Nepal is blessed with an abundance of the magnificent Himalayas and stunning natural resources. The beauty of the mountainous regions of this country is unmatched. Home to more than 1310 mountains, Nepal never disappoints any true adventurer seeking something exciting and challenging. Among the hundreds of breathtaking mountains, Imja -Tse stands out due to its amazing location and overwhelming beauty.
Imja-Tse, popularly known as Island Peak, has become a highly talked-about trekking destination for trekkers around the globe. Standing at the height of 6189 meters, this peak welcomes ambitious mountaineers to give them a taste of the thrill of a real mountain expedition. Located in the beautiful Khumbu region, Island Peak is considered a stepping stone for novice climbers who want to get into the exciting mountain climbing world.
This trek gives you an up-close insight into the local Sherpa people’s simple lifestyle and their fascinating culture and traditions. The experience you will earn from this trip is something that can change your perspective on life. Climbing Island Peak will allow you to enjoy the best view of several beautiful mountain ranges like Lhotse, Amadablam, Nuptse, and many more.
The journey to Island Peak starts with a scenic and thrilling flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. After reaching the beautiful Lulka region, we will take the same route as the trek to Everest Base Camp. Upon reaching Dingboche, we will start hiking towards Chhukung, spending some days doing some basic climbing training. The actual mountain climbing is usually done between 12 to 1 am to avoid weather disturbances.
These 20 days long trek offers everything one can expect from trekking. It has jaw-dropping views of the Himalayas, varieties of cultural and traditional exposure, a rare combination of floras and faunas, and so much more.
Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepal
Imja Peak, also popularly known as Island Peak, is one of Nepal’s most exciting trekking peaks. Standing at an elevation of 6160 meters, this peak has everything that adventure junkies seek for. For dreamers who wish to climb the mighty Everest someday, Island Peak is an excellent way to start.
This dream of a mountain, standing alone in the icy water, was named Island Peak in 1952, and the reason behind its name is self-explanatory.
Its unique location with a breathtaking view is what makes this peak so special. Offering views of the stunning Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Ama Dablam, Island Peak Climbing is one destination no adventurer should not miss out on.
You are in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, which is known for its centuries-old temples and monuments. There are so many things to see here. Today, you will be strolling around the city, visiting some of UNESCO’s world heritage sites like Pashupatinath temple, Bouddha, Swoyambunath, and Kathmandu Durbar Square.
After our fun excursion, we will be discussing our trek itinerary and plans in the evening. You will also have time to get into shopping for your peak climbing. Make sure to rent the necessary gears and equipment.
You will be taking an early morning flight to Lukla. The 35 minutes long flight is undoubtedly going to be an experience for you. As soon as we land in Lukla, we will join the rest of our team and start hiking towards Phakding.
We will walk along the bank of the beautiful Dukhkoshi, making our way to the Phakding village. Glimpses of the stunning Kusum Kanguru Mountain will welcome us along the way. After 4 to 5 hours long walk, we will reach Phakding, where we will be spending the night.
After a gut filling breakfast, we will start trekking through several beautiful villages, traditional houses, terraced fields, lush green forests, and several thrilling bridges to reach the “gateway of Everest”, Namche Bazar. It is home to the Sherpa people and is a major trading center.
As soon as you reach Namche Bazar, you will be surrounded by stunning views of the Himalayas. Here we will spend our night in a lodge.
Today we will spend the day enjoying the local lifestyle of the charming Sherpa people. You will get to see their down-to-earth way of living, beautiful and unique culture, and appreciation.
There are some ancient monasteries in this region which we can visit. To learn about the local’s culture in-depth, you can also visit the Sherpa Cultural Museum.
Today we will hike to Tengboche, a small village in Khumbu municipality. This village has one of the very sacred and important Buddhist monasteries called Tengboche Monastery. It is the largest Gompa in the Everest region.
We will start with hiking to Phunki, climbing through some steep trails filled with magnificent rhododendron forests. As we will enter the Tengboche village premises, we will see amazing views of the mountains like Ama Dablam, Kangtega, Nuptse, Khumvilla, Konde, and Everest. We will spend the night in this village.
Today we will hike for about 5 to 6 hours to reach a small village called Dingboche. Dingboche is a Sherpa village in the Chukung valley with a population of around 200.
