About Island Peak
Island Peak(6,160m), also known as Imja Tse, is a mountain in the Khumbu Region of Nepal. It is a part of Khumbu Himal, a range in the Eastern Nepal Himalayas. The peak is an extension of a hill rising off the southern part of Lhotse, the fourth tallest mountain.
Firstly, the peak was named by climbers of the British Mount Expedition as “Island Peak” because it seems like an island from Dingboche village. Later, it was retitled “Imja Tse” in 1983. But it ended up becoming more popular as Island Peak.
The members of the British Expedition first climbed this beautiful trekking peak in 1953. Likes of veteran climbers Tenzing Norgay, Alfred Gregory, Charles, Wylie, and Charles Evan were members of that group. They climbed Imja Tse for a training purpose for Mt Everest summit. Since then, Imja Tse has been an acclimatization climb for the big mountain expeditions in the Everest Region. Also, the peak is popular among beginners. The peak is less technical and teaches basic climbing skills to newbies. So this is how Island Peak is famous.
About Kathmandu Lukla Flight
The Island Peak with Everest Base Camp starts with Kathmandu Lukla Flight. It is an exciting and scenic flight of 30 minutes. You get to see the whole Nepal Himalayas during this flight through windows. It is a beautiful way to start any trip.
The landing site of Kathmandu Lukla is Tenzing-Hillary Airport(Lukla Airport). It was built under the guidance of Sir Edmund Hillary, one of the first Everest climbers. The airstrip perfectly lies on the lapse of the mountains. The airstrip is so famous because it is the starting point for many famous treks in the region, including Everest Base Camp Trek.
The distance of flight is short. However, there can be possible delays due to the bad weather in the region. The weather in the area is unpredictable. High winds, changing visibility, and heavy clouds are reasons for the delay. Typically, there are two flights to Lukla from Kathmandu. You may have to wait for tickets in peak season if you have not booked in advance.
Permit Required for Island Peak and Everest Base Camp Trek
You’ll require three permits to attend Island Peak cum Everest Base Camp Trek. They are Nepal Mountaineering Association(NMA) Climbing Permit, Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit, and Local Area Permit.
Firstly, the NMA climbing permit is a special permit to climb the Island peak. It is a mandatory permit that you need to have for the expedition. The cost of the permit is different in each season.
In Spring, you can get this permit at USD 250. And the same license is obtainable at USD 125 during the Autumn season. And it is USD 70 during the low climbing seasons such as Winter and Monsoon. Plus, you have to pay USD 500 for the Garbage Deposit fee.
Secondly, you’ll require a permit to enter the Sagarmatha National Park. You enter this protected site during the expedition, so you need this as well. The permit fee for foreigners is USD 30. And it is USD 15 for climbers from SAARC countries.
Thirdly and lastly, you need to have a local area permit as you enter various restricted localities during the tour. The permit is also known as Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Permit. You can get this permit for USD 20 from Lukla.
Everest Base Camp Trek with Island Peak Route
The exciting quest of Island Peak and Everest Base Camp starts with Kathmandu to Lukla flight. It will be an early morning flight of 30 minutes. Each of the minutes will be truly scenic and wow-inspiring. Then you’ll make a safe landing at Lukla Airport. The day has to end in Phakding, so you’ll leave Lukla once you are ready for the walk. You will have a lovely first day of trekking.
Having spent the night in Phakding, you’ll progress towards Namche Bazaar via the entry point of Sagarmatha National Park. In the evening, you’ll be in the hub of the region. You will spend the night there and one more acclimatization day as well. After the acclimatization day, you’ll march towards Tengboche, the home of the famous Tengboche monastery. You’ll spend the night in Tengboche.
The following day, you’ll begin walking towards Pheriche by enjoying the fantastic scenery. By evening, you’ll reach Pheriche to spend the night. The next stop of the expedition is Gorakshep. So you’ll wake up early and start moving in the direction of Gorak Shep. On the same day, you’ll hike to Everest Base Camp. After the exploration, you’ll return to Gorak Shep for the night.
You’ll leave Gorak Shep early in the morning to watch the mountain panorama from Kala Patthar. After the sightseeing, you’ll take a downhill road to Dingboche. The day will end in the village. Next, you’ll trek towards Chukkung by walking quite close to glaciers.
Waking up in Chhukung, we’ll leave the village to reach Island Peak Base Camp. You’ll spend the night in a tented camp in the base camp. Around 1-2 in the morning, you will go to the summit. You will pass the Island Peak high camp to reach the summit. You will witness awe-inspiring views from the pinpoint.
You’ll descend straight to Chhukung by moving via high camp and base camp on the same day. You’ll spend the deserving night in the village. The following dawn, you will leave the town for Namche Bazaar. In the evening, you’ll be back in town once again. After another night in Namche, you’ll trek smoothly to reach Lukla. And the following day, you’ll take a flight to Kathmandu. It will be the end of this beautiful journey.
Island Peak with Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty Level
The difficulties are apparent when you climb one peak and do a long trek. We mean, Island Peak with Everest Base Camp Trek is not an easy task. But we also must say that it is not the hardest as well. There are some minor challenges that you can easily dodge with good preparation.
