Everest Base Camp Trek and Island Peak Climbing

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Starts at: Lukla Ends at: Lukla
Trek Region: Everest Transport: Flight
Duration: 18 days Trip Grade: Challenging
Max Altitude: 6,189 m Accommodation: Tea House / Camping

Island Peak Climbing Highlights

  • Hike to Everest Base Camp
  • Panoramic view from Kalapatthar aka Everest viewpoint
  • Experience Khongma La Pass
  • Summit Island Peak at 6,189 m
  • Island peak is the most popular trekking peak
  • Take in views of Imja Lake, a small glacial lake at the base of Island Peak.
  • Tented overnight accommodation at Island Peak Base Camp
  • Experience climbing in the Himalayas

Island Peak, known locally as Imja Tse, is Nepal’s most popular climbing peak.  It is perfect for climbers with less experience or those who wish to climb for the first time.

Our climbing guide will demonstrate the techniques of using climbing gear at Base Camp.  And with your safety in mind, we provide one climbing guide for 3-to 4 climbers – based on the climbers’ experience.

This trip starts by flying into the high-altitude airport at Lukla and takes you to the well-known Namche Bazaar and the highest monastery in the region – Tengboche.

You will get the best views of Mt Everest and surrounding mountains from atop Kalapatthar (also known as the Everest viewpoint) at 5,545 m and overnight at Gorakshep at over 5,000 m. Naturally, no trip to this area is complete without going to Everest Base Camp, which you will also visit

From here, the trip differs from those groups heading only to Everest Base Camp.  Now the climbing adventure begins!  Descend down to Lobuche and cross the Khongma La Pass and on to Chukung Khongma La Pass, considered the most difficult pass among the Everest Three High Passes.

There is only tented accommodation at Island Peak Base Camp as we prepare for the summit.  To reach the summit before the high winds set in, climbers will leave Base Camp around 1 am.

Watching the sunrise over the Himalayas after the exhilarating climb is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. After descending down the Peak and trekking to Dingboche, the route back to Lukla again rejoins the route taken by those on the Everest Base Camp Trek.

The best time to climb Island Peak is April and May, or (followed by) October and November.

Magical Nepal works with local Sherpa based in Dingboche and Chukung.  Our Sherpas are highly experienced and know the Island peak inside out.

Island Peak Climbing Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu!

Kathmandu

Day 2: Kathmandu to Lukla Flight and Trek to Phakding

Phakding – 2651 m / 8697 ft – 35 min + 3 hrs

Day 3: Phakding to Namche

Namche – 3440 m / 11286 ft – 5 to 6 hrs

Day 4: Acclimatization Day in Namche

Namche – 3700 m / 12139 ft – 4 to 5 hrs

Day 5: Namche to Tengboche

Tengboche – 3956 m / 12979 ft – 5 to 6 hrs

Day 6: Tengboche to Dingboche

Dingboche – 4380 m / 14370 ft – 4 to 5 hrs

Day 7: Acclimatization Day in Dingboche

Dingboche – 4380 m / 14370 ft – 3 to 4 hrs

Day 8: Dingboche to Lobuche

Lobuche – 4938 m / 16200 ft – 4 to 5 hrs

Day 9: Lobuche to Gorakshep

Gorakshep – 5160 m / 16929 ft – 2 to 3 hr + 4 hr

Day 10: Gorakshep to Lobuche

Lobuche – 4938 m / 16200 ft- 4 hrs + 4 hrs

Day 11: Lobuche to Chukung via Khongma La Pass

Chukung – 4,730 m/15,518 ft – 6 to 7 hrs

Day 12: Chukung to Island Peak Base Camp

Island Peak Base Camp – 5,087 m/ 16,690 ft -7 hr

Day 13: Island Peak Base Camp to Summit and Down to Chukung

Island Peak Base Camp – 5,087 m/ 16,690 ft

Day 14: Island Peak Base Camp to Pangboche

Pangboche – 3,985 m/ 13,074 ft

Day 15: Pangboche to Namche

Namche – 3440 m / 11286 ft

Day 16: Namche to Lukla

Lukla – 2860 m / 9383 ft

Day 17: Lukla to Kathmandu Flight

kathmandu – 1400 m / 4593 ft

Day 18: Departure

Departure

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Plan Your Trip

Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu

  • Accommodation: Hotel

Today you will be briefed on your island peak climb by our team. You can ask any questions you still have at this point.

