Everest Base Camp And Island Peak: Autumn / Spring Climbing

Talking about the world’s natural attraction, the highest peak, Mount Everest, certainly leaves everyone in awe. This monstrous peak has been everyone’s dream destination for some adventure or sightseeing.

The trek to Everest Base Camp (EBC) is breathtaking, but how about adding some spice to the same route? It can be done with a little extension from Dingboche, where you will see an island in a sea of ice.

The Island Peak is an underrated trek that offers immense surprises and stunning views. Adding it to the Everest base camp makes it one of the most challenging yet mesmerizing trails to accomplish for all travelers and trekkers.

Everest Base Camp and Island Peak: An Overview

Island Peak is locally known as Imja Tse Peak. It is one of the rarest combinations with the Everest trek that provides a close view of glittering peaks, stunning glaciers, and the rich local culture of the Everest region.

Island Peak is attractive, and an easy climb will surprise you with a highly glaciated west face rising from the Lhotse Glacier. Likewise, if you follow the southwest descent from the ridge, it leads to the South Summit.

Climbing Island Peak
Climbing Island Peak (Source – Flickr)

This particular climb will give you a crystal clear view of the giant mountains such as Nuptse (7,879m), Lhotse (8,501m), Lhotse Middle Peak, and Lhotse Shar. All these treks and views take place in the Sherpa Land.

The Island Peak trek is pretty straightforward and can be accomplished by novice trekkers. However, adding it to the Everest Base Camp trek is tricky.

The highest pass during the Island Peak trek is at its summit, nearly 6200 meters above sea level. But as you walk up to the Everest Base Camp trek, you will need to pass some high altitudes such as the passes of Renjo la (5388 meters), Cho La (5380 meters), and Kongma La (5535 meters). These high passes link the four valleys of Bhotekoshi, Gokyo, Imja Tse, and Khumbu.

Best Seasons For This Trek

The best seasons to trek or travel in Nepal are Autumn and Spring. Yes, it also applies to Island Peak and Everest Base Camp trek.

During Spring, the weather is much clearer, with flowers blooming and dry leaves on the trails. Also, the skies are blue, which livens the atmosphere and makes up splendid scenery. Likewise, the temperature is also pretty favorable as it’s neither too cold nor too hot.

Furthermore, the trails are filled with lush green forests. During Autumn, the trees start to change their colors. Similarly, the temperature in this period gets mild, with a warm day and a slightly cold night.

But, of course, the winds start rushing around the valley, and hence, it is a bit less favorable to trekkers than in Spring. Not to mention, a few trekkers also embark on this journey during Winter, but yes, the temperature gets freezing.

Winter also has its charm as it offers snow-covered views all over. It is indeed a heavenly scene.

Difficulties During This Trek

Indeed, the Island Peak Climbing with Everest Base Camp Trek is challenging though the trail to Island Peak is pretty standard. The difficulties start on the off-the-beaten tracks with rocky lanes.

island peak
Rocky lanes of Island Peak (Source – Wikimedia Commons)

Furthermore, talking about the weather, even the climb to Island Peak gets quite harsh in Winter. This climb lies at an altitude of 6187 meters and gets cold during Winter.

Moving on, ascending this trail to reach the base camp often gets complicated due to altitude sickness. Numerous trekkers withdraw from the journey as they struggle with breathing problems, nausea, and headache. 

Details Of The Trip

  • Destination: Everest region, Nepal
  •  Trek Duration: 18 Days
  •  Trip Grade: Moderate To Challenging
  •  Highest elevation: Renjo La Pass at 5388 meters
  •  Starting And Ending Point: Lukla
  •  Best seasons: Spring and Autumn

Highlights Of The Trip

  • Rare but exciting mountain flight to and from one of the daring airports at Lukla.
  • Pass through the highest passes at Renjo la (5388 meters), Cho La (5380 meters), and Kongma La (5535 meters).
  • Majestic views of the view of Khumbu icefall and glaciers.
  • Get a closer experience of the rich local culture of Sherpa groups.
  • Explore the Namche bazaar and historic Tengbochhey Monastery on the way to the Base camp.
  • Climb Kalapatthar at 5545 meters.
  • Get the majestic views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and the surrounding peaks.
  • Delightful sights of rising Amadablam peak.
  • Enjoy the rich vegetation, wildlife, rhododendron, and oaks forest of Sagarmatha National Park (a World Heritage Site).
  • Visit the historical UNESCO World Heritage sites in Kathmandu.

