbing gears, rope climbing ext would be an advantage. We wrap up our expedition by returning to Lukla from where we board a flight back to Kathmandu. Our itinerary has been designed in such a way that it provides ample time for acclimatization and trek preparation so as to accomplish the adventure successfully. 

Trip Highlights

  • Experience magnificent flight to Lukla from Kathmandu (Enjoy the view of Himalayan range from the flight)
  • Step inside and experience the lifestyle and traditions of people living in the Himalayas (esp. Sherpa)
  • Trek in Sagarmatha National Park (Listed in UNESCO world heritage natural site)
  • Discover numerous Buddhist monasteries and other cultural monuments. 
  • Explore variety of floras and faunas  
  • Explore the Sherpa Museum in Namche Bazaar, a busy Sherpa settlement at the altitude of 3440m
  • Visit Tengboche Monastery situated at the height of 3860m
  • Discover rich Buddhist and Tibetan culture and traditions
  • Visit Sir Edmund Hillary memorials (Sir Edmund Hillary School in Khumjung and Sir Edmund Hillary Hospital in Khunde Valley)
  • Witness Eye-popping view of world’s highest mountain, Mt. Everest 
  • Ascend Island Peak

Outline Itinerary

Day 01 : Arrive in Kathmandu

Day 02 : Fly to Lukla and Trek to Phakding (2652m) [3 hours of trekking]

Day 03 : Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3440m) [6 hours]

Day 04 : Acclimatization in Namche (3420m)

Day 05 : Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (3860m) [5-6 hours]

Day 06 : Tengboche to Dingboche (4360m) [5-6 hours]

Day 07 : Dingboche to Chhukung (4750m) [3-4 Hours]

Day 08 : Chhukung to Island Peak Base Camp (5200m) [3-4 Hours] and Climbing Preparation

Day 09 : Island Peak Base Camp to High Camp (5600m) [2-3 Hours]

Day 10 : High Camp-Summit Island Peak-Base Camp-Chhukung [8-10 hours]

Day 11 : Extra day

Day 12 : Chhukung to Namche Bazaar [8-9 Hours]

Day 13 : Namche Bazaar to Lukla [6-8 hours]

Day 14 : Lukla to Kathmandu [40 minutes flight]

Day 15 : Transfer to airport for your onward destination

What is Included

  • Airport pick up / drop off by private vehicle as per the itinerary.
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu including breakfast as per the itinerary.
  • Guided Kathmandu city tours inclusive of private vehicle and guide.
  • Accommodation during the trek in camp/tents with all supporting camping equipment.
  • Meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) during the trek.
  • Experienced English speaking trekking guide, cook and necessary porters (1 Porter for 2 trekkers), during the trek including their transportation, food, accommodation, salary, equipments and insurance.
  • Trekker's Information Management System (TIMS) card fees. (Please bring 2 passport size photos for TIMS & Permit)
  • First Aid medical kit.
  • Duffle bag, down jacket, sleeping bag and walking pole.
  • Breakfree Adventures T-shirt, trekking map and trip achievement certificate
  • Farewell dinner in Authentic Nepali Restaurant.
  • All government taxes, VAT and office service charge.

What is Not Included

  • Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu.
  • Monuments entrance fees while sightseeing in Kathmandu.
  • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu if needed.
  • Nepal entry visa fee (bring accurate USD cash and two passport photographs for faster service)
  • International airfare and travel insurance.
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, internet, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, hot shower etc.)
  • Any kind of drinks (tea/coffee, hot chocolate, boiled water, bottle water, cola, beer etc.)
  • Tips for guide, driver and porter

Day 01 : Arrive in Kathmandu

After your arrival at the airport in Kathmandu you will be greeted by one of our representatives who will later escort you to the hotel. After hotel check in you can decide whether you would like to have a relaxing rest at the hotel or hang around city depending upon the availability of time O/N you stay at the hotel.

Day 02 : Fly to Lukla and Trek to Phakding (2652m) [3 hours of trekking]

After breakfast you will be escorted to the domestic terminal of the Kathmandu airport to board a flight to Lukla, a gateway for our trekking expedition. The scenic flight to Lukla is surely going to be a once in a lifetime experience for you. The air route to Lukla is one the most beautiful air route in the world. The 40 minutes flight above the majestic mountains will land you at Tenzing-Hillary airport in Lukla. Upon arrival at Lukla we start our trek until we reach Phakding. The trail to Phakding lets you discover the green landscape with a scenic view of Kusum Kangraru. 0/N we stay in a guest house.

