Everest Base Camp & Island Peak – (Mt. Imja Tse)

Trip Overview

Island Peak (Nepali: Imja Tse) at 6189m is a popular destination for trekkers and climbers alike. Its popularity is owed to the fact that the route traverses along the route to Everest Base Camp – the gateway to the highest peak of the world and with a difficulty rating of Alpine PD+, summiting the peak does not demand you be a veteran climber; however, a certain level of fitness is expected. The name was given by Eric Shipton’s party because it appears as an island in a sea of ice when viewed from Dingboche. 
Our journey begins with a short flight to Lukla, the gateway to Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park. Retracing the footsteps of legends Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Hillary we tread across the land of the ‘Sherpas’ – the respected mountaineers. Stunning backdrops of some of the highest peaks of the world – Everest, Ama Dablam, Lhotse, picturesque sceneries, monasteries that evoke reverence with the wind, gushing rivers, the route to EBC is paradise on earth, and being atop Island Peak, well you will have to experience it to know it.


Day 1

Arrival: TIA, Kathmandu
Overnight: Hotel
Arrival in Kathmandu, met by a Khempalung Adventure representative and hotel transfer. Relax the rest of the day. 

Day 2

Am: Sightseeing (optional) PM: Trek Briefing/Last minute essentials purchase
Overnight at Hotel
The day is required for us to procure necessary permits and other legal documentations to grant guests permission to climb a peak in Nepal. 

In the meantime: 

AM: Tour Kathmandu valley and travel through time as you visit UNESCO Heritage sites like the Durbar Squares and Swayambhu Temple.

PM: Briefing about the trek and allow time for last minute purchases of necessary equipments. 

Day 3

Flight: Lukla, Trek: Phakding (2652m)
Overnight: Lodge     Trek Duration: 3 – 3 ½ hours. 
Take in the Himalayas as you take a spectacular flight to Lukla – the gateway to Everest. Upon arrival, necessary introduction with the porters and a short tea/coffee break. 

Begin trek as we leave the small town of Lukla and cross a suspension bridge. Pursue trail, cross villages of Chaunri Kharka (2713m) and Ghat (2550m) and descend down to reach the Dudh Kosi River at Phakding (2652m). 

Day 4

Namche Bazaar (3447 m)
Overnight: Lodge     Trek Duration: 5 – 5 ½ hours. 
Follow trail along left bank of Dudh Kosi, pass along agricultural fields, small villages and a monastery, Cross the river at Benkar to be greeted with tantalizing glimpses of Kusum Kunguru (6369m) and Thamserku (6623m). Steep climb of 20 mins to Monjo, lunch stop. 

Post lunch, trek up to the check post, register one’s entry and enter Sagarmatha National Park. Follow Dudh Kosi, cross a suspension bridge and begin a 3 hour ascent to Namche Bazar. 

Halfway along, our first peek into views of the majestic three – Everest (8848m), Nuptse (7879m) and Lhotse (8383m). Reach Namche. 

Day 5

Khumjung (3780 m) via Everest View Hotel
Overnight: Lodge          Trek Duration: 3 ½ – 4 ½ hours.
Set out from Namche Bazar and reach a small pass – a steep ascent awaits you. Reach Syangboche which features an inoperative airport with a stone plowed runway. A pleasant hike through meadows and small remnants of coniferous forests with beautifully scattered rhododendrons. Kongde Ri (6186m) is behind you. 

We reach Everest View Hotel which features unspoiled views of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse amongst other Himalayan peaks. Head towards towards Khumjung– the largest Sherpa village in Khumbu. 

Day 6

Phortse (3800 m)
Overnight: Lodge     Trek Duration: 4 ½ hours. 
A steep walk towards Mong La pass as we pursue our journey towards EBC. Be greeted with spectacular views of Ama Dablam and Khumbila mountains. Our destination for the day is a very traditional Sherpa village by the name of Phortse where we are likely to spot Himalayan tahr (mountain goats), musk deers and Daphne – the national bird of Nepal. 

Day 7

Dingboche (4350 m)
Overnight: Lodge     Trek Duration: 5 ½ hours.
Stunning views of Tengboche and Ama Dablam as we climb up a ridge towards Imja Khola Valley. We reach Pangboche which has an ancient monastery famous for its purported possession of Yeti scalp and hand (the hand is believed to have been stolen). Stop for lunch. 

