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Itinerary

Island Peak Day-to-Day Itinerary - Spring

Upon sign-up, we will send you our richly detailed, pre-trip information package.

Please note fall is generally less crowded in the Khumbu region and our Spring trip spends 1 night at BC. Both trips visit the village and monastery of Thame. Truly a unique experience and one of the most fascinating days on the Alpine Ascents trek.

Day 1

Depart country of origin

Day 2

Transit (overnight en route)

Day 3

Arrive Kathmandu by 2pm. You’ll check into the renowned Yak and Yeti Hotel, a cornerstone of the Kathmandu scene, and attend a welcome dinner with other trekkers and climbers.

Day 4

From the centrally located Yak and Yeti, we’ll begin our exploration of Kathmandu. While modern by Nepalese standards, Kathmandu is a sacred city to Hindus and Buddhists. Our tour is an important introduction to the cultures we’ll discover ahead. Kathmandu is prominently featured in Buddhist scriptures and Hindu texts, such as the Ramayana. Our tour includes the 3,000-year-old Swamayabhu (monkey temple), the great Stupa of Bodnath, and a tour of a local school.

Day 5

After final administration requirements, we’ll fly via Twin Otter to the landing strip in Lukla. Weather permitting, this flight offers outstanding views of the eastern Himalayas. In Lukla, we’ll join our Sherpa staff, load the yaks and begin the ascent to base camp. Our first day offers an easy three-hour hike to the lush environs of Phakding, located on the Dudh Kosi river.

Day 6

We’ll follow the Dudh Kosi, ascending 2,300 ft./700m through Himalayan pine and Doedar cedar forests, to the celebrated village of Namche Bazaar (11,300 ft./3,444m). The village of Namche is an historic trading post where Nepalese and Tibetan traders exchange salt, dried meat, gold and textiles. Besides being a superb place to shop for traditional crafts, Namche remains the central trading post in the Khumbu, attracting Himalayan and lowland merchants. Our group spends will spend two days in Namche affording us the opportunity to acclimate, visit local markets and spend time with friends in town. On the hike, we capture our first glimpses of Everest and neighboring peaks. Hiking time: 5-6 hours

Day 7

In the morning, we’ll take an acclimatization hike, gaining 1,000 feet to take in the vista on the patio of the Everest View Hotel (or a similar altitude trek). In the afternoon, we’ll have time to visit sights in Namche Bazaar, including the local marketplace.

Day 8

On perhaps one of the most fascinating days of the trek, we’ll travel to the village of Thame (12,464 ft./3,800m), off the main trekking path. We’ll have the unique opportunity of visiting the home of Lakpa Rita Sherpa, our Sirdar (lead Sherpa) and Everest climbing guide. His family has been a mainstay of this small community, raising yaks and farming. This gives us an intimate view of Sherpa culture while visiting a traditional home. Interestingly enough, a number of famous climbing Sherpa have come from Thame. The Thame experience is one rarely afforded to trekkers. Following afternoon tea, we climb to the Thame monastery and further explore local Buddhism. We’ll tour this 400 year-old gompa (monastery) and learn about its inner workings and the lives of its monks. As we view the monastery, we’ll discuss the wall paintings and artifacts that are central to Buddhist practice. Hopefully, we’ll have the opportunity to meet and receive a blessing from the Thame Rinpoche (head priest). Hiking time: 5 hours.

Day 9

From Thame, we’ll walk to the beautiful village of Khunde (12,400 ft./3,780m), one of the largest villages in the Khumbu, and home of Sir Edmund Hillary’s hospital and school. The day’s walk is moderate and pretty, winding through thick cedar forest. Hiking time: 6 hours

Day 10

We’ll continue on and climb to the village of Tengboche (12,683 ft./3865m), the cultural and religious center of the Khumbu. At the monastery we’ll attend Buddhist ceremonies and rituals performed by local monks. Vistas from Tengboche are spectacular. The jagged peaks of Thamserku and Kangtega stand to our south, as Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam are visible to the north. The Monastery at Tengboche is one of the most well-known in the world, as the Rinpoche is revered throughout the Buddhist community, and has authored a number of books and essays. In the past our groups have had an audience with the Rinpoche and received his blessing.
Views from this locale (one of the finest on earth), include Kwangde (20,293 ft./6,185m), Tawachee (21,457 ft./6540m), Nuptse (25,843 ft./7876m), Lhotse 27,883ft/8498m, Everest 29,035ft/8850m, Ama Dablam 22,487ft/6854m), Kantega (22,235 ft./6,777m), Thamserku (21,674 ft./6,606m). We’ll visit the community Sherpa Cultural Center and excellent nearby bakery, and descend slightly to lodge in the village of Deboche. Hiking time: 4-5 hours

Days 11-12

We’ll climb to the village of Pheriche (13,907 ft./4,238m), not far from Dingboche (a village en route to Island Peak). Pheriche has become famous for its high-altitude research center. The center attracts world-renowned physicians who acquire data to analyze the effects of high altitude on human physiology. During our stay, we’ll visit the research center and learn more about the effects of high altitude on Himalayan climbers. Hiking time: 4 hours. (We’ll also spend an additional day of acclimatizing and hiking.)

