Climb Island Peak

Climb Island Peak

Along with Mera Peak, Island Peak (6189m) is one of the most popular trekking peaks in Nepal, and with good reason.  Aside from being very accessible – the approach is made up the standard trekking route to Everest, and then branching off up the Imja Khola valley to the south side of Lhotse - Island Peak, or “Imja Tse” as it’s known locally, not only provides an enjoyable climb, but also some of the most spectacular scenery to be found in the Everest region.  It provides adventurous trekkers and novice climbers the opportunity to attain a decent Himalayan Summit.

The summit itself is interesting and attractive, with a highly glaciated west face rising from the Lhotse Glacier.  One on the main reasons for Island Peak’s popularity is its technically straightforward final ridge, which provides a reasonable degree of exposure and excitement without being difficult – those with little or no experience of snow and ice climbing, who are physically fit and properly acclimatised, and have a strong inclination towards adventure, are well qualified to make an ascent in the company of a qualified mountain guide. In the absence of previous rope and crampon work, a short orientation and demonstration on ice climbing performed by the guide at Base Camp is considered sufficient before climbing Island Peak..

Views from the summit are outstanding. Island Peak was so named because of its situation – with the exception of its north ridge, which joins the base of Lohtse Shar, it is surrounded on all sides by a veritable sea of glaciers.  By virtue of its proximity to the south face of Lhotse and Lohtse Shar, one gets a true sense of monumental scale of the Himalaya.  Those who admirably struggle to Island Peak’s summit on the frail oxygen levels found at 6000m, find themselves awestruck by the seemingly sheer face of Lhotse which soars for a menacing 2.2 kilometers above them!  Although one cannot see Everest from here, one certainly cannot grumble: the distinctive pyramid of Makalu dominates the view to the east, and the parade of glaciers falling off the fluted ridges below Baruntse, Amphu Lapcha and Ama Dablam cannot fail to impress. 

Acclimatisation

The approach route to Island Peak is straightforward, following the Dudh Koshi river en route to Everest.  We recommend a side trip to Thami from Namche Bazaar, which aids acclimatisation, before progressing through Sherpa villages off the main trail to add interest.  Acclimatisation climbs to Ama Dablam Base Camp and Chhukhung Ri are also built in to help prepare.  In summary, our attitude is to ensure that you acclimatise cautiously and safely, to maximise summit chances, and take you off the busier trails as much as we can.  Note that for those with time, energy, and the inclination, it’s possible to combine a climb of Island Peak with a detour to Everest Base Camp.