All you Need to Know About Climbing Island Peak

If you are thinking to trekking to Everest Base Camp and climbing Island Peak, this is the page for you.  Island Peak is a challenging climb. Don’t be fooled by people telling you that Island Peak is a trekking peak, because it is not.  You do need to have specific mountaineering skills in order to take on the Island Peak climb.

Everything Island Peak

Prepare yourself to be immersed in the captivating world of Mount Everest, the Sherpa people and the rich cultural and history of climbing Mount Everest. Island Peak is also part of that story.  This Everest region of Nepal is truly hypnotizing, and this trip will show you just how exciting it is. Rich culture, world class mountain viewing, monasteries, the unique city of Kathmandu, amazing side trips, along with extremely special people – this climb truly has it all.

Don’t trust us? Read some REVIEWS from our trips.

Over the past fifteen years of running Island Peak climbs, we have compiled a list of everything you need to know about the trek and climb. This information is to help you discover everything you need to know about climbing Island Peak, including how to prepare and what to expect from the trip.

We run over 6 trips a year to Island Peak, with the same team of guides and staff. GET IN TOUCH today for more information, and sign up to one of our unique itineraries!

More about the Island Peak

First things first, Island Peak, otherwise known as Imja Tse, is located in Sagarmatha National Park. Island Peak is close to Mount Everest and an extension of Lhotse the world’s fourth highest mountain.

What is so special about it? Firstly, Island Peak was made famous by the 1953 British Expedition to Mount Everest. The British team used Island Peak as part of their acclimatization and technical training for Mount Everest.

Secondly, the mountaineering experience. Island Peak sits at the end of a stunning valley with world class mountain viewing on either side. Climbers have ventured into this valley for 70 years, looking to be inspired by the magical surrounding peaks.

And last but not least, the primary reason for people hike into this high Alpine valley lies at its very end – the magnificent Peak, Island Peak surrounded by glaciers. Island Peak is also surrounded by 7,000m and 8,000m peaks.

Once you arrive at Island Peak Base Camp at 5,100m you still have a 1,100m ascent. We like to break this up and use a High Camp at 5,500m. This offers our teams a safer ascent, more acclimatization and better launching pad for the summit.

How Many Days Does the Island Peak Climb Take?

No matter how many times we have been on this wonderful mountain, we are still stunned and in awe of these majestic mountains.

In total, we run approximately 12 expeditions to Island Peak each year. Our most favorite and popular Island Peak tour includes trekking to Everest Base Camp 17,500 feet and Kala Patthar 18,520 feet. Ideally you want to aiming for the summit on day 13 or 14.

We also have itineraries that skips Everest Base Camp and go to Chuckung 15,500 feet with less people and still some great mountain viewing and acclimatization.

21-Day Unique Island Peak Climb

Our Island Peak itinerary offers our teams plenty of time to explore the Everest region and spectacular mountain scenery without having to rush. For many, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so having the time to fully appreciate the beauty and spiritual connection of this remote region makes for an unforgettable trip.

This is one of the most popular adventure climbs in the Everest region of Nepal, as it takes you through some stunning mountain scenery and up to Kala Patthar for the classic view of Mount Everest. Alpine mountaineering along with fixed line climbing to reach a summit the size of a chair.

The Island Peak Climb

Our classic Himalayan climb generously includes three potential summit nights. This is all weather dependent. It also depends the physical ability of clients. We will decide our strategy based on weather and safety for all team members.

Although climbing Island Peak isn’t the most challenging climb in the world, it’s not a walk in the park either. The steep terrain, extreme altitude and technical aspects of this trip require you to have excellent mountain conditioning.  it’s vital to prepare oneself before climbing Island Peak.  We’ll talk more about Island Peak preparations in a moment.

Becoming More Self-Sufficient

Firstly, you need to come to Island Peak feeling comfortable with the specific fixed line mountaineering techniques. You need to be comfortable rappelling using a figure of 8 and really understand the how to efficiently move between fixed lines.

Secondly, our goal is to re-enforce this skill set, educate, develop and ensure the highest safety and give the best chance at the summit.

Thirdly, we have a maximum group size of 8 climbers with highly experienced Sherpa Team running back-to-back trips managing our consistency and safety.

