Island Peak climbing is an attractive, challenging and one of the most popular trekking peaks in the Khumbu Himalaya of Nepal. At 6189 meters, Island Peak is a good ice and rock climbing experience which requires experience with equipment such as mountaineering boots, crampons, abseiling, glacier trekking, crossing ladders, ice axe and climbing fixed ropes.
Our Island Peak Climbing FAQs will provide the answers you have been looking for and further guide you through the succeeding stages of planning and preparing before making any severe climbing decisions. Accordingly, here are the most popular questions with answers.
1. Where is Island Peak?
Island Peak (Imja Tse), 6189 m, is located just over the ridge from Mount Everest and Lhotse. You can reach there by trekking through the Khumbu valley, following the classic Everest Base Camp trekking trail until Dingboche village. It is listed as a trekking peak by Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) and can be climbed as a person's first Himalayan experience depending upon their previous trekking and climbing history. Most trekkers fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, taking about a week to trek to Island Peak base camp.
2. How is the Island Peak summit day like?
SUMMIT DAY is the main day of your climb. It will be a tough, challenging, long, and equally rewarding day. We start the climb early, around 2 or 3 AM, depending on the mountain's situation. Generally, the climb will take 10- 14 hours, depending on the climber.
3. How hard and technical is Island Peak climbing?
Island Peak is a good ice and rock climbing experience at altitude which requires knowledge of equipment such as mountaineering boots, crampons, abseiling, glacier trekking, crossing ladders, ice axe and climbing fixed ropes. The route to Island Peak is technical and involves crossing crevasses on ladders and using fixed rope to reach the summit. The real crux of climbing Island Peak is the final 150 meters (Ice Head Wall), which can be steep. Climbers must be in excellent physical condition, well acclimatized and equipped to push for the summit of Island Peak, which might take approx. 10-14 hours, depending upon the climbers.
4. When is the best time to climb Island Peak?
The best time to climb Island Peak is autumn (September to November) and spring (March to May). Winter climbs are also possible.
5. Which route is most prevalent?
There is only one standard route, i.e. from Dingbuche - Chhukung village to Island Peak Base Camp –Island Peak High Camp – Crampon Point- Island Peak Summit. Till Dingbuche village, you will follow the classic Everest Base Camp trekking trail. We will spend one night at Island Peak Base Camp and one night at Island Peak High Camp before attempting to summit.
6. How many nights in tents will I spend during Island Peak Climb?
We spend one night at Base Camp and another at High Camp before our summit push for Island Peak. We will return down to Chhukung on the same night. We will have one reserved day just in case of bad weather or other reasons. In that case, we will spend another night at High Camp.
7. Any tips on how climbers can maximize their chance of success?
The first and foremost advice is to gain all the essential experience and climbing skills as instructed. Acclimatization is the key. We recommend taking enough time along the trail. Before you start your trek training back home, strength and endurance, physical exercise, and multi-day hiking experience, we suggest previous trekking experience above 4000m for Island Peak. Right gears and equipment are also a must. That said, we will provide the best possible logistics and support during your trip; our experienced, competent and friendly Sherpa guides are always there to give you maximum chances of making the summit.
8. Do you provide trekking gear and equipment for Island Peak Climbing?
We provide the gear required during the Island Peak Climbing. We recommend some good stores where you can rent or buy good down jackets or sleeping bags.
9. How big will be the group size for Island Peak Climbing?
We mainly focus on small groups. We take up to 8 trekkers in a group to provide personal care to each member. If you have a group of more than 8, please contact us for fantastic group discounts and customized services.
10. Is a climbing permit required to do Island Peak climb?
A climbing permit for trekking peaks is a legal document issued by the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) authorizing the climber to attempt the climb on a designated mountain or route. Yes, the climbing permit is a must for Island Peak. The climbing permit is included in the package cost, and we will arrange the climbing permit and transport service.
11. Is Travel Insurance Needed for Island Peak Climbing?
A big yes! Annapurna Foothills strongly recommends you have sufficient insurance coverage to go into this remote area. Travel insurance that covers emergency evacuation, injury, lost baggage, liability, and medical treatment is recommended. The insurance must cover all the activities you will undertake during your stay in Nepal. Annapurna Foothills Treks and Expeditions Pvt. Ltd. can organize the appropriate medical response based on your policy.
12. Do I need to join a group, or can I climb solo?
There is no requirement to join a group or departure dates to climb a 6000-meter peak in Nepal. We always try to be flexible with our trips for our guest's convenience. We are open to changes to the trip details as long as the proposed itinerary or suggestions do not harm your chances of acclimatization.
Private or Solo Trips are possible but a bit more expensive than joining a fixed date. We highly recommend hiring a reputable guide service for a safe and secure climbing experience. With Annapurna Foothills, there is absolutely nothing to worry about if you wish to make a private solo trip or join a departure date. We assign local professional guides, porters etc., whom you can trust with your life as they are highly experienced and give priority to your safety.
13. Can I hire only Guide and a Porter from you to climb Island Peak?
You can hire Trekking and Climbing Guide and Porter services from us. We can offer customizable services of Guides, Porters, Domestic Flights and Documentation.
