Island Peak, at 6165 meters, also known as Imja Tse, is one of the most popular trekking peaks in Nepal. It is located in the upper Khumbu valley/Everest region. The peak was named Island Peak in 1951 by Eric Shipton. Island peak is one of the most well-known Nepal Mountaineering Association peaks (trekking peak) among the 33 NMA peaks. Island peak derives its name as the mountain looks like a sea of ice. It is an extremely enjoyable trekking peak climb and is also considered one of the least difficult trekking peaks to climb while still offering a real mountaineering experience.
Island Peak was first climbed in 1953 as part of a training exercise by the British expedition that went on to summit Mount Everest. This expedition's members included Edmund Hillary, Charles Evans, Alf Gregory, Charles Wylie and of course the Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, who made the summit with Edmund Hillary. Many other Sherpas were part of the expedition.
To climb Island Peak, we start early morning 1 am to 2 pm from base camp 5100m all the way to high camp 5600m, it takes 2 hours. Some of climber/s stay overnight in high camp, however, adequate water supply and concerns about sleeping at a higher altitude may dictate starting from base camp. Base camp to high camp is basically a hike, but just above high camp, some rocky steps require moderate scrambling up through a broad open gully. At the top of the gully, glacier travel begins and proceeds up to a steep snow and ice slope. From here, fixed ropes may be set up by the guides for the strenuous ascent of nearly 100 meters (330 ft) to the summit ridge. The climb to the summit is somewhat difficult due to its steepness.
Climbing the Imja Tse/Island Peak, 6160m, rewards the climbers with some of the most spectacular scenery of the Everest Himalaya region. Once on the summit you can see the giant mountains surrounding you--- Nuptse (7,879m), Lhotse (8,501m), Lhotse Middle Peak (8,410m) and Lhotse Shar (8,383m) making a semicircle in the north, views of Makalu (8475m) are to the east, and Baruntse and Ama Dablam to the south. Ama Dablam is considered the most beautiful mountain in the area.
For many mountaineering enthusiasts, climbing Island Peak marks the preparation for a full scale Himalaya expedition in Nepal in the coming years. For the serious mountaineers, Island Peak also serves the purpose of acclimatization before heading to the higher mountains for expedition climbing.
The Everest Base Camp trek combined with Island Peak climbing is probably the best trip in Nepal. It is a great combination of trekking and climbing for adventure seekers. Asian Hiking Team organizes Island Peak climbing with trekking starting from Lukla, all the way up to visit Everest base camp and the beautiful views from Kalapatar, then continues trekking to Island Peak base camp, and finally summiting Island Peak. After which we trek downhill to end the trek in Lukla.
During the trek up to Chhukum, it is possible to have guest house/lodging facilities. The guest houses and lodges have running hot and cold water facilities. Private rooms are available in most guest houses/ lodges. Most bathrooms are shared. Many years’ experience in organizing various treks in Nepal assures you that we have chosen for our treks the cleanest and most hygienically kept guest houses and lodges. They have a friendly atmosphere and the best views. From Island Peak base camp, it is necessary to undertake full board camping. Camping is fully organized and supported, with a team of guides, cooks, Sherpas and porters accompanying you. Our porters carry all the trekking gear, food, fuel, and personal belongings. Our cooks prepare hot meals and tables and seating are provided. At night, tents are provided for dining, sleeping, as well as washing and toilet facilities. Mattresses and down-filled sleeping bags are included. In the morning, the trekkers/climbers enjoy breakfast before leaving camp and starting the climb to the summit.
If anyone wishes to do the Island Peak climbing only, we have a Sherpa guide and climbing store in Dingboche (in peak season Sep to Dec. and March to June). We arrange for the climb, 2 nights and 3 days, full camping equipment, Sherpa climbing staff as well as porters and cooks, and necessary documents. Please contact us so we can organize your Island Peak climb from Chhukum to Island Peak and return to Chhukum.