To reach this village, we will have to traverse the Imja river and trek some villages like Pangboche. Upon reaching Dingboche, you will be amazed by the beauty of this place. We will stay here to acclimatize and explore around.
At such a high altitude, it is normal to feel a little uneasy at first. We will slowly adjust to the low oxygen level in this region. Today we will be spending the day exploring this beautiful village and resting.
There are plenty of sites to explore in Dingboche. We can go to Nagarjuna Hill situated at the height of 5050 meters. Another optional hike is to Chukung village.
We will enjoy our excellent breakfasts early in the morning and then begin our hike. You will be hiking along the plateaus of yak herders’ shelters. Glimpses of mountains like Cholatse, Lobuche, and Pomari can be seen along the way.
After walking for a few hours, we will be in Thugla village. We will continue walking through the terminal moraine of the Khumbu glacier and slowly ascend towards Lobuche, where we will be staying overnight.
Today is an exciting day, as we will be trekking to the Everest Base Camp, which is the starting point of Mount Everest. Along the way, we will see some beautiful glaciers and icebergs. We will hike on some rocky and steep trials, so you better keep a close eye on your steps.
We will explore the area of Gorak shep and then climb towards the Everest Base Camp. The splendid views of the magical mountains, and the giant Mt Everest, is something you will remember your lifetime. After enjoying the pictures, we will descend towards Gorak Shep and stay overnight here.
Today plan to trek to the famous Kalapathar and then descend to Lobuche and stay overnight there. We will begin with trekking through some rocky trials and do an epic climb to Kalapathar, which translates to “Black Rock.”
This site is very popular with trekkers because of the Himalayas’ fantastic view you get to enjoy from here. The unobstructed panoramic view of the mighty Everest will leave you speechless. We will enjoy the colorful sunset and then hike downhill towards Lobuche, where we’ll stay overnight.
After enjoying our lovely breakfast, we will make an ascent to the moraine over the gigantic Khumbu glacier. This shortcut to Chukhung can be a challenging hike for even experienced trekkers.
At this altitude, you will get a fantastic view of Lhotse (8,516 m), Lhotse Shar (8,383 m), Makalu (8,463 m), Baruntse (7,220 m), Ama Dablam (6,814 m), and many others. From here, we will make a long descent towards Chukhung, where we will stay overnight.
We enjoy our warm breakfast and begin hiking along Imja Lake. We will walk in the flat trail initially and then slowly start ascending towards Island Base Camp, where we will be spending the night.
Today is an uphill trek. After our breakfasts, we will make a long ascent towards the High Camp located at 5600 meters altitude. This camp offers an excellent view of peaks like Everest, Lhotse, Amadablam, and many more.
Today is the day we’ve all been preparing for and looking forward to. We will be climbing the stunning Island Peak and enter the majestic world of mountain climbing. Using our climbing gears and equipment, we will summit the peak.
Be careful and cautious as this is technical mountain climbing, and getting injured is relatively high. Upon summing Island Peak, we will do a small celebration and take some photos.
We have successfully climbed the stunning Island Peak and earned ourselves the title of mountaineers. Today we will be returning to Debuche. It is going to be a downhill trek of 6 to 7 hours.
We will hike through some pretty villages like Shomare, Pangboche, and then finally arrive at Debuche. We’ll spend the night here.
After eating our breakfasts, we will begin hiking through beautiful villages, cultivated fields, lush forests, and rhododendron bushes to reach our stop, Monjo. The hike starts with an ascent to Tengboche and then a short descent to Phunge Tanga. From here, it is a few hours of some few ascends and descends until we finally reach Monjo.
We will hike through some flat trails and then traverse the four suspension bridges over the pristine Dudh Koshi river. As we hike further, the courses get more balanced and more comfortable to walk on. We will spend the night in Lukla.
Bid farewell to the beautiful land of the Himalayas, Lukla. Today we will return to Kathmandu and conclude our journey. You will take a flight from Lukla airport, and within 35 to 40 minutes, you will be in the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu.
Today is your last day in Nepal. You will be dropped off at the airport for your flight to your home county. We hope you had a wonderful time on this trek. Thank you for visiting Nepal.
Considered to be one of Nepal’s challenging treks, one should keep a clear mind and plan accordingly before commencing this tour. The weather is one of the significant factors that can affect your climb. It will help if you do adequate research about the constant weather changes in the Himalayan region.