Finally, we will conduct ladder training and refresh your knowledge on jumaring, rappelling using a figure of 8 and managing yourself on fixed lines. Read some reviews from our trips.

Island Peak Base Camp

Time to move to Island Peak Base Camp. We will aim to do an much training as possible and as much as needed. There is a chance to make sure all your gear is working correctly. Practice putting on your Harness and crampons 20 times and practice with your gloves on. The more relaxed and comfortable you are with all the mountaineering equipment the better. Follow us on Instagram.

Island Peak High Camp

From here we move to Island Peak High Camp 5,500m/ 18,044 feet for our summit attempts. Our Sherpa team will be busy prepared all the ropes and equipment for moving higher. We fix our own ropes on the head wall and have cooks and support staff carry gear to crampon point to give the best safety on our trips.

You will hear people tell you there is no water at high camp. This is not true, right over the ridge is plenty of water coming off the glacier. The challenge is you need a team of support staff to go get it. Our goal is to reach High Camp around 2pm. Twelve hours before we take off on our summit night.

Gearing up for Summit Night

I will wear different layers depending on the month I am climbing. March will be colder than May. November will be colder than September. If you need to consider which month you plan on climbing and adjust your gear accordingly. Watch our packing video.

I always use my double mountaineering boots on with my thicker mountaineering sock on Island Peak.  260 merino base layer with down vest, Gore-Tex shell when it is windy. Sometimes I use an insulted layer or trekking pants.

Work with 4 layers, you can mix and mash layers as needed. We recommend having liner gloves, bigger gloves, and work gloves for the headwall and rope work. Make sure you have a light hat that fits on or under my helmet, with polar buff to cover my mouth. We send you a full itemized kit list on signing up.

We will wake up at 12:30am and start drinking water. I usually like to drink a couple of liters before I leave. At 1am or 1:30am our staff will bring a light breakfast with tea or coffee. Around 1:30am or just before we leave our staff will help with filling up your Nalgene bottle or bottles with boiling water. I always carry 2 liters of water with me on the summit night. The route is steep out of camp as we move across mixed rocky terrain in mountaineering boots.

The Grey Rock

After we have make our way through the gullies and steep rocky terrain, we cross some exposed sections although hard to see in the dark. You need to maintain your balance and maintain 3 points of contact as you move through this steep section.

As we move slowly through this section, Island Peak is positioned to the climbers right. We start a steep ascent all the way up to the traverse to crampon point. This section needs mental focus as move across steep terrain for about 45 minutes. You just need to get your breathing right and manage where you are placing your feet.

The Traverse

The traverse to crampon point is a short, exposed rocky ridge with some fixed lines in place. I will usually have my harness; on I can clip into the fixed line for added safety. You need to make sure you have good foot placement, holding onto the rocks as you move across this ridge. You should stay on the left side of the ridge on the way up to crampon point.

Crampon Point

After about 2 to 2 and a half hours of steep challenging hiking you will reach crampon point. We set a minimum pace you need to able to follow or we will have to turn you around. This is critical for safety higher on the mountain.

Once you are crampon point is may be cold, so being efficient with your time is important. Make sure your harness is tied correctly, get your crampons on as quickly as possible and stay warm.

You will also need your ice axe for the next section of the climb. The guides will get ropes out and start getting each team member roped up for glacier travel.

Moving onto the Glacier

We will move onto the glacier in small groups. There may be a need to come off the rope and used fixed lines and this will be managed at the time.

We will use fixed lines and additional safety line for ladder crossings. Once we move through the undulating glacier on Island Peak, it becomes more gradual as we cross the football field to the base of the head wall.

The terrain gradually gets steeper and steeper. We will move to the base of the fixed lines and take a 15/20 minute break. This is weather dependent. We will eat and drink water and prepare our gear for the final section to the summit. Remember to carry your sunglasses if you leave your backpack at the base of the headwall.

The Island Peak Headwall

Our Sherpa guides will be moving ahead fixing our own ropes. We may fix our own route to the summit. This will depend on the amount of people on the mountain. It is becoming much harder to do this as the ice is melting so fast on Island Peak.

We will need to be fast getting back down so having our own rope helps us move more efficiently on the head wall. This process can take time, after a short break we will start moving up the fixed lines.