Day 2: Kathmandu to Lukla (Flight) to Phakding

  • Flight time: 35 to 40 minutes
  • Trek time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Departure from Kathmandu by domestic flight is early in the morning. The flight is interesting as you pass over fields, hills, and mountains.  Lukla airport is called the Tenzing Hillary Airport after the first two men to summit Everest in 1953. Flying into this high-altitude airport is exhilarating.  

Once you land and the gear is unloaded, you head off for a 3 to 4-hour trek to Phakding, where the first overnight stop is. You should be Phakding by lunchtime, but because of the altitude – Phakding sits at 2,651m/ 8,697ft – and the very early morning start, we do not push on today.

Day 3: Phakding to Namche (3,330m/ 11,286ft)

  • Trek time: 7 to 8 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

There is plenty to see today as you walk through pine forests and cross rivers.  If you haven’t walked across a suspension bridge, there is plenty to experience today. 

The trail enters Sagarmatha National Park by hiking through forests, yak pastures, and Sherpa villages.  Looking up, we can see Mt. Thamserku above us. And on to Namche Bazaar

Namche Bazaar, traditionally a large market town, is the center of climbing and trekking activities in this region in that all expeditions have to pass through here.  You can also purchase last-minute items, such as snacks for your expedition.

Day 4 – Acclimatization Day in Namche

  • Accommodation: Tea House

It is necessary for everyone to take an acclimatization day before pushing on and up.  But acclimatization doesn’t mean lazing around; the best way to acclimatize is to be active.  On this day, you can visit the village of Khumjung, where Hillary set up a school for Sherpa children.  There is also a health post he was involved in setting up.

Day 5: Namche to Tengboche 3,956m/ 12,979 ft

  • Trek time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Leaving Namche with its busy restaurants, shops, and expedition groups, we feel we are entering another country.  Here there are signs of Buddhist worship everywhere. As we near Tengboche Monastery along a dust switchback trail, there are shrines, mani walls (prayers carved into stones), and prayer flags fluttering in the wind. 

From the monastery itself, the views are stupendous – a whole panorama of mountains.  Everest, Ama Dablam, and Lhotse are on display.  When you have soaked up enough of the mountain vista, you may wish to light some butter lamps and meet some monks if the time is right.

Day 6: Tengboche to Dinboche  4,380m/ 14,370ft

  • Trek time: 4 to 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Time-wise, this looks like a short day, but the trail is challenging, so be prepared.  Follow the Imja Khola (river) and over desolate fields to Dingboche, the highest Sherpa settlement.  We arrive by lunchtime, so there is plenty of time to relax and stare at the mountains, particularly Ama Dablam. 

Day 7 – Acclimatization Day in Dingboche

  • Accommodation: Tea House

Again, we take a day to acclimatize to the increasing altitude.  As mentioned, it is best to be active these days, so we recommend visiting Nangkar Tshang Peak, where there are great views of Makalu.  This hike will take 3.5 to 5 hours, there and back.

Day 8: Dingboche to Lobuche 4,938m/ 16,200ft

  • Trek time: 4 to 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

A challenging trail awaits you today, but it starts off gently through alpine scrub and yak pastures.  The Thukla Pass, which you must cross, is 4,830m with stunning views.  There are many mountains over 7,000m to see, plus Ama Dablam, Lhotse, and Nuptse, to name just three more. 

Having conquered this pass, there is the Thukla Pass to cross.  At this Pass, there is a memorial to those who have died on Everest. However, a very simple settlement, Overnight at Lobuche, has a wonderful setting.

Day 9: Dingboche to Lobuche 4,938m/ 16,200ft

  • Trek time: 2 to 3 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today we head to the last settlement before Everest Base Camp, where we will stay overnight.  After lunch, we leave Gorakshep and hike to Kala Pattar.  This is the nearest we can get to Mt Everest without climbing it. 

At 5,545m  with stunning views, it is no wonder Kala Pattar is often called Everest View Point.  After taking in the fabulous scenery and clicking dozens of photos, we return to Gorakshep for the night.

