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Island Peak Trek

This expedition is a superb entry into Himalayan climbing. Island Peak is mostly non-technical with some basic snow climbing skills required to achieve the ascent. These skills will be taught or revisited during the early stages of the climb. During the trip you will get to experience altitude firsthand while getting to appreciate the inner workings of an expedition to a peak in the Himalaya!

The trip initiates in Kathmandu where we enjoy the diversity of this ancient city before embarking on a flight into the alpine village of Lukla, the entranceway to the Everest region. We approach the mountain following the wide trails of the Khumbu Valley, famous for its fascinating villages and hospitable inhabitants.

An excellent first expedition objective, this ascent will satisfy your desire to experience Himalayan climbing.

Itinerary Detail

Day 01:Arrival Kathmandu (1,350m/4,428ft)

On our arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, we will pick up and drop to hotel.

Day 02:Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Preparation

Today after breakfast we start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu which are also listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. We visit the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, the famous ‘Monkey Temple’ (Swayambhunath) and Buddhist shrine (Bouddhanath),. Overnight in Kathmandu. Included meals: Breakfast

Day 03:Fly to Lukla (2,800m/9,184ft) then trek to Phakding (2,652m/8,700ft): 40 min flight, 3-4 hours trek

After breakfast, we will be taken to the domestic terminal of TIA for an early morning flight to Lukla.  After a flying above the breathtaking green and white mountains, we reach Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla.  This is one of the most beautiful air routes in the world culminating in a landing on a hillside surrounded by high mountains.  Upon our arrival at Lukla, we meet our other crew members and after some packing and arrangements, we start our trek through the prosperous village of Lukla until we reach Phakding. Overnight in Phakding. Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 04:Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,440m/11,283ft): 5-6 hours

After breakfast we walk through beautiful pine forests and then along Dudh Koshi River ending our nature-filled journey at Namche Bazaar.  After walking for almost over an hour, we come across the glistening Mt. Thamserku (6,608m) on our right and also experience the serenity of pine, fir and juniper forests throughout our journey.  If the weather is clear, we may even catch a glimpse of Mt. Everest peering over the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge.  We continue walking until we reach the entrance to Sagarmatha National Park, Namche Bazaar, Overnight in Namche Bazaar.  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 05:Namche Bazaar (3,440 m/11,283 ft): Acclimatization Day

This is the day set aside for acclimatization.  Health experts recommend that we stay active and move around even during the rest day instead of being idle.  There are a few options set aside for this day.  We can either stroll around Namche’s quaint villages or come in contact with the Sherpa people and their rich culture, or we can hike up to the Everest View Hotel and enjoy an up-close view of the mighty Everest.  While in the Namche village or upon returning from the hike to the Everest View Hotel, trekkers may also visit the local museum containing exhibits displaying the area’s native flora and fauna as well as the history of the Mount Everest region.  For trekkers who want to hike for a little longer, a hike to Khumjung village (5-6 hours) may also be an option.  In the village we can visit the Edmund Hillary School and Khumjung Monastery, where we will be shown the only Yeti skull in the world! Overnight in Namche Bazaar. Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 06:Namche Bazaar to Dole (4,110m/ 13,152ft): 5-6 hours

We walk to Kyangjuma village on a steep trail.  At Kyangjuma we turn off the main trail and begin climbing to the Mong La pass, marked by a chorten on the top of a ridge at 3972m.  From the ridge, the trail descends in a series of switchbacks towards the Dudh Koshi River.  At Phortse Tenga our path starts to climb steeply out of the valley and enter the rhododendron forests.  We pass through many kharkas, summer settlements used by the Sherpas to graze their yaks, before coming to Dole where we have magnificent views of Khumbila and Tawache.  Overnight in Dole.Included meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 07:Dole to Machhermo (4,470m/ 14,663ft): 4-5 hours

From Dole the trail is steep in places as it passes through Lhabarma (4220m) and Luza (4360m) along the side of the valley, high above the river through scrub junipers until we cross the sandy spurs to Machhermo.  On the way we are greeted with views of Cho Oyu, Kantega and Thamserku mountains.  Machhermo is the last major settlement on the way up to Gokyo.  The beautiful stream flowing down from the Kyajo Ri and Phari Lapche mountains runs through the middle of the village before draining into the Dudh Koshi River.  It was here in 1974 that a yeti was reported to have attacked a Sherpa and killed three yaks!  We then visit the Himalayan Rescue Hospital for a lecture regarding altitude sickness, its precaution, and primary treatment.  Overnight in Machhermo. Included meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 08:Machhermo to Gokyo (4800 m/15,744 ft): 4-5 hours

