Island Peak – 20,305′

Don’t be misled by the appellation, the Trekking Peaks of Nepal can certainly offer their share of challenging mountain climbing! Mountain Trip offers a range of objectives in a variety of regions in this culturally diverse country. All of our expeditions are combined with a trek in to the mountaineering objective and so are also accessible to fit trekkers who might like to join us as we stroll amidst stunning landscapes and sample the rich mountain cultures.

We love leading trips to the Khumbu region of Nepal, where climbers will have the opportunity to challenge themselves on the 20,305’ (6189m) Imja-tse (Island Peak). This is a great choice for those wishing to experience high altitude mountaineering in a dramatic setting. One of the world’s great alpine walls, the South Face of the 8,516 meter giant Lhotse, provides a spectacular backdrop to our climb.

We combine the Island Peak climbing expedition with a trek through the Khumbu region to Everest Base Camp. Beginning at the airstrip in Lukla, we will explore the Sherpa trading center of Namche Bazaar and the religious and cultural center of the Tengboche Monastery.

As we continue to explore the Khumbu Valley, we will stop and visit the Himalayan Rescue Association clinic in Pheriche as we further our acclimatization with some of the most spectacular hiking on the planet. Above Pheriche we hike along the massive Khumbu Glacier as we make our way toward Everest Base Camp. A memorable objective in its own right, we will make an acclimatization climb of 18,300’ Kala Pattar, a stunningly situated satellite peak with views of Everest, Nuptse and Pumori before briefly re-tracing our route back toward the village of Dingboche.

From the idyllic stone houses and fences of Dingboche we hike under the beautiful Ama Dablam toward the village of Chukkung en route to our 16,690’ Island Peak expedition base camp. Our Island Peak ascent climbs the narrow Southwest Ridge to the breathtaking summit surrounded by the majesty of Makalu, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and the holy peak of Cho Polu. After savoring the rewards of our efforts, we descend to our Base Camp and ready ourselves for the journey back to Lukla.

Participants in the Island Peak climbing expedition should have some basic mountaineering experience and be good physical condition. Though we will only be hiking with day packs, trekkers also need to be in good shape as the mountainous terrain that creates such majesty in the Khumbu region lends itself to rugged hiking.

Day 1:  Arrive Kathmandu:

Day 2:  Explore Kathmandu:

Day 3:  Fly to Lukla:

Day 4:  Trek to Namche:

Day 5:  Explore Namche:

Day 6:  Hike to Deboche:

Day 7:  Trek to Dingboche:

Day 8:  Rest in Dingboche:

Day 9:  Rest in Dingboche:

Day 10:  Trek to Lobuche:

Day 11:  Trek to Gorak Shep:

Day 12:  Trek to EBC:

Day 13:  Explore EBC:

Day 14:  Trek to Lobuche:

Day 15:  Trek to Dingboche:

Day 16:  Trek to Island Peak BC:

Day 17:  Rest and prepare Island Peak BC 18 Climb Island Peak:

Day 19:  Extra Day:

Day 20:  Trek to Dingboche:

Day 21:  Trek to Namche:

Day 22:  Trek to Lukla:

Day 23:  Fly to Kathmandu:

Day 24:  Flights Home:  !

The following is a general list of required gear for climbing Island Peak with Mountain Trip. Climbers joining us on an expedition will receive an updated, comprehensive equipment list that may supersede this list.

Many of the items on the list need to fit you well in order for you to fully enjoy your experience on the mountain. Please plan ahead with equipment purchased for your trip so you can be certain that your gear fits you well. the long hike up to Namche Bazaar is not the place to discover that your day pack is too small for your trekking kit, or that your hiking shoes give you blisters. Recommended items reflect the opinions of our guides. We have used and have faith in all of our recommendations, but they may not necessarily fit or work for you.

Call or email us with any gear questions. We want you to be as prepared as possible for your expedition.

Please follow this list closely and do not hesitate to call us for clarifications or to solicit an opinion about anything you are considering. There is often a decent selection of gear available in Kathmandu, but it is really hit or miss, so please do not plan to purchase items in Nepal.  Only bring quality gear that is in very good condition, as it will all get tested.

