Island Peak was the name given to the mountain in 1952 by Eric Shipton’s party who thought it to be reminiscent of an island in a sea of ice. It is also known by its’ Nepali name of Imja Tse.
Island Peak is an extension of Lhotse Shar, and is located between the Lhotse and Imja glaciers, standing at 6,183 meters / 20,283 feet.
Climbers can ascend by the standard route and although the summit can be reached in one day from base camp, you can make use of a high camp. The final ridge is a classic of its kind and from the summit fabulous views can be enjoyed of many Himalayan giants including the immense south face of Lhotse and the huge peak of Ama Dablam.
The name Island Peak was given to the mountain in 1952 by Eric Shipton’s party who were on their way to explore the Barun Gorge. Seen from above Dingboche the mountain does indeed resemble an island in a sea of ice. In 1983 it was renamed Imja Tse, although for most people the descriptive name of Island Peak seems to have been retained.
The mountain was first climbed in 1953 by a very prestigious team in preparation for the ascent of Everest. They were Charles Evans, Alf Gregory, Charles Wylie and Tenzing Norgay, with seven Sherpas who were trying out the new fangled oxygen sets; as practice, of course, for loftier things. Fortunately this didn’t set a precedent and most people seem able to climb it without bottled air, although a Sherpa.
Seen from the moraines between Pheriche and Dingboche the mountain doesn’t look too impressive, dwarfed as it is by one of the largest mountain faces in the world; the South Face of Lhotse. However, on close inspection it reveals itself to be an interesting and attractive summit with a highly glaciated West Face rising from the Lhotse Glacier. The mountain itself is really an extension of the South Ridge of Lhotse Shar and is separated from it by a small col. above this gap, rising to the south, is a classically beautiful ridge leading to the summit of Imja Tse. The continuation of this ridge, descending south-west, provides part of the normal route of ascent and leads in turn to the South Summit, seen capping the rocky west face of the mountain when viewed from near Chhukhung.
As well as providing an enjoyable climb the peak also provides some of the most striking scenery in the Khumbu. If the peak can be likened to an island in a glacial sea, then the mainland forms a semicircle of cliffs that rise in the north to the rugged summits of Nuptse (7.879 m) Lhotse (8.501 m), Lhotse Middle Peak (8.410 m), as yet still unclimbed and Lhotse Shar (8.383 m). To the east, rising above the frozen waves of the Lhotse Shar Glacier, is Cho Polu (6.734 m). Beyond which can be seen the red granite mass of Makalu (8,475m).
To the south of the Imja Glacier the icy fluting of Baruntse (7.720 m) and the Amphu peaks lead the eye to the lofty pinnacle of Ama Dablam (6.856 m) which is like a giant sea-stack guarding the entrance to the glacial bay in which Island Peak stands.
- Duration: 23 days
- Rating:Very Popular
- Grading:Moderate to fairly hard
- Region: Khumbu region
- Activity:Peak Climbing
- Trip Type:Trek + Peak Climbing
Day 1: Arrival
Day 2: Free day in Kathmandu
Day 3:Trek Preparation day in Kathmandu and Tour Briefing
Day 4: Fly Kathmandu to Lukla (2,860 m)and trek to Phakding (2,610 m)
Day 5: Trek Phakding to Namche (3,450 m)
Day 6: Acclimatization day in Namche
Day 7: Trek Namche to Thame (4,400 m)
Day 8: Trek Thame to Khumjung (3,780 m)
Day 9: Trek Khumjung to Phortse (3,850 m)
Day 10: Trek Phortse to Pangboche (3960 m)
Day 11: Trek Pangboche to Dingboche (4410 m)
Day 12: Trek Dingboche to Chukung (4730 m), after lunch hike to Chukung Ri for acclimatization around 5400m
Day 13: Trek Chukung to Island peak B.C. (5090 m)
Day 14: Base Camp to High Camp (5600 m)
Day 15: Island peak summit (6190 m) and back to base camp or Chukung.
Day 16: Extra day for summit in case of any weather or physical condition
Day 17: Island peak B.C./Chukung to – Pangboche (3960 m)
Day 18: Trek Pangboche to Namche vie Tengboche (3860 m)
Day 19: Trek Namche to Phakding (2610 m)
Day 20: Trek Phakding to Lukla
Day 21: Fly back to Kathmandu
Day 22: Rest day in Kathmandu
Day 23: Departure