14. What sort of food can I expect on Island Peak Climb?
Food during your Island Peak Climbing trekking trail can be one of the major highlights. Meals around the mountains consist of a diet rich in carbohydrates because our bodies do not process fat and protein efficiently at higher elevations and to compensate for the increase in caloric need that high-altitude climbing involves. We make meals and breakfasts varied and as normal as possible. Typical meals are rice, noodles, pasta, potato dishes, and vegetable and egg dishes. Lunches will also consist of cooked meals. Above Base Camp, climbing food mainly consists of dried meals such as pasta or rice. Normally, you will have dinner and breakfast at the lodge, where you stay overnight, and lunch will be at the tea houses on the way.
15. Is it healthy to take a shower during the trek?
You can get hot shower services throughout your Mera Peak Trip. However, the higher you climb, the less pleasant it will be. It's better to be on the safe side of things, and we suggest not taking a shower regularly when you're above 3000m. Hot showers also refer to Hot water buckets provided, not the real showers.
16. How can I communicate if there's an emergency during the trip?
The tea houses will have internet facilities in most villages along the Island Peak trail. You need to purchase internet recharge cards. The internet speed will be fundamental. You can also purchase Nepalese SIM cards (NCEL or NTC), but their coverage will be limited. And our climbing guide will also carry a satellite phone for emergencies with minimum cost.
17. How much will I spend daily on the Island Peak climbing trekking trails?
You will be spending little on the trail as accommodation and three meals a day are included in your trip cost while booking with Annapurna Foothills. USD 20 to 30 (NRS 2000-3000) per person per day will be enough since you have to personally pay for items such as beverages, cold and hot drinks, charging electronic devices, Wi-Fi, and hot showers at the tea houses.
18. What is the luggage limit for porters on the flight to Lukla?
The luggage limit for Porter is around 25 KG. We will provide one porter for two trekkers during the trip. Porter are those staffs who not only carry your luggage but also lift your spirit to reach new heights, and your affection and generosity can be the reason for them to work hard to take you to your destination.
Lukla flight's weight limit is 10 KG. Extra baggage can be taken with additional costs.
19. In case of bad weather and our Lukla flights get cancelled, what alternatives will we have?
If our domestic flights to or from Lukla get cancelled because of bad weather, we'll have two primary options;
Reschedule your flight next day. Additional expenses like accommodation, food, etc., must be paid by guests.
Another option will be a Helicopter flight which will be expensive compared to regular flights. The cost will depend upon availability, number of members, and baggage weight.
20. What is the policy on Leave No Trace while climbing Island Peak?
We value and operate eco-friendly trips and are highly committed to Leave No Trace. Our guides and staffs are well aware of their responsibility toward the environment. Burnable garbage is sorted and burnt, and those which can be recycled are taken back to Lukla and handover to Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC).
21. Why should I visit Nepal for a 6000m peak climbing?
Nepal should be on top of your BUCKET LIST for trekking and climbing adventures. For climbing a 6000m peak as well because Nepal comprises 1400 trekking peaks above 6000m and 8 of the world's 14, 8000m peaks. With the wide variety of flora and fauna, landscapes, the hospitality of the Nepalese locals, the favourable climatic and geographical conditions, and the rich cultural spirit which represents a unique blend of Buddhism and Hinduism, it is fair to say that your mountaineering ambitions can be taken to a new level here in the Himalaya of Nepal.
22. Why should I choose to climb Island Peak with Annapurna Foothills?
Not just because we are a Nepal-based local operator but our Sherpa climbing guides are experienced, competent, and professional. They all have numerous high-altitude experiences, including Mount Everest and other 8000m in the Himalayas of Nepal. Our guides in the Himalayas are provided with satellite phone communication allowing us to maintain excellent emergency contact capabilities and keep your friends and family informed of our progress during the long weeks away from home. We focus on safety, quality and value for money by providing good equipment, gear and logistics required for your trip, which many lower-cost programs need to facilitate.
23. What happens if I need to leave the expedition beforehand?
Well, it depends upon the kinds of emergency you're going through. Suppose you must leave the expedition due to ill health or severe injury. In that case, we will immediately arrange an emergency air rescue, flying you out of the mountains to Kathmandu for medical attention. Make sure your insurance covers high-altitude mountain search and rescue.
If you can walk down, one of the assistant guides will guide you down to a lower elevation where you can wait for the rest of the team or fly out to Kathmandu ahead of the group.
Even if you leave the expedition beforehand, we are committed to paying the porters and guides for the duration of the trip for which they are hired. So, refunds for the unused days for your trip will not be given. We can provide something complementary depending on the cases.
24. What is your Island Peak cancellation policy?
Regarding cancellation, if a guest voluntarily or involuntarily terminates/cancels the trip once the trip has started, no refund will be given for missed or unused services of the journey regardless of the reason, i.e. sickness or any other unfortunate events.
25. Count me in for the trip. How do I book Island Peak climbing?
We'll be happy to welcome you soon in Nepal and provide you with our expert team to do the magnanimous Island Peak Climbing in the Himalayas of Nepal.
Please, go through this link for the booking procedure.