For non climbers, Island Peak is your Everest! It is a perfect first time trekking peak in the Himalayas.
Trekking peaks are a step up from high altitude trekking, requiring the use of crampons, safety ropes, etc.. but perfect for non climbers. No previous climbing experience is required; everything you need to know and do is carefully taught by your qualified and experienced Climbing Guide before you get to Island Peak and also on site before you summit.
This trek follows the Everest trail from the airstrip in Lukla up through the Sherpa capital Namche Bazaar and then onto Dingbouche. From here, you can see Island Peak up the Chukkung Valley, waiting for your return. The scenery along here and up to EBC is world class, littered with many of world’s highest peaks. Savour your visit to EBC and also to Kala Patthar, a great view point for an excellent view of Everest itself and also down onto EBC.
All of this time, you have been gaining vital acclimatisation as within days, you will be at Island Peak’s Base Camp having conducted some training ready for the ascent. It’s a very early start on summit day, first to the ‘crampon’ point and then onto the glacier. The climb up the snow/ice wall is steep but it’s not long before you’re on the summit. The view from here is spectacular. A 360 degree white capped Himalayan vista, looking down on any cloud cover below; fantastic.
From here, it’s the homeward stretch through Namche and back into Lukla in 3 – 4 days.
The challenge of the this exciting trip comes with the length of trek, sustained high altitude, the summit altitude of over 6000m and fairly basic conditions under which you will find yourself. A well equipped, fit and well prepared trekker will relish what is a superb trekking peak with high altitude mountain views in abundance. A true challenge.
- Summit a 6000m peak right in amongst the biggest mountains on earth
- Visit EBC first, as a warm up
- Exhilarating flight to Lukla
- Spare time built in to cover delays, injury or illnesses
Clothing and Equipment – Some specialist equipment is required. Please refer to our Kit List webpage.
Day 1/2. Depart UK, fly to Nepal, arrive Kathmandu
For Land Only packages, your trip starts on arrival in Kathmandu (Day 2).
On arrival in Kathmandu, you will be collected and transferred to the hotel (25 mins), which is perfectly placed in the heart of the city. You are then free to settle in and explore your vibrant surroundings. Our friendly staff will be on hand to provide any advice or assistance. Meet your trekking Guide for a briefing on final preparations and timings for tomorrow.
Day 3. Fly to Lukla, Trek to Monjo (2835m) & Namche Bazaar (3500m)
An early start for your domestic flight to Lukla. Enjoy a late breakfast in Lukla whilst watching the flights come and go from this unique mountain airstrip. The first day’s trek is to Monjo (2835m), generally following the river. The first 3 hrs is generally downhill to Pfadking and then onto Monjo. Approx 5 – 6hrs, BLD
Day 4. Trek to Namche Bazaar (3500m)
Once you have passed through the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park, you will cross numerous suspension bridges before eventually climbing the first big hill up to Namche Bazaar. You will catch your first glimpse of Mt Everest in the distance from a rest point (weather permitting). Namche Bazaar is by far the biggest village in the region with shops and even internet cafes (don’t expect fast speeds!). Expect to arrive early afternoon, approx 4 hrs. BLD
Day 5/6. 2 x Acclimatisation days Namche Bazaar (3500m)
Your Guide will take you out to a variety of places in the local region primarily to gain some additional altitude to assist your body in its acclimatisation process (trek high, sleep low) and to see more of the stunning surroundings, possibly to the village of Thame. BLD
Day 7. Namche Bazaar – Tengbouche (3900m)
A beautiful days walk out of Namche, initially contouring for about 60 – 90 mins until you reach Kenjoma. Some groups stop here for coffee (you can see Tengbouche across the valley) or you can push on for another hour, steeply downhill and across the river to a favoured lunch stop at Phunki Tenga (3250m). The next 90 mins or so is steeply up until you majestically pop out in Tengbouche itself. Famed for its hilltop Monastery, this village has one of the best views of Everest. You may go on for another 20 mins or so to use alternative tea houses in Debouche. 6 hrs. BLD
Day 8. Tengbouche (3900m) – Dingbouche (4300m)
It’s a steady trek across the girder bridge (45 mins) and then a long steady climb through Pangbouche, Shamare (4010m) before hitting Dingbouche a few hours later. 6 hrs. BLD
Day 9. Dingbouche – Acclimatisation Day
An important stop for acclimatisation having crossed the 4000m barrier. Take the opportunity to go to the free presentation on altitude sickness given by the volunteer doctors that work here throughout the trekking season. Your Guide will encourage you to take an acclimatisation walk, once again to gain some altitude to assist your body to acclimatise. BLD
Day 10 Dingbouche – Lobouche (4900m)
A great day’s trekking. A short sharpe rise out of Dingbouche and onto the ‘high path’ that leads to the small cluster of tea houses known as Dughla (2 – 2 1/2 hrs). This sits at the base and the very front end of the Khumbu glacier. Your next section is to climb up the front of the glacier (although not on ice!), a steep but relatively short section (~45 mins). Be sure to spend some time at the top for there lies many memorials to climbers who have lost their lives in this region. It is a moving place. From here it is just 60 – 90 mins into Lobouche. 5 – 6 hrs. BLD
Day 11 – Lobouche – Gorak Shep (5100m) – Everest Base Camp (5300m)
An early start to reach Gorak Shep in 3hrs for breakfast; your final and highest tea house on this trip (5100m). Once you have rested here, it’s onto Everest Base Camp! Savour the moment before returning to Gorak Shep. The Base Camp itself is potentially enormous; it has to house some 250 – 300 people during the main climbing season. The centre is not marked but is generally known to be a cairn with prayer flags. There is an excellent close up view of the Khumbu ice field. Climbers have to negotiate this dangerous section every time they go up for acclimatisation or to summit. This is a demanding day so be sure to rest and sleep as much as you can. BLD
Day 12 – Gorak Shep – Kala Patthar (5500m) – Down to Dingbouche (4300m)
A pre-dawn rise to summit the highest point on this trek (although this is optional). It is a 90 min tough ascent (and potentially very cold) but gives you excellent views of the summit of Everest.
