Duration: 22 Days
Trip Grade: Challenginng
Group Size: 1-10
Transportation: Private Vehicle and Flight
Accomodation: Standard Hotel in Kathmandu and Guest House/Tent during the trip
Meals: Breakfast in Kathmandu and all meals during the trip
Best Season: Sep-Dec/March-April
Altitude Max: 6,189 m
Island Peak, located in the middle of Chhukung valley, is a beautiful mountain rising above the Lhotse Glacier. The peak takes good effort to scale as it is glaciated in the west face, yet is equally rewarding with magnificent views form the top. Outstanding views of Everest, Makalu, Lhotse et cetera definitely makes the climbing enthusiastic. Climbing the peak along the Everest Base Camp trek is advisable due to acclimatization reasons.
The trek begins at Lukla, which is a 30 minutes flight from Kathmandu. Slowly gaining elevation while we pass through Phakding to reach Namche Bazaar and stop for acclimatization and explore the area climbing to nearby viewpoints and walking through the villages. The next day, we move to Machhermo and pass worlds second largest glacier Ngozumpa. From Machhermo, we move on to the beautiful Gokyo valley and rest at the Gokyo village. We stay a day here for acclimatization again and hike to Gokyo Ri where views of the Everest massif are awe inspiring. We climb higher to Lobuche from Thaknak through the Cho La Pass. Passing Gorak Shep, we move to the Everest Base Camp and get back through the same route to Kalapathar which bestows breathtaking views of Everest, the best in the journey. Climbing to Kalapathar(5545m) also acclimatizes us for peak climbing. We move back to Lobuche and then head to Chhukung through Kongma La(5535m). Island Peak Base Camp is a short hike, where we stop and prepare to scale the Island Peak. After summating the peak, we return back via Pangboche to Namche Bazaar and back to Lukla where we take an airplane back to Kathmandu.
The trek passes through some deep hidden valleys, high monasteries, passes and viewpoints which makes the endeavor really interesting. Ethnic village which mostly consist of communities influenced by Tibetan culture pass along the trek, the people being friendly and hospitable.
Day 1 :Arrival Kathmandu (1,350m/4,428ft)
Day 2 :Free Day in Kathmandu and Preparation for trek & climbing
Day 3 :Fly to Lukla (2,800m/9,184ft) then trek to Phakding (2,652m/8,700ft): 40 min flight, 3-4 hours trek
Day 4 :Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,440m/11,283ft): 5-6 hours
Day 5 :Namche Bazaar (3,440 m/11,283 ft): Acclimatization Day
Day 6 :Namche Bazaar to Dole (4,110m/ 13,152ft): 5-6 hours
Day 7 :Dole to Machhermo (4,470m/ 14,663ft): 4-5 hours
Day 8 :Machhermo to Gokyo (4800 m/15,744 ft): 4-5 hours
Day 9 :Acclimatization Day in Gokyo Valley: Hike to Gokyo Ri (5,330 m/17,483 ft)
Day 10 :Gokyo to Thaknak (4750 m/15,580 ft): 5-6 hours
Day 11 :Thaknak to Cho La pass (5367 m/17,604 ft) to Lobuche (4940 m/16,207 ft): 8-10 hours
Day 12 :Lobuche to Everest Base Camp (5364m/17,594ft) and back to Gorak Shep (5170 m/16,961ft): 6-7 hours
Day 13 :Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar (5545m/18,192ft] and back to Lobuche (4940m/16,207ft): 7-8 hours
Day 14 :Lobuche to Kongma La (5,535m/18,159ft) to Chhukung (4,730m/15,518ft): 6-7 hours
Day 15 :Chhukung to Island Peak Base Camp (5,200m/17,060ft): 3-4 hours
Day 16 :Pre-Climb Training on Island Peak Base Camp
Day 17 :Island Peak Base Camp to Summit and back to Base Camp (5,600m/18,372ft) 10-12 hours
Day 18 :Island Peak Base Camp to Pangboche (3,985m/13,074ft) 5-6 hours
Day 19 :Pangboche to Namche Bazaar: 4-5 hours
Day 20 :Namche Bazaar to Lukla: 6-7 hours
Day 21 :Fly to Kathmandu
Day 22 :Final Departure
Day 1 :Arrival Kathmandu (1,350m/4,428ft)Arrival in Kathmandu. Our Airport Representative will meet you at the Tribhuwan International Airport. A drop to the Hotel by private tourist vehicle is arranged. You can either take a rest or meet us at our office and know the detail arrangement of the Trek. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 2 :Free Day in Kathmandu and Preparation for trek & climbing After breakfast, you will be introduced with the trek leader/guide at the hotel. This pre-trip meeting is for briefings on the trek and other necessary details. Please bring along your passport and three passport sized photos and a copy of your travel insurance policy. You can use your free time to rest or explore around for some last minute shopping.
