This grade includes climbing peaks and the demanding treks in remote areas. Participants having basic knowledge of use of crampons and ice axes are required. First-time climbers can undertake one of our one-day pre-trek ropes and climbing training days to obtain some initial skills and experience.
Island Peak (6,189m/20,305ft) is one of the main climbing peaks of the Everest region. The mountain was named "Island Peak" in 1952 due to its striking location in the middle of the Chhukung Valley, like an island on a sea of ice. It was renamed "Imje Tse" in the early 1980s though its original name is still more popular. Island Peak has an impressive highly glaciated west face that rises from the Lhotse Glacier.
This wonderful Everest base Camp trek and Island Peak climb takes you into the very heart of the Khumbu region. You trek from Lukla to Namche Bazaar and north along the Khumbu valley and glacier to Mount Everest Base Camp and the stunning 5,545m vantage point of Kala Pataar with is fabulous views of Mount Everest, Lhotse, Nuptsa and the entire Khumbu Valley. The treks provides excellent acclimatization for the highlight, the climb to the 6,189m summit of Island Peak.
Welcome to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. The Langtang Ri Trekking & Expedition representative will greet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. After your refreshment you will be picked up from your hotel lobby and driven to our Thamel office where you will be formally introduced to your trekking guide. We will go through all your trek itinerary and arrangements with you to insurer every detail is in place. We will also ask to bring your passport, extra passport photographs and a copy of your travel insurance so that we can organize permits required for your trek in the Sagarmatha National Park.
After breakfast, we start an interesting tour around Kathmandu. Escorting by an English speaking guide (can be provide any language speaking guide on request) the tour will give you a taste of our vivid Nepali culture and history. In our sightseeing tour we go to Monkey Temple Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, Bouddhanath and Kathmandu Durbar Square.
Bouddhanath: Bouddhanath is a Buddhist religious complex with a history dating back over 500 years. Located on the eastern edge of Kathmandu it is now a site of great pilgrimage for Buddhist followers who circle its massive stupa, spin its many prayer wheels and visit its beautiful monastery. The main feature of Boudhanath is its huge hemispherical white stupa with central golden tower and the all-seeing eyes of the Buddha. Visitors should circle the stupa in a clockwise direction and spin prayer wheels for good fortune and a good life. Visitors may also enjoy visiting the thangka painting school within the complex to see highly skilled artists at work on religious mandala paintings.
Pashupatinath: This Hindu Temple is a very large complex and focal point for the Hindu religion in Nepal. This old and very revered complex of buildings and shrines is dedicated to the Lord Shiva, one of the main deities of Hinduism. While Lord Shiva has multiple forms he is often seen as the destroyer. This has great significance for the Pashupatinath temple as it is the site of many Hindi ritual cremations each day. Pashupatinath is considered by Hindus to be an auspicious site for passing from one stage of life to the next through the purifying and destroying flames of cremation. However, on a happier note, visitors may also get to see the temple in a buoyant festival mode with one of the many Hindu festivals celebrated here through the year.
Swayambhunath: You will first visit the Swayambhunath temple complex that sits atop a high hill overlooking Kathmandu and the entire Kathmandu Valley. Swayambhunath is perhaps the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage site in Nepal. It consists of a very large white stupa with the all-seeing-eye of Lord Buddha plus many small stupa and beautifully carved stone shrines. This is a wonderful place to catch your breath and start to understand and appreciate the deep importance of Buddhist belief to the people of Nepal and the Himalaya region. Make sure you ring the many bells to awaken the gods and let them know you are in Nepal. Take the time to enjoy the view over Kathmandu and have your guide point out the many other highlights of the city. In the far distance to the east you may also be able to see the hills of Nagarkot. If you feel energetic you might also like to try some or all of the 350 steps that lead all the way from Kathmandu city up to your Swayambhunath temple vantage point.
Kathmandu Durbar Square: The next stop today is the beautiful Kathmandu Durbar Square, or the royal palace square of the ancient Malla Kings of the Kathmandu Valley. This square and all its architectural treasures are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While some damage to buildings occurred in the 2015 earthquake the site still contains many stunning architectural gems. The original royal palace courtyards are open to visitors and you will marvel at the intricate timber carving and beautifully crafted brickwork of the palace. The open square outside the palace has many beautiful multi-storey pagodas and temples with ornate carving and carpentry artwork that tells some of the story of the ancient kings and their mystical time and beliefs. The square also contains many important Hindu temples and statues such as to Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Durbar Square also contains the unique and intriguing Kumari Chok. This is an ancient and ornate house where resides the Raj Kumari – the Living Goddess. She is a young girl chosen through an ancient and mystical selection process to become the human incarnation of the Hindu mother goddess, Durga. If you are in the courtyard of her home at the right time in the afternoon you may see a brief glimpse of the Goddess at her window.