We begin today by climbing a ridge for an excellent view down the valley to Kangtaiga and also up towards Cho Oyu (8153m). The valley now widens as the trail passes through Phangkha, where an avalanche in 1995 killed 40 people.  We then descend to the riverbank before climbing onto the terminal moraine of the Ngazumpa Glacier on a steep trail.  Upon crossing an iron bridge over a stream, the trail levels out as it follows the valley past the first lake, known as Longpongo at 4690m.  At this juncture, we get a chance to observe lama footprints on a stone.  At the sight of the second lake, Taboche Tsho we become mesmerized by the shimmering turquoise blue sheet of water sparkling in the sun.  Little ahead of the second lake, we reach the third lake, the two linked by a surging stream.  Gokyo village stands by the third lake and Cho-Oyu Mountain as a backdrop sets an amazing spectacular sight here.  After lunch, we explore around the third lake, Dudh Pokhari.  Overnight in Gokyo. Included meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 09:Acclimatization Day in Gokyo Valley: Hike to Gokyo Ri (5,330 m/17,483 ft)

Today is an acclimatization day so we know we should not stay idle.  If the weather is good, we grasp the opportunity to climb Gokyo Ri today to enjoy the scene from the best viewpoint of the Everest Region. Climbing Gokyo Ri is obviously strenuous as it is steep and takes about 3 to 4 hours to reach the top.  But the scenery of Gokyo village, on the edge of third lake overlooked by Cholatse and the broad Nogzumpa Glacier, is spectacular.  We are surrounded by panoramic mountains like Kusum Kanguru, Thamserku, K 43, Kangtega, Taboche, Cholatse, Makalu, Lhotse, Nuptse, Everest, Changtse, and Pumori.  The sight of sunrays kissing Everest which towers over all the surrounding peaks is astounding. However, if the weather is not fit for climbing we visit the fourth and fifth Gokyo lakes.  We can also climb on a hill, also called Scoundrel’s Viewpoint at the edge of the lakes to get astounding views of Cho-Oyu, Gyachung Kang, Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Makulu. Overnight in Gokyo.Included meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10:Gokyo to Thaknak (4750 m/15,580 ft): 5-6 hours

If the weather was not good for climbing Gokyo Ri the previous day, we do so today.  After breakfast, we climb out of the Gokyo village to a ridge then trek through the Ngazumpa Glacier to the mountain on the other side.  Next, traverse along the edge of that mountain and then meander into Thaknak.  It will be a short hike today with an afternoon of rest which will prepare us for long hiking days and elevation gain to come. Overnight in Thaknak.Included meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11:Thaknak to Cho La pass to Dingboche (4410 m/15,207 ft): 8-10 hours

Today is going to be one of the toughest days of the trip. The Cho La pass is not itself difficult, but it is steep and involves a glacier traverse on the eastern side.  We need to be careful as the trail is vertical and the rocks glazed by ice may cause trouble by making the trail slippery.  The trail from Phedi climbs through a ravine and a rocky trail. While trekking through the side of a frozen lake, we reach at the top of the pass decorated with prayer flags.  The pyramidal Ama Dablam presides over a range of mountains on the south even as Cholatse soars to the west and Lobuche East and Baruntse rises sharply to our right.  We need to pass through some crevasses before we reach Dzongla, another beautiful place with a complete view of Mt. Cholatse, Mt.Ama Dablam, Lobuche Peak and the Pheriche Village far below. We climb down from Dzongla and walk through a grassy trail while enjoying the view of Lobuche Peak.  The trail curves through the wide river bed before reaching Dingboche.Overnight in Dingboche. Included meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12:Dingboche Rest day.(4410m)

Today is a rest day walk around Dingboche Bakery cafe internet and explore around overnight in Dingboche. Included meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13:Dingboche to Chhukung (4,730m/15,518ft): 3-4 hours

After breakfast, we trek via Khore Imja Khola Imja valley between Lhoste and Ama Dablam reach Chhukung. Overnight Chhukung. Included meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14:Chhukung to Island Peak Base Camp (5,200m/17,060ft): 3-4 hours

The trek to Island Peak Base Camp is on a fairly steep trail.  First, we climb south then turn east to the main line of the valley.  We then walk on a winding path below the southern flank of the moraine from the Lhotse Glacier.  Next, we continue walking on a pleasant trail along a streamside.  The route to the Amphu Lapcha lies to the southeast.  A crisscross route through the Imja and Lhotse Glacier moraines leads to a wide valley flanking the SW side of Island Peak. Overnight at Island Peak Base Camp.Included meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15:Pre-Climb Training on Island Peak Base Camp

We begin our pre-climb training today after breakfast.  Our guides will provide training on peak climbing techniques and the proper ways of using climbing gears such as the ice axe, climbing boots and crampons, harness, ascender, etc.  The training will also include using ropes to go up and down.  Although it is not mandatory to have prior training for Island Peak Climbing, we strongly believe that some training experience will boost your confidence and climbing skills to increase the chances of scaling the summit as well as to fully enjoy the experience.  We can spend the rest of the day hiking to high camp and back or resting for the next day’s climb. Overnight at the base camp.Included meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16:Island Peak Base Camp to Summit and back to Base Camp (5,600m/18,372ft) 10-12 hours