Day 10: Gorakshep to Lobuche 4,938m/ 16,200 ft

  • Trek time: 2 to 3 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today we retrace our steps to Lobuche, where we stop again for the night. And again, take in the wonderful views from this simple settlement.

Day 11: Lobuche to Chukung via Khongma La Pass 4,730m/ 15,518ft  (Chukung)

  • Trek time: 8 to 9 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today there is another day for acclimatization to the high altitude.  Sitting above Chhunkung village is Chhukung Ri peak.  By climbing this peak, our bodies become acclimatized.  Some scrambling is required near the peak’s summit, but the views are amazing, and we can see Ama Dablam and Amphu Labsa peaks. Climbing back down, we retrace our steps to Chhukung, where we spend the night.

Day 12: Chukung to Island Peak Base Camp 5,087m/ 16,690ft

  • Trek time: 2 to 3 hours
  • Accommodation: Camping

Following the glacial moraine from Chukung, then hiking down to the runoff from Imja Lake, the trails go between some hills before coming out on a sandy plain right at Island Peak and Lhotse.  From here, walk to Island Peak Base Camp which views the Imja Valley. 

The afternoon is spent preparing for the climb!

Day 13: Island Peak Base Camp to Summit and Down to Chukung

  • Climbing time: 10 to 11 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

We will summit Island Peak today with the correct weather conditions (6,189m/ 20,305ft).  It’s an early start – 2 am and a long hard climb. There is a rocky scree and steep rocks to scramble over.  When we reach around 5,700m, experience has told us that the high altitude slows the progress considerably.

Finally, we reach a narrow ridge, the start of the glacier, put on crampons and harnesses, and get ice axes and ropes ready to climb across the glacier.  There may be ladders to cross and steep climbing sections to go up and down. 

This point can take around 1 to 2 hours before we reach the base of the Headwall.   At the Headwall, it’s possible to take a break while the team fixes climbing ropes.  Finally, climbing up the Headwall, you will reach the summit of Island Peak.  Views are astounding – this is what you have been working towards. 

Still roped in because the summit is very small, we abseil down the Headwall, then at the foot, rope together again, and retrace the trail through the glacier.  At High Camp, there is time for a short rest.  The gear will be packed up, and we will trek down to Island Peak Base Camp, where we will stay for the night.  Job well done!

Day 14: Chukung to Pangboche 3,985m / 11,286ft

  • Trek time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Following the same route through the valley of Khumbu Khola, today is a much easier day on the body as the altitude gets lower.  

We pass Orsho and Shomare villages – both Sherpa settlements.  Depending on the group’s interest, we can visit the gompa in upper Panchoche or take a different trail to reach Pangboche. 

Pangboche is a lovely village surrounded by mountains: Everest in the north, Ama Dablam, Kangtaiga, and Thamserku in the east, and to the south, the Kongde range.  We can also see the Imja Tse River flowing through a fertile valley. 

Day 15: Pangboche to Namche Bazaar

  • Trek time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Following the trail from Pangboche, we retrace our earlier steps to the Imja Tse River and through a forest to reach Tengboche.  Here we can visit Tengboche Monastery, where we have lunch. 

The landscape is full of rhododendron and juniper trees as we head on, crossing the Dudh Koshi River, following the Dudh Koshi gorge, and into pine forests. Here it is possible to see wildlife – and if we are lucky, we might see the Snow Leopard.  Finally, we pass the army camp on arrival in Namche Bazaar.  Here we relax and enjoy good conversation over dinner – reliving the adventure.

Day 16: Namche to Lukla

  • Trek time: 7 to 8 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today we retrace our original steps – was it really only two weeks ago?  We trek down to Lukla and our final night in the Everest Region.

Day 17: Lukla to Kathmandu

  • Trek time: 30 minute
  • Accommodation: Tea House

An early morning flight gets us back into Kathmandu by lunchtime, giving us plenty of time to do any last-minute shopping before having a celebratory dinner.

Day 18: Island Peak Base Camp to Pangboche 3,985m / 11,286ft

  • Trek time: 2 to 3 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Our staff will ensure you get to the airport on time if you have an international flight.  If you are staying longer in Nepal, perhaps you would like to take another trek or tour with us.  Just ask!

