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Island Peak was named by Eric Shipton, British mountaineer and explorer, who described it as an Island in a sea of ice. Island Peak, known to the Sherpas as Imja Tse, is the ideal first Himalayan climb and a wonderful experience to climb over 20,000 ft. Basic mountaineering experience such as glacier travel, ice-axe arrest, use of ascender and rapelling are REQUIRED for participation. Mountaineering skills will be reviewed by our climbing Sherpas prior to your climb.
Himalayan peaks from Everest to Amadablam, from Lhotse to Thamserku are the feature of this journey – on this trip you will be surrounded by some of the highest and most dramatic mountains in the world. After a day of exploring the temples, stupas and palaces of Kathmandu, you will take a 25-minute flight to Lukla. Trek through Sherpa villages of Namche and Pangboche to the Everest Base Camp. The first challenge is the climb of Kala Pathar (literally, black rock) at 18,195 ft. Then descend to the Imja Valley, establish base camp and high camp, and attempt to summit Imja Tse. Return to Lukla via Khumjung, one of the largest Sherpa villages and site of the famous Khunde Hospital and the Khumjung school, both legacies of Sir Edmund Hillary. You will be staying in local lodges for the “Trek” portion of this trip but will be sleeping in tents and eating meals prepared by our camping crew for about 2/3 nights (base camp and high camp on Island Peak).
Our 24 day, 23 night program will allow you optimal time to acclimatize before your summit bid of Island Peak. You will first be trekking to Gorakshep and Everest Base Camp which are about 1,000 feet (300 meters) higher than Island Peak Base Camp. So by the time you get to Island Peak, chances of altitude sickness will have been minimized.
Besides your regular trekking gear, you will also be responsible for some technical mountaineering gear such as ice-axe, ascender, descender, carabiners, climbing helmet, mountaineering boots etc. Much of this can be rented in Kathmandu but it is advised that you bring your own boots that have been broken in. Plastic boots are good but NOT required. Good water proof leather boots such as the La Sportiva’s are a better option (Evo, Cube etc.). We will provide group gear such as fixed lines and anchors.
|Day 1||Arrival in Kathmandu||Kathmandu||1340m|
|Day 2||Exploring Kathmandu||Kathmandu||1340m|
|Day 3||Kathmandu to Phakding||Phakding||8,700 ft.|
|Day 4||Phakding to Namche||Namche||11,270 ft.|
|Day 5||Namche acclimatization day||Namche|
|Day 6||Namche to Tengboche||Tengboche||12,900 ft.|
|Day 7||Tengboche to Feriche||Feriche||13,950 ft.|
|Day 8||Feriche acclimatization day||Feriche|
|Day 9||Feriche to Lobuche||Lobuche||16,200 ft.|
|Day 10||Lobuche to Gorakshep||Gorakshep||17,500 ft.|
|Day 11||Gorakshep to Lobuche||Lobuche||16,200 ft.|
|Day 12||Lobuche to Chukkung||Chukkung||15,100 ft.|
|Day 13||Chukkung||Chukkung||15,100 ft.|
|Day 14||Chukkung to Island Peak Base Camp||Island Peak Base Camp||16,200 ft.|
|Day 15 – 17||Day 15, 16 and 17 – High camp and summit||High camp|
|Day 18 – 21||Day 18, 19, 20 and 21 – Descend to Lukla||Lukla|
|Day 22||Day 22 – Lukla to Kathmandu||Kathmandu|
|Day 23||Day 23 – Kathmandu||Kathmandu|
|Day 24||Day 24 – Final departure|
Arrive Kathmandu. You will be met on arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport. Look out for a sign “Crystal Mountain Treks”. Don’t let anyone besides the person holding the sign or wearing a “Crystal Mountain Trek” t-shirt/jacket touch your baggage.