The best time contemplated by people to take this trek is in the spring and autumn season. Many people attempt this trek either from March to early June or September to November because of less rainfall and non-slippery trails.
March embarks the beginning of the spring season in Nepal. When the forests are lushly green, and there are no rainfall signs, many climbers are encouraged to summit the peak.
It is the busiest time of the season. You will encounter many Everest expedition teams during April and May. If you are a novice mountaineer who has some experience in trekking in off seasons and wants to experience the Himalayan trekking at its best, this time of the year is preferable for you. Many of the mountaineers trek during this time, while some prefer the autumn season.
While spring is considered the best time for the trek, Autumn is the other best time to scale the Island Peak. Compared to the luscious greenery in the spring, Autumn provides a whole different experience for the trekkers. The weather is clear, and there are fewer clouds with no hint of rain during this season. The temperature is moderate, allowing travelers to experience fewer difficulties while mounting this trek. Autumn in Nepal starts with the monsoon’s ending. There will be some hints of clouds, but it’s pretty safe to say that you will not get obstructed by any rain, landslides, or any other such obstacles.
July to August marks Nepal’s monsoon season, and the Himalayan region is highly prone to heavy downpours, landslides, and avalanches. Summer invites the monsoon clouds to form, which results in several wet days. It is not favorable to go trekking or peak climbing in Nepal during the pouring season.
In addition to this, thick fog forming up in the mountains acts as an obstacle for the mountaineers. Many of the homestays are empty during this season since it’s off-season.
During the winter season, most of the tea houses and lodges are closed due to heavy snowfall. It is almost impossible to summit the peak during this time.
If you go for it during the winter season, check the lodges’ availability, carry proper mountaineering gear such as shoes, and take expert crew members with you as the trail gets challenging. Also, you will have to be mentally prepared and a strong determination to cope with extreme situations.
You will find many organic and healthy food options on this trek. The varieties of delicious options will fulfill your nutritional needs.
‘Dal, Bhat and Tarkari’, a staple diet of the locals, consists of boiled rice, pulses’ soup, and seasonal vegetables. The vegetables are as fresh as it gets, grown at a high altitude, and are very healthy and taste even better. The traditional cooking style of the Tamang and Magar people favorably reflects their culture and lifestyle. Almost all of the meal is prepared on a wood fire with minimal use of spices not to overcome the vegetables’ original flavor.
This balanced meal covers all the nutritional requirements for you. Furthermore, this meal consists of a fair amount of carbs, proteins, vitamins, and calcium. A high amount of energy is lost during the trek, so going for the highly healthy meal option consisting of Dal, Bhat, and veggies is ideal.
There is also a wide range of western food on the menu, such as pizzas, oatmeals, cereals, and bread. However, the list gets slimmer as you escalate higher.
While you trek for hours, any warm meal will give you the sensation of comfort, and with the super delicious Sherpa cuisine, you will feel more replenished after hours of hike.
Given that your itinerary starts from Kathmandu, you can find cheap hotels from under 5$ a night to five-star quality hotels. However, upon leaving the capital city for the trek, you can find good quality hotels with a good bathroom and king-sized beds in the lower elevations. Once you start to ascend high altitude, the services will get basic. Many of the higher elevations’ accommodations are small and may require you to use your sleeping bag.
The toilets in the lower regions have a proper WC flush toilet, which will not be a problem. However, bathrooms in the higher elevations have squat toilets, which may be uncomfortable for many. Be sure to carry toilet paper with you.
Tea houses and lodges give you the best service they could provide, from hot water to extra blankets, anything to make your stay comfortable. They can provide single, double, or twin accommodation as per your need.
Compared to those hotel rooms in the lower regions, rooms in the higher elevations are pretty basic. The living room is the place for you to hang out and meet with other travelers. They usually have a firewood stove built in the center of the room and sitting arrangements constructed around it. It is enough to make you feel cozy.
Most of the lodges have solar power as a source of electrical energy. Some places might ask for some money to charge our gadgets. Carrying a power bank to charge your mobile phones is the best option.
With extreme altitudes, challenging crevasses, and steep climb, Island Peak Climbing is not for some novice climbers. Previous experience in mountaineering is a must for island peaks. Considered to be a lofty challenge to many, not all can conquer the island peak. Though the mountain itself stands at the height of 6189m, which is comparatively short to other gigantic peaks, you must prepare yourself for this journey in the best way possible.