Day 03 : Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3440m) [6 hours]

Today we take a stiff walk through a beautiful pine forest that leads us along the Dudh Koshi River and Hillary Suspension bridge to reach the check post and the entrance to Sagarmatha National Park. The trail follows the confluence of Dudh Koshi and Bhote Koshi rivers. Walking further we reach chautra where we have the first glimpse of Mt. Everest peering over the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge. Two hours of more walk eventually lands us in Namche Bazaar(3440m) which is a gateway to Mt. Everest and trading point for many Sherpa people and Tibetan merchants. Namche Bazaar is an ideal market for visitors to purchase traditional crafts and other mementos. We will spend two days in Namche for acclimatization and visit local markets and traditions of the people living in the Himalayas. O/N we stay in a guest house.

Day 04 : Acclimatization in Namche (3420m)

We have set this day for acclimatization. We have all the options today whether go for hiking to Thame or visit Khunde or relax and explore Namche Bazaar itself. Namche Bazaar is the center of the Khumbu region and it has government offices, internet cafes, Shops, restaurants and colorful market each Friday evening and Saturday. A few hundred vertical feet of trekking will really us to properly acclimatize. Our guide will take you to the Tourist Visitor Center near the headquarter of Sagarmatha National Park (UNESCO world natural heritage site) where you can observe an assortment of things related to the first Everest ascenders, Sherpa culture and learn about the various plant and animal life of the Everest region. A day full of hangout at the Namche Bazaar lets you discover the Himalayan beauty of the Khumbu region. O/N we stay in a guest house.

Day 05 : Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (3860m) [5-6 hours]

We set out towards the trail that leads us to magnificent village of Tengboche enjoying the awe-inspiring views of Mt. Everest, Mt. Nuptse, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Ama Dablam and close-up view of Mt. Thamserku. Our journey today would rather be an exciting one for it offers magnificent view of the Himalayas and the Himalayan range throughout our expedition. On the way, we can spot wildlife musk deer, a herd of Himalayan Thar and multicolored pheasants. The trail via Kayangjuma eventually reaches Sansa, which is the major trail junction to Gokyo valley and Everest Base Camp. We walk further through the beautiful pine forest crossing prayer flags festooned bridge over the Dudh Koshi river to reach Phunki Thenga. After few minutes of halt for lunch we climb through the forests for few more hours to reach Tengboche where we spend our night. Tengboche is a great place for close up views of Mt. Everest, Mt. Ama Dablam and Mt. Nuptse. The biggest Buddhist Monastery of the Khumbu region “Tengboche Monastery or Gompa” is the central attraction of Tengboche. We pay our visit to the monastery and witness some ceremonies out there. We will also spend plenty of time capturing the scenic beauty of the Himalayan range in our cameras. Overnight, we stay at a guest house in Tengboche.

Day 06 : Tengboche to Dingboche (4360m) [5-6 hours]

Early morning view of the towering peaks and Himalayan range from Tengboche is something that leaves your eyes wide open. After spending couple of hours snapping the scenic view, we gear up for our expedition to reach Dingboche, also known as Summer Valley. We choose the upper trail and pass through several chortens and Mani walls and small villages. We cross Imja Khola and trek through the village of Pangboche (3900m). The majestic views of Mt. Ama Dablam and the Himalayan range is still keeping our expedition energetic. We enter the Imja Valley and descend into the Lobuche River and a continuous climb from there will eventually take us to Dingboche. We will see beautiful green fields protected by stone walls to them safe from cold wind and animals. O/N we stay at the guest house.

Day 07 : Dingboche to Chhukung (4750m) [3-4 Hours]

Today we would be taking a pleasant walk leaving Dingboche behind following the trail via Imja Khola valley with magnificent views of the Himalayas en route. We will be having a relaxed walk of just 3-4 hours today. As we walk through the trail we can see towering peaks of Mt. Lhotse on our left and Mt. Ama Dablam on our right. Walking further we reach at yak herdman’s place called Bibre. As we take further steps we can see the Island Peak (Imja Tse) which is one of the most popular trekking peak of the region. We will cross some icy streams en route before we reach Chhukung. Approximately, thirty minutes of walk from Bibre takes us to Chhukung. We can behold scenic view of glaciers and massive mountains all around us. You have all the choice today whether you want to have a relaxing time resting in Chhukung or hike to the rocky knoll of Chhukung Ri wthat offers stunning views of Mt. Lhotse, Island peak, Mt. Ama Dablam, Mt. Makalu and other Himalayas. Overnight we stay at Chhukung.