Transfer to Hotel. Day Free. Enjoy welcome dinner. Briefing during dinner. Overnight Hotel Tibet or similar. (Dinner)
Full day sightseeing in Kathmandu: At around 9:30 am begin tour with a visit to Bodhanath, the Stupa of a million dew drops, to watch monks and devotees circumambulate the largest stupa in Nepal. Then visit Pashupatinath, Nepal’s most sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, with its two-tiered golden roof and silver door. Drive to Patan for lunch in the garden of the Patan Museum Café. After lunch, visit the well-maintained Patan Museum. Drive back to your hotel. You will be back at the hotel by 4/5 pm which should give you ample time to pack and make final preparations for your trek. Overnight Hotel Tibet or similar. (Breakfast and Lunch)
Early morning flight to Lukla. The short flight is around 25 minutes long. At Lukla, you will meet your porters and other trek staff. After a quick breakfast at a lodge, begin trekking. Today’s trek to Phakding can be considered level though with a lot of short ascents and descents. The hike should take between 4 to 5 hours. Overnight lodge. (All meals)
Today you will enter the Sagarmatha National Park a little past Monju at Jorsalle. After completing formalities at the Park check point, you will cross the dramatic suspension bridge over the Dudh Koshi river and begin the steep climb to the largest Sherpa village of Namche. You will share the switch-back trail with many other trekkers, porters and pack animals. Remember, pack animals always have right-of-way. Overnight lodge. (All meals)
This is a rest and acclimatization day. You are expected to rest and allow your body to acclimatize. This means a slow stroll through town or to the park headquarters is recommended – any strenuous activity should be avoided. You are now above 11,000 feet and it is important for your body to acclimatize and this it can achieve only if it is allowed to relax. Overnight lodge. (All meals)
Begin for about 15 to 20 minutes by ascending steeply past the lodges of Namche. Once at the top, the trail widens and so does the vista – Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam can all be seen in the distance. Descend to Phunki Tenga. After lunch, it is all uphill to Tenboche monastery. Overnight lodge. (All meals)
From today, you will start to notice the change in the landscape. Forests give way to arid landscape with shrubs. Overnight lodge. (All meals)
Additional day at Feriche for acclimatization. Overnight lodge. (All meals)
Today is a long day involving a steep ascent to Dughla and a more gradual ascent to Lobuche. Climb directly up the terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier into an area dedicated to climbers who have perished on Khumbu’s mountains. Overnight lodge. (All meals)
A short hike to Gorakshep. Begin the climb today by ascending gently through high altitude meadows. Then cross several steep moraines while also walking on an active glacier. Gorakshep is situated on a sandy flat that served as base camp for the 1952 Swiss Everest expedition. Optional hike to the Everest Base camp. Return to lodge at Gorakshep. Overnight lodge. (All meals)
Trek to Kalapathar (18,195 ft.). The steep ascent to the top of Kalapathar can take up to 3 hours or more but the view from here is one you are unlikely to forget. Overnight lodge. (All meals)
Descend to Dughla and and take the high route over Feriche to Chukkung. Overnight lodge. (All meals)
Another rest day. Optionally you may climb Chukkung Ri . Overnight lodge. (All meals)
Short two-hour hike to Island Peak Base Camp. From today, we will be sleeping in tents for the ascent of Imja Tse. Overnight tents. (All meals)
Hike to high camp at 17,100 ft. and start out early to reach the summit of Island Peak (20,300 ft.). A contingency day is included in case of weather problems. Overnight tents. (All meals)
Descend to Lukla via Pangboche, Khumjung and Monjo. Overnight Lodge. (All meals)
Fly Lukla to Kathmandu. Day free. Overnight Hotel Tibet or similar. (Breakfast)
Full day sightseeing in Kathmandu. Visit Swayambhunath and Bhaktapur Durbar Sqare. Overnight Hotel Tibet or similar. Farewell dinner celebrations. (All meals)
Transfer to airport for final departure. (Breakfast)
Per person price (valid until 31 Dec 2018)
Expert pre-trip advice and detailed information | Motivated, well-cared-for staff | All airport transfers | Two full days sightseeing in Kathmandu as indicated in the itinerary and entrance fees to monuments | 4 nights twin sharing hotel accommodation at Hotel Tibet (3 star) in Kathmandu | Round trip airfare: Kathmandu to Lukla | Meals as indicated in the itinerary | Lodge trekking as indicated in the itinerary | Three meals a day (NO fixed meals – you choose as much from a menu without being wasteful) | Boiled water for your bottles two times a day
Hot beverages (tea and coffee) | Use of SteriPEN (http://www.steripen.com/) to sterilize water for drinking | Guide and staff wages, equipment and meals | Guide and staff insurance | Tents and camping equipment for the climb portion of trek | Group climbing gear: Main ropes, snow pickets etc. | Sagarmatha National Park Fee | Gamow Bag (High altitude pressure chamber – http://www.chinookmed.com/cgi-bin/item/06001/s-high_altitude/-Gamow-Bag-Hyperbaric-Chamber,-Civilian-Model—) | Sleeping bags, down jackets, duffel bags on rent for use on the trek (No charge)
Your international airfare, Nepal Visa, Meals not indicated in the itinerary, Tips and gratuities, Personal equipment (a suggested list will be mailed to you), Travel insurance (Required), Other expenses of a personal nature
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