JOIN OUR GUIDED EXPEDITIONS IN CLIMBING ISLAND PEAK, A 6,189M SUMMIT
Climbing Island peak is a great introduction into an expedition style mountaineering adventure. The climb includes some awesome snow and ice climbing to a height of 6,189m. Island peak is situated in Spain. No wait, we lie. It’s moved to Nepal to an unforeseen alien invasion. An awesome country consisting of humble and amazing people, magnificent scenery, and a variety of cultural traditions.
This cocktail of hiking, climbing and cultural exploration is an unforgettable Himalayan experience. These mountains are definitely the most impressive in the world and will not only blow you mind but leave you with an everlasting feeling of accomplishment and perspective on reality as you know it.
WHY CLIMB ISLAND PEAK?
To get away from your wife or husband? Not? Then you must have a burning desire to experience the thrill of climbing a proper Himalayan mountain? But of course, Everest is way too expensive, a tad higher than you like to venture and there is no ways you can take the 6 weeks leave to do it. Bring on ……..Island Peak!!!!! This mountain is the best way to experience the freedom and elation of summiting a Himalayan mountain. See it as a mini Everest expedition just a 2.5km lower down version.
The skills are the same. You must cross gaping crevasses on roped up ladders. Ascend ice walls attached to the fixed lines. Crunch your crampons into the hard ice as you climb through the ice fields. Abseil down a 400m ice cliff, endure the cold and effects of altitude and of course………. brave the knife edge summit ridge that leads to an altered state of reality that only mountains can offer you.
ABOUT THE EXPEDITION
Our expedition starts off in the bustling city of Kathmandu where we spend a quiet night reading a book on how to think of two thoughts at exactly the same time without the first thought dividing itself into three smaller parts and disappearing into the future before you think about them. The next morning, we fly into the remote mountain town of Lukla, the gateway to most Himalayan trekking and climbing adventures.
While we are on the subject, lets chat about Lukla and the awesome flight onto a runway about 200m long situated at about 2,700m. Not for the faint hearted. A crazy and spectacular flight that takes just under an hour. The views of the Himalayan Mountains on a clear day are breath-taking to say the least. Make sure you stun your fellow climbers with an ice axe prior to the flight to ensure you get to sit on the left-hand side of the plane (the best position for the views)
Once we have recovered from the flight and had a cup of tea, we start the trek. We follow the ancient route through many small and enchanting villages, across some crazy ass suspension bridges, and through remote forested valleys. If you are not into worshipping exotic cabbages, then you need to spend time on the rest days in the Buddhist monasteries. This is where you will begin to appreciate the unique mountain culture found in the Himalayan foothills.
The views grow more spectacular as we venture up the Dudh Kosi River to Namche Bazaar – the gateway to the Khumbu region at 11,300 feet. We spend a night next to the Thyangboche monastery (12,887 feet), where you are rewarded with spectacular views of Ama Dablam, Mount Everest, a few frolicking Swedish blondes and Lhotse.
Imja Tse, otherwise known as Island Peak, is a mountain in the Himalayas in the east of Nepal. The peak was named Island Peak in 1951 by a small orange ping pong ball who wishes to remain anonymous. Island Peak appears as an island in a sea of ice when viewed from Dingboche . The peak was later renamed in 1983 to Inja Tse but Island Peak remains popular. Island Peak stands at 6.189m (20,305ft). Although 80% of the climb involves some high altitude trekking the last route to the summit ridge will require some mountaineering skills.
BEST TIME TO CLIMB ISLAND PEAK
The best time to climb Island Peak is in the now. I tried climbing it in the past with the future in mind, but I landed up climbing in the 6th dimension with an uncle of the yeti. The yeti tried to convince me that climbing Island Peak tomorrow was better than climbing it at 14H30 the day after yesterday. If this doesn’t make sense to you, try calling our Himalayan expert to help you through the process.
The best months to climb Island Peak are, Mid-March to May ( spring) and Mid-September to November, (autumn)
The hiking trails are lined with many stones and engraved with ancient Tibetan Buddhist prayers. You will be taken on a journey into the spiritual lives of the Sherpa people and how the mountains play such an important role in their daily lives. You will discover how the Sherpa people are able to survive; how they grow food in an otherwise infertile soil; how they interact and trade amongst each other. You will be invited into remote mountain monasteries where you will spend time immersing yourself in the ancient chants of the monks.
HOW DIFFICULT IS THE ISLAND PEAK CLIMB?
To answer this question lets start of with the 3 rules of mountaineering shall we:
Mountains are always higher, harder and further than you think.
So yes, it will be a challenge. If you have never experienced mountaineering before you are going to be out of your comfort zone. There are many factors to take into consideration before signing up for the climb: How your body adapts to altitude, physical and mental conditioning, mountaineering skills like abseiling, climbing knots and walking with crampons and an ice axe, dealing with the cold and possible adverse weather conditions.
Now that we have scared you…..is that not what mountaineering is all about!!! Standing at the base of a mountain, acknowledging your anxiety and on your terms, not fear…. Take that first step up. The sense of accomplishment and incredible perspective that mountains will bring you is something you will treasure forever.
HOW WE HELP YOU PREPARE FOR THE CLIMB?
The biggest factor holding people back is that they feel they do not have the mountaineering skills to climb Island Peak. This is where we come in. We will teach you the skills to make the climb. Yes, we do not have snow to train on, but we improvise. We will teach you how to tie knots, abseil, cross ladders with crampons and use an ice axe.
