Island Peak Climbing
Island Peak climbing (6189m.)
This is the most popular climbing / trekking peak in Nepal. From Dingboche the mountain is clearly seen as a pyramid of ice and rock. The mountain itself is the extension of the South Ridge of Lhotse Shar separated by a small col. The ridge rising to the south from this point leads to the summit of Island Peak. Imja Tse not only provides an enjoyable climb but also provides some of the most spectacular scenery of Himalayas in the Khumbu region. Seen from the summit the giant mountains, Nuptse (7,879m), Lhotse (8,501m), Lhotse Middle Peak (8,410m) and Lhotse Shar (8,383m) make a semi circle in the north. The views of Makalu (8475m) in the east, Baruntse and Ama Dablam in the south add more charm for climbing Island Peak.
To participate with this program you must plan on arriving in Kathmandu not later than 2 days before departure date.
DAY 01: Arrive in Kathmandu
Meet and greet at Airport then you'll be taken to your hotel. While in Kathmandu you will have time fascinating Buddhist and Hindu temples and shrines reflecting ancient local traditions are highlighted on our guided tour. There's time to explore the city's many charms on your own too. In the evening delicious traditional Nepali well come dinner await for you. O/N in Kathamandu.
DAY 02: Kathmandu Rest Day (Prepare for Trek)
Today you have to prepare yourself for Himalayan Odyssey. Nepal Panorama Climbing Guide will brief about the climbing. If you have time left, then you can have some special shopping or you can explore around Kathmandu.
DAY 03: Fly to Lukla and trek to Phakding.
After a very early start, and an early take off from Kathmandu Domestic Airport, a 45 minute flight is all it takes to propel us into the Everest region of Nepal. The landing at Lukla (2800m) is spectacular and on arrival we are greeted by our sirdar and trekking crew who organise the luggage and hustle us off for tea. After a leisurely lunch we start the trek in earnest, setting off for a gentle walk to Phakding (2800m), a further 3 hours to the north. The trail leads through Lukla, past hotels, shops and airline offices to the edge of the Lukla plateau where the trail drops to meet the intersection of the Jiri trail at Chablung. From here the trail follows the Dudh Kosi north through the village of Ghat and then finally to Phakding where we spend the night.
DAY 04: Trek to Namche Bazar.
From Phakding the trail continues north up the Dudh Kosi Valley, staying 100m above the river on it's west bank. The trail leads us to Jorsale (2810m) where we enter the Sagarmatha National Park, and submit our trekking permits for checking. From here we continue on an ever-steepening trail to Namche Bazaar (3440m), known simply as Namche. En route we cross the spectacular suspension bridge high above the confluence of the Bhote Kosi and the Dudh Kosi, and shortly after glimpse our first view of Everest, way off to the north-east. The trail to Namche is steep and long, but eventually we reach the remarkable Sherpa capital perched high on the hillside and dominated to the east by the immense bulk of Kwangde (6187m).
DAY 05: Acclimatization day in Namche.
Acclimatisation is important before trekking higher, and this is a scheduled stop which will allow us to gradually become used to the effects of altitude - the lower pressure and the thinner air. We can spend the day by taking a side trip to Thami or Khumjung, by visiting the National Park Visitor Centre on the hill above Namche or by simply resting and browsing in the shops in the town. Namche is a fascinating place simply to 'hang out' and take in the culture of the mountains, from the trading of visiting Tibetans to the stories of departing mountaineers.
DAY 06: Namche Bazar to Phortse Thanga.
From Namche we trek north-east on a direct line to Everest, starting up the hill to the Visitor Centre and continuing on a reasonably flat easy trail high above the Dudh Kosi. Ahead of us we can see one of the most beautiful mountains in the Khumbu - Ama Dablam (6856m), as well as Everest still far off in the distance. At Sanasa we branch off the Everest trail and head up the hill to the small settlement of Mong where we stop for lunch. From here it is a steady descent to the Dudh Kosi at Phortse Thanga (3500m). This is a beautiful riverside settlement and is our camping spot for the night.
DAY 07: Phortse Thanga to Dole.
From the river the trail initially climbs steeply out of the valley through rhododendron forest and then continues high above the Dudh Kosi, steadily gaining height. We pass through the settlements of Tongba (3950m) and Gyele (3960m) and eventually reach our camp site for the evening at Dole (4200m). All through the day we have fantastic views of the surrounding mountains.
DAY 08: Dole to Machhermo.
From Dole the gain in altitude to our next evening's camp site is small, only 190m. The trail continues high above the west bank of the Dudh Kosi and we obtain tremendous views of the mountains at the northern end of the valley, including Cho Oyu, as well as back down the valley to Ama Dablam, and across the valley to Tawachee and Cholatse. Machhermo at 4410m is a pleasant camp site with several tea-houses.
DAY 09: Machhermo to Gokyo.
Beyond Machhermo the valley widens and the trail passes through the settlement of Pangka before descending to the river. From here it is a steep ascent up the terminal moraine of the Ngozumpa glacier to the first of the Gokyo lakes at 4650m. The trail thens levels off and passes the second lake at 4690m, eventually making it's way to Gokyo at 4750m.
Gokyo is a sizeable settlement with many tea-houses, located in a delightful location on the edge of the lake, and is the main objective for many of the trekking groups that we will encounter. The views from Gokyo are magnificent and tomorrow we will climb the small hill above Gokyo village, known as Gokyo Ri, to obtain fantastic views of Everest and Cho Oyu.
DAY 10: Climb Gokyo Ri, Trke to Chhugyuma.