Footwear

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Trekking SocksTrekking socks do not need to be as thick or warm as mountaineering socks. Most trekkers prefer a light to medium weight, wool or wool/synthetic blend sock for use with trekking shoes. Some trekkers are fans of using a sock system of a very light synthetic sock with their light socks. Make certain that your socks do not make your trekking shoes too tight, as this will result in cold toes. Aconcagua climbers should bring 2 - 3 pair for the trekking portion of the climb. Nepal trekkers should bring 4 - 5 pair.
Mountaineering BootsModern Mountaineering Boots fall into two categories, traditional double boots and the newer triple boot systems with integrated gaiters. Either variety works well, however the “triple boots” are lighter and arguably simpler. Whichever you decide to use, the goal is to have warm, comfortable feet! Try on a variety of boots as they all fit differently and get the one that fits well. Consider your future mountaineering objectives when purchasing boots as well.

Recommended Triple Boots: La Sportiva OLYMPUS MONS EVO, Boreal G1 Expedition, Scarpa PHANTOM 8000 or Lowa 8000 GTX

Recommended Double Boots: La Sportiva BARUNTSE, or SPANTIK, Boreal G1 Lite or the Scarpa “INVERNO” with High Altitude Liners or aftermarket liners.

Guides' Tip: A great upgrade to any plastic boot are the Denali Liners by Intuition. These are lighter and warmer than almost any stock liners. They are heat molded to fit your feet and are worth every penny.
GaitersAny height gaiters will work for most trips, but tall versions like Black Diamond’s “Frontpoint Gore-tex” are better for snow and for protecting your pants while ice climbing.

Torso Layers

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Wind ShirtMany high alpine peaks are cold and dry. If you are not getting rained on or experiencing wet snow, perhaps you do not need a waterproof jacket? We are huge fans of very lightweight windshirts for peaks like Denali and Aconcagua. Weighing just a few ounces, these can be carried in your pocket or in the lid of your pack for rapid deployment. They can replace your hard shell on many mountains, saving you a half a pound or more.
“T” or Sun ShirtSynthetic or synthetic/cotton blend shirts are nice for hiding from the sun. Long sleeve "sun hoodies" are becoming increasingly popular, as they provide a high level of sun protection. Other people favor ventilated, button up shirts- either long or short-sleeved. Whatever you choose, consider it as part of your system, and try it out before your trip.
Soft Shell JacketMany big, cold mountains do not require a fully waterproof jacket. Soft shell jackets are much more breathable and comfortable than Gore-tex, and we are fans whenever they are appropriate. Soft shell is a general term for highly breathable layers that still cut most, if not all of the wind. Some trips require a hard shell down low, but can be climbed using soft shells higher up on the mountain.
Hard Shell JacketThis jacket should be large enough to go over your fleece clothing layer. You do not need the burliest Gore-Tex jacket you can find, and we prefer the lightest weight versions. Many people are climbing peaks such as Denali, Aconcagua and Everest using very lightweight, windproof, water resistant shells, rather than fully waterproof jackets. Other trips, such as Carstensz Pyramid and Ecuador, are notoriously wet and absolutely need waterproof layers. Long expeditions like Everest also need this layer. Contact us to see if your particular trip needs this layer for your trip.
“Puffy,” Synthetic JacketSize this layer to fit over your light fleece and wind shell. We are fans of the puffy, Primaloft jackets because they are lighter and warmer than thick fleece and compress down much smaller. A hood is a recommended feature in this layer, but is not necessary.
Light Fleece TopYou'll want a light fleece top in a weight similar to Capilene 4 from Patagonia, or Powerstretch from Polartec. A rather deep zip t-neck really helps with ventilating and we are fans of a hooded version for this layer.
Base Layer Top(1 or 2 sets) Synthetic layers work well, such as Capilene 2 or 3 from Patagonia. There are some really nice Merino wool options on the market as well. One set it sufficient for most expeditions and for overnight trips, however; the choice as to whether to bring a second set is a personal one, based on your level of comfort with wearing the same clothes for days or weeks at a time.