Day 3 :Fly to Lukla (2,800m/9,184ft) then trek to Phakding (2,652m/8,700ft): 40 min flight, 3-4 hours trekEarly morning the drive from hotel to domestic airport terminal after breakfast. The flight to Lukla gives outstanding views of early morning sunrise on the snowcapped mountains. On landing Tenzing-Hillary Airport after a 40 minutes at Lukla, we reach the gateway to the Himalayas. The trek begins from the airport itself soon after meeting our crew there from where Phakdung is a short walk. As this is the first day of the trek, we rest in Phakding.
Day 4 :Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,440m/11,283ft): 5-6 hoursStarting early in the morning, the route passes through beautiful pine forests, Dudh Koshi River and views of Maunt Thamserku. After passing a few settlements we a check post, the entrance of Sagarmatha National Park. We further walk through the confluence of Dudh Koshi River and Bhote Koshi River, and take a steep ascent to Namche Bazaar where the first sight of marvelous Mount Everest and ridges of Mount Lhotse and Mount Nuptse welcomes us.
Day 5 :Namche Bazaar (3,440 m/11,283 ft): Acclimatization DayNamche Bazaar, the biggest settlement in the Khumbu region, is well facilitated with ATMs, Internet cafes, restaurants, bakeries et cetera. Although it’s rest day for acclimatization, we go for a short hike to a nearby viewpoint (Thame or Khunde) and take a tour of the place including the Tourist Visitor Center where information about Everest climbers, Sherpa people and their culture and flora and fauna of the region are briefed.
Day 6 :Namche Bazaar to Dole (4,110m/ 13,152ft): 5-6 hoursWe start our walk early in the morning to get clear views of mountain ranges including Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and Thamserku. The trail takes a wavy path along which the pleasing vegetation and animals such as musk deer, Himalayan Thar, pheasant et cetera keep company. Passing Kayangjuma after a downhill, we reach the junction to EBC and Gokyo valley. From here, we climb to Mong La pass where the sacred Khumbila is a charming presence. Passing Mong La, Rhododendron forests and wild flowers get abundant, and so does animal life. Passing a few waterfalls and bridges, we reach the small village of Dole. Overnight stay.
Day 7 :Dole to Machhermo (4,470m/ 14,663ft): 4-5 hours After climbing a ridge, the trail moves through Lhabarma and to Luza where we pass summer settlements of the locals. Views of Kantega, Cho Oyu and Thamserku stay with us as we walk along the trail. Passing small villages on the way, the scenic hillside walk leads continues with views of the deep Dudh Koshi valley. The five hour walk ends at Machhermo, our stop for the day. A beautiful stream that originates from Kyajo Ri and Phari Lapche runs through this village where you can hear stories on the first sighting of Yeti.
Day 8 :Machhermo to Gokyo (4800 m/15,744 ft): 4-5 hoursFrom Machhermo, the trail ascends to a Chorten through a ridge where views of Thamserku, Kangtega and Cho-Oyu along with the valleys below are magnificent. The valley slowly widens as the easy trail passes another Chorten and reaches Pangka. Descending to the river bank, we then begin our steep climb to moraine of Ngozamba Glacier. We pass through mesmerizing natural beauty of the turquoise lakes Longpongo and Taboche Tsho and reach a third lake, Dudh Pokhari, where the Gokyo village is situated. With the backdrop of Cho-Oyo, the beautiful and well facilitated village and its outstanding periphery is our shelter after this adventurous day.
Day 9 :Acclimatization Day in Gokyo Valley: Hike to Gokyo Ri (5,330 m/17,483 ft) We start early today to Gokyo Ri (5360m) which lies above the village. The steep climb of about four hours to the top is quite strenuous, yet rewards with one of the best views of Everest, Makalu and Lhotse among others. The fourth, fifth and sixth lakes also lie along the way. We further take a short walk to Machhermo, where we stay for the night in a teahouse.
Day 10 :Gokyo to Thaknak (4750 m/15,580 ft): 5-6 hoursToday, we set out after breakfast through the Ngazumpa glacier along a ridge and further move along the other side of the mountain all the way to Thaknak. The sort hike prepares us for strenuous gain in altitude in the days ahead.
Day 11 :Thaknak to Cho La pass (5367 m/17,604 ft) to Lobuche (4940 m/16,207 ft): 8-10 hours The trail takes a rocky path that crosses a ravine and proceeds along the periphery of a frozen lake. Prayer flags mark the top of the Cho La pass where you can see outstanding views of Ama Dablam and other mountains. Caution must be taken during the climb as the trail is steep and slippery. Climbing down to Dzongla, the views of the snow peaks along with the village of Periche form an exotic assortment. Walking down a grassy drail, we further take a bend along the riverbed and reach Lobuche where we stay overnight.