Everest Base Camp and Island Peak: An Itinerary

This particular trek takes you a total of 18 days or a maximum of 21 days. Your typical trek days start from Lukla, where your flight lands. Starting then, you will follow the simple route that takes you through Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Dingboche, Gorak Shep, Kalapathar, Everest Base Camp, and finally, Island Peak Base Camp.

island peak
Island Peak Base Camp (Source – Wikimedia Commons)

These days, you will pass through incredible viewpoints such as Kalapathar and EBC. You will also pass through lush Rhododendron forests and get a chance to explore the Sagarmatha National Park.

It is also a spiritual trek, as multiple prayer flags are suspended on a bridge. Not to mention, you will also hear prayer chants. You can embark on this journey in two ways; climbing from Base Camp (5,087 meters) called Pareshya gyab or High Camp (5,600 meters).

Day 1: Arrival In Kathmandu

As you arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport, welcome to Nepal! This arrival starts your journey to Everest Base Camp, and you will have our representative attending at your side. After a short ride, you will relax after a long flight.

Day 2: Kathmandu Tour And Preparation

As you are here in Kathmandu, it is only best to take a quick tour of this city. Our representative will also tend to your side so that you can prepare for the big day tomorrow. You can get the gear needed for the journey.

Day 3: Kathmandu To Lukla Flight And Phakding

On this particular day, you will travel about 137 km in total. Your day starts with an early flight to Lukla from domestic air. You will also have your guide and porter to kick off your trek. A 35 minutes flight to Lukla, and you will start trekking the bank of the Dudhkoshi River until Phakding (2,652 meters / 8,700 feet).

Day 4: Phakding To Namchhe Bazaar

After a night’s rest, you will start your trek to Namche Bazaar over the Dudhkoshi River via a long suspension bridge. To reach the Sherpa village, initially, you will walk two hours through a beautiful pine forest to Monjo. Then, you will have a permit check at Sagarmatha National Pak before you reach the Dhudhkoshi river.

Day 5: Rest And Tour At Namche Bazaar

After a few days of the hike, you will get a rest day to explore the Namche Bazaar. Or you can also opt for an extra two-hour climb to Everest View Point.

Day 6: Namche Bazaar To Tengboche 

With the views of Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, and Kwangde, your journey starts towards Tengboche. You will pass across a river and a lush forest with some seriously steep ground during the trail. After reaching Tengboche, you will have a stop at Tengboche monastery for a spiritual guide.

Day 7: Tengboche To Dingboche

Then, take a hike along the Rhododendron forest from Tengboche, and you will pass the Imja Khol River. Following it, you will traverse the plains to Pangboche village and briefly stop at the Pangboche monastery. From here, the trek gets sightly hard with dry, deserted mountains to Dingboche.

Day 8: Dingboche Tour

Dingboche is one of the popular destinations, and you can explore it and the surrounding valleys of Chhukung and Imja. Yes, iMja is the connecting link to Island Peak, the high passes of Amphu Laptsa, and Makalu Barun National Park.

Day 9: Dingboche To Lobuche

Follow the craggy mountain terrain to Lobuche, where fantastic views of Mt. Lobuche, Mt. Pumari, and the Nuptse will surround you. 

Day 10: Lobuche To Gorekshep To Everest Base Camp

Lobuche to Gorekshep will be an easy trek. However, the following tour to Everest Base Camp will be challenging with rocky dunes and moraine, formed accumulation of unconsolidated glacial debris. Here, you will also pass through the Khumbu Glacier.

Day 11: Everest Base Camp To Kalapatthar To Chukhung

Finally, you are at the Everest Base Camp, and then you will climb to Kalapatthar. Now, you will break the EBC trail and go down another 5 km to Chukhung.

Day 12: Chukhung To Island Peak Base Camp

After reaching Chukhung, you will take a short hike to Island Peak Base Camp. You can now summit the Island Peak!

Day 13: Summit To Island Peak And Return To Chukhung

After the training from the day ahead, you can now prepare to climb the summit. After the climb, you will ascend and get back to Chukhung.

Day 14: Chukhung To Tengboche

As we retrace the initial steps of our trail, we will return to Tengboche, where we will stop at the yak herding station.

Day 15: Tengboche To Namche Bazaar

The descent from Tengboche to Namche Bazaar will take you at least a day. You will reach Namche in the late afternoon.

Day 16: Namche Bazaar To Phakding To Lukla

After passing Hillary suspension bridge and several villages, you will arrive at Lukla and prepare for your flight back.

Day 17: Lukla To Kathmandu

After the short flight to reach Kathmandu, the whole team will have a meeting dinner.

Day 18: Departure

If you were in Nepal for this trek, you would be sent off to the airport.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Island Peak?

Imja Tse, better known as Island Peak, is a mountain in eastern Nepal’s Sagarmatha National Park of the Himalayas.

How did the name Island Peak originate?

The peak was named Island Peak in 1953 by members of the British Mount Everest Expedition because, from Dingboche, it appears like an island in an ocean of ice.

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