We start the day by slowly ascending to the top of Gokyo Ri at 5350m, and are rewarded by magnificent views of Everest to the east and Cho Oyu to the north. After descending to Gokyo and resting we retrace our steps to the area between the first and second lakes and take a trail eastwards across the Ngozumpa glacier. This takes us to the small settlement of Dragnag where there is a tea-house. From here we will continue upwards and camp at Chhugyuma at approx. 5000m
DAY 11: Cross Cho La to Dzongla.
We make an early start, and continue upwards towards the pass that links the Gokyo and Everest valleys - the Cho La. From our camp site it is about 3-4 hours of slow walking to the pass at 5420m. Whilst this is a hard morning's walk, we are rewarded by fabulous views on both sides of the pass.
From the pass we descend slowly on a rough trail to the small settlement of Dzongla where there are a few tea-houses. We make our camp here, and have a superb view of the immense peak of Cholatse.
DAY 12: Dzongla to Chhukung.
From Dzongla we descend steadily to the main Everest trail at Duglha, and from here continue to descend to the ridge above Dingboche where we obtain our first view of Island Peak as it dominates the end of the Imja valley to the east. We take lunch at Dingboche, the large sprawling Sherpa settlement at 4410m, before continuing up the Imja valley to Chhukung at 4730m. The immense south face of Lhotse towers above the village to the north.
DAY 13: Chhukung - Base camp- High camp.
From Chhukung we continue in a general easterly direction to the site of our base camp. The trail follows the moraine of the Lhotse glacier to the snout of the Imja glacier where it branches to the east and skirts around the base of Island Peak. We make our main camp at a spot known as Pareshaya Gyab at 5087m.
After taking lunch and resting we continue up to our high camp, a further hour or so up the mountain. The trail is well defined until we reach the area of our high camp at approx. 5500m.
DAY 14: Ascent of peak and return to the BC.
We set off early for the summit at about 3.00 am, and scramble up in the dark to the snow-covered glacier above. From here we take care as we make our way up the glacier until we reach a broad snow basin which leads up to the final section of the climb.
Ahead of us now is the main summit ridge and we climb a steep snow and ice slope, using fixed ropes, for approx. 100m to access the ridge. The ridge is a classic and leads quickly to the east up to the main summit at 6189m.
From the summit there are fantastic across to Lhotse to the north, the Amphu Labsta and Mera Peak to the south, and Ama Dablam to the west. After taking in the views we descend by the same route, abseiling from the ridge, and making our way back carefully to Base Camp.
DAY 15: Spare Day
We allow a spare 'buffer' day in case of bad weather.
DAY 16: Island peak base camp to Dingboche.
We retrace our steps back down the Imja valley, firstly to Chhukung where we stop for lunch, and on to Dingboche where we spend the night. This is a chance to celebrate our success with a cool beer, and reflect upon the climb of the previous day.
DAY 17: Dingboche to Namche Bazar.
From Dingboche we head down the main Everest trail, passing through the settlement of Pangboche, before reaching the famous Tengpoche monastery where we stop for lunch. We have a chance we visit the monastery before continuing on to Namche Bazaar. From Tengpoche the trail drops steeply to the river at Phunki Thanga, and then rises again to traverse high above the river on a winding trail into Namche Bazaar.
DAY 18: Namche Bazar to Lukla.
The final day of our trek, and a sense of relief for some and sadness for others as we retrace our steps of the first few days along the trail above the Dudh Kosi before turning off the main Jiri route and rising up to Lukla. We start by descending steeply out of Namche and shortly before we cross the suspension bridge below Namche we get a last chance to see Everest before it is out of sight until the next time. We lunch at Phakding and arrive in Lukla by mid-afternoon.
DAY 19: Fly to kathmandu from Lukla.
We return to the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu with a 45 minute flight back to the domestic airport. Here you will be greeted and transferred back to your hotel in Kathmandu. Arrival times back into Kathmandu vary, however it is usual to arrive back at your hotel by mid-afternoon.
DAY 20: Kathmandu Valley sight seeing.
After breakfast, we'll visit Swayambhunath temple, and said to be 2000 years stupa on a hillock offers breath-taking view of Kathmandu City. We will then to Visit Pasupatinath, the national temple of Nepal and Bouddhanath. After lunch we'll visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan (Lalitpur) - which is the oldest of the three major cities in Kathmandu Valley - famous for its Buddhist monuments and Hindu temples, and you can catch the traditional artisans working with wood, stones and metals. O/N in Kathmandu.
DAY 21: Departure to the airport for your next destination.
Today we meet again not for to go some where but to say good bye each other and share the warm feelings of the tour again. After breakfast we go to airport together and be back with out our dearest guests.
This trek is strenuous. You need to have a sense of adventure, and the willingness to walk 8 to 9 hours a day, often at high altitude. Good physical condition and a degree of good stamina are essential. A basic knowledge of mountain climbing is an advantage, although our experienced Sherpa guides will guide and accompany you to the top.
South - East Flank
The usual site for base camp is at Pareshaya Gyab at 5,087 m. This is not an attractive place and one has to be careful for avalanches.
From base camp the trail goes round the base of Imja Tse between the moraine and the mountain before turning north-east and climbing steep grassy slopes and small rocky steps. Following an open gully leads to the high camp at 5,280 m.
From the high camp scramble across the open gully and take the right hand ridge. After the ridge straight op and cross to the glacier. Find your way upwards, to the left side between the crevasses and seracs. You will see a gully with on your left side rocks and on the right side more open space. This gully leads to the summit ridge. Be aware of falling stones and ice.
The ridge itself is a classic and undulates towards the main summit which is reached by a final snow pitch.
Follow the Imja Glacier and the moraines by snowy slopes op to the col at 5,700 m. Put your camp on the col. From the col follow the ridge. This ridge is difficult under snow conditions. Beware of the cornices. The ridge steepens for the final top. This route is a little more difficult than the normal route.
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