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Climb Island Peak Summit a real Himalayan mountain Summiting Island Peak with Kandoo
Climb Island Peak Summit a real Himalayan mountain KANDOO | Climb Island Peak Summit a real Himalayan mountain
Climb Island Peak Summit a real Himalayan mountain KANDOO | Climb Island Peak Summit a real Himalayan mountain
Climb Island Peak Summit a real Himalayan mountain KANDOO | Climb Island Peak Summit a real Himalayan mountain
Climb Island Peak Summit a real Himalayan mountain KANDOO | Climb Island Peak Summit a real Himalayan mountain
Climb Island Peak Summit a real Himalayan mountain KANDOO | Climb Island Peak Summit a real Himalayan mountain
Climb Island Peak Summit a real Himalayan mountain KANDOO | Climb Island Peak Summit a real Himalayan mountain
Climb Island Peak Summit a real Himalayan mountain KANDOO | Climb Island Peak Summit a real Himalayan mountain

Highlights of the Island Peak climb

Summit a real Himalayan peak at over 6000m
One guide/climbing sherpa for every two climbers
Ideal first Himalayan peak to climb
Spectacular views of the Himalaya's biggest peaks: Everest, Lhotse, Makalu
Visit Everest base camp and climb Kala Patar for acclimatisation
All our climbs led by an Everest summiteer guide
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About climbing Island Peak

View from Island PeakClimbing Island Peak is an incredible experience for the adventurous trekker and the perfect introduction to full alpine mountaineering. Standing at 6,189m Island Peak is a real Himalayan summit and from the top there are the most spectacular views across the whole of the Khumbu region. 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.

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. This provides great acclimatisation. If you are planning to climb Island Peak on a private trip you might consider the option of sleeping with an expedition team at base camp itself.

From Everest base camp you head back down the Dudh Kohsi valley as far as Dingboche before turning up the Imja Khola valley towards Chukhung and Island Peak. Chukhung is your final tea house stop before heading to base camp for the ascent of Island Peak and you can hire all the special gear you need for the climb in Chukhung although the quality is sometimes poor here. If you want to be sure of the quality of rental kit you have to hire in Kathmandu but this means a 16 day hire rather than a four day hire.

From Chukhung our itinerary provides  for a three day window to attempt this climb. At the first camp after Chukhung you will receive training in all the special techniques you require and have time to practise these until you are proficient.

Weather permitting, you will move the next day to the High Camp to prepare for your summit attempt. If the weather is poor you can stay another day at this camp and wait for the weather to clear. The walk up to high camp is relatively straightforward and you should arrive in camp just after lunch.

island peak headwallFrom high camp the ascent becomes steeper and more challenging. Initially this involves some steep switch backs and  some scrambling over rock before you reach the "crampon point" at the edge of the glacier.  Conditions beyond this point have changed a lot in recent years as a result of a combination of climate change and the earthquake in 2014.

Previously climbers were faced with a straightforward crampon glacier crossing followed by a steep ascent of a icy headwall of about 150 metres. With a fixed rope set and a jumar this was a physically demanding challenge but not too technical.

Crevasses on Island PeakOn trips this year the simple glacier traverse is now made considerably more interesting as a number of deep crevasses have opened up which have to be crossed on ladders

You will have practised ladder crossings before your ascent and you will be fully protected by ropes but this is still a nervy moment as the crevasses are deep and the ladders wobbly. Try your best not to look down!

New island peak headwallAfter you have crossed the glacier you reach the headwall which now looks like this. As you can see, this looks altogether more fearsome. Most of the snow and softer ice has been lost exposing much harder ice and leaving a much narrower route to the top.

Our experienced guides will lay fixed lines over the whole of this section  and with a jumar and ice axe the climbing is still not overly technical. To reflect the increased difficulty of the climb in these conditions, we provide 1 guide/climbing sherpa for every two people.

Mountains and glaciers are dynamic places, and therefore changes in the landscape are part and parcel of the experience. It is quite possible that when you arrive it will have changed again but we keep the information up to date based on our last climbing group.

After summiting you descend to Island Peak base camp and the rest 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.

When is the best time of year to climb Island Peak?

There are two windows of opportunity for climbing Island Peak safely: October to November and March to May.

During these periods the temperatures are pleasant and most days are dry and sunny. Most importantly during these periods, the strong winds that accompany the monsoon die down and there are long periods  of relative calm which are ideal for climbing.

What kit do I need for the climb?

As well as all the standard kit you need for trekking in Nepal which you can find here you will also need some specialist items of mountaineering equipment. 

The items you require are shown below. These items can be hired in Chukhung but better quality items are available in Kathmandu. All other climbing equipment will be provided.

Do I need specialist travel insurance for this climb?

Island Peak is classed as a trekking peak but at over 6100m you will need to check your insurance cover very carefully. It must cover you for climbing to this altitude and include cover for emergency helicopter evacuation. We recommend the insurance provided by Dogtag for extreme activities and also the policy from the British Mountaineering Club

How many days do I need for the climb?