You will clip into our rope with your safety line and place your Jumar below the carabiner. As the terrain gets steeper, I recommend 3 movements and then stop for recovery. You need to be in control of your breathing and movement all the way to the summit.

You will come up on some anchor points and it is important to move your safely line with carabiner first. Leave your jumar in place while to keep your balance.

Only when you have the safety line safely above the anchor can you remove your jumar and place It above the anchor point. Keep moving upward to the next section of rope. It can take an hour hour thirty minutes to reach the summit from the base of the headwall. You need patience for this part of the climb. You need to be fully aware of your surroundings as move slowly towards the summit.

Top tips for climbing Island Peak.

Getting Back Down

Getting to the summit is only halfway. Most accidents happen on the way back down. It is time to focus on getting back down quickly and safely. We will abseil or rappel each section of the headwall and then wait at the bottom of the head wall in a safe place.

Rappelling using a figure of 8 is straight forward but lots of practice is needed to be efficient so all our team members can get back down in a timely manner.

Retracing Your Steps

The other benefit of high camp is that we have an established camp with backup staff and resources if needed. Once we return to high camp, we usually pack up our gear and move to Island Peak Base Camp or Chuckung.

If we are late in the day, we have the option of returning to Island Peak Base Camp for the night. It takes one hour to make our way back down to Island Peak Base Camp and further 2 hours to hike back to Chuckung.

Island Peak Permits

You do not need to work about permits.  Weeks before the trip our full time staff on the ground in Kathmandu will manage this through the Nepal mountaineering association.

Securing an Island Peak permit is only possible through a certified tour company, such as Ian Taylor Trekking. That means you won’t be able to climb Island Peak independently.

What Is the Best Time to Climb Island Peak?

When you’re thinking about booking your Island Peak climb, you can either choose between climbing it during the dry season and wet season. The two differ immensely, so it’s important to consider their pros and cons.

Dry Season (October – May)

The dry season lasts from October to May. The most significant advantage is, of course, a significantly reduced chance of rain. Trekking and climbing Island Peak in the rain and snow makes it an even more challenging climb, so picking one of our dry season expeditions is probably the best choice.

On the other hand, the dry season coincides with the peak tourism seasons in Nepal. That means a lot more hikers and climbers on the trail and ropes. Additionally, with more people interested in climbing in April, May and October,  you will need to book your trip further in advance.

Wet Season (June – September)

The wet season in Nepal spans from June to September. During this period, the trial is much less crowded, especially when it comes to exploring the Everest region.  The temperatures are also slightly warmer and more humid.  It’s not a great time to be on the trail and mountain viewing can be very limited.

However, the wet season means that you are more likely to hike in the rain, making the trail more slippery and challenging. Hiking in the rain for the whole day can also be a pain, especially if you aren’t equipped with a top-quality rain jacket.

Preparing for Your Island Peak Climb

We take the climb of Island Peak seriously and you should too.  There are a range of factors that will determine your success. Firstly, you need an itinerary with plenty of acclimatization using Island Peak High Camp. Secondly, you need to develop a training plan relevant to the specific elements of the trip. Finally, make sure you understand the specific Himalayan style, fixed line climbing techniques needed to be safe high on the glacier. Read more.

Building your endurance training can be done by gradually increasing time to your cardiovascular training sessions. For instance, before you go you should be training for and hour and a half per day, four to five days a week.

This should be done while trying to keep a consistent heart rate in your endurance zone. This should be done with weight. Likewise, you will want to include a longer session or hike once a week, spending up to 6 hours hiking up and down hills, further building your strength and endurance.

However, it is not a one size fits all type of training and it may be different for each person. Do a fitness test so you can be more efficient in your training and preparation.  We are available to help you get the right training for Island Peak. Read more.

Do you have the Correct Equipment?

And lastly, there’s the case of preparing high-quality equipment. So yes, there’s a lot to consider when preparing for your Island Peak climb. Watch our packing video.

Yes, we will send you an full itemized kit list for this expedition.

Pick the Right Itinerary to Match Your Ability

Firstly, you need to do is pick the right itinerary. There is no one size fits all solution. The trail and climb can be challenging, and therefore, you should consider adding more days to your itinerary.