Leg Layers

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Hard Shell, Waterproof PantsIf there is a probability or good possibility of getting wet, you will need to have waterproof breathable pants. Also known as Hard Shell Pants, these should be as light weight as possible, and should have fully separating side zippers, so you can put them on and remove them over your boots. Gore Tex is commonly used, but there are a number of other materials that work fine. On some peaks, you might carry hard shell pants for the lower mountain, but switch to soft shell pants for the colder and drier upper mountain.
UnderwearConsider synthetic or Merino wool for your underwear. Most longer trips, such as Aconcagua or Denali, typically require 3-4 pair, but choose your quantity based on your personal level of comfort. Ladies might consider bringing additional pairs.
Soft Shell PantsWe are fans of soft shell pants for use in the mountains. Also known as stretch-woven pants, these are breathable and comfortable enough to wear day in and day out on most expeditions. They cut most of the wind and are water resistant, meaning you can often use them in place of waterproof (not very breathable) hard shell pants on many climbs. On peaks like Denali and Aconcagua, you can wear them in lieu of your hard shell pants for much of the expedition.
Light Fleece BottomsAs the air thins and the wind picks up, you'll want a bit more insulation on your legs. Light fleece bottoms, such as the Capilene 4 bottoms from Patagonia are breathable and have a broad comfort range, so you can wear them all day long, even if the sun pokes out from the clouds. If you tend to run cold, consider thicker fleece, such as Powerstretch from Polartec, which most outdoor clothing manufacturers also use.
Base Layer BottomsLightweight synthetic or Merino wool bottoms are a good choice for this layer. Synthetic seems to wick a bit better and is the choice of most of our guides, but Merino tends to be more fragrance-free, and many people appreciate that quality. One pair is sufficient for overnight climbs and most expeditions, even longer climbs such as Denali and Aconcagua. Everest climbers should bring two pair.

Head and Hands

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Glacier GlassesGlacier glasses are most commonly used on big mountains, but some wrap around, sport-style glasses also work well. Whichever you bring, they must have side protection and filter 100% UVA and UVB rays. Increasingly, sun glasses are divided into categories of light transmission, and for snowy or glaciated climbs, you will want glasses rated to Category 3 or higher.
Sun HatBaseball type or wide brimmed sun hats are required for protection against the intense sunshine found on many peaks. You can combine a baseball hat with a bandana for good sun protection or go for a wide brimmed version to protect your face, ears and neck.
Buff Neck GaiterBuff is a brand of light weight neck gaiters that have grown to become a staple of every guide's kit. These are amazingly versatile, and can be worn as a hat, a neck gaiter or pulled over your face for protection from the wind or sun. They come in many thicknesses nowadays, but we prefer the original weight for its versatility.
Light Weight GlovesWhen the sun comes out on a glacier, the temperature can soar. Light weight, soft shell gloves are great for keeping the sun off your hands, while still giving you a bit of protection from the wind and cold.
Medium Weight GlovesMid-weight gloves have become increasingly popular in recent years, gaining traction on the traditional heavyweight gloves as the go-to hand protection on many trips. Appropriate gloves will have light synthetic fill and are often waterproof.
Heavyweight GlovesWarm, insulated gloves are the day-to-day workhorses on cold peaks or for cold days of ice climbing. We prefer gloves with removable liners for ease of drying. It’s hard to stress how much you’ll be wearing these, so do not skimp on this item. Gloves should fit snugly, but not be too tight, and try them out before you purchase them, as some brand name gloves have pretty terrible dexterity.

Sleeping Gear

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Foam Sleeping PadBringing two sleeping pads, one closed cell foam and the other an inflatable pad, will provide additional comfort and insulation, as well as a bit of insurance in case you have a catastrophic failure of your inflatable pad.
Inflatable Sleeping PadInflatable pads have improved tremendously in recent years. Whether you choose a self inflating pad or one that requires some pumping to inflate, select a pad that is warm and comfortable.

Packs and Duffels

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Large Zippered DuffelYou'll want an XL sized (90 – 120L) duffel for your expedition. Lightweight and inexpensive bags work fine, although water resistant bags like the Patagonia Black Hole Bag 120L are nice for their toughness to weight ratio. A quality bag can work for a sled bag on Denali, a mule bag on Aconcagua and an all around travel bag.

