Island Peak Climbing (Imjatse Peak Climbing)

Island Peak Climbing Photo
  • Overview
  • Island Peak Climbing Itinerary

Imja Tse (6169m.) popularly known as Island peak is one of the most popular lesser peaks, climbing on which demands some mountaineering skill. This trip takes you to the highest elevation of 6,069 meter through the Sherpa land offering spectacular views of Mt. Everest (8848m.), Lhotse (8516m), Ama Dablam (6856m.) and many more. Island peak climbing (6,169m.) is not just an adventurous peak climbing but perfect combination of peak climbing with famous Everest region trekking that can create in you a pleasant wave of internal felicity.

The trekking trail offers some of world famous monasteries at the highest altitude and an opportunity to experience the typical Tibetan culture as it takes you to the border of Tibet.

This trekking trip trail takes you all the way through the same usual route of Everest region trekking till your enter the Chhukung valley. Either you can fly with our 45 minutes of mountain flight from Katmandu to Lukla or drive to Jiri 184 km which will take about 7 hours which lies   Eastward of Katmandu valley. Our trek starts from Lukla, and passing through the places like Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Dingboche, Chhukung, Imja Glacier we approach the Base camp of Imja Tse or Island peak. From Chhukung we continue our trek in a general easterly direction to the site of your base camp (5,087m.) passing the moraine of the Lhotse glacier to the snout of the Imja glacier where it branches to the east and skirts around the base of Island Peak. We fix our main camp at a spot known as Pareshaya Gyab at 5,087m. Three days are set aside for the ascent of Imja Tse and follow the same route back to Katmandu. If you take one-way flight to Lukla, the whole trip will cover within 23 days and 16 days is enough if both way flights are taken. The best seasons to climb this peak are during September, October and November.   

Day 01:We fly with our first mountain flight from Kathmandu to Lukla (2860m) which will take about 45 minutes then commence trek towards Pakding (2600m) which takes about 4 hours.
After a very early start and an early take off from Kathmandu Domestic Airport, a 45-minute flight is all it takes to propel into the Everest region of Nepal. The landings at Lukla (2800m) are spectacular and on arrival you will be greeted by trekking crew who organize the luggage and hustle you off for tea. After a leisurely lunch you will start the trek in earnest, setting off for a gentle walk to Pakding (2800m), a further 3 hours to the north. The trail leads through Lukla, past hotels, shops and airline offices to the edge of the Lukla plateau where the trail drops to meet the intersection of the Jiri trail at Chablung. From here the trail follows the Dudh Koshi north through the village of Ghat and then finally to Pakding where you should spend the first night.

Day 02 Trek from Pakding to Namche Bazaar (3446m) which will take about 6 hours.
From Pakding the trail continues north up the Dudh Koshi River Valley, staying 100m above the river on its West Bank. The trail leads to Jorsale (2810m) where you enter the Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park. From here you will continue on an ever-steeping trail to Namche Bazaar (3446m), known simply as Namche. In route you have to cross the spectacular suspension bridge high above the confluence of the Bhote Koshi and the Dudh Koshi, and shortly after you will have first glimpse of Mt. Everest, way off towards the northeast. The trail to Namche is steep and long, but eventually you will reach the remarkable Sherpa capital perched high on the hillside and dominated to the east by the immense bulk of Kwangde (6187m).

Day 03: We spend a day rest for acclimatization in Namche Bazaar.
Acclimatization is important before trekking higher and this is a scheduled stop, which will allow you to gradually become used to the effects of altitude - the lower pressure and the thinner air. You can spend the day by taking a side trip to Thame or Khumjung, by visiting the National Park Visitor Center on the hill above Namche or by simply resting and browsing in the shops in the town. Namche is a fascinating place simply to 'hang out' and take in the culture of the mountains, from the trading of visiting Tibetans to the stories of departing mountaineers.

Day 04: We continue our trek from Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (3,867m) which takes about 6½ hours.
From Namche you have to trek northeast on a direct line to Everest, starting up the hill to the Visitor Center and continuing on a reasonably flat easy trail high above the Dudh Koshi you reach Sanasa from where again you should branch off the trail and head up the hill to the small settlement of Phunki where you will stop for lunch. From here it is a steady descent passing through the picturesque water driven prayer you will reach a famous gompa in Tengboche. At the background of the gompa you can see one of the most beautiful mountains in the Khumbu - Ama Dablam (6856m), as well as Everest still far off in the distance. This is the place where you have to spend overnight.

Day 05:Trek from Tengboche to Dingboche (4343m) which will take about 6 hours of walk.
We pass through the superb mani stones curved with Tibetan chants up to Dingboche.

Day 06:Trek from Dingboche to Lobuche (4930m) which will take about 5½ hours of walk.

Day 07 We trek from Lobuche to Gorak Shep (3200m) which will taje about 4 hours of walk.

Day 08:We trek from Gorak Shep to Kalapathar (5545m) or Everest Base camp to Lobuche passing through the terminal moraine and glaciers of Khumbu region which will take about 6 hours of continuous walk.

Day 09-10:We trek From Lobuche to Chhukung valley

Day 11:We spend a day in Chhukung resting as a day for acclimatization. (acclimatization/rest day)

Day 12: We ascend up the trail from Chhukung to Island Peak base camp (5,087m.)

From Chhukung continue our trek in a general easterly direction to the site of your base camp (5,087m.) The trail follows the moraine of the Lhotse glacier to the snout of the Imja glacier where it branches to the east and skirts around the base of Island Peak. You have to make your main camp at a spot known as Pareshaya Gyab at 5087m.

Day 13:We climb from Island Peak base camp to high camp at 5,500 meter.

After taking lunch and resting you will continue up to the high camp, a further hour or so up the mountain. The trail is well defined until you reach the area of the high camp at approx 5500m.

Day 14: On the 14th day we attempt for the summit of Island peak (6,169m.) from High base Camp (5,500m).
We set off early for the summit at about 3.00 am, and scramble up in the dark to the snow-covered glacier above. From here we will have to be careful on the way up to the glacier until we reach a broad snow basin, which leads up to the final section of the climb.

Ahead of us is still the main summit ridge. We climb a steep snow and ice slope, using fixed ropes, for approx. 100m to access the ridge. The ridge is a classic and leads quickly to the east up to the main summit at 6189m.

From the summit there are fantastic across to Lhotse to the north, the Amphu Labsta and Mera Peak to the south, and Ama Dablam to the west. After taking in the views you can descend by the same route, abseiling from the ridge and making your way back carefully to Base Camp.

We have to retrace your steps back down to the Imja valley, firstly to Chhukung where you have to stop for overnight stay

Day 15-19: We Decent from Chhukung valley back to Lukla following the same route back which will take only about 5 days as the trail is quiet easy as you descend down.

Day 20: From Lukla we fly to Kathmandu by the same mountain flight.

Fact Box

Elevation: 20239 feet / 6069 meters

Location: Everest region of Nepal

Best for the Climbing: September, October, November

Convenient Center(s): Lukla, Chhukung valley

Nearest Major Airport: Kathmandu (minor: Lukla or Phaplu)

Easiest Summit Route: Basic Snow / Ice Climb

Itinerary type: Lodge / Camping

Accommodations: Fixed / Customized

Trek grade: Strenuous

Total days: 20 + 4 = 24 days

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