If you are a semi-professional mountaineering you should consider other options and our itinerary and service would not be for you.  Do not underestimate the lack of oxygen when picking an itinerary.

Therefore, you need to make sure you pick the proper acclimatization schedule and days for the Island Peak climb to safely make your way through and experience. Choosing the right itinerary is vital for a safe, enjoyable, and successful experience in a low-oxygen environment higher up the trail on Island Peak.

If you fail to acclimatize well, then you run the risk of getting altitude sickness higher up. And trust us when we say it’s not the most pleasant thing to experience in the Everest region. Make sure you have helicopter evacuation cover.

How to be Successful When Trekking at Altitude

It goes without saying the critical training is managed months before showing up in Nepal. There are few things you need correctly on the trail and climb.

Breathing techniques, low heart rates, excellent hydration, and pacing are all extremely important in order to be safe and successful. Also, you need excellent physical conditioning to be able to walk up and down thousands of feet with a weighted back pack at high altitude.

We can help you with this. DROP US AN E-MAIL today and get access to our Island Peak professionals. Most of our office staff have personally climbed Island peak. Pick up the phone and speak to us. We have the climbing team,  experience, and knowledge to help you come fully prepared for your Island Peak climb.

Useful Links

We have added some useful links below that will aid in your planning and preparation for your trek to Everest and Island Peal climb.  We have successfully led hundreds of people through these majestic mountains on their way to Island Peak.

The following links will aid in your preparation for the trip as well! And if you want to learn more about climbing Island Peak, don’t hesitate to CALL US and find out everything you need for your specific expedition.

All you Need to Know About Climbing Island Peak

1). Pick the best acclimatization itinerary for your Island Peak climb

2). Get training and learn the best way to prepare for climbing Island Peak

3). Specific training needed for climbing Island Peak

4). Get FREE constant advice from our professional team

5). Understand the daily distance on the way up and down the trek in

6). Have the right clothing and gear for your Island Peak climb

7). Pacing each day on the trail is critical to success on Island Peak

8). Why hydration is critical at high altitude and in low oxygen environments

9). What sort of food will I get on the trek and Island Peak climb

10). Read our Top 10 Tips for a successful Island Peak climb.

11). Read our Top 11 Tips for when you are on the Everest Base Camp Trek.

12). What vaccinations should you consider for your Island Peak climb

13). What type of trekking boots should you have for your Island peak approach

14). What type of mountaineering boots should you consider for climbing Island Peak

15). Where  do I get helicopter evacuation cover for my Island Peak climb

16). How does summit night on Island Peak play out

17). The diary of a pretend mountaineer

18). Climbing Island Peak in Adverse Conditions

19). Climbing Island Peak. A mid life crisis

20). You need to train hard so you can climb easy

21). 20 reasons to pick Ian Taylor Trekking for your Island Peak trip

22). Learn more about training for downhill hiking

Our Staff

At Ian Taylor Trekking, we provide the best possible service to our customers and are proud of the experience that our Nepal team bring. That is why we hire full-time staff in Nepal and It’s a win-win for our staff and customers. Our teams are motivated to provide the best possible service with a smile, and you get the most out of your Expedition!

And not only do we provide assistance for staff to further their education, but we also contribute to the growth and development of Goli Village a place where most of our staff come from.

Why Climb Island Peak with Ian Taylor Trekking?

You need to choose the right tour company that has the same climbing guides on every trip. We can help with that. By choosing Ian Taylor Trekking for your Island Peak climb, you can take advantage of an experienced team of trekking and climbing professionals to guide you through the wonders of the Everest region of Nepal.

Support a company that has invested in its local staff. We have raised funds to build a school in Uganda, four schools in Nepal, support an orphanage in Tanzania, and also help support local children in Cusco. We have our own full-time staff on the ground in Kathmandu, and we run a quality service on all our trekking and climbing trips to Island peak. CONTACT US, and we can explain how we operate our adventures in Nepal.

Climbing Island Peak – FAQs

Where to get water when hiking to Everest and Island Peak?

You don’t need to worry about your drinking water when hiking the Everest Trail with Ian Taylor Trekking. Our tour guides will provide you with cold water every morning, lunch, and evening, ensuring you are properly hydrated during your hike. The only thing we recommend you have are water purification tablets to use on the provided water. You can also buy boiled water in lodges and we offer boiled water at Island peak Base Camp and High Camp.

