Why Island Peak Climbing ?

  • Peak Climbing
  • Aug,22,2022
  • Naveen Poudyal
  • 0

In the middle of the Himalayas' giants, Island Peak (6189m), also referred to as Imja Tse locally is a magnificent peak. This gorgeous peak, which leads you far inside the Khumbu, is hidden in the Chukkung Valley and appears to be an island in a sea of glaciers when viewed from Dingboche.  Imja Tse Peak is not only a nice climb but also the best spot that provides some of the Everest region's best Himalayan views. The island is overshadowed on both sides by the challenging south faces of Lhotse, Nuptse, Makalu, and Everest to the north, and Baruntse to the south.

The mountaintop not only provides a fun ascent but also some of the most stunning views of the Khumbu region. The view from the top of this mountain is extremely breathtaking and especially memorable. Some of the mountain vistas seen from the Island Mountain summit are Lhotse (8501m), Lhotse Middle Peak (8410m), Lhotse Shar (8383m), Cho Polu (6734m), Makalu (8475m), and Ama Dablam (6,812m).

If we travel back to the history of Island Mountain, we will come to know that it is a technical peak that was actually used for training by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa before scaling Mt. Everest in 1953. Today, the same route established by Tenzing-Hillary is being utilized by many of the world's mountaineers and climbers. The fact is, Island Peak Climbing is still a popular training peak for mountaineers tackling Mount Everest since it requires abilities like - crossing crevasses with ladders, utilizing jumars on a fixed line, anchoring the rope, using a climbing harness, using an ice axe, and so on.

The Everest circuit/Everest Region has a lot to offer its visitors. Numerous things include mountaineering, sightseeing, geological studies and research, biodiversity surveys, cultural studies, and many more. But the prime goal of many of the visitors used to be mountaineering in the Everest region. It is always a good idea to scale some small and non-technical peaks before attempting any of the challenging peaks in the Everest region. The 20 days Island Mountain trip is to conquer the famous Island peak (6189m), which Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing scaled in 1953. 


Island Peak history

Eric Shipton and his British Expedition Team members named the mountain ridge an Island Peak in 1951. It was the time before Tenzing-Hillary conquered Mount Everest. The name was given because the mountain looked like an island in an ice sea when viewed from Dingboche, a nearby settlement between Everest Base Camp and Kalapatthar. Locally, though the Sherpa people call the summit ridge Imja Tse, the name Island Peak remains popular among travelers, and still, the people call it by the same name. The Island got its popularity after Tenzing-Hillary. Today it has become a major attraction for novice mountaineers because they learn a great deal about mountaineering from Imja Tse. Moreover, the peak is essentially a continuation of the ridge that descends from Lhotse Shar's south face.


Sagarmatha National Park and Imja Tse/Island Peak

Imja Tse/ Island Peak is a mountain in the high Himalayan region of eastern Nepal's Sagarmatha National Park. Sagarmatha National Park is one of the world’s highest national parks with unique biodiversity and ecosystem. The national park is surrounded by 25 or more peaks higher than 6,000 meters, including seven summits higher than 7,000 meters (Baruntse, Lhotse, Nuptse, Pumo Ri, Guachung Kang, Cho-Oyu, and Nangpai Gosum). Furthermore, the mountain range spans rough terrain, deeply incised valleys, and glaciers, culminating in Sagarmatha / Mt. Everest, the world's highest peak. The park is rich in various types of flora and fauna, which hikers will experience on their way through the Island peak. The core area of the park includes the upper watershed of the Bhote Kosi, Dudh Kosi, and Imja Khola (river). The important thing about Sagarmatha National Park is that it is one of the best UNESCO world heritage sites.


How difficult is Imja Tse/Island Peak climbing?

Island Peak is a moderately tough climbing peak that is best suited for beginning climbers and nature enthusiasts who are just starting out on their mountain climbing trip. The challenging segment of Island Peak includes ice slopes, glaciers, and crevasses. Technically, climbing to the top ridge requires the use of fixed ropes. Island Peak is accessible to climbers with little or no prior climbing expertise. Climbers must, however, be prepared for a difficult ascent to the summit ridge by employing a fixed rope across crevasses and ice slopes. Although prior climbing experience is not required, having a fair level of basic fitness will be a benefit. If you can try some rock climbing or even ice climbing before your trip, you'll be more at ease with the equipment and terrain on the last day's ascent.


Island Peak Climbing Route

There is just one way to get to Island Peak and the Everest region. The actual route begins at Lukla, after a 40-minute flight from Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). It further proceeds from Phakding to Namche Bazar, Namche Bazaar to Tengboche, Tengboche to Pheriche, Pheriche to Lobuche, Lobuche to Dingboche, including Everest Base Camp trek and Kalapathar trek, Dingboche to Chhukung valley, Chhukung to Island Base Camp, and finally to the summit. The trek, including the climb and return to Kathmandu, lasts 20 days. Furthermore, you might be able to see Everest in the distance if the weather is clear during your flight. Island Peak, on the other hand, will not be visible on the flight. Your 6-7 days journey from Lukla to Dingboche will make the peak visible. The magnificent trek through the Everest Region is fantastic preparation for the visitors before tackling Island Peak.


 Food and accommodation during the Island Peak Climbing

Until and unless the travelers express their preference for tent accommodation, the hikers will spend their nights at some of the comfortable tea houses, lodges, guesthouses, or hotels. Travelers may not have the idea that most of the hotels or tea houses in the Everest region are run by local Sherpa families. Most of the lodges and the tea house provide basic accommodation to the visitors. The basic facilities include bedrooms, heaters, hot water, mattresses, blankets, WiFi, restrooms, and typical foods found in the region. The facilities and food depend upon the hotel or lodge you choose.  The nutritious food on a hike is provided, which includes indigenous Nepali / Sherpa cuisine like dal Bhat( rice and curry). Some western dishes Burgers and fries are also available, but they might charge extra buks.  


Preparation for Island Peak Climbing

The first thing before climbing every mountain is physical fitness. Nepal offers dozens of mountains to be scaled, including Mount Everest, Mount Manaslu, Mount Nuptse, Mount Cho Oyu, Mount Annapurna, Mount Makalu, Mount Dhaulagiri, and Mount Kanchenjunga, and so on.  For Island peak climbing, moderate preparation is needed. The hiking poles, warm clothes, a sleeping bag, medicines, an ice axe, a climbing helmet, a mountaineering boot, ropes, and so on are necessary equipment. The necessary equipment will be suggested to you by your travel agency. Furthermore, the necessary equipment is available at Kathmandu's Thamel and Namche Bazaar.


The best time for island peak climbing

Most climbers prefer to climb Island Peak during the spring between March and May or during the autumn between Mid-September to November. The weather throughout the Himalayas remains the same during spring and autumn. In addition, these seasons make the trip to the mountains more adventurous. Most mountaineers prefer spring as their best season to climb the mountains in Nepal, but some daring mountaineers, including Sherpas, try to attempt the giant peaks even during autumn. Furthermore, the hike to Island Peak is a little longer. As a result, the numbers will drop on the route to the peak. The individuals you meet along the way will be hikers, not climbers. During the spring and autumn seasons, the clouds and weather are always pleasant. The sky is clear, and the mountains are visible. You can work with travel agents to choose the optimal time for you to ascend the mountain.



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