Continue up the glacial valley to Dingboche – en route we pass beautifully carved and inscribed prayer stones – a tribute to the gods as offered by the natives of Khumbu region who revere the Himalayas. 

Day 8

Rest/Acclimatization: Dingboche (4350 m)
Overnight: Lodge     Trek Duration: 3 – 3 ½ 
In the mountains, to avoid AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness), it is advised to take rest – let the body acclimatize to the change in altitude. Thus today, we allow a rest day and allow our bodies to adapt before heading higher up.  After breakfast hike to the hill top on the left. Magnificent views of the surrounding Himalayas of Amadablum, Thamsherku, Kangtega etc are visible. One also gets to see the Pheriche village from the top. 

Day 9

Lobuche (4930 m)
Overnight: Lodge       Trek Duration: 4 – 4 ½ hours.
Follow and ill-defined track across the open landscape – a short steep ascent leads to you to a hill top. Travel along the ridge and arrive at Thugla for an early lunch. (Note: Due to the unavailability of water ahead, this is the only lunch stop available, thus an early lunch). 

A steep ascent for an hour and we reach a beautiful memorial site – in remembrance to the brave mountaineers who died during their expeditions. The memorial chortens (shrines) dot the skyline facing the mountains and overlook the valley below them.

The trail leads to the terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. A stunning view of the Pumori (Widow’s Peak) is ahead of us. After an hour of steady trek through the moraine, arrive at the windswept valley of Lobuche. Settle down and absorb without interruption, the mesmerizing views of Tawatse (6501m) and Nuptse (7855m). 

Day 10

Gorakshep (5160m) – Everest Base Camp (5360m) – Gorakshep
Overnight: Lodge       Trek Duration: 7 ½ – 8 ½ hours. 
Travel along the Khumbu Glacier through jumbled moraines and scattered rocks – on a clear day Everest can be seen looming behind Nuptse. Approach the ridge above Gorakshep and tread down to reach it. 

Gorakshep was used as EBC during the 1950s expeditions and has several monuments dedicated to Everest expeditioners who lost their lives during their attempts to scale Everest. After a short rest, we head up to the EBC – just below the infamous Khumbu Icefall. 

The EBC is not a specific location, more of a scattered region, where each expedition team sets camp before heading on towards the summit. Watch the towering mountain ranges surrounding us and be in awe of the treacherous Khumbu Icefall as we trek alongside it. Return to Gorakshep. 

Day 11

Kala Patthar (5545) and back to Lobuche
Overnight: Lodge       Trek Duration: 6 ½ – 7 ½ hours.
After an early breakfast and an arduous trek up hill, reach Kala Patthar to be rewarded with some of the best views of Mt. Everest and other surrounding high peaks– Pumori (7145m), Changtse (7553m), Nuptse (7855m), Lhotse (8516m) and Ama Dablam amongst many others. Breathtaking, stunning, spectacular, awe-inspiring, one will run out of adjectives whilst describing the Himalayas. 

Best viewed after noon as the sun is behind the observer and on the majestic mountains ahead of you.  

After a short rest and refreshments, follow the trail back to Lobuche.

Day 12

Overnight: Lodge     Trek Duration: 4 – 4 ½ hours.
Post breakfast, cross the stream, and head towards the Sherpa Memorial and proceed to Thugla. The day’s trek will be relatively easy as we will be going downhill. Past Chortens and Mani wall, we approach Chukung Valley and the prosperous village of Dingboche. 

Day 13

Chhukung (4750m)
Overnight: Lodge     Trek Duration: 3 ½ hours.
From Dingboche we take the trail through Imja Khola valley – a land raven by glacier moraines amidst towering formidable mountains – Lhotse on your left and Ama Dablam on your right. After an hour’s walk we reach a yak herdmen’s place Bibre – straight ahead, beyond a terminal moraine wall soars the Island Peak (Imja Tse) – its peak your destination. 

The trail ahead is intersected by icy streams; about half an hour from Bibre we reach Chukung. An option might be to hike to the rocky knoll of Chhukung Ri which offers stunning views of Lhotse, Island Peak, Ama Dablam, Makalu and several other peaks including Baruntse. 