Day 08 : Chhukung to Island Peak Base Camp (5200m) [3-4 Hours] and Climbing Preparation

We will follow the trail climbing steadily towards south of the valley and later continue turning east. The trail then continues along the southern edge of the moraine from the Lhotse Glacier. We will be having a relaxed walk via Imja and Lhotse glacier moraine to the Base camp of Island peak. Upon reaching the base camp our guides will conduct the training session on peak climbing skills and using climbing gears like ice axe, climbing boot and crampons, harness, ascender, rope handling etc. Although it is not mandatory to take any training for Island peak climbing, it provides with basic techniques on gears handling and techniques that helps in successfully climbing the peak. Overnight, we stay at Island Peak Base Camp.

Day 09 : Island Peak Base Camp to High Camp (5600m) [2-3 Hours]

Today we move to island Peak High Camp from its base camp. The path to high camp leads up beyond the base camp. We then ascend few meters towards the hillside. The path is quite sandy initially and later goes through the grassy path. We ascend the hill and reach the high camp of Island peak.

Day 10 : High Camp-Summit Island Peak-Base Camp-Chhukung [8-10 hours]

oday is the climax of our trip. We will be summiting the Island peak. We begin our climb early in the morning few hours after the midnight. We begin by climbing a rocky ditch. This is not difficult but still the short rocky steps may create some problem. We will then follow a ridgeline which leads to an exciting traverse through the snout of the summit glacier. We need the rope support to go up through the glacier as it contains several crevasses. Our guide will help you in fixing the ropes where ever necessary. A vertical snow hill leads us to the summit ridge. After summiting the peak we take pictures of scenic beauty from the peak and descend down to Chhukung for the overnight stay. We have all the reasons to celebrate the night today.

Day 11 : Extra day

Extra day to summit Imja Tse (Island) Peak just in case of bad weather.

Day 12 : Chhukung to Namche Bazaar [8-9 Hours]

We gear up for a long day trekking today. We trek through Imja Khola to reach Pangboche village. We will also visit the famous monastery in Pangboche which is believed to be the oldest in the Khumbu region. We then descend down the trail via green landscape filled with pine forest. The trail further leads to an uphill climb to reach the village of Tengboche. We pay our visit to the Monastery and descend down to Dudh Koshi River. We climb the hillside and enter the Namche Bazaar. Overnight, we stay in Namche.

Day 13 : Namche Bazaar to Lukla [6-8 hours]

We will be wrapping up our trekking expedition today.  Leaving Namche Bazaar behind we descend down the rocky trail crossing suspension bridges over the Dudh Koshi river. As we walk the trail becomes more smooth and easy. We find the environment really warm and cozy compared to previous days of our expedition. We can feel the fresh air blowing from Himalayas that makes our expedition more energetic and vibrant. We pass through beautiful forest filled with Rhododendron, pine trees and different natural vegetations. We get to snap beautiful mountains and the panoramic views on our way. We will be pleased passing through Sherpa villages that offer a unique blend of Sherpa culture and tradition. Upon arrival at Lukla we conclude our long expedition and have a relaxing time with our friends and crew members. Overnight, we stay in Lukla.

Day 14 : Lukla to Kathmandu [40 minutes flight]

We will wave our final goodbye to the beautiful mountains today. The flights from Lukla to Kathmandu are usually scheduled for the morning because the windy afternoon may cause difficulties flying the aircraft. The early morning scenic flight over the Himalayas drops us at the domestic terminal of Kathmandu airport from where you will be escorted to the hotel. Today we have the whole day to relax at the hotel or hang around in the city for buying gifts to your near and dear ones. You will be joining a special farewell dinner in a cozy traditional Nepali restaurant hosted by Breakfree Adventure and its team. O/N at the Hotel.

Day 15 : Transfer to airport for your onward destination

Your trip to the majestic country of Nepal comes to an end today! You will be escorted by one of the representatives of Breakfree adventure to the international terminal of Kathmandu airport approximately three hours before your flight schedule. We exchange our last good-byes and now you will be leaving Nepal with all the good memories you had during the wonderful trekking adventure. We hope you had a lovely time with us. Breakfree adventure would be obliged to be your travel partner during your next adventure in Nepal. Have a safe flight back home!

We will provide you with comprehensive information on the every trek and tour we arrange. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require more information or have any questions, we are more than happy to assist you in anyway.

When to go:
Spring (February, March, April, May) and Autumn (October, November) are the best seasons for the Island Peak Climbing. Trekking in summer/monsoon (June, July) will be affected by rain but summer trek could be a boon for a keen botanist. The trekking routes are crowded during spring and autumn but during monsoon and winter the routes are not packed and you could enjoy rather best of nature.