Day 12 :Lobuche to Everest Base Camp (5364m/17,594ft) and back to Gorak Shep (5170 m/16,961ft): 6-7 hoursAt Thangma Riju one can experience the 360 degree panaromic view snowcapped mountains. Actually Mount Everest is not seen from here however Mount Nuptse, Mount Nuptse and Mount Pumori can be viewed very well. Below Mount Pumori a grey grassy land of Kalopaththar can be seen after climbing up the steep through terrain of Changri glacier.
Day 13 :Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar (5545m/18,192ft] and back to Lobuche (4940m/16,207ft): 7-8 hoursWe start early today so as to witness the glimpse of the Mount Everest when the dusk turns to bright morning with light of the day. On the way Peak s Lingtren, Khumbutse, Changtse are viewed. It is recommended that during the ascent to Kalapththar which takes hours one pauses and catch breath while snapping the photos at times. We descent back to Lobuche where we stay overnight.
Day 14 :Lobuche to Kongma La (5,535m/18,159ft) to Chhukung (4,730m/15,518ft): 6-7 hoursThrough the beautiful Khumbu Glacier, we move on to Kongma La early in the morning. The trail to Kongma La pass is a strenuous one, the top is marked with Buddhist prayer flags. Descending to Imja River, we further head towards Chhukung where we check our equipment and prepare for the peak climbing.
Day 15 :Chhukung to Island Peak Base Camp (5,200m/17,060ft): 3-4 hoursThe steep trail ascents along the south and takes a twist at the Lhotse glacier. An easing walk alongside the riverbed continues till a big rock. The zigzag route then passes Imja to Lhotse Glacier and opens up in a wide valley. South east of the Island Peak lies the base camp where we set tent and stay overnight.
Day 16 :Pre-Climb Training on Island Peak Base CampA short briefing along with training on climbing is dissipated at the base camp. Techniques on peak climbing and efficient use of climbing gear including ice axe, climbing boots harness et cetera is given with demonstrations. The rest of the day is spent resting in the camp.
Day 17 :Island Peak Base Camp to Summit and back to Base Camp (5,600m/18,372ft) 10-12 hoursWe start early today, waking at around 2 am and taking our breakfast before heading out. Strong winds blow around the summit towards mid-day, we have to start early. After a short walk, the trail changes into a steep climb. The sandy path in the beginning soon changes to a rocky ascent with the slope getting narrower. Soon we ascend along plenty of rock culverts along the route. Further on, we walk along the ridgeline that leads to the snout of the glacier. With rope to support, we cross this snow and ice slope. From the top of the slope, the summit is just three rope lengths away. After observing an elevated and outstanding view from the summit we take the route back to the base camp.
Day 18 :Island Peak Base Camp to Pangboche (3,985m/13,074ft) 5-6 hoursDescending down the trail, the pleasant walk is consoling to the lungs. Passing the villages of Orsho and Shomare, we move towards the Monastery in upper Pangboche which is the oldest in the region. A scenic view of mountain ranges above and the valley below with Imja Tse River can be seen from here.
Day 19 :Pangboche to Namche Bazaar: 4-5 hours Descending to Imja River and crossing the forest to Tengboche, we continue along rhododendron and juniper forests. Crossing the Dudh Koshi, we descend through pine forests rich in wild life to Sansa. Further ahead, we pass a chorten marking the entrance to Namche Bazaar. Overnight in a lodge.
Day 20 :Namche Bazaar to Lukla: 6-7 hours The last day of the trek continues with the steep downward trail. Trekkers need to walk really slow very controlled and in a balanced manner on the steep rocky terrain until reaching the suspension bridge over Dudh Koshi, passing through the open plain, rhododendron forest while enjoying distant view of snow covered mountains. Finally Lukla is reached.
Day 21 :Fly to KathmanduThis is the day when Mountain flight from Lukla to Kathmandu is enjoyed over once again. On reaching Kathmandu it is time to enjoy shopping and walking round the city. The evening is to celebrate for successfully completion of Everest Base Camp trip.
Day 22 :Final DepartureDeparture from Kathmandu. A drop from the hotel to the airport 3 hours before the scheduled time of flight is arranged in a private tourist vehicle. You can also extend your trip by opting for another program.
The 3 passes trek in Nepal was a once in a lifetime trip during the winter months of December and Green Valley helped to give me the most memorable experience and journey. Every day the walks we did had me giving it the ‘wow’ factor and all my pictures were like postcards ...read more
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