P.M.:  Equipment Check. 

Day 14

Paresya Gyab (5150m) Base Camp of Island Peak
Overnight at Base Camp. (Camping / Tented accommodation)
Walk past the small village of Chhukung and the path leads a fairly steep way. A crisscross route through the Imja and Lhotse glacier leads to a wide valley exposing the SW side of Island peak. 

Pre-Climb Training: After lunch our guides will familiarize you with gears and various techniques to adopt during the climb. Learn how to use an ice axe, climbing boots and crampons, harness, ascender, and how to go up and down using ropes. 

Day 15

Summit Island Peak (6189m) & back to Base Camp
Overnight at Base Camp. (Camping / Tented accommodation)
We start our day early. With assistance of our headlight, we follow the path that leads up beyond the base camp, the terrain changes as we gain altitude from sandy, to grassy, to boulder strewn. The slope narrows and we enter a steep rock channel. 

Time to rope-up and put on our crampons as we begin the crossing the glacier. We follow a steep snow slope that leads us onto the summit ridge. Voila! You are atop Island Peak. Bask in the glory and let the airy wind blowing above the peak wash you. Look around you and notice how beautiful and majestic nature’s creations are – immerse yourself in the peace and tranquility of the summit. 

Take in the view before you descend – the south face of Lhotse and other towering peaks. Descend to Base Camp. 

Day 16

Contingency day in case of Bad weather.
Overnight: Tented Camp OR Lodge
Contingency day to be used incase of bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances 

Day 17

Pangboche (3985 m)
Overnight: Lodge     Trek Duration: 4 ½ – 5 ½ hours.
Our return journey begins – via scattered rocks and jumble moraines we reach Chhukung and then Dingboche and all the way to Pangboche. The altitude change and the warmer climate are embraced and the sense of accomplishments enthralling.  

Day 18

Monjo via Thyangboche
Overnight: Lodge      Trek Duration: 7 – 7 ½ hours.
Cross forests of fir and rhododendron and the beautiful meadows of Devouche. A short climb to Thyangboche, have lunch. Take in the views as we approach our last days in the laps of the Himalayas. Follow the trail back to Namche, have lunch, continue downhill, leave the premises of Sagarmatha National Park at Jorsale and head to Monjo, where we overnight. 

Day 19

Overnight: Lodge     Trek Duration: 5 ½ – 6  hours.
Retrace our steps along the Dudh Kosi crossing to the western bank at Benkar. Lunch at Phakding and in the afternoon reach Luka. 

A farewell dinner in the evening over celebratory drinks and dancing with our Sherpa friends. 

Day 20

Flight: Lukla – Kathmandu
Overnight: Hotel (45 minutes flight)
Early morning, take a flight to Kathmandu in a twin otter aircraft. Upon arrival, be met and transferred to hotel by representative. 

Day 21

Free day in Kathmandu
Overnight: Hotel.
Free day in Kathmandu to rest, relax and shop on your own.

Day 22

Last minute shopping of souvenirs and transfer to TIA, Kathmandu.

Head home, or to your next destination with beautiful memories and a wide glossary of experiences. Watch the Himalayas pass by. 

Trip Facts

Best Period: Feb, to, May – Oct to Dec

Time Period: 21 Nights / 22 Days.

Trek Period: 15 Nights / 16 Days

Climb Period: 2 Nights / 3 Days

In Kathmandu: 3 Nights

Flights: (Kathmandu/Lukla/Kathmandu)

Trek Type: Strenuous

Highest Altitude: 6189 meters

Warning: Altitude Sickness.

Accommodations: Hotels in Kathmandu / Lodges on trek  / Camping when climbing


National Park: Sagarmatha National Park (1148 sq. kms)

Mountains: Everest, Lhotse, Tamserku, Ama Dablam, Nuptse,  Kantega, Pumo-ri, etc. 

Rivers: Bhote Kosi, Dudh Kosi and Imjatse Khola etc.

Villages: Lukla, Namche, Thyangboche, etc. 

Tribes: Mostly Sherpas & Tibetans 

Forest: Of Rhododendron and Pine. 

Landscapes: Varying from temperate valleys to snow clad mountains

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