Travel Insurance:
Travel insurance is highly recommended and is in fact compulsory should you be going trekking, rafting, paragliding etc. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, helicopter rescue, loss of luggage, etc. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Please check with your insurance company that adventure activities and trekking above 3000m are covered in your policy, as some companies do not cover such things. You must carry proof of insurance (e.g. your insurance certificate) with you on the holiday; if you cannot provide this at the start of the holiday, you will be required to take out a suitable policy at that time.

Meals and Accommodation:
In Kathmandu, we normally use 3 stars hotel with breakfast but can upgrade upon request. During the  Island Peak Climbing, we provide the best available camping tents (twin sharing), kitchen equipment, toilet & dining tents. If you are travelling in a group, you will share a tent with someone else of the same gender from your group. If you prefer a single tent, you may indicate your preference on request and pay a supplement. So in this arrangement overnight halts will be as fully organized camping program.

We provide quality food in sufficient quantities (breakfast, lunch and dinner) on a set menu prepared by our experienced cook & kitchen staff. Cup of tea or coffee is also included with meals. Although the food is usually plentiful and delicious, you should be aware that the menu is not normally extensive but it will be wholesome & nutritious with variety of rice and noodle dishes, as well as soup & seasonal vegetables. A variety of cereals, bread and egg dishes are generally available for breakfast. You can ask your guide to fill your water bottle with boiled water and treat with water purification pills.

Fitness and Experience Required:
Our 15 days Island Peak Climbing is moderate trek suitable for passionate walkers who have ability to walk at least 4-6hours a day with a light day pack. Walking in higher altitude is physically demanding than walking in the lower altitudes; however, if you are in excellent health with average physical fitness and have positive attitude, self confidence and strong determination, you can accomplish the 15 days  Island Peak Climbing successfully. Exercising and jogging regularly for some weeks prior of the trip are good idea to enhance your strength and stability. Past hiking experience would be an asset but no technical skill is required for this trip. Participants with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, lung, and blood disease should inform us before booking the trek.

The Trekking Group:
For the  Island Peak Climbing, there will be one Guide, assistant Guide (6 trekkers: 1 assistant guide) and porter for luggage carrying (2 trekkers: 1 porter). This arrangement ensures that should anybody in the group is sick; the trip can still go ahead as planned. We can run the Island Peak Climbing for group of any size, but generally have a maximum of sixteen people, as we’ve found this to be the optimum size for a successful trip. However, if you’d like to make a group booking for more than twelve people together, we can arrange this too.

Trekking Guides and Staff:
The most significant thing that makes your  Island Peak Climbing successful, enjoyable and memorable is the expert, experienced, courteous and helpful trek and Guide and the crew members who have ability of operating your days in the mountain smoothly. Your trip will be led by the best and most professional Guide. All of our Trekking Guides are carefully selected on the basis of their appropriate experience, Guiding skills and personal aptitude. With an objective of sustaining local communities Breakfree Adventures employs staffs who have plenty of knowledgeable about culture, flora and fauna, geography, and history of Nepal. Trekking Guide of Breakfree Adventures are also trained with following trainings to make them educated on potential medical issues during their trek, biodiversity and environmental issues, English language, etc:

  • Intensive Wilderness First Aid - KEEP (Kathmandu Environmental Educational Project)
  • Trekking Guide Training - Nepal Governments Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation department of Hotel Management and Tourism Training Centre of Nepal
  • Eco Trekking Workshop and Adventure Meet TAAN (Trekking Agents Association of Nepal)
  • English Language - KEEP (Kathmandu environment education project)
  • Conservation and Biodiversity TAAN
  • Rock, Ice Climbing and Mountaineering (Climbing leaders) Nepal Mountaineering Association

Our Trekking Guides obviously speak English sufficient enough to communicate but please consider this is not our mother language. The guides and porters know the routes and locality like the back of their hand, they practice the local culture themselves and they are extremely passionate about their country and its cultural aspects.

Climate and Weather:
The climate of Nepal is as varied as its geography. The low-lying Terai has a sub-tropical monsoonal climate. The Himalayan foothills, where most of our treks take place, are best in the cool dry season from September to May. The traditional trekking season in Nepal is late September to December, with October and November generally recognized as having the best weather. Spring is also a popular time of year with warmer weather and the advantage of seeing spring flowers and rhododendrons in bloom. The visibility is good and days are pleasantly warm, although nights can be cold, and snow is possible above 3,000 meters.