What will the food be like?

Besides drinking water, our staff will also provide you with top-quality food, ranging from pasta and fruits lower down to Potatoes and Dhal Bhat. You can also buy snacks on the trail to Island from local sellers. Watch our video.

Do I need to purchase special Island Peak insurance?

Although you’ll be guided by the best professionals possible, there’s always the risk of something going wrong when mountaineering. For example, if you fall sick or injure yourself and are unable to hike or climb, you will need to be evacuated. Without proper travel insurance in place, evacuation will be more than expensive.

Therefore, we always encourage our customers to purchase a dedicated travel insurance policy, whether it’s the Island Peak climb or any other of our trekking or expedition trips.

How much money to bring on my Island Peak Climb?

That depends entirely on you. Practically all the most significant costs will be covered up-front, so you won’t need to worry about food or water. Still, it might be a good idea to bring some rupees to buy snacks, coffees and visiting the many bakeries. You will also be expected to tip the porters and guides (Approx $350). Finally, there are the costs of any souvenirs you wish to purchase and meals in Kathmandu. Maybe budget $600

How much does the Island Peak Expedition cost?

That depends on which offer you choose. As covered, we only offer high quality Island Peak tours with more staff and support. We bring our own tents, food and cook. The cost will cover the higher level accommodation.  We fix our own ropes, use high camp and manage all aspects of the climb to the highest level.

You need Specific Mountaineering Training

One of the most important elements of your preparation will be in gaining mountaineering skills. You do need to be competent in abseiling/ repelling using a figure of 8 and practicing moving on fixed lines. We have courses in Scotland and Colorado. You also need to consider crossing ladders in crampons, as in some seasons you will have to cross crevasses on ladders. We do some training prior to going into Island Peak Base Camp but the more experience you have the better.

Island Peak Requires More Acclimatization

The first thing you need to do is pick the right itinerary. There is no one size fits all and you need to have as much acclimatization in the critical points of the trek and climb. Therefore, you need 3 nights acclimatization in Namche Bazaar on the way up the trail. This is vital to a safe, enjoyable and successful experience in a low oxygen environment. You also need a full training day in Chuckung, in order to do ladder training.

You also need 2 nights in Island Peak Base Camp at 5,100m/ 16,732 feet and an additional night at Island Peak High Camp at 5,500m/ 18,044 feet. Our teams carry up water, tents and all equipment and food needed for the climb. If you attempt Island Peak from Base Camp, you are increasing your level of fatigue when you need the energy to climb safely high on the mountain.

Island Peak training

The Right Physical Preparation

Breathing techniques, low heart rates, excellent hydration and pacing are all extremely important to have a safe and successful ascent of Island Peak. You also need excellent physical conditioning to be able to walk up and down hills with a weighted backpack at high altitude. We can help you with prepare for this. DROP US AN E-MAIL today and get access to the people who have climbed Island Peak many times.

Climb with Experts

There are a lot of companies offering Island Peak climbs, but none with the level of support we offer. We fix our own ropes on the Head Wall, we have more acclimatization on the way into the mountain, and we have the same guides and staff on every trip.  We helped set up the Goli Village Trust after the 2015 earthquake in support of the communities are staff live in and are from.

Also, We have our own full time staff on the ground in Kathmandu and we run a quality service on all our trekking and mountaineering itineraries. Hopefully, this information above was useful. CONTACT US and we can explain how we operate in Nepal and help you understand the mountain and how you should prepare for the trip.

Island Peak Head wall

Watch Our You Tube Videos

Our Island Peak video’s are the most watched on You Tube. Subscribe to our channel and stay up to date.  We also have a great packing video on the gear you need to bring with you to Island Peak. If you sign up to one of our trips, then we send you out an itemized kit list so you know exactly what to bring with you on this adventure. We hope this post ‘ all you need to know about climbing Island Peak was useful.  Read some reviews from our climbs and we look forward to hearing from you.

Top 10 tips for climbing Island peak
Island Peak Elements of a successful climb in adverse conditions
Expert Advice on Climbing Island Peak in Nepal