Climbing Gear

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Prussik CordIn addition to our one, full-handled ascender, we will use one prussik loop for glacier travel. Bring five feet of 6 or 7mm perlon cord for tying into a prussik loop. Your guides will assist with this in Anchorage.
Climbing HelmetMake certain it fits over your warmest hat and under the hood of your shell. We have seen a couple super-lightweight foam helmets get crushed in duffel bags bag during travel, so protect your lid!
Locking CarabinersBring three locking carabiners. Screwgate or auto-locking 'biners work equally well, although the new magnetic gate versions seem like they might be less prone to freezing closed. Select light weight carabiners.
Climbing HarnessYour harness should be adjustable enough to accommodate several layers of clothing. As with most items on this list, choose a light weight harness.
Ice AxeA general use, mountaineering axe is sufficient for this climb. Some axes are much lighter than others, so select for weight as well as a size for your height. Most climbers do well with a 60 - 75 cm axe. On less technical routes, a longer axe can act like a walking stick on flatter terrain.

Other

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Personal Music PlayeriPods and the like are really nice on a long trip. At altitude, hard drive based devices stop working, so make certain that you bring a flash drive (solid state) music player. Also consider how you will keep it charged, and bring whatever is necessary to keep you in time to the beat.
Small KnifeA small knife or small multi-tool is also handy to have. One per tent is sufficient. There is emphasis on the word small when it comes to multi-tools!
Altimeter WatchAn altimeter watch can be fun to have on an expedition to keep track of your ascent and to watch for changes in barometric pressure.
Journal (and pencil)Expeditions can be a great time for reflection and a journal can be a nice way to wax poetic or just keep track of what you did each day. Keep it small and leave the leather bound version at home.
Book(s) or E-ReaderThere is a lot of "down time" on an expedition, even when you have good weather. A book or two can help pass the time. E-Readers have gained popularity in recent years, as they enable you to have dozens (or hundreds) of books at your disposal. E-Readers present certain challenges, but can be a great way to keep your sanity during a long storm. Consider how you will recharge your e-Reader.
CameraSmall, light weight point and shoot cameras are most popular among climbers. Be sure to bring extra memory and batteries!
Personal Medical KitMountain Trip's guides will have fairly comprehensive medical kits developed by our Medical Director, but we encourage each climber to bring a small, personal kit. Items to consider bringing include: blister treatment and prevention, pain relievers, and antacids. Presctiption medications should be based on consultation with your personal physician. Suggested drugs for altitude expeditions include: Diamox (acetazolomide) 125 mg, Decadron (dexamthazone) 4 mg, Nifedipine XR 30 mg, and a couple of antibiotics for respiratory and gastrointestinal issues.
P-BottleWide-mouth, collapsible Nalgene Cantenes work great- they make a 96 ounce version, which will come in handy during long storms or if you take Diamox. Ladies- look for an appropriate adapter available at your local outdoors store. These items can both be tough to find in Anchorage so plan ahead!
Toiletry KitTooth brush & paste, dental floss, Handi-wipes (1 per day on average), a small bottle of hand sanitizer, perhaps some foot powder… keep it small!!!
Toilet PaperDepending on your technique, you'll want 1-2 rolls, each packed in a quality zip-lock bag.

Refunds and Cancellations

Mountain Trip recognizes how difficult and disappointing it can be for climbers who must cancel expeditions which they have planned for a long time. Team members must also recognize that, due to the nature of planning expeditions and dealing with governmental permits and regulations, Mountain Trip also accrues significant expenses in the months prior to expedition departure dates. We must therefore adhere to a strict refund policy for all climbers. Trip cancellation and travel insurance is generally available for all expeditions. U.S. and Canadian residents should contact us for more information regarding travel insurance. Our refund and cancellation policy is outlined below.