Himalayan weather can be unpredictable where nights are generally cooler and days warmer. It’s a bit colder during the winter season (Jan to Feb) but days can be quite warm and lovely if the sun is shining. You can expect a bit of snow in the months of January/February and December. Expect the unexpected! The temperature could be as high as 20 deg C to -15 deg C low.

Safety and Security:
Security and safety are a high priority of our company however there are risks associated with adventure travel, that you should consider before booking .Our trip operators constantly monitor their areas of operation and will cancel or re-route a trip if they feel a destination is unsafe. The decision to travel to a particular country or region is a personnel one.

Responsible Travel
Breakfree Adventures is a leading trekking and travel agency with dedicated travel Professionals who are well trained to give you the best of what Nepal has to offer. Our professional team follows a social philosophy that accepts responsibility for the local people and the environment in which we work. We respect the natural environment and the culture of our country, and we help travellers from around the world discover the natural beauty and cultural treasures of Nepal. We know that responsible travel tries to minimize the impact of tourism on the environment and maximize employment and income-generating opportunities for local communities. The whole of Nepal, including those living in remote rural areas that have very few other opportunities for development, benefits from sustainable tourism.

Breakfree Adventures is passionate about preserving the environment. As responsible tour guides in Nepal, we strive to maintain a symbiotic relationship with the local communities through which we travel. While trekking to different destinations, we choose environmentally- friendly lodges that respect the needs of their staff members. We take care of our staff as well as our valued clients. During our treks and other trips, we follow a zero garbage policy (“pack in, pack out”) and leave nothing behind in the campsites. We always welcome your feedback and comments regarding responsible travel, so please send an e-mail to let us know what you think.

What do we mean by trekking?
Trekking is an enjoyable and accessible adventure. In an area like the Annapurna Region this activity will blow your mind. It generally involves days on foot and multi-day walks through parks and wilderness areas. The Annapurna region mainly consists of teahouse treks. The terrain can often be steep, and we will likely encounter cold weather and possibly snow at higher altitudes above 3 700m.
 
Is trekking an activity for me?
If you love spending time in the outdoors and going to magnificent places offering spectacular views, then trekking is most certainly for you. It fills the gap between luxury travel and tented tours at a price that makes sense to most people.
 
Do I need prior trekking experience before setting out here?
No previous trekking experience is needed but it will certainly help. Anyone with decent fitness and good stamina should be able to cope with the trekking days and higher elevations. Hiking experience anywhere in the world is recommended for maximum enjoyment, but certainly not needed.
 
What permits are required for my trek?
This will depend on your specific trek but all regions have some form of permit system. Some trekking areas require a special permit for the trekking activity and other areas may only require permits to enter conservation areas or national parks. Often it is a combination of both.  Nearly all trekking areas require a Trekking Information Management System TIMS card.  As part of your package we obtain all permits on your behalf.
 
What is the average walking time per day?
On average you will walk about 5 to 8 hours daily. Distances vary and will depend on trail conditions, weather conditions and the fitness of the group.
 
What is meant by teahouse trekking?
Teahouse trekking refers to the type of accommodation that is so unique to these mountain treks. Lodging and meals are mostly at teahouses operated by local people and on a full-board basis.
 
Where do we get our drinking water from?
Bottled water is available in many places on the more established trekking routes but this will be for your own account. Most villages have a clean and reliable water source and we will utilise locally purified water mostly. The teahouses can supply you with boiled water at a small fee. You are encouraged to carry your own purification tablets or drops for your own peace of mind.
 
How much can a porter carry?
This will often depend on the trekking route and maximum altitude gain. On average for trekking in the Annapurna Region every porter carries between 15 and 30kg. A camping porter carries up to 40kg. For our packages we normally assign one porter for every two travellers. What this means to you is that on the trek you will be allowed 15kg luggage. This is strictly enforced to ensure the wellbeing of our porter crew. 
 
Should I tip my guides and porters?
Yes please do! This is not mandatory but widely accepted as for anywhere else in the world. Tipping is customary and always appreciated in Nepal and on our treks.  

Important Note

If the above itinerary does not meet your needs, we can design individualized travel plans based on your preferences.

Trip Facts

Destination: Nepal

Duration: 15 Day(s)

Trip Grade: Strenous

Activities: Trekking and Peak Climbing

Best Season: Feb - May and Oct - Nov

Max Altitude: 5600m

Daily walking: 5 - 7 hours each day

Transportation: Private vehicle and flight

Accommodation: Hotel/Resort in Kathmandu, Lodge/Guest house during the trek

Meals: Breakfast in Kathmandu, Full board on trek

Trip Type: Lodge to Lodge Trek and Camping

Starts/Ends: Lukla

Group Size: Minimum 2 People

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