As the saying goes, the best way to prepare for tomorrow is doing your best today. You will have to train hard and build your physical strength. Some of the prep you can do is go to the gym, follow cardio schedules, do stress endurance training, and hike training. Some other preparation may include cycling, swimming, and jogging regularly, anything to increase your physical strength and stamina.
Most importantly, you will have to mentally prepare yourself for the adverse situations up in the mountains. As beautiful as it may seem, mountains can change their calmness at any time, so be prepared to cope with adverse conditions.
Choosing the right travel insurance package before going for it is crucial. The risks of facing some injuries or accidents are always there when you travel. In worst-case scenarios, you might need some emergency medical help. So make sure your insurance package covers all of these conditions.
You will need a permit to enter the Everest region and also to climb Island Peak.
You can collect both the permits from the tourism board, Kathmandu, or the trailhead.
The local permit cost may vary according to the seasons; for instance, in the off-season, it can cost you around $20, and during the peak season, it will cost you up to $250.
Hiring porters and guides will cost you around $25 a day. You will also need to cover their food and accommodation expenses. Tipping your porters, guides, and lodge hosts is always a great thing to do, considering their level of service. It is ideal for tipping your porter around $10 to 15 per day. Tipping tour guides around $15 to 25 per day would be enough.
Climbing Island Peak is undoubtedly an immensely physically demanding task. Carrying the right gears and clothes is extremely important when it comes to technical mountain climbing. Here are a few things you should not forget while you are packing for this trekking.
It is necessary to pack your daypack correctly. This includes all the things you will need throughout your day during the journey. This pack should cover all your basic needs like toothbrushes, toiletries, sunglasses, and windcheaters during the day. Since it is a high-altitude climbing trek, you will need some warm clothes like jackets, thermal wear, woolen sweaters, thermal socks, fleece jackets, gloves, and so on. Don’t forget to carry a good moisturizer, sunscreen, lip balm, medical supplements, and a first aid kit.
Talking about hiking boots, make sure they are not as heavy as a rock as it will be a rough trek if your shoes are not comfortable and lightweight. Carry a pair of sandals or flip flops for your night stays at lodges.
Besides clothes and shoes, another equally important part of your packing for Island Peak climbing is the climbing gears. In your duffle bag or huge backpack, pack your essentials like spare gloves, socks, innerwear, towels, sleeping bag, extra windcheaters, and so on. Some of the mandatory climbing gears are Ice Axe, Crampons, helmet, harness, mountaineering boots, locking carabiners, 6 meters of 16mm tape or 8mm cord, Prusik, Expedition mittens, 6000m mountaineering boots, and so on.
While hiking in the mountains, you will often be staying overnight in tented camps. Taking the right camping gear will help you avoid many problems on those cold, snowy nights. Also, carry a suitable sleeping bag that can hold up to -15C. Take a foam sleeping mat as they are very lightweight.
For water, carry a durable heat resistant water flask with a capacity of holding at least 1 liters of water. Staying hydrated helps you replenish more energy and hike more efficiently. Aside from bottles, you should also carry water purifying tablets just if you need them at some point.
There is no washroom facility or toilets up in the mountains. So you will need to carry a pee bottle. A wide-mouth water bottle with a capacity of holding 1 liter of liquid should do the job.
You have to think of many other miscellaneous expenses while going for long treks like this one. Everything can get costly as you start ascending towards higher elevation.
You can buy sim cards for around $1 to 2 at any local store. For using mobile data, you will have to spend about $2 per hour. In your initial days of the trek, you will get access to wifi in your lodges. But with the increase in altitude, these things can get expensive. Even charging your gadgets can cost up to $2 to 5.
Carrying some extra cash to pay for small expenses is always ideal. Please do not rely heavily on ATMs once you are in the Himalayan region, as they might not even work at times. Make sure to take enough cash to sustain your needs beforehand. There are lots of money exchanges and ATMs in the cities that accept international transactions.
Staying in basic tea houses instead of luxurious resorts and hotels can also help you save huge bucks. Renting your gears and equipment instead of buying them is much more practical and affordable. For budget travelers, opting for bus drives instead of expensive flights is another money-saving tip.