Day 13

Above Pheriche, the character of the terrain changes, and we’ll begin to understand the starkness of the high alpine landscape. Our path climbs the terminal moraine of the Khumbu glacier and continues to the settlement of Lobuje (16,174 ft./4,929m), where we’ll spend one night. This trail passes through a famous memorial that honors the many Sherpa who lost their lives in the high mountains. Lobuje is located on the flank of an old lateral moraine of the Khumbu glacier. Hiking time: 4-5 hours

Day 14

The trail winds past the Italian Research Center through the high tundra and glacial moraine to Gorak Shep (16,924 ft./5158m), the last inhabited area before Everest Base Camp. Hiking time: 4 – 5 hours.
While our Sherpa set up camp, we’ll make an ascent of Kala Pattar (18,300 ft./5,577m), a small peak with excellent views of Everest, Nuptse and nearby Pumori. Many Everest photos are taken from the summit of Kala Pattar. Gorak Shep presents a rougher environment and gives the trekker the true flavor of the nighttime rigors of mountaineering. This will be our high point of acclimatization before heading to Island Peak.

Day 15

We’ll leave Gorak Shep and cross the moraine of the great Khumbu glacier to reach Base Camp (17,300 ft./5,273 m), which lies beneath the sweeping ridges of Everest and Nuptse. We’ll spend a few hours at base camp before returning to Gorak Shep to prepare for an early morning. Hiking time: 6 hours. Night at Everest base camp.

Day 16

From Everest Base Camp , we hike 2-3 hours to Lobuche East High Camp (17,700 ft/5,400m).   The camp is located next to a small lake and offers a great view of our summit objective.  In the we will finish rigging our climbing gear and practice the fixed line and rappelling skills we will use on tomorrow’s climb. Some prior experience with fixed lines and rappelling is recommended.

Days 17-19

After moving from Dingboche with a night in Chhukung, climbers head to Island Peak Base Camp (16,690ft/5087m) which will be the starting point for our ascent the next day. The climb begins with a two hour scramble to the Imja Tse glacier. Our summit day begins from basecamp where the route ascends the east side of the mountain. There is a 30 minute glacier walk from the crampon point to the fixed line. There are two crevasses to cross, one is typically a long step and the other a short ladder crossing. The fixed line runs directly up the Southeast face to the summit with only 20 feet of ridge. The line is sixty five degrees for four hundred feet.

Days 20-23

We’ll return to Lukla, via Dingboche, Tengboche and Namche.

Day 24

We’ll take an early morning flight to Kathmandu (weather permitting) and spend much of the afternoon relaxing and enjoying the deluxe services of the Yak and Yeti hotel.

Day 25

For those interested we can take an informal walking tour of the city, including the temples and sites of Durbar Square and the Thamel section. We’ll also assist trekkers with their final shopping needs, and follow with a farewell dinner.

Day 26

Early morning departure for home.

Day 27

Arrive home.

Island Peak Day-to-Day Itinerary - Fall

Upon sign-up, we will send you our richly detailed, pre-trip information package.

Please note fall is generally less crowded in the Khumbu region and our Spring trip spends 1 night at BC. Both trips visit the village and monastery of Thame. Truly a unique experience and one of the most fascinating days on the Alpine Ascents trek.

Day 1

Depart country of origin

Day 2

Transit (overnight en route)

Day 3

Arrive Kathmandu by 2pm. You’ll check into the renowned Yak and Yeti Hotel, a cornerstone of the Kathmandu scene, and attend a welcome dinner with other trekkers and climbers.

Day 4

From the centrally located Yak and Yeti, we’ll begin our exploration of Kathmandu. While modern by Nepalese standards, Kathmandu is a sacred city to Hindus and Buddhists. Our tour is an important introduction to the cultures we’ll discover ahead. Kathmandu is prominently featured in Buddhist scriptures and Hindu texts, such as the Ramayana. Our tour includes the 3,000-year-old Swamayabhu (monkey temple), the great Stupa of Bodnath, and a tour of a local school.