Although it is technically possible to climb Island peak in as few as 10 days by leaving out the trek to base camp we do not offer this as the risks of altitude sickness are too high. The ascent onto the main ridge  is physically very demanding and you need to be well acclimatised in order to able to cope with this comfortably.

Our standard itinerary therefore has 18 days trekking. This ensures you are well acclimatised before you start the climb and also allows you a spare day in case your summit attempt is affected by bad weather.

Sleep at Everest Base Camp

Most people are never allowed to go beyond the entry to Everest base camp as this is a restricted access zone. As Kandoo's team of guides includes so many Everest summiteers we have negotiated with a number of the Expedition Teams to host our trekkers at base camp for an overnight stay . 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 ice fall. For more details, just contact one of our team!

More about Island Peak

Island Peak's summit stands 6189m above sea level. It's correct name is Imja Tse,and it only got its new name in  1951 when a party led by Eric Shipton renamed it because it stands as an island in a sea of ice when viewed from Dingboche. The peak is actually an extension of the ridge coming down off the south end of Lhotse Shar.

Imja Tse summit was first climbed in 1956 by a Swiss team as a training exercise in preparation for Mount Everest and Lhotse and is still regularly used as an acclimatisation climb by Everest summiteers. 

For an excellent description of what it is like to climb read Mark Horrel's diary here.

Detailed Itinerary for the Island Peak climb

Day 1Arrival

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!

Day 2Flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, trek to Phakding

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.

  • Elevation: From 1300 metres to 2800 metres to 2652 metres
Day 3From Phakding to Namche Bazaar

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.

  • Elevation: From 2652 metres to 3450 metres.
Day 4Acclimatisation Day at Namche Bazaar

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.

  • Elevation: 3450 metres
  • Highest point: 3880 metres (Everest View Hotel)
Day 5From Namche Bazaar to Tengboche

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.

  • Elevation: From 3450 metres to 3867 metres
Day 6From Phortse to Pheriche

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.

  • Elevation: From 3867 metres to 4252 metres
Day 7Acclimatisation Day at 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.

  • Elevation: 4252 metres
Day 8From Pheriche to Lobuche

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.

  • Elevation: From 4252 metres to 4930 metres.
Day 9From Lobuche to Everest Base Camp, descent to Gorak Shep

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.

  • Elevation: 4930 metres to 5164 metres
  • Highest point: 5364 metres (Everest Base Camp)
Day 10Ascent of Kala Pattar, descent to Dingboche

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.

  • Elevation: From 5164 metres to 4360 metres
  • Highest point: 5554 metres (Kala Pattar)
Day 11From Dingboche to Chukhung

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.

  • Elevation: From 4360 metres to 4750 metres
Day 12From Chukhung to Island Peak Base Camp

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!

  • Elevation: From 4750 metres to 5150 metres
Day 13From Island Peak Base Camp to Island Peak High Camp

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.

  • Elevation: From 5150 metres to 5345 metres
Day 14Ascent of Island Peak, descent to Base Camp

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.

  • Elevation: From 5345 metres to 5150 metres
  • Highest point: 6173 metres (Island Peak)
Day 15Contingency day

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.

  • Elevation: From 5345 metres to 5150 metres
  • Highest point: 6173 metres (Island Peak) 


Day 16Descent from Base Camp to Pangboche

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.

  • Elevation: From 5150 metres to 3950 metres
Day 17Descent from Pangboche to Namche Bazaar

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.

  • Elevation: From 3950 metres to 3450 metres
Day 18Descent from Namche Bazaar to Lukla

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!

Day 19Flight from Lukla to Kathmandu

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.

Day 20Kathmandu

Free time to explore the vibrant, bustling city of Kathmandu and immerse yourself in its wonderful culture

Day 21Departure

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.

Route profile for the Island Peak

Climb Island Peak - Nepal's Classic Trekking Peak Route Profile

Island Peak climb Open Group Availability

Last Updated August 15 2018
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Arrival: September 10 2018
Days: 21
Price: £2349 $3171 €0
Comment: OFFER Save £100 was £2449
Arrival: October 7 2018
Days: 21
Price: £2449 $3306 €0
Comment: OFFER Save £100 was £2449
Arrival: November 4 2018
Days: 21
Price: £2449 $3306 €0
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Arrival: March 17 2019
Days: 21
Price: £2449 $3306 €0
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Arrival: April 14 2019
Days: 21
Price: £2449 $3306 €0
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Arrival: May 3 2019
Days: 21
Price: £2449 $3306 €0
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Arrival: September 9 2019
Days: 21
Price: £2449 $3306 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: October 7 2019
Days: 21
Price: £2449 $3306 €0
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Arrival: November 3 2019
Days: 21
Price: £2449 $3306 €0
Comment: Spaces

FAQs about the Island Peak climb


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!


Yes, all climbing peaks in Nepal require a permit. The cost of your permit is included in our trip cost.

Speak with an expert Start planning your next adventure by contacting one of our team.
Sarah BW

Sarah Orson

Adventure Travel Consultant

Phone: +44 (0) 1283 499980

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Rachael Bode

Adventure Travel Consultant

Phone: + 44 (0) 1283 499982

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Sharon King

Adventure Travel Consultant

Phone: +44 (0) 1283 499981

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