The descent is much faster; time for breakfast! At about 0900hrs, you will begin the trek back, first back across the moraine and then through Lobouche (stop for coffee), Dughla and then back onto the high path back into Dingbouche. You will appreciate the lower altitude and warmer temperatures! A long day but relatively easy going. 8 hrs. BLD
Day 13. Dingbouche – Chukkung (4900m)
There is no rush to leave Dingbouche. Chukkung is less than 3 hrs from here; you can actually see the village up the valley. It is a very easy trek so take your time and use it to aid recovery if required. BLD
Day 14. Chukkung – Island Peak Base Camp (4970m)
Another short day in terms of trekking time (under 4hrs) and a small altitude gain of 240m. The Base Camp is in a small gully and can be cold when the wind is up in the afternoon. You will be tented here for two nights, complete with sleeping tents, a dining tent and kitchen. Your food will be cooked for you by a Chef.
The afternoon is dedicated to ensuring that you are proficient in the use of your climbing equipment. This will include fitting it (if required) and practicing ascending and descending with the Jumor and Fig 8 respectively. Prepare your daysacks for the ascent tomorrow. BLD
Day 15. Summit Day (6189m)
A very early rise (around 0100hrs) in order to make use of the cold temperatures on the ice when you summit. Once the sun gets on it, it softens making the surface more difficult. The first phase is to trek up to the point at which crampons (and other safety equipment) are put on. It can be a tough ascent through the night. Your aim is to be at the crampon point as dawn is breaking (3 – 4 hrs ascending). Crampons and harnesses on, you move onto the snow/ice and up to the base of the hard packed snow wall. Gather your strength, clip onto the fixed rope and slowly, up you go, step by step until you reach the narrow ridge. Once on the ridge (it is only about 1.5m wide), you can make your way up to the plateau and finally up to the summit itself. Time to celebrate!
Your descent is much faster but you will be tired so some care is needed to avoid any unnecessary accidents. By the time you reach Base Camp, you will have been on the go for over 12hrs. Time to rest, eat and sleep. BLD
Day 16. Island Peak Base Camp – Pangbouche
Have a good breakfast; you will have earned it! By comparison to other trekking days, you will fly down to Chukkung (coffee stop), continue through Dingbouche and cross the river with Pferiche just to the right. A stop, probably at Shamare before pushing on to Pangbouche. Although you will still be tired, it is a nice tired! You are descending, any altitude problems will be disappearing fast and it is getting warmer. 6 hrs. BLD
Day 17. Pangbouche – Namche
An easy first hour to 90 mins as you descend into the valley, crossing the girder bridge before the short sharp ascent into Tengbouche and a rest at the ’German Bakery’! The long descent followed by the equally long ascent awaits (2 – 3hrs) before the contour path back into Namche Bazaar. 7 hrs, BLD
Day 18. Namche – Pfakding
Out of Namche and back down the big hill, across the susupension bridge and onto Monjo. Phakding is your planned night stop and whilst it may appear to be a short day, it also acts as a spare day. Lukal can be reached in a single trekking day if needs be. BLD
Day 19. Pfadking – Lukla.
It is just 3hrs back up to Lukla from here so enough time to have a relaxing start and take your time. Spend some time watching the aircraft come and go in the afternoon; an amazing airport. BLD
Day 20. Lukla – Kathmandu
An early start to have breakfast and be ready for your flight back down to Kathmandu. You should reach your hotel by midday; plenty of time to enjoy the facilities that Thamel has to offer.
You have 2 nights in Kathmandu to continue with any sightseeing, have a post trek massage (very inexpensive in Nepal), shop ‘till you drop or simply relax in one of the many cafes, restaurants and bars soaking up the atmosphere. B
Day 21. Kathmandu, Free day, B
A completely free day to do whatever you wish.
Day 22. Depart Kathmandu, B