We will transfer you from your hotel to the domestic airport to catch the very scenic flight to Lukla, just south of the entrance to the Sagarmartha National Park and the Mount Everest region. The flight is brief and takes only about thirty minutes to complete. Once in Lukla and all your packs and equipment are organized you will start your trek with the walk northwards along the Dudh Kosi River valley to the village of Phakdings and its impressive suspension bridge over the river far below. At this stage the scenery is a well vegetated and impressively large river valley with glimpses to the north of the towering snow-capped Himalayan peaks that await you.
The first stage of the walk takes you across the river and to the village of Monjo and the actual entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park. Your guide will handle all the formalities of ensuring you are carrying the necessary permit to enter the national park. All necessary permits will have been arranged for you following your visit to our head office a day or two earlier. The second stage takes you upwards to 3,440m altitude at Namche Bazaar – so a very substantial altitude gain of over 1,600m is achieved in this stage – so just take it slow and steady up the many steps to Namche Bazaar and enjoy the scenery and beautiful mountain summit vistas deeper in the national park.
Since view will now be at quite a significant altitude you must let your physiology adapt the thinner atmosphere and reduced oxygen levels. This is an essential step in the proper management of the risk of altitude sickness. Your guide will personally instruct you on what to do during the day and how best to acclimatize and how to identify any early symptoms of altitude sickness. There is plenty to see and do in Namche Bazaar itself and in the immediate surrounding area. So taking a rest day can be an interesting and fun day too. Talk with your guide about visiting places such as the famous Edmond Hillary School established to assist the Sherpa community and residents of the region. Or perhaps pay a visit to the beautiful Everest View Hotel – the view of the Mount Everest summit can be inspiring for the next days of your trek.
Today you will head a little higher and closer to Everest Base Camp. Your walk will take you via one of the many scenic trails to the very important village of Tengboche and its world famous Tengboche Monastery. Take your time and enjoy the gorgeous mountains along the trail. Look for the very distinctive twin-peak summits of Mount Ama Dablam and the towering snow and ice-capped mass of Mount Thamserku. This walks takes about five hours to complete and the last section brings you up to the distinctive gates of Tengboche village. Take the time to visit the monastery. Your guide will explain some of the history of the facility, its significance to the Sherpa community and its importance to Buddhism. Then get some rest for the next stages of your trek.
Today you cross the altitude transition from trees and shrubs lining the trek path to bare ground above the tree line. This is the point where the long hard winter and extended deep winter snow cover make it impossible for trees to establish and grow. Today you can clearly see that you have gained some substantial altitude since the commencement of your trek at Lukla. You start your five hour walk through grazing lands and beautiful rhododendron forests as you head towards the little village of Pangboche. Take a short break in Pangboche and visits its Buddhist gompa, a place of study and contemplation for monks learning the ways of Buddhism. Then continue on to Dingboche and soak up the stunning Himalayan vista that surrounds you.
The altitude at Dingboche means there is just 61% of the oxygen available to sea level. So as you gain altitude your lungs and heart have had to work much harder to supply the oxygen your body requires for walking and even just sitting and resting. You body is also adjusting in less obvious ways to make your blood more efficient at capturing and transporting oxygen. Your body is also adjusting to the different way it stores and moves fluid at high altitude. Your Sherpa guide and porters have the natural physiology to handle the affects of altitude, however you must give your body time to adjust before you can more safely proceed higher to Everest Base Camp and any of the even higher vantage points that offer spectacular mountain views. So listen to your guide and that the advice to rest and acclimatize properly today.
Another five hour walk today that takes you to an altitude of almost five kilometers – many aircraft do not even fly this high! You will pass little settlements were a short break and cup of tea will fuel you for next stage. As you reach Lobuche you will be walking the southern section of the mighty Khumbu Valley and be walking beside the shattered and creaking ice flows of the Khumbu Glacier that drains from the flanks of Mount Everest itself. This is a high Himalayan landscape that can leave some treks thinking they are exploring another planet. Today’s walk will also take you past the tiny settlement of Pheriche that is home to the Himalayan Rescue Association Aid Post. This wonderful facility is staffed by international volunteer doctors and can provide excellent care to trekkers or expedition members suffering signs of altitude sickness.
Your trail will take you along the western edge of the Khumbu Glacier initially to the small settlement of Gorakshep. This is a very well appointed location with accommodation and all the facilities a trekker may need. A quick tea stop might be useful before pushing on to the goal of this trek – Mount Everest Base Camp. The walk continues northward along the edge of the glacier before arriving at the shattered jumble of ice and snow that is the main camp site for expedition parties attempting to summit Mount Everest. However, it depends on the month you visit as to whether expedition parties will be encamped. There are short seasonal windows before and after the annual monsoon when the ascent of Mount Everest is potentially possible. But once you arrive at base camp the presence or absence of expeditions is immaterial – just take in the awe of Mount Everest, the Khumbu Icefall and the many 7,000m plus peaks jutting towards the sky in every direction you look. This is the power of nature at its most impressive. You will complete the day by returning to your accommodation for the night at Gorakshep.
