You arrive at Kathmandu at an elevation of 1.300m (4,264 ft). In Kathmandu we stay for two nights in a city centre district that showcases Nepalese culture with its colorful character. The day after your arrival we ensure you get any remaining necessary permits and items for your adventure and we do the final trip preparations. The aim is to have enough time left to do a short trip around Kathmandu or pick and visit some of the great cultural sights this vibrant city has to offer.
On the third day we make an early morning start and take a Twin Otter flight to Lukla at 2.840m (9,317 ft) The flight is a guaranteed exciting one and gives us a glimpse of many great Himalayan peaks, including Mt. Everest in the distance. In Lukla (the gateway-city to the Khumbu region and the Imja Wilderness) we meet up with our wonderful and ultra-experienced Sherpa guides and porters. Upon arrival we set off straightaway hiking to our first night’s stop in Phakding, the home of our first of many cozy, clean and traditional teahouses. Situated on the banks of the Dudh Kosi, which drains the whole of the Khumbu Region, the small hamlet of Phakding is on the main trading route through the area and we will have an easy rest and night here.
3.440m (11,286 ft)
On the fourth day we will continue hiking up along the banks of the Dudh Kosi, crossing various fantastic suspension bridges as we enter Khumbu National Park. Eventually we hike steeply up ‘Namche Hill’ before we reach Namche Bazaar, a prosperous trading town and the capital of the Khumbu Region, at 3.440m (11,286 ft). Many Tibetans cross the nearby border to trade their wares and the local market is a fascinating spectacle. We will spend our time and night(s) here giving you an enjoyable and necessary altitude acclimatization.
During the vital acclimatization phase we will spend time adjusting and resting to allow our bodies to become acclimatised to the high altitude. On the 6th day of our adventure we will hike from Namche Bazaar to Tengboche at 3.870m (12,694 ft). From here we get our first really good views of the magnificent peaks of the Khumbu: Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam and amazing Mt. Everest. Following a steep trail up we pass numerous colorful Nepales villages before we reach Tengboche, home of an impressive ancient monastery and the town where we spent our night in another comfortable and traditional teahouse.
Debouche, Pangboche and Dingboche
Ever changing trails and scenery on the 7th day bring us past beautiful flora and fauna and impressive white water streams, imposing mountain sides and up to the fantastic Imja valley. Via Deboche and an 'airy' suspension bridge we get to Pangboche, which provides us with an amazing view of Mt. Ama Dablam. Slowly but surely we gain more altitude, passing the picturesque farming village of Dingboche at 4.410m (14,465 ft) before we get to our overnight stop at 4.200m (13,776 ft) in the town of Periche.
4.930m (16,170 ft)
While making good progress on our approach to Imja Tse our hike on the 8th day to Loboche at 4.930m (16,170 ft) serves as a perfect continuation of our acclimatization process. The trails today eventually lead us to a small cluster of tea houses pleasantly situated at Lobuche where we will overnite and spend our time relaxing.
Everest Base Camp
The hike on our 9th day takes us from Lobuche to Gorak Shep at 5.170 m (16,961 ft) through amazing mountain scenery, along lakes and stunning glaciers. We start getting up close to the most impressive Himalayan greats on our way to Gorak Shep - the site of the 1953 Everest expedition’s base camp. Next we take advantage of the amazing opportunity to visit Everest Base Camp at 5.364m (17,594ft), going close to the edge of the Icefall and witnessing the various teams preparing for their Everest summit attempt. After soaking it all in we take our time to head back to Gorak Shep for a good night of sleep.
Kala Pathar : 5.642m (18,510 ft)
On our 10th day we will make an ascent of Kala Pathar 5.642m (18,510 ft).
The climb is hard work and can take up to 3 hours, but your efforts will be perfectly rewarded by the classic view of Mt. Everest and the Khumbu Icefall as well as Lhotse, Nuptse, and Pumori peaks immediately above. The views from Kala Pathar are often clearer in the morning and without a doubt your photos will be nothing short of spectacular.
We leave the EBC area and hike up to Chukung at 4.700m (15,420 ft) on the 11th day of our hiking and mountaineering adventure to Island Peak. The trails lead us from Lobuche up to Kongma La at 5.535m (18,159 ft) and a bit down again to Chukung at 4.730m (15,518ft). Chukung is our last stop before we'll arrive at the Island Peak base camp and this is the perfect place and time to sort out and do a final check on all our mountaineering and climbing equipment. The final hiking approach on the 12th day up to Island Peak base camp at 5.200m (17,060 ft) will take us along an amazing glacier, lovely lake and will offer us more stunning and spectacular views of the Imja Valley.
