Island Peak, a beautiful glaciated climb at 20,350’, is a great introduction to Himalayan climbing, as the terrain and climbing techniques resemble that of the nearby peaks of Everest and Lhotse. Trekking through the Khumbu Valley to Everest base camp is a life changing experience for many, as the spectacular mountain scenery integrated with Sherpa culture and Buddhist religion makes for truly engaging combination. We follow the same route to Base Camp as the Everest climbers and recount the historical ascents with the climbers who share our lodges along the way.
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu. We will pick you up at the airport and take you to the Yak & Yeti hotel. This is historically the ‘climbers hotel’ where many expeditions have stayed over the years. We enjoy a welcome dinner with the team.
Day 2: City tour of Kathmandu, we visit the Monkey Temple, Boudhanath (one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Kathmandu), Pashupatinath, and the Swayambhunath. After the tour we have dinner, then prepare for an early morning flight to Lukla.
Day 3: We fly by fixed-wing aircraft into Lukla, and begin our trek! We pass through several Sherpa villages and enter the Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park. After crossing the river by suspension bridge, we arrive in the village of Phakding.
Day 4: We continue trekking along the Dudh Kosi River through the village of Monjo, then up the hill to Namche Bazaar. Here we will spend 2 nights in our comfortable lodge acclimatizing and enjoying the sights and cafes in Namche.
Day 5: We go for an acclimatization hike and return to our lodge to rest and prepare for the next day of trekking.
Day 6: After breakfast, we head out of Namche and traverse the magnificent valley leaving towards Tengboche. Here we have spectacular views of Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam for the first time. We arrive in Tengboche and tour the famous Tengboche Monastery, and then continue to Debuche where we spend the night in the Rivendell lodge.
Day 7: Depart Debuche and trek through the rhododendron forest then cross the river and hike up the short hill to Pangboche. Here we visit with Lama Geshe, the high lama of the Khumbu Valley, who many climbers visit for blessings before heading to climb peaks such as Everest, Lhotse, or Island Peak. We stay in Pangboche this evening.
Day 8: From Pangboche we gain elevation and have lunch in Shomari, near the pass where the valley divides. We then cross the river and arrive in Dingboche.
Day 9: After breakfast, we trek onward past Thugla and arrive in Lobuche, the highest yak grazing ground in the Khumbu Valley. We overnight in Lobuche.
Day 10: Trek to Gorak Shep. After checking into our lodge and having lunch, we hike up nearby Kala Patthar for an amazing view of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and the other surrounding peaks. We return to Gorak Shep for dinner.
Day 11: We trek to Everest base camp and visit one of the climbing team camps that are in operation for the season. After a few photos of the Khumbu Icefall, we return to Gorak Shep to spend the night.
Day 12: Today we descend down the valley to Dingboche where we rest and prepare for our trek to Chukung the following day.
Day 13: Arriving Chukung we organize our gear and prepare to leave the lodge setting for our camp at Island Peak base camp.
Day 14: After breakfast at the lodge we trek to our base camp, review some technical climbing skills then have an early dinner in preparation for our ‘alpine start.’
Day 15: We awake around midnight and set out in the pre-dawn hours climbing up the ridgeline, then onto the glacier. Once on the glacier we climb roped up and ascent to the prominent ridgeline where we utilize fixed ropes to negotiate the final slopes to the summit. We decent to our base camp and continue onward to Chukung where we are greeted with a hearty and well-deserved meal.
Day 16: From Chukung we trek to Namche, where we enjoy the many cafes and shops of the “capital of the Khumbu.”
Day 17: Trek to Lukla and spend our final night in the mountains.
Day 18. Fly to Kathmandu check into the Yak & Yeti hotel.
Day 19: Extra day for touring Kathmandu, visit shops and restaurants.
Day 20: Depart Kathmandu for home.