We wake up early today at around 1 to 2 am and have our breakfast before beginning our climb.  It is important we reach the summit before noon because in the afternoon the strong winds in the high lands might become a barrier for a successful summit.  The trail moves up beyond the base camp for several hundred meters before striking off the steep hillside. Initially sandy, the path soon turns to grass before becoming boulder strewn.  As we climb up the hill, we will see that the slope narrows and the trail enters a steep rock channel.  We then climb the rock gully. This is not difficult, but there are several short rock steps to climb before we emerge on the right side of the gully.  The route then follows a ridgeline, which leads to an exhilarating and exposed traverse onto the snout of the summit glacier.  We need to rope up for the glacier as it contains several crevasses.  The guides will fix a rope wherever necessary.  A steep snow slope leads us onto the summit ridge.  After enjoying the summit views, and taking pictures, we descend all the way to Island Peak Base Camp where some of our crew are waiting for us.  We celebrate on our successful Island Peak climb.Included meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17:Island Peak Base Camp to Pangboche (3,985m/13,074ft) 5-6 hours

Today’s walk will be a much easier as we descend to the lower altitudes.  Following the same route back through the wide valley of Khumbu Khola, we pass through the beautiful Sherpa villages Orsho and Shomare.  We can also take a different trail to visit the Gompa in Upper Pangboche, which is believed to be the oldest in the Khumbu region or take the regular trail to reach Pangboche.  Pangboche is a scenic village surrounded by Everest to its north, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, and Kangtaiga to the east, the Kongde range to the south and the Imja Tse river flowing through the wide fertile valley. Included meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18:Pangboche to Namche Bazaar: 4-5 hours

From Pangboche we retrace our steps down to the Imja Khola and up through the forest to Tengboche.  If interested, we can also visit nuns at the Tengboche monastery.  After lunch at Tengboche, we continue through the hillside blanketed by rhododendron and juniper trees.  After crossing the bridge over the Dudh Koshi River, our trail follows the Dudh Koshi gorge descending rapidly through the pine forests before reaching Sansa.  We keep a lookout for wildlife such as mountain goats, snow leopards, colorful pheasants, etc., while passing through the forest.  After passing a chorten, we reach the army camp at Namche Bazaar. Overnight in Namche Bazaar. Included meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19:Namche Bazaar to Lukla: 6-7 hours

The trail descends steeply downward so we need to walk cautiously as our shaky legs continuously battle the rocky terrain.  After crossing the suspension bridges over the fast flowing Dudh Koshi and its tributaries, the trail becomes more level and natural.  After our arrival in Lukla, we stretch those sore legs and recall the experiences of the last couple of weeks.  Overnight in Lukla. Included meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Day 20:Fly to Kathmandu

We catch an early morning flight to Kathmandu after our long mountain journey. After reaching Kathmandu, we can rest or do some souvenir shopping. If we want to explore any other areas of Kathmandu, we may do that today. Our guides can help you with both souvenirs shopping or sightseeing. There will be a farewell dinner and Cultural show in the evening to celebrate the climbers’ successful summit of the Island peak. Overnight in Kathmandu. Included meals:Breakfast, Dinner

Day 21:Final Departure

Your adventure in Nepal comes to an end today! There is nothing to do but trade emails with your travel companions and organize your photos.  A representative from epic adventure will take you to the airport, approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight.  On your way home you’ll have plenty of time to plan your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.

Please note that often the Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu flight gets delayed by a few hours or may even be canceled for one, two, or more days due to unfavorable weather conditions. Such conditions may arise even in the best seasons. Hence, in such cases, you must be prepared for long waits both at Kathmandu or Lukla airports, as this can happen either at the start or end of the trek or even both! We do our utmost to avoid such delays, and get you on next available flight. Still, we suggest you to be prepared for possible delays/cancellation, and if possible to come with some extra buffer days (1-2 days) at the end of the trip to accommodate such delays.

Important Note :

Your safety is of paramount concern while traveling with Epic Adventures. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, since this adventure entails travelling in remote mountainous regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not deviate from it. Weather conditions, health condition of a group member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.

Include/Exclude

Trip Includes

• All accommodation in 3 star ( By Nepalese standard) hotels in cities- twin sharing rooms

• All Ground transportation

• Kathmandu sightseeing with city tour guide

• Full board meal 3 times a day during the trekking and 3 cups of tea / Coffee

• Govt. trained guide and necessary no. of porters with their insurance, salary and meals

• One cultural show and dinner

• National park entry fees and TIMS permit card

• All Domestic Flight according to the itinerary in fixed wing aircraft

 

Trip Excludes

• International Flight, Airport tax and Nepal Visa fee $40 for 30 days

• Major meals in Cities

• Monuments entrance fees in Kathmandu tour

• All personal expenses such as bar bills, water, extra tea / coffee, snacks, shower, battery re-charge, laundry charge etc.

• Personal clothing and gears, sleeping bag and Down jacket for trek

• Tips to guide and porter

• Cost raised by flight cancelation, emergency rescue charges , landslide, weather, political unrest, illness, re-routing etc which are not under our control

• Personal Travel Insurance

Trip Fact
Activity : Peak Climbing
Trip Length : 21 Days
Highest Altitude : 6,189m