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Gateway for Island Peak

Imja Tse peak popularly known as Island Peak stands with a modest height of 6189m. The English Mountaineer Eric Shipton was the individual who named it as Island Peak in 1953. Mainly he saw it resembling an island in a sea of ice when looked upon from Dingboche. In 1983, Island Peak again got its new name as Imja Tse from the locals, meaning ‘Island Peak’ in Nepali. But the initial name was more popular among the people. Island peak climbing is done along with a visit to the Everest Base Camp. With very little technical aspects, it offers itself even to the beginner climbers with competitive endurance. Hence, it is one of the most popular choices among the 6000m peaks in the Himalayan Range. Island Peak welcomes hundreds of climber groups each year luring them to its base and summit.

  • Nepal
  • Island Peak: Introduction
  • Island Peak: Climate 
  • Island Peak: Places Covered
  • Island Peak: Flora and Fauna

 

Nepal 

Nepal contains some of the most rugged and difficult mountain terrains in the world. Roughly 75 percent of the country is covered by mountains. From the south to the north, Nepal can be divided into four main physical belts, each of which extends east to west across the country. The first is the Tarai, a low, flat, fertile land adjacent to the border of India. Second, the forested Churia foothills and the Inner Terai zone, rising from the Terai plain to the rugged Mahabharat Range. Third, the mid-mountain region between the Mahabharat Range and the Great Himalayas. And, fourth, the Great Himalaya Range, rising to more than 8,850m.

A landlocked country is the size of Arkansas, lying between India and the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China. Nepal contains Mount Everest (29,035 ft; 8,850 m), the tallest mountain in the world along with 6 other highest peaks in the world. Along its southern border, Nepal has a strip of level land that is partly forested, partly cultivated. North of that is the slope of the main section of the Himalayan range, including Everest and many other peaks higher than 8,000 m.

Island Peak: Introduction

Island Peak trek spans of around 16-17 days in total. The trip begins after landing in Lukla airport. Spending a couple of nights in Namche Bazaar the climbers acquaint gradually before actually climbing the Island Peak. It takes four to five days to reach the Base camp of Island Peak. Here in the base camp climbers have to familiarize themselves with the climatic conditions before actually pushing themselves to the summit. The ascent to the top starts off with along a ridge where climbers use foot traction device popularly known as crampons along with a rope to elevate upwards. The way across the glacier is easy with occasional fractures in them. After reaching the top, exquisite view of Lhotse Shar, Makalu, Baruntse and Ama Dablam is seen. 

This peak was first ascended by Tenzing Norgay who was a part of the British Team preparing for the Everest Triumph. Historically, the peak has been used as a practice climb before the ascent of Mt. Everest. A fit and enthusiastic advanced beginner with basic climbing skills can successfully reach the spectacular summits of Kala Pattar and Island Peak. The climbs are considered physically challenging, but not technically difficult. Porters and yaks are will help us carry gear, food, and supplies. We encourage you to review the detailed itinerary, and we would be delighted to put you in touch with veteran trekkers to learn from their experiences.

Island Peak: Climate 

We should not underestimate the climate in the Himalayas. Going up there, it can get really cold so it is essential that you get accustomed to that temperature while hiking. In winter, expect a temperature of around -20 C. Not to mention the wind-chill effect that can make the Island Peak climbing even more challenging. Especially during winters, the cold is practically unbearable. the spring-summer and Autumn days are a bit warm with the sun shining bright. Nevertheless, the nights become chillier as you ascend higher in the Himalayan region.

Therefore, acclimatization is very essential to make it to the top successfully without any problems. The most common locations for acclimatization sessions are at Namche Bazaar and at Tengboche. The basic requirement is that we need to first take a light hike to a higher elevation. Then descend to a lower elevation to complete the process. This way, your body will adjust to the new altitude. And the possibility of any sickness will normally be diminished. 

 

Island Peak: Places Covered

During your expedition towards climbing the Island Peak, you come across many villages. Only a few of them will be our destination for a night’s halt. Hotel rooms will only be provided on your visit to Kathmandu. Since there are no hotels in the mountain region, accommodation will be at tea houses and lodges. So the first place, where it all begins in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Here you will be allocated a room in a hotel. Then Lukla, the airport strip where we land after our flight from Kathmandu. On reaching Lukla, we trek towards the hamlet of Phakding. Here we halt for the night at a tea house. Next is Namche Bazaar, the capital and the main trading center of the Khumbu region. 

A day is spent for acclimatization at Namche. We enter the Sagarmatha National Park as soon as we reach Namche too. From Namche, we travel towards Tengboche, and we can visit the Tengboche monastery there. Then we trek towards Deboche. From the village of Deboche we make our way towards the village of Pheriche. Along the way, we cross the Phalang Karpo. Then we reach Dungla a village with numerous stone monuments built to honor the people who died climbing Mt. Everest. Then we make our way towards Lobuche. 

After a night at Lobuche, we trek towards Gorak Shep where we visit the Everest Base Camp along the way. A night’s halt at Gorak shep, then we climb the hill towards Kala Patthar’s viewpoint. This viewpoint gives a great vantage point to have a good look at Mt. Everest from a close distance. Also, the view of the sunrise is priceless. Then we make our way towards Dingboche to rest for the night. We trek across Imja valley to reach Chukkung the next day. From Chukkung we head uphill towards Island Peak Base Camp.

The first day is acclimatization, then the next day we travel to High Base from Base Camp. then we have the summit day, where we attempt to reach the summit. Then we head back to Base Camp after the attempts. We trek downhill, towards Pangboche. Then Namche again. We make a long journey across Phakding to reach Lukla where we halt for the night. Then a flight awaits us to take us to Kathmandu in the morning. Then after a night’s stay in Kathmandu, depending on the flight schedule, final departure at the Kathmandu airport.

 

Island Peak: Flora and Fauna

The forests in the region provide refuge to at least 118 species of birds, including Himalayan monal, blood pheasant, red-billed chough, and yellow-billed chough. Sagarmatha National Park is also home to a number of rare mammal species, including musk deer, snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, and red panda. Himalayan tahrs, langur monkeys, martens, and Himalayan wolves are also found in the park.

The temperature and available oxygen decrease with altitude. Therefore, the animals that are found here are adapted to living on less oxygen and cold temperatures. They have thick coats to retain body heat. Some of them have shortened limbs to prevent loss of body heat. The Himalayan bears go into hibernation in caves during the winter when there is no food available.

 

 

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