Climbing Island Peak is an incredible experience for the adventurous trekker. Standing at 6,189m it is a real Himalayan summit and from the top there are the most spectacular views across the whole of the Khumbu region.
You start the climb to Island Peak following the classic trek to Everest Base Camp (5,380m) and ascending Kala Patthar (5,643m) which has stunning views of the Khumbu ice field, Pumori, Nuptse, Lhotse and of course Everest’s north face.
From there you head back down the Dudh Kohsi valley as far as Dingboche before turning up the Imja Khola valley towards Chukkung and Island Peak.
Chukkung is your final tea house stop before heading to base camp for the ascent of Island Peak. You will have a three day window to attempt this climb and weather permitting you will move the next day to the High Camp.
From here the ascent is challenging and involves some scrambling over rock, a crampon glacier crossing and a steep ascent of a icy headwall of about 150 metres. On all of the technical parts of the route our expert climbing Sherpas will have set fixed climbing lines to ensure your complete safety.
Mountains and glaciers are dynamic places, and therefore changes in the landscape are part and parcel of the experience. In recent years, Island Peak has changed quite considerably. In some seasons it is not unusual to have to cross crevasses on the glacier using fixed ladders and in recent years the icewall that leads up to the summit ridge has become fragmented due to climate change.
The views from the summit of Island Peak are simply stunning and worth all the effort. Although you cannot actually see the summit of Everest because of the massive wall of Lohtse, the panorama of Ama Dablam, Lohtse and Mera Peak is incredible.
After descending to Island Peak base camp the end of the trek follows the classic Everest base camp route back to Lukla via Namche.
The expedition is ideally suited for trekkers with some technical climbing skills or experience of using fixed ropes and crampons. Please read our FAQs at the bottom of this page to see whether Island Peak is the right adventure for you.
Sleep at Everest Base Camp
Interested in sleeping at Everest Base Camp? We are able to arrange an overnight stay at Everest Base Camp during the main climbing season from March through May. This is a very unique experience for trekkers as they get to join the campsite of an Everest expedition team and can walk all the way up to the crampon point on the Khumbu icefall. For more details, just contact one of our team!
Once your flight lands at Kathmandu airport, you'll be met by a Kandoo driver & taken to your hotel. After you've checked in, you'll meet your guide, who will brief you about your upcoming trek, and answer any questions you may have.
Rest up, your adventure really starts tomorrow!
A short but spectacular flight takes us to Lukla, where we will meet up with most of our porters and crew. We'll follow the Dudh Koshi valley from here, and spend the night at a lodge in the village of Phakding.
Over the course of day three, we'll cross and re-cross the river several times across high wire suspension bridges. If you were afraid of heights, you wouldn't be climbing mountains, would you?
The last leg of the trip to Namche is steeper, but results in our first sight of Mount Everest in the distance.
Namche Bazaar hosts a wide array of shops, bakeries and tea houses, and is well worth taking some time to explore. We will arrange a short acclimatisation trek to the nearby Everest View Hotel to give you a chance to experience higher altitude exercise (and have a lovely afternoon tea) before hiking back down to Namche for the evening.
The trail continues out of Namche high along the Dudh Koshi valley, giving us excellent views of the Khumbu peaks most of the way.
Then we'll face a steep descent to the bridge at Phortse Thanga and an equally steep climb to Tengboche itself.
Day six begins with a steep descent through forested hillside, then crossing the Imja Khola and a steady, even climb to Pangboche village.
The peak of Ama Dablam rises above the village, and this is one of the best places from which to view it. Two more hours of relatively easy travel takes usto Pheriche.
Day seven is dedicated to getting you acclimatised to the conditions we will face as the trek continues higher.
There are many options for a day's trek here, including a trip to Lake Tshola Tsho or up the ridge over Dingboche for a view of the Imja Valley and Lhotse's south face.
Today's trek will take us much higher, and we will have to stay alert for the signs of AMS as we near the Khumbu glacier.
We'll cross the terminal moraine at the base of the glacier, and pass between the many memorial cairns set up to honour the many Sherpas who have died on Everest over the years.
We'll continue along the Khumbu glacier today, with Everest and the other Himalayan giants towering above us. There will be a break for lunch at Gorak Shep before the trip to Everest Base Camp.
We will return to Gorak Shep to spend the night, but along a different path which will take us within sight of the Khumbu Icefall.
Our guides will wake us very early in order to see the sun rise from the summit of Kala Pattar.
Later, we'll return to Gorak Shep for breakfast, and return to Dingboche village.
Day eleven will take us up the Imja Valley to the small village of Chukhung. From here we can see our next challenge, Island Peak itself.
This will be a short trek up the Imja Valley to Island Peak Base Camp, which is 5150 metres above sea level.
The last two days have been short and gradual ascents, which should prepare you for the next two days of climbing. Still, make sure to rest up!
High Camp may be less than 200 metres higher than Base Camp, but believe me at this altitude you'll feel every centimetre of it!
Summit day is tomorrow, so make sure you are prepared.
Two weeks into our trek, and we're finally ready to tackle Island Peak itself.
Our guides will wake us a few hours after midnight and give us as much breakfast as we can hold - we'll need the energy today. After an hour of hiking, we'll be at the glacier itself.
Crampons, harness and ropes will be needed until we achieve the summit ridge. After taking in the view for a bit we'll return to Base Camp for the night.
Day fifteen is officially a contingency day, giving us a second chance at the summit just in case conditions or misadventure prevent us from making the summit on our first attempt.
If we have already made the summit, we can start the trip back to Kathmandu a day early.
We'll retrace our route back down the Imja Khola valley past Chukhung and Dingboche and rejoin the main Everest route before stopping at Pangboche for the night.
This will be a long trek, once again crossing rivers and traversing forest to reach Tengboche.
After lunch we'll trek down to Namche Bazaar, passing Phunki Tenga along the way. Illy coffee and some of the best chocolate brownies in Asia will be waiting for you at Namche.
Our last day of trekking will take us to Lukla, following the Dudh Koshi just as we did on the way up.
Once we get to Lukla, expect a farewell party with the trekkers and crew, celebrating another successful expedition!
We'll hit the air early and arrive in Kathmandu before lunch.
We'll take you back to your hotel, and plan when we'll take you to the airport tomorrow.
We'll drive you from your hotel to Kathmandu airport, and see you off on your return flight.
Congratulations! You've climbed Himalayan mountains and returned safely.
The Island Peak tour is considered difficult and is advisable for experienced trekkers who want a new challenge. Although all ropes will be laid prior to climbing, the climb is best suited to people who have some prior technical climbing experience with crampons, fixed ropes etc. Reaching the summit requires a high level of fitness. The actual trek to Island Peak is moderately difficult, but achievable for most.
If you have no climbing experience but would still like to attempt the climb, we recommend taking a short technical climbing course before embarking upon the tour.
Including the climb, the total trekking distance is roughly 95 miles or 152 kilometres.
You will trek through lush valleys, over long suspension bridges, through alpine forests, along rivers and among some of the giants of our world, including Nuptse and Everest. The highlight is of course standing on the summit of a 6,000 meter peak and seeing the world stretch out beneath you.
Yes. The Island Peak tour is run privately and you will need to book at least three months in advance to allow time to prepare for the climb.
The main climbing season is from March to May. This will also coincide with the mountaineers attempting Everest!