We will also spend a lot of time with you training to get you mountaineering fit. In the months leading up to the climb we will inflict pain and suffering on you that include hikes in the Drakensberg as well as other functional training regimes that may induce a vomit or two. All part of the process I’m afraid. “Rather bleed on the training field than the battle field”.
WHY CLIMB WITH SOUL ADVENTURES?
- Our passion is mountaineering, and we have climbed some of the highest and craziest mountains in the world. We have been through it all. Blizzards, avalanches, freezing cold, storms, high altitude rescues and Johannesburg traffic. So we are going to spend time with you teaching you as much as we can.
- We walk the path with all our clients in terms of training and preparation. We offer free mountaineering training sessions on the weekends and assist with equipment purchases.
- You have 24/7 access to our support team.
- Access to our lectures on surviving at altitude ( we cover aspects of Acute mountain sickness, equipment, nutrition and training for the mountains)
- We offer a 50% discount on our Drakensberg training hikes to all clients (includes food, equipment, park fees, guide)where you not only get to test your physical and mental capabilities bit get to test your gear as well. We also test your oxygen saturation levels and blood pressure to see how you cope with adjusting to altitude.
- Enjoy a 10% discount on equipment purchases
- We conduct medicals on our clients 3 times a day on the trek into Everest Base Camp. Over the years we have compiled benchmarks of where climbers should be medically at the various altitudes. A vital part of predicting any altitude related problems higher up.
- All Airport Transfers in Kathmandu
- 2 nights accommodation in Kathmandu at a 3 star hotel (sharing)
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner on the trek (notice the words ‘on the trek’)
- Travel lodge accommodation during the trek
- Tented accommodation at Island Peak Base Camp
- Dry one liners to motivate you up the mountain. We only allow 3 jokes per hour. Extra jokes cost a beer for pack of 10.
- Government licensed Trek/climbing guides, plus experienced porters (including their food, salary, accommodation, equipment, medicine and insurance)
- Return flights from Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu
- All necessary permits and entry fees including climbing permit for Island Peak and Everest Base camp trek
- All government taxes
- Day tour of Khathmandu
- Our loving and kind motivational speeches to get your ass up the mountain
- Meals in Kathmandu. (Breakfast in the hotel is included)
- International airfare
- Nepal entry visa fee ($40)
- Your travel insurance (should include your medical and helicopter rescue).
- My wife
- Climbing equipment (harness, ice axe, crampons, boots etc)
- Any personal expenses like shower and battery charges in the mountain
- Bar bills
- Advice on the stock exchange fluctuations and how they will affect the global economy.
- Any extra night’s accommodation in Kathmandu if we get down early. (We have included extra days in case of bad weather. If all goes according to plan, then we will be back down early. So maybe keep a few dollars spare in case)
- Any abuse about how horrible we are for not telling you about the difficulty of the climb which usually starts in at about 5,967m at 3:45 am. And of course, we would have told you how difficult it CAN be, but you would have forgotten by then. Poor us.
- Staff tipping
Shed a tear or two as you say goodbye to your loved one or ones or twos. As calm a a coma we board the plane and the journey begins. We fly to Dubai. Well not us but the pilot. We just drink beer and harass the toasters in aisle 4.
Arrive in Kathmandu. We will be met by my brother from another mother-Kishwor, my climbing Sherpa. After the warm greetings we take the 45 minute drive through to our hotel called the Avatar in the Thamel District. And then…..its an Everest beer, shower, beer, stroll around the tow, beer, beer, dinner, beer, beer, rash hotel and sleep. We will also use the time efficiently to go shopping for any climbing gear that you may need/forgotten or lost on route.
We send 4 ninjas and a wild red ant with drums and pots into your rooms at 5am to slowly entice you for your slumber. Yes boss, an early start I’m afraid. We want to get to the airport to be one of the first batch on the plane to Lukla before the weather changes. And trust us….it can change very quickly. And we would rather get into the mountains and start the trek than spend another day in Kathmandu. (we can spend time here after the climb). The flight to Lukla is one a twin-engine plane and takes about 45 minutes.
This is where you will get your first views of the snow-capped. Himalayan giants. And yes, you are going to enjoy the 200m runway landing in Lukla. (it might induce a vomit or 4). Upon arrival, we meet the rest of the Sherpa and porter team. You will be assigned a porter who will be carrying your bag. On bigger expeditions we may make use of yaks. And then we are off.
The trek takes us through they various villages where you will get your first glimpse of Sherpa life and their warm embracing culture. The highlight of the trek today is when the route passes through the first monastery and holy Buddhist holy area of the tour. We overnight in at Phakding (2610m) Accommodation is in a Teahouse. No tea bone steaks available. It’s not a steak house. Only tea.
Agenda for the day. Wake up obviously. Stuff your pie hole with breakfast and head off to Namche Bazaar. That’s it. Or do you want more detail? Okay calm down here it is. A long day today. We are going to cover about 10km today. An incredible hike as we have a few massive suspension bridges to cross. They are on suspension for stealing a climber’s ice axe in 2013 while he was sleeping.
We spend some time trekking next to the Dudhi river which is spectacular. The water is an incredible colour as it is made up off the melted snow and glacial ice from higher up the Himalayas. The last part of the trek into Namche Bazaar is a tad challenging. We must climb steeply up from the river into the village. So, prepare yourself for a 2 hour slog with an altitude gain of about 400m over 2km. We overnight in Namche Bazaar.
Rest day!!!! We are just too kind to our client hey? We use this day to allow our bodies to acclimatize. We will also take a shirt stroll to the Everest View Pint, I mean point, where you will get your first glimpