Island Peak Frequently Asked Questions
Upon sign up we will forward our famed, comprehensive confirmation package. This package will include all of the details for your trip.
What is the skill level of this climb?
Climbers should have successfully completed our 6-Day Training course or performed well on a 3 day climb such as Rainier or Mt. Baker, or have equivalent skills and experience. Climbers must be mentally prepared to deal with strenuous situations at high altitudes. The requirements are also based on our desire to have similarly skilled team members.
What is the physical conditioning level needed for this climb?
Climbers must be in excellent physical condition. Summit day can be 10-14 hours long.
Any tips on how a climber can maximize their chances of success?
Along with the required climbing skills, review cardio training on the training page for this climb. We strongly recommend following the advice of our guides to acclimatize properly.
Who is the guiding team composed of (How many guides? Climber to guide ratio?)
Your expedition leader will be one of our International Mountain Guides. They will have along as many assistant guides as necessary to ensure a low climber to guide ratio. See more on guides here.
What is the best season to climb / which dates will have the most chance for success?
The best time to climbIsland Peak is in April and October.
How many climbers are on this expedition?
Generally, our maximum for this climb is 15 climbers plus guides and Sherpa.
Will I be sharing a tent or lodging with other climbers?
During the trek we will be lodging in teahouses (very simple lodging). During the climb, we will be in a fully stocked camp tent at Island Peak Base Camp. Team members will be either sharing a teahouse room (2 per room) or a tent (2 per tent) while at Base Camp.
How much will my pack weigh?
During the trek and climb team members will only be carrying gear and supplies for the day. At no point do we carry camping gear or equipment for overnight. During the trek daypacks will weigh no more than 20 lbs. and during the climb the packs will weigh no more than 30 lbs.
What gear will I need?
Please review the gear list.
How does your gear rental system work?
Those requesting rental gear must submit an online expedition rental form with payment. All rental gear will be mailed to the climber prior to the climb. Climbers are expected to clean all rental gear and return it to us by mail following the expedition.
Any further advice on gear and using your gear list?
While all items are required there may be times when some of the items on the gear list may not be used (such as warm weather or changing conditions). The gear lists are created by the guides to assist in having climbers be prepared to summit in any conditions.
While it is impossible for us to list all brands for certain gear, we do offer a wide variety of equipment in our Gear Shop, that has been hand-picked by our staff of mountaineering experts. Please feel free to call our offices with any gear questions or substitutes. Plastic boots are required for this climb.
How is drinking water treated?
During the trek we will provide unlimited amounts of water at mealtimes. Team members can fill up water bottles at meals and use their Steri pen to sterilize. Bottled water can also be purchased in teahouses at additional cost but can be expensive and creates waste. Once in BC water will be boiled.
What will the meals on the expedition be like?
Meals in the mountains consist of a diet rich in carbohydrates because our bodies do not process fat and protein efficiently at higher elevations and to compensate the increase in caloric need that high altitude climbing involves. We try to make meals and breakfast varied and as normal as possible. During the trek we will be served meals in the teahouses but prepared by our own staff. Meals during the trek and climb are made from food both purchased in Nepal and the U.S. Typical meals are rice, pasta or potato dishes along with vegetable and egg dishes. During lunches we will also have a cooked meal. Above BC climbing food mainly consists of dried meals such as pastas or rice. Lunches while climbing will mainly be made up of bars and snacks brought from the U.S.
Can I bring some food from home?
You may bring power bars, Gu, Power Gel, cereal bars or similar high energy foods, powder Gatorade is also recommended to fight dehydration. All meals are provided on this expedition.
Are there any innoculation requirements?
No requirements at this time
What is the best air route to my destination?
Most routes from the States to Kathmandu are via Asia but there are many options via Europe as well.
When should I book my flight? Do I need to use your Travel Agent?
Fares are generally less expensive when booked early. You may use our Travel Agent (Charles Mulvehill 1-800-727-2157) or book flights yourself. Please note that flights booked online are often difficult to change. Please send us a copy of your flight schedule as early as possible as this allows us to book pick ups and hotels.
What time should I arrive and leave and where do I meet the guides?
We will pick up all climbers and trekkers at the airport. Guides will often meet you upon arrival at the hotel or at our first planned meeting.
What if I arrive early or depart late? Can you arrange extra night lodging? Is there a single room option for this expedition?
We are happy to make arrangements such as personalized tours, extra hotels rooms, airport pick ups and arrange for private rooms. Please indicate that you would like a private room on your application and we will contact you with information on single room supplement costs (for hotels only).
Are there any entry or Visa requirements?
The easiest way to obtain a visa is in the Kathmandu airport. Upon arrival in the KTM airport fill out the necessary forms and proceed to the visa line. As visa prices change often we suggest taking a variety of cash denominations, such as (2) $20.00 bills (1) $10.00 bill (1) $5.00 bill. We will obtain a trekking permit for you in KTM.
- Current visa cost is $30.00 and is subject to change
- Please obtain a one month visa
Is there any communication while we are on the mountain?
Cell phones work in many parts of the Khumbu as well as in Kathmandu. We can assist you in getting a local sim card but you must “unlock” your phone beforehand. We can assist in getting a phone unlocked in KTM but can cost up to $50 and take 48 hours (usually less).
Where can I get more information on history, books, and additional activities in the region?
Check the reading list on theIsland Peak page of the web site.
Can I contact the others on the climb? How about the guide?
You can always call our offices and we will have your Island Peak lead guide contact you. 30 days prior to departure, we will mail a list of the other team members to you.
How much should I budget for this expedition? How much cash should I plan to bring?
$500 should easily cover any extra expenses and tips. Most climbers prefer to bring about $1000 and have credit cards.
How much should I tip my guide and staff?
For trekkers $150 total is the suggested tips for all Nepali staff including Sherpa. You may have some perfunctory tips at hotels and at time of transport. For Island Peak climbers an additional $50 total is suggested for climbing Sherpa helping with the ascent. Tipping is not required but a common practice. Climbers may also opt to tip the Lead guide ($150+ is an average tip).
What paperwork do I need to send in?
Each climber should submit an application and flight information.
When is the money due for this expedition? What kind of payment do you except?
We accept MasterCard, Visa, American Express, personal checks and Alpine Ascents gift certificates. To reserve a space the deposit is $700.00 and balances are due 90 days prior to departure. Unpaid balances can result in forfeiture of trip.
What is your cancellation policy? What is your refund policy?
CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICY: Note: Alpine Ascents International highly recommends trip cancellation insurance for all programs.
Due to the nature and heavy costs of government and operator permits, Alpine Ascents International must adhere to a stringent refund policy. Specific brochure cancellation and refund policies may supercede those enumerated below.
• Each deposit, regardless of amount, includes a $200.00 non-refundable registration fee.
• All Expedition balances are due 90 days prior to departure date unless otherwise specified.
• Full refunds, less registration fee, will be provided 90-days or more prior to departure date.
• 50% refunds will be provided 60-89 days prior to departure date.
• No refunds will be provided 59-days prior to departure date.
• Participants whose balances are not received by the 90-day deadline as stated above, risk forfeiture of their place on the expedition.
• All refund requests must be made in writing and be received in our office within the 90-day period, as stated above.
What happens if I need to leave the expedition early?
Communication is sometimes difficult in the mountains. However our guides and local staff will make the necessary efforts to obtain the necessary transportation and reservations to get you home as quickly as possible if for any reason you need to depart early.