Day 5

After final administration requirements, we’ll fly via Twin Otter to the landing strip in Lukla. Weather permitting, this flight offers outstanding views of the eastern Himalayas. In Lukla, we’ll join our Sherpa staff, load the yaks and begin the ascent to base camp. Our first day offers an easy three-hour hike to the lush environs of Phakding, located on the Dudh Kosi river.

Day 6

We’ll follow the Dudh Kosi, ascending 2,300 ft./700m through Himalayan pine and Doedar cedar forests, to the celebrated village of Namche Bazaar (11,300 ft./3,444m). The village of Namche is an historic trading post where Nepalese and Tibetan traders exchange salt, dried meat, gold and textiles. Besides being a superb place to shop for traditional crafts, Namche remains the central trading post in the Khumbu, attracting Himalayan and lowland merchants. Our group spends will spend two days in Namche affording us the opportunity to acclimate, visit local markets and spend time with friends in town. On the hike, we capture our first glimpses of Everest and neighboring peaks. Hiking time: 5-6 hours

Day 7

In the morning, we’ll take an acclimatization hike, gaining 1,000 feet to take in the vista on the patio of the Everest View Hotel (or a similar altitude trek). In the afternoon, we’ll have time to visit sights in Namche Bazaar, including the local marketplace.

Day 8

On perhaps one of the most fascinating days of the trek, we’ll travel to the village of Thame (12,464 ft./3,800m), off the main trekking path. We’ll have the unique opportunity of visiting the home of Lakpa Rita Sherpa, our Sirdar (lead Sherpa) and Everest climbing guide. His family has been a mainstay of this small community, raising yaks and farming. This gives us an intimate view of Sherpa culture while visiting a traditional home. Interestingly enough, a number of famous climbing Sherpa have come from Thame. The Thame experience is one rarely afforded to trekkers. Following afternoon tea, we climb to the Thame monastery and further explore local Buddhism. We’ll tour this 400 year-old gompa (monastery) and learn about its inner workings and the lives of its monks. As we view the monastery, we’ll discuss the wall paintings and artifacts that are central to Buddhist practice. Hopefully, we’ll have the opportunity to meet and receive a blessing from the Thame Rinpoche (head priest). Hiking time: 5 hours.

Day 9

From Thame, we’ll walk to the beautiful twin villages of Khunde and Khumjung (12,400 ft./3780m), two of the largest villages in the Khumbu and home of Sir Edmund Hillary’s hospital and school. The day’s walk is moderate and pretty, winding through thick cedar forest. Hiking time: 6 hours

Day 10

We’ll continue on and climb to the village of Tengboche (12,683 ft./3865m), the cultural and religious center of the Khumbu. At the monastery we’ll attend Buddhist ceremonies and rituals performed by local monks. Vistas from Tengboche are spectacular. The jagged peaks of Thamserku and Kangtega stand to our south, as Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam are visible to the north. The Monastery at Tengboche is one of the most well-known in the world, as the Rinpoche is revered throughout the Buddhist community, and has authored a number of books and essays. In the past our groups have had an audience with the Rinpoche and received his blessing.
Views from this locale (one of the finest on earth), include Kwangde (20,293 ft./6,185m), Tawachee (21,457 ft./6540m), Nuptse (25,843 ft./7876m), Lhotse 27,883ft/8498m, Everest 29,035ft/8850m, Ama Dablam 22,487ft/6854m), Kantega (22,235 ft./6,777m), Thamserku (21,674 ft./6,606m). We’ll visit the community Sherpa Cultural Center and excellent nearby bakery, and descend slightly to lodge in the village of Deboche. Hiking time: 4-5 hours

Days 11-12

We’ll climb to the village of Pheriche (13,907 ft./4,238m), not far from Dingboche (a village en route to Island Peak). Pheriche has become famous for its high-altitude medical post. The clinic attracts world-renowned physicians who acquire data from time to time to analyze the effects of high altitude on human physiology. During our stay, we’ll visit the clinic and learn more about the effects of high altitude on Himalayan climbers. Hiking time: 4 hours. (We’ll also spend an additional day of acclimatizing and hiking.)

Day 13

Above Pheriche, the character of the terrain changes, and we’ll begin to understand the starkness of the high alpine landscape. Our path climbs the terminal moraine of the Khumbu glacier and continues to the settlement of Lobuche (16,174 ft./4,929m), where we’ll spend one night. This trail passes through a famous memorial that honors the many Sherpa who lost their lives in the high mountains. Lobuje is located on the flank of an old lateral moraine of the Khumbu glacier. Hiking time: 4-5 hours

Day 14

The trail winds through the high tundra and glacial moraine to Gorak Shep (16,924ft/5158m), the last inhabited area before Everest Base Camp. Gorak Shep presents a rougher environment and gives the trekker the true flavor of the rigors of mountaineering. In the afternoon, depending on weather conditions, we will either make an ascent of Kala Pattar (18,300 ft./5577m) or cross the moraine of the great Khumbu glacier to walk to Base Camp (17,598 ft./5364m), and return to Gorak Shep for the night. Kala Pattar is a small peak with excellent views of Everest, Nuptse and nearby Pumori and will be the highpoint of acclimatization before heading to Lobuche East and Island Peak. Many well-known Everest photos are taken from the summit of Kala Pattar. Base camp lies beneath the sweeping ridges of Everest and Nuptse.