Summit attempt : 6.189m (20,305 ft)
On our pre-climb training sessions at Island Peak Base Camp we practice using ropes, abseiling, ladder crossing and getting used to the mountaineering equipment. The complete pre-climb training, vital instructions, final gear check, rest, re-hydration and a good nights sleep make up for a full thirteenth day. These necessary preparations set us up for a successful summit attempt the next day or as soon as the weather window is as good as perfect. Via Island Peak high camp at 5.500m (18,045 ft) we make our summit attempt on Island Peak at 6.189m (20,305 ft) within 12 hours time. This will be a long, hard day of climbing and it will be spectacular! Initially there are rocky scree switchbacks and some scrambling before we traverse across to a steeper section of rock. This is all straight-forward mountaineering, but very strenuous, and once we hit 5.900m (19,357 ft) the altitude slows our pace dramatically. A final rock section that never seems to end make us dig deep and we top out onto a narrow ridge that will take us to the start of the glacier. We put on our crampons here, rope up and cross the glacier before a headwall then onto the final section to the summit at 6.189m (20,305 ft). We will enjoy our summit success to the fullest before our long descent back to Island Peak base camp.
The easy way down
Regardless whether our summit attempt has been delayed due to weather conditions by a day, or possibly even two, we are making our way down in three days. Our first stop on our way back is at Pangboche at 3.985m (13,074 ft). Tired, extremely content and happy we will settle in for an early night of sleep on the day after our post-summit day. Then in an easy 4-5 hours of hiking we are back below 3.440m (11,286 ft) and in Namche Bazaar. Proud of your achievement and still excited about the experience and wonders of the Imja Wilderness, the spectacular Island Peak summit and its stunning views, you possibly feel that it is time to enjoy a beverage and a moderate celebration before the long hike back to Lukla the following morning.
After our celebrations in Namche Bazaar our 7 hour long journey back to Lukla at 2.800m (9,186 ft) brings us through lovely mountain terrain and across many suspension bridges. We will be up for an early breakfast and flight from Lukla back to Kathmandu for those eager to see as much of Kathmandu as possible before your final departure. In Kathmandu you can visit the temples of Pashupatinath and Swayambhunath, the districts of Bhaktapur and Patan Durbar Square. If shopping is 'essential' before you leave Nepal you most likely want to get it done in the Thamel.
Leaving in awe
You will be transferred back on the last day of your hiking and mountaineering adventure to the airport for the final departure of your international flight. You will find yourself still in awe both about your own achievement and the beauty offered by this 21 day Adventure through the wonders of the Kuhmbu region, the Imja Wilderness and your summit of Island Peak.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264ft)
Day 02: Kathmandu (1300m/4264ft): trip preparation
Day 03: Fly to Lukla (2,800m/9,184ft) then trek to Phakding (2,652m/8,700ft): 40 min flight, 3-4 hours trek
Day 04: Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,440m/11,283ft): 5-6 hours
Day 05: Namche Bazaar (3,440 m/11,283 ft): Acclimatization Day
Day 06: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (3,870m/12,694ft): 5- 6 hours
Day 07: Tengboche to Pheriche (4,200m/13,776ft): 4-5 hours
Day 08: Pheriche to Lobuche (4,930m/16,170ft): 5-6 hours
Day 09: Lobuche to Gorak Shep (5170 m/16,961ft), visit Everest Base Camp (5364m/17,594ft): 6-7 hours
Day 10: Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar (5545m/18,192ft) and back to Lobuche (4940m/16,207ft): 7-8 hours
Day 11: Lobuche to Kongma La (5,535m/18,159ft) to Chhukung (4,730m/15,518ft): 6-7 hours
Day 12: Chhukung to Island Peak base camp (5,200m/17,060ft): 3-4 hours
Day 13: Pre-climb training on Island Peak Base Camp
Day 14,15 or 16: Island Peak base camp to Island Peak summit (6,189m/20,305ft),back to base camp: 10-12 hours
Day 15,16 or 17: Island Peak Base Camp to Pangboche (3,985m/13,074ft) 5-6 hours
Day 16,17 or 18: Pangboche to Namche Bazaar (3,440m/11,286ft): 4-5 hours
Day 17,18 or 19: Namche Bazaar to Lukla (2,800m/9,186ft): 6-7 hours
Day 18,19 or 20: Fly to Kathmandu (1,350m/4,428ft)
Day 19,20 or 21: Final Departure