  • All expeditions require a deposit to secure a spot on the team. Your submission of a deposit constitutes your acceptance of this Fee Schedule, Refund and Cancellation Policy.
  • All deposits for Island Peak expeditions include a non-refundable $750 administration fee.
  • Final payments for expeditions must be received 120 days prior to the Team Meeting Day.
  • Failure to pay expedition fees by the date they are due constitutes cancellation of your spot on the team and forfeiture of your deposit.
  • Any cancellation 120+ days before your Team Meeting Day will be refunded in full, less the administration fee.
  • If you cancel 120-90 days before your Team Meeting Day, you are eligible for a refund of 50% of any monies paid, less the deposit.
  • No refunds will be provided for cancellations occurring within the last 89 days prior to an expedition.
  • All requests for refunds must be made in writing and received in our Colorado office.
  • If you register for a climb within 90 days of the Team Meeting Date, expedition fees will be due in full to secure your spot on the team.
  • Mountain Trip reserves the right to cancel an expedition prior to the departure date for any reason. In such an event, all monies collected by Mountain Trip from team members for that expedition shall be promptly refunded. This is the extent of our financial liability.

 

Inclusions and Exclusions

Included in the Trip Fee:

  • Mountain Trip Guide.  Your expedition will be led by one of our guides with extensive 6000 meter experience.
  • Climbing permits
  • Sherpa support.  We have an all-star team of Sherpa who work with us in the Khumbu.
  • Hotel transfers in Kathmandu
  • Up to three nights hotel lodging in Kathmandu at a 4-star hotel
  • Welcome Dinner in Kathmandu
  • Scheduled group flights via fixed wing aircraft between Kathmandu and Lukla
  • All food and lodging during the trek to BC
  • Group climbing and camping equipment
  • All porter support to/from Base Camp
  • Custom expedition dispatches so your friends and family can follow along on your adventure.

Not Included in the Trip Fee:

  • Trip Cancellation Insurance.  US and Canadian residents can contact us for insurance options.
  • International flights to and from Nepal
  • Kathmandu personal expenses (apart from those included above)
  • Personal equipment per our equipment list
  • Customary gratuities for local staff and Mountain Trip guide(s)
  • Sodas, beer, bottled water, internet, and assorted “extras” during the trek to Island Peak Base Camp
  • Expenses incurred as a result of an early departure from the expedition
  • Expenses incurred due to delays beyond the control of Mountain Trip

 

General Agreement Concerning Services to be Provided And Responsibilities of Team Members

When registering for an expedition with Mountain Trip we want to help make sure you understand the services we are providing and the services you are responsible for.

Transportation is incidental

The main purpose of becoming a team member is to join us on an expedition in the mountains. As such any transportation we provide or that you may contract for on your own is incidental to the trip. We suggest that you make sure you have time built into your itinerary for delays.

Transportation to and from your destination

We will designate a specific Team Meeting Day for your expedition. Transportation to the meeting point on your Team Meeting Day is to be provided by you. You must arrive in time to be ready to participate in a team meeting at the appointed time on the Team Meeting Day for your expedition. Expedition climbing is very dynamic and we will provide you with a recommendation as to when you should book your flights to and from your destination. We suggest you book a ticket that allows you to change your flight with little effort or cost.

Lodging off the mountain

Mountain Trip will provide lodging per the Inclusions and Exclusions section above. Any additional lodging is your responsibility. Don’t worry about booking a room after your expedition. We generally don’t know how long we’ll be in the mountains, and we can help arrange lodging when we return to “civilization.”

Responsibilities of Team Members

You are ultimately responsible for your own well-being, including making all necessary preparations to ensure good health and physical conditioning. You are responsible for understanding the conditions that may exist on the climb and choosing a climb that is appropriate for your abilities and interests. You are responsible for having knowledge of all pre-departure information and for assembling the appropriate clothing and equipment for your climb.

While on the expedition, team members are responsible to maintain basic levels of hygiene and to conduct themselves respectfully with other team members and members of the local population. If a guide feels that a team member is putting other members’ health or safety at risk, the guide has the discretion to remove a team member from an expedition.

Use our office staff and your lead guide as pre-trip resources to ensure that all your questions are answered. Travel insurance may help recoup expenses if you need to leave an expedition due to an illness.

Airline Responsibility Passenger/Airline contracts are in effect while team members are on board any aircraft contracted for use in the expedition.

Share Button