Island Peak Climbing Overview
The Island Peak Climbing is one of the most popular climbing journeys in Nepal. This Journey is perfect for energetic and physically fit climbers who have a desire for adventure.
Island Peak, located at 6189 meters above sea level is also known as Imja Tse in the local language. The name Island Peak was given by English mountaineer - Eric Shipton in 1951. The name Island Peak is justified as the peak is located isolated in the center surrounded by glaciers that descend from tall mountain peaks above 7,000 m and 8,000 m.
Island Peak has been climbed by many people since time immemorial (including Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary) and at some point in time, became the preferred climbing peak who seek a challenging route.
The peak rises from the Lhotse glacier from the southern end and the peak summit captivates you with its marvelous panoramic beauty and most appreciably, you will get a standardized viewpoint to peek at Mount Everest up close.
Island Peak climbing expedition can also be considered as the training grounds for peaks above 7000 meters. Climbing Island Peak is physically hard but not technically challenging and is perfect for those who wish to expand their experience toward mountain expeditions.
Standing on the summit of the Island peak gives you a feeling of accomplishment. From here you get stunning views of the southern faces of Everest and Lhotse. You also get to see Ama Dablam and Makalu.
Our journey starts with an adventurous flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. The walking begins right away from Lukla and goes through Phakding to the Dudh Koshi valley following through Namche, and then Tengboche to Dingboche. Finally, we move downwards to Chhukung and upwards to the Island Peak Base Camp and prepare for our venture.
Peak climbing requires lots of practice as well as involves crossing the crevassed glacier and extensive use of gears such as ladders, jumar, ropes, and traversing through the snowy terrain. On our 17-day itinerary, the 10th day is dedicated to practicing climbing techniques using proper gear, and the following day we summit the peak.
Island Peak Climbing Highlights
- The Island Peak Summit at 6189 meters and the views from the peak
- Side trip to Everest Base Camp at 5364 meters & Kalapatthar at 5545 meters
- Amazing views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Changtse, Pumori, Ama Dablam, Chumbu, Thamserku, Kangtega, Taboche & Lobuche from Kalapatthar
- The biggest monastery in the Everest Region, Tengboche Monastery at Tengboche
- Magnificent vistas of Khumbu Icefalls & Glaciers
- Traditional Sherpa settlements, friendly Sherpa people, and their unique and rich Tibetan Buddhism culture, tradition, custom, lifestyle, and hospitality
- Discover the unique flora and wildlife on the trail inside the Sagarmatha National Park
Island Peak Climbing Difficulty
The Island Peak Climbing is considered a moderately challenging journey. It is especially appropriate for individuals who enjoy trekking and want to start mountain climbing.
Depending on the detours, the journey will take 14 to 19 days to accomplish, with only one or two of those days set off specifically for climbing. Daily, the trip on hills and difficult terrains takes an average of 4 to 6 hours. Another difficulty is crossing the glaciers, rivers, rough terrain, and mountain passes. You will have to climb for 12 to 13 hours on the actual summit day, covering a distance of around 10 miles. Hence, the climbers need prior high-altitude trekking experience. No prior climbing expertise and proficiency in fundamental mountaineering techniques are mandatory because the team will provide pre-climb instruction.
The highest altitude you will reach during the Island Peak Climb journey is at the Island Peak top at 6189 meters above sea level. Also, you will be spending many nights above 3,000 meters in elevation. As a result, there are chances of being affected by the symptoms of Altitude Sickness. Hence, we should take measures of prevention such as acclimatizing, hydrating, getting enough sleep, etc. The use of Diamox or any other altitude sickness medication recommended by a doctor also helps. But if the symptoms are severe, your guide will make the right decision for you.
Bad weather also adds challenges to your trip. So, you should always choose the best time for your trip’s success.
Best Time to do Island Peak Climbing
When traveling, choosing a good time to travel always helps, increasing the likelihood of success and creating happy memories that last a lifetime. Island Peak Climbing is possible all year long but we advise embarking on this trip in either the spring or fall when the splendor of this trek is at its most stunning.
In spring, the trekking trail offers breathtaking views of mountains, dense woods, vivid meadows, and blooming rhododendrons. The weather is sunny, warm, and pleasant, with a clear view of the Himalayas and a beautiful blue sky. The temperature rises to 15 to 17 degrees Celsius during the daytime while it drops to -10 degrees Celsius during the nighttime above 4,000 meters.
Autumn is also the best season because of its dry and stable weather. Being the post-monsoon season, autumn/fall provides clear vistas of the valleys and the Himalayas. It is a little colder than the spring especially but is bearable. The temperature is pleasant, ranging from 0 to 15 degrees. By the end of November, nighttime lows of -15 degrees are not uncommon.
The summer/monsoon is not the ideal time for the Island Peak Climbing due to the muddy and treacherous routes caused by the heavy rain. The summer trekking is unproductive in terms of weather too. Similarly, avalanches and landslides are the two potential natural calamities that can occasionally make the trip dangerous.
The months of December, January, and February are considered winter as well as off-season months for the Island Peak Climbing. But, with the right preparation, equipment, and assistance from a qualified climbing guide, it is possible, especially during December. December is the ideal month if you enjoy trekking in isolation and prefer peaceful terrain.
For details: Best Time to do Island Peak Climb.
Permits to do Island Peak Climbing
Climbers are required to obtain the following permits to climb Mera Peak and Island Peak
1. NMA (Nepal Mountaineering Association) Permit
2. Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit
3. Local Area Permit (Khumbu Rural Municipality Entrance permit)
All these permits are included in the package cost.