About Three High Passes and Island Peak Climbing
There are several approaches to ascend Island Peak, but Annapurna Foothills Treks highly recommends doing Three High Passes before attempting Island Peak, 6189m as this itinerary will provide the ultimate pre-acclimatization. After crossing the Everest Three High Passes in Khumbu region; Renjo La Pass 5430m, Cho La Pass, 5330m, Kongma La Pass 5535m, you will be physically and psychologically prepared to climb Island Peak in Nepal. Completing the Everest Three High Passes Trek in itself is challenging yet very rewarding experience in the Khumbu Himalaya of Nepal.
Island Peak is a perfect choice for trekkers who are fit and ready to do something more than a challenging trek. Island Peak, also known as Imja Tse, lies to the south of Mount Everest like an island rising from valleys on all sides. We start out adventure with a mountain flight to Lukla where we meet up with our crew. We hike up the Dudh Koshi Valley on the well worn Everest trail while enjoying the soaring peaks of Thamserku and Kusum Kanguru. We reach Namche Bazaar, commercial hub of the Khumbu. This is a great place to stop and acclimatize with great options for day hikes to nearby villages.
Instead of taking the busy trail toward Everest Base Camp, we head off into the Bhote Koshi Valley to Thame. This is a lovely cultural experience as the villages on this old trading route with Tibet are less commercialized and therefore more authentic. We branch off this trail and climb toward the Renjo La, 5430m, and then down to the beautiful Gokyo valley, with its lovely turquoise lakes beside the moraines of Ngozumpa Glacier. We will climb Gokyo Ri, 5357m, to witness a spellinding view of the region's 8000-meter peaks, including Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Cho, before we cross the glacier and head toward Cho La, 5300m, we then join the Everest Base Camp Trekking trail nearby Thugla village.
After reaching Everest Base Camp, we climb the famous Kala Pathar for another awesome panorama of Everest and surrounding peaks and return to Lobuche where we take the trail to the Kongma glacier. By this time we feel well acclimatized to head up to Kongma La, 5535m our last pass before we make our attempt on Island Peak from Chhukung.
At Island Peak Base Camp, our Climbing Sherpa will provide a training of climbing techniques to ensure that you are completely confident before you begin the climb. We spend one night at Island Peak Base Camp and one night at Island Peak High Camp before our summit push.
After high camp, the trail climbs up the tricky rocky section before reaching the Crampon Point. We put on our harness, climbing boots and other climbing gears. We walk through the ladders and cross the crevasse section before getting to the base of the popular ice headwall. There is a 300 meter headwall of 45 degree snow slopes leading to the exposed summit ridge of Island Peak. The view from the summit is just magical; one of the best views that you can witness in the entire Khumbu region. We then make a careful descent back to base camp and then trek back to chhukung. We start our trek back to Namche with a great sense of accomplishment, and feeling strong for all the extra red blood cells we have in our system. The next day we catch our flight from Lukla to Kathmandu.
The best season for Three High Passes and Island Peak Climbing is from March to May (Spring) and from September to November (Autumn). However, the winter is also a great time to climb if you are well prepared for the cold weather. In the crisp and cold month of December, the views of the mountains are crystal clear and there are fewer tourists around. The duration of the Three High Passes and Island Peak Climbing can be lengthened or shortened according to your preference. Annapurna Foothills Treks and Expedition will arrange every detail of your Three High Passes and Island Peak Expedition; lodge accommodation, food, as well as all the necessary climbing and camping equipment.
Planning to climb Three High Passes and Island Peak in 2021 and 2022 !!
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