When you hit the trail of Everest Base Camp Trek, you’ll start experiencing some hardships. You have to trek 5-6 hours on average every day on this journey. There will be numerous uphill parts where you might face difficulty moving. Similarly, the expedition is about reaching the top of Island Peak(6,189m). So the high altitude can also test you. We hope you are good enough to do a trek in the mountains.
Let’s come to the main point, the difficulty level of Island Peak Climbing. As you may know, the Island peak is a trekking peak as per the NMA rating. You do not need prior climbing experience or complex climbing expertise for this climb.
The peak is comparatively a more leisurely climb with fewer technical portions. If you have basic mountaineering skills like using ropes and walking crampons, you can do this climb easily. It is much easier than the Lobuche East Climbing, one of its frequently compared expeditions in the Everest Region.
Hence, Island Peak with Everest Base Camp is not that hard if you are well ready for its challenges. There will be minor challenges in altitude, rough trails, steep parts, and ice pathways.
Everest Base Camp Trek with island Preparation
Island Peak climbing cum Everest Base Camp Trek is a long and arduous journey. It is necessary to prepare for this expedition. The preparation should build physical endurance levels, mental preparation, and basic mountaineering skills. You should start the practice some months before the climb date and be regular. Here are some ways to prepare for the climb.
Firstly, focus on building a good physical endurance level. You have to trek on steep trails, climb up hills, trek for longer hours, and cover a long distance in the mountains. For that, you need a solid physical stamina level. To build a good endurance level, you can do various cardio exercises such as cycling, swimming, hiking, running, etc. The cardio training also helps you face altitude sickness as well. Thus make a training schedule and be consistent with the exercise routine.
Secondly, you need basic mountaineering skills. You will climb Island Peak by climbing through rough and icy portions. Without basic climbing knowledge, it is difficult to do this climb. Thus it is wise to take a mountaineering course before this tour. The course will teach you the basic things of mountaineering, such as using crampons, axes, ropes, etc.
Lastly, you should be mentally in a position to complete the expedition. You need to be mentally ready for all the journey's challenges. Having such a mentality pushes you on the journey no matter how hard.
So these are several ways to be physically and mentally ready for the trip.
Island Peak with Everest Base Camp Trek Best Time
You can do Island Peak with Everest Base camp Trek any time. It is possible in all four seasons. However, if you are talking about the time when it is pleasant and safe, Autumn and Spring are the two good times. In contrast, Winter and Monsoon are challenging times for the trip.
Autumn(September-November) is one good time to do Island Peak climbing. The season is a high season for traveling in Nepal. Nepal’s weather is fantastic during the season. Greenery, warm temperature, clear views, and a stable climate are the offerings of Autumn in Nepal. The season is a post-monsoon season, so everything looks fresh and new. You’ll love the expedition.
The second best time for Island Peak cum Everest Base Camp Trek is Spring(March-May). The season delivers clear and stable weather. It is a blossoming time for the flowers in Nepal. Likewise, the temperature is also relatively stable. That is why it's another good time for traveling around Nepal.
On the other hand, Winter and Monsoon are off-seasons for expeditions in Nepal. The weather is not stable as in Autumn and Spring during these seasons. For example, Winter is a cold season with chances of massive snowfalls. And Monsoon is a wet season with really high chances of rainfall. The temperature is also not stable; it changes drastically. Plus, the visibility also gets low during this season.
People do not like to take risks by choosing these two seasons for all those reasons. However, climbers with big hearts want to do the expedition during these seasons. It is pretty peaceful to make trips in these times.
Island Peak with Everest Base Camp Trek package will offer three meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. On the trekking days of the expedition, you’ll eat meals at the teahouses along the Everest Base Camp Trek route. There are plenty of basic to excellent lodges that offer delicious meals. You can expect items such as Dal Bhat, Noodles, Pizza, Burgers, sandwiches, Spaghetti, Soups, Porridges, Bakery items, coffee, tea, etc. And drinkable water is also obtainable on the trek. On the climbing days of the tour, you will get limited feed items to eat. Your kitchen staff will cook food for you and the team.
Island Peak with Everest Base Camp Trek is a teahouse plus camped tent trek. You’ll get good to excellent accommodation during the tour through the Everest Base Camp route. The trail is full of numerous teahouses and lodges. Usually, you’ll get double-sharing rooms with attached bathrooms. There will be blankets, but carrying a personal sleeping bag is always good.
As you leave for Island Peak base camp, you’ll have to stay in tented camps. You’ll use your warm sleeping bag for warmth. It is tricky but exciting to settle in a tented camp.
Tips for Island Peak with Everest Base Camp Trek
Here are some tips that can be fruitful for you if you are planning to do this outing:
- Do strict physical rehearsal for the climb around 2-3 months ahead.
- Join a mountaineering course and get used to basic climbing.
- Buy well-covering travel insurance for the trip.
- Choose the right time for the climb and book everything in advance.
- Pick a licensed and expert expedition agency.
- Ask for a local and experienced mountaineering guide for the trip.
- Learn everything about mountain sickness.
- Pack all the essentials.
- Ask experienced climbers about Island Peak Climbing.
- Do not consume alcohol during the expedition.
- Keep your body watered all the time.
- Do not do rush trekking in the mountains.
- Have enough acclimatization days in the itinerary.
- Consult with your guide in the case of any health issue.