Sunrise from the top of Kala Patthar is just a spectacular sight you will always remember and no doubt record in many photos. But the walk up to the vantage point at 5,545m altitude is steep and a challenge, often requiring a slow two hour walk. At the top, 5,545m, you have just 52% of sea level oxygen available to you, so some exertion is required. But the rewards for this effort are beyond words – all of the most beautiful and inspiring Himalayan peaks and rugged icy landscapes are laid out before you as you are left speechless by the power and beauty of the west face of Mount Everest, its neighboring peaks of Nuptse and Lhotse and the nearby summits of Ama Dablam, Thamserku and more peaks than you can count. Kala Patthar is the Himalayan vista high point, literally, of any Everest Base Camp trek.
Today we descend along the edge of the Khumbu Glacier and head for the little trekking settlement of Chukhung. Take your time and enjoy the easy walking and fantastic views of some of the most iconic Himalayan mountains - Nuptse, Lobuche, Pumori, Ama Dablam and Cholatse.
Now we depart the Khumbu Glacier and traverse the Imja Glacier as we head eastwards towards Imja Lake and Island Peak Base Camp. Your guide and porters will establish camp at the foot of Island Peak towering above you. The afternoon will be spent organising climbing equipment and contucting training on how to use ropes, crampons, figure 8, carabiners and ascenders. Then it is time for plenty of rest for a very early start tomorrow if the weather looks good.
Early in the morning start. The aim is to be on the mountain at start of dawn so we reach the summit while the day is still young and the sumit views are at their very best. We start with an easy climb up a rocky gully. This is not difficult but there are several short rock steps to climb before you emerge on the right side of the gully. The route then follows a ridgeline which leads to an exhilarating and exposed traverse onto the snout of the summit snow pack. You will need to rope-up for the snow as it may hide crevasses. Your guides will lead you to a 100m snow and ice slope (40-45 degree) on which your guides will attach a fix rope. From the top of this slope we ascend 3 rope lengths along a sharp summit ridge leading to the summit. Just take the climb slow and gently and focus on steady breathing and gently progress. No need to rush or push too hard. Soon you will be "on top of the world", or it will certainly feel like it on the awe inspiring summit of Island Peak. Take lots of photos and congratulate your group members and guides on this fantastic achievement. But we must eventually descend. After enjoying the summit views you will descend all the way to Chukhung.
This is reserve day to provide a second chance to those clients who won’t be able to summit the island peak due to bad weather or altitude problems. You can skip this day from the itinerary if you were able to summit the Island Peak on Day 14 of the trek.
We now make the reverse trek along the trails we ascended a week ago. You will find the walking easier and faster as you go as every step of descent makes breathing just a little easier. But take your time and continue to enjoy the mountain scenery. Also take a break at Tengboche and visit the monastery once again. By the end of the day you will be back in busy Namche Bazaar - a great place for a bit of "post-summit" partying before leaving the national park.
Today involves a four hour walk as you descend rapidly from Namche Bazaar and head for Phakding. Depending on your group and the weather conditions you may spend the night in Phakding or continue on to Lukla. Since this evening will be the last on your trek it will be time for some celebrations with your guide and fellow trekkers. A few drinks, some music and some Sherpa and Nepali dancing is often on the menu. So please celebrate your achievements and friendships of this trekking experience.
Your flight from Lukla will depart early in the morning and we will soon have you back in your Kathmandu hotel.
Enjoy a day exploring some of the quieter streets of Kathmandu and stocking up on souvenirs and presents for friends and family. This evening you will also have a farewell dinner. We will collect you from your hotel and take you to one of the many bustling and fun restaurants of Kathmandu.
We will meet you at your hotel and take you to the airport in plenty of time to meet your flight home.
Personal Climbing Gear: Mountaineering boots, rope, climbing harness, crampons, ice axe, ascender and descended , head Lamp, carabineers, figure 8, altimeter, climbing helmet:
Footwear : Well broken-in walking shoes - these must be suitable for snow, thick socks, light socks, camp shoes.
Clothing : Down or fiber filled waterproof jacket and trousers, sweater or fleece jacket, underwear, warm and cotton trousers or jeans, shirts and T-shirts, shorts, long underwear, wool hat, sun hat, gloves, bathing suit, track suit.
Other equipment: Sleeping bag (5 seasons), lock, day pack, water bottle, sun cream, sunglasses, flashlight with spare batteries, lip salve, gaiters, camera, charger.
Other items: Insect repellent, toilet articles, diary, toilet roll, laundry soap, wet ones, pocket knife, towel, sewing, oxygen bottle, mask and regulator
I am on a travel spree, and i chose this trip as the starting one. Boy! that was awesome. The island peak is really something. As beautiful and as strenuous. That was hell of a climb. A little bit fro...View More
Langtang Ri provided exceptional service during our trek. We were really impressed with Langtang Ri, and would not hesitate to recommend then to anyone looking for a quality trekking company.
I can recommend Langtang Trekking to everybody who wants to spend some time in Nepal, well organized, perfect locations / lodges selected, friendly staff, really nothing to improve pls keep your standard, greetings from Christine & Thomas