Includes

  • Local transfers for your international flight x 2 (arrival/ departure)
  • Local transfers for your domestic flights x 2
  • Kathmandu Lukla Kathmandu flight
  • Sagarmatha National Park Entry Park and Local Entry Permits
  • Peak Climbing Permit
  • Guide for 15 days
  • Porter for 14 days
  • Climbing guide for 3 days (Island Peak Base Camp / return to Base
  • 2 nights accommodation in a Kathmandu (Hotel Dream Nepal or similar)
  • 13 nights accommodation in mountain teahouses
  • 2 night tented accommodation at Base Camp and High Camp
  • Packed lunch on the summit day
  • All cooked meals when camping with complementary hot water, tea and coffee
  • Staff insurance and necessary ground transport for support staff
  • 14 x set breakfasts, 15 x set lunches and 15 x set dinners while on the trek
    Vegan
    Veg
  • International flight ticket and Nepal entry visa
  • Tip to Guide and Porter
  • Personal travel insurance (Which should include coverage for trekking)
  • Personal climbing gear (can be rented in Chukung/ Dingboche)

Island Peak Climbing FAQ

How many days is the Island Peak Climbing trip longer than the regular Everest Base Camp Trek (EBC)?

It is three to four days longer.


Is this climb for me?

Yes, with proper acclimatization and our expert climbing guide, this peak is for anyone who is fit and can do the EBC trek. Many trekkers make Island Peak their first climbing experience.

Is it technically difficult?

Both Island Peak and Lobuche Peak are more difficult compared to Mera Peak. However, with proper instruction and training at Base Camp by our professional and well-qualified climbing guide to develop your knowledge and use of climbing gear, this Peak can be successfully climbed.

Do I go to EBC on this climb?

You will go to Everest Base Camp and Kalapatthar for acclimatization before climbing.

Are there toilet facilities at the base camp?

Being that this is the most popular trek, the teahouses and lodges are open throughout the year, and people trek all months of the year. The best time in terms of weather and scenery is October, November, and April May. Yes, there will be toilet facilities at the base camp. You will have a personal sleeping tent, a communal kitchen and dining tent, and a toilet tent.

How many climbing guides will be there?

We provide one climbing guide for three to four climbers, depending on the experience of the climbers.

Will we use fixed ropes?

Yes, you will be using a fixed rope for the climb.

Is it safe to drink water in the Everest Region?

No. You cannot drink the water from the tap or streams in Everest. Mineral water is available on the trail. It is expensive to buy (perhaps 10 times more than in Kathmandu). You can use a water purifier or SteriPen.

Am I likely to get altitude sickness on this trip?

As the possibility of getting altitude sickness generally starts at elevations over 3,000 m, you should be aware. But in order to avoid this as much as possible, we have designed the itinerary in such a way that it will give you enough time to acclimatize.

Am I at risk, and how can I avoid altitude sickness?

There is no knowing who will suffer from altitude sickness. It does not follow that the younger and fitter people will not get altitude sickness, where the older and less fit will. It is not related to (general) fitness or age. Talk to your doctor at home. There are prescription medications that help avoid the onset of altitude sickness. But above all, go slowly, listen to your body, be aware of any changes, and listen to your guide if he feels you are showing symptoms (which you might not notice).

What happens if there is a need for emergency evacuation while I am on this trip?

We will collect your travel insurance policies and details before the trek so that in case of an emergency, we can coordinate with your insurance company and the helicopter providers for evacuation.

What about simple medical treatment on this trek?

On every trek or climb, we will carry a first aid kit. We also recommend you carry your own. Vaccinations are not compulsory in Nepal but to be on the safe side we recommend you comply,

Do I need to buy travel insurance before I come to Nepal?

Yes. Magical Nepal only provides insurance for our own staff. We recommend you buy insurance in your country. Note: Insurance should cover you for the altitudes you are trekking at (not all do). We recommend World Nomads.

Where can I leave my belongings in Kathmandu when I am trekking?

Anything you don’t want to take on the trek with you can be stored at your hotel or in our office. We suggest you ensure your bag is lockable.

Are your staff insured in case of accidents etc?

Yes. At Magical Nepal, we make sure all our staffs are well insured.

Island Peak Climbing Map

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