Day 15

This morning, we will either walk to Base Camp or climb Kala Pattar (whichever of the two we didn’t do the day before). Afterwards, we will descend to Lobuche, where we will sleep for the night. The slightly thicker air and more comfortable conditions in Lobuche will be a welcome change after our night up high at Gorak Shep! Hiking time: 6 hours

Day 16

From Lobuche, we hike 2-3 hours to Lobuche East High Camp (17,700 ft/5,400m). The camp is located next to a small lake and offers a great view of our summit objective. In the afternoon at camp, we will finish rigging our climbing gear and practice the fixed line and rappelling skills we will use on tomorrow’s climb. Some experience with fixed lines and rappelling is recommended.

Day 17

Our summit bid will start very early this morning, with a couple of hours hiking and scrambling up rock slabs and some gullies to the snowline. After we put on our crampons, we will climb up the Southeast ridge for about 1,500 feet on steepening snow to the summit (20,070ft/6,119m). Most of the snow climbing is done with aid of fixed lines. From the summit of Lobuche East, the vistas are amazing — close up views of the summits of Everest, Nuptse and Cholatse as well as a number of others. We return to High Camp after our climb, and spend the night there.

Day 18

We descend from High Camp and trek to the village of Dingboche, a stunning village of stone huts known for its potato fields. We will stop in Dingboche for lunch and a rest, and then continue walking for two more hours to the village of Chhukung.

Days 19-21

This morning, we head to Island Peak Base Camp (16,690ft/5087m), where we will spend the next three nights – one night before our summit bid and one night following it. The Base Camp will be the starting point for our ascent of Island Peak. The climb begins with a four hour scramble up the east side of the mountain to the Imja Tse glacier. Once on the glacier, conditions will vary from year to year, but typically there is a 60 minute glacier walk from the crampon point to the fix line. It is likely that there will be crevasses to cross, often by one or more ladders. The fix line is sixty five degrees for four hundred feet. The fix line runs directly up the Southeast face near the summit with only 200 feet of ridge.

Day 22-24

We’ll return to Lukla, via, Pangboche and Namche.

Day 25

We’ll take an early morning flight to Kathmandu (weather permitting) and spend much of the afternoon relaxing and enjoying the deluxe services of the Yak and Yeti hotel.

Day 26

Free time for you to tour the city, including the temples and sites of Durbar Square and the Thamel section. We’ll also assist trekkers with their final shopping needs, and follow with a farewell dinner.

Day 27

Early morning departure for home.

Day 28

Arrive home.

Superb logistics. Very Professional. Food and all cooking, water, juice, table setting – luxury standard. Entire experience 5 stars pus one. My guide was patient, strong, knowledgeable, and performed an incredibly difficult job with energy good grace and panache.

A similar view on our approach to base camp.
Touring the Swayambunath Temple, also known as the Monkey Temple, in Kathmandu.
Looking down into the holy Hindu temple of Pashupatinath.
Sadhus or holy men of the Pashupatinath temple.
A view down the impressive landing strip in Lukla.
Trekking through villages below the town of Namche.
Approaching the summit.
A view into the Khumbu valleyÁs largest village, Namche Bazaar.
Memorial cairns for Sherpa climbers, who have passed away.
A group inside the childhood home of Lakpa Rita, in the village of Thame.
Standing in the courtyard of the 300+ year old Thame Monastery.
Along the trail one continuously sees these ever-present mani stones or prayer stones.
The entrance to Tengboche monastery.
Evening light in Tengboche.
Young monks during the Mani Rimdu Festival at the Tengboche Monastery.
A thanka painting of the White Tara on a rock wall along the trail.
From the top of Kala Pattar a trekker looks out north towards Tibet with Mt. Everest summit ridge off to the right.
On the way out to Everest base camp with the Khumbu Icefall recognizable in the distance.
A traditional home with slate roof, along the trekking route.
Everest base camp during a spring expedition season.
Views south from the top with Baruntse in the distance on the far left and Ama Dablam on the far right.
The spectacular summit ridge of Island Peak.
View from the summit.
A similar view on our approach to base camp.

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