April 2 – April 22
October 22 – November 8
• Accommodations at the Yak & Yeti hotel for two nights before and two nights after the trek
• Airport pick up upon arrival
• Welcome dinner in Kathmandu
• All in-country flights to Lukla
• All lodging while trekking
• All meals while trekking
• Permits and Park entrance fees
• American guide, Sherpa guide, Nepali staff to carry loads, etc.
Costs Do Not Include:
• Personal items (see Equipment list)
• Wire transfer fee
• Meals in Kathmandu
• Any bottled beverages while trekking
• Option to upgrade to a single room
• Cost for helicopter transport
• Any costs as the result of an early departure from the program
Ice Axe: General mountaineering tool (65cm)
Crampons: General mountaineering crampons
Climbing Helmet: Must be able to fit over your ski hat
Ascender: 1 right or left hand ascender (Petzel brand is best)
Alpine Climbing Harness: A mountaineering harness, with adjustable leg loops. Not a rock climbing “sport” harness
Carabineers: 3 locking and 3 regular
Rappel device: ATC or figure 8
Mountaineering boots: A double plastic or insulated climbing boot
Hiking shoes: comfortable boots or shoes for the trek to base camp
Booties: Optional, down is best
Wool or synthetic socks: 3 pair
Liner socks: 3 pair
Synthetic Short underwear: A non cotton style underwear
Lightweight Long Underwear: 1-2 pair long sleeve shirt and long pants
Heavyweight long underwear: 1 pair
Short Sleeve Synthetic Shirt: 1-2 pair
Lightweight Nylon Pants: 1-2 pair
Soft Shell jacket: To be worn over other layers
Soft Shell Pants: Very breathable and water repellant
Hard Shell Jacket with hood: A waterproof and breathable shell jacket
Hard Shell Pants: Waterproof and breathable shell pants
Insulated Jacket with hood: Down or PrimaLoft
Insulated Synthetic Pants: Down or PrimaLoft
Sun hat: A baseball style cap
Synthetic or wool hat (ski hat)
Balaclava: to protect your neck and face in high winds
Baseball Camp or other sun hat: To shade your face / neck from the sun on a hot day
Bandana or Buff: To protect your neck / face from the sun
Glacier glasses: Full protection with side covers or wrap around
Ski goggles: To be worn on summit day in the event of high winds
Lightweight synthetic liner gloves: For wearing on a hot day
Soft shell gloves: To wear for moderate cold / wind
Shell glove with insulated liner: To wear for severe cold / strong wind
Climbing Backpack: A 40L pack should be large enough
Trekking Backpack: Optional, to use during the trek
Sleeping Bag: rated to at least -20°F
Compression stuff sacks: For reducing volume of the sleeping bag, down parka, etc.
Self inflating sleeping pad: Full length is preferred
Closed cell foam pad: To be used in conjunction with the inflating pad for warmth and comfort when sleeping.
Trekking poles: Adjustable
Headlamp: With extra batteries
Sunscreen: SPF 40 or better
Lip screen: SPF 40 or better (2 sticks).
Water bottles: 2 or 3 wide mouth bottles with 1 liter capacity.
Pee bottle: 1 liter minimum bottle for convenience at night in the tent.
Toiletry bag: Include toilet paper and hand sanitizer and small towel
Knife or multi tool (optional).
Trash compactor bags: to line back pack and stuff sacks in the event of rain or wet snow is falling on us.
Camera: bring extra batteries and memory cards.
Travel Clothes: For days in Kathmandu.
Duffel bags (2) with locks: To transport equipment.
Base Camp Items: Kindle, Ipad, smart phone, etc.
Snack food: Please bring 1-2 days of your favorite climbing snack food such as bars, gels, nuts, beef jerky, etc. A variety of salty and sweet is good.
Small personal first aid kit: Include athletic tape, band aids, Ibuprofen, blister care, personal medications, etc.
Medications and Prescriptions: Bring antibiotics (Azithromycin, etc.), and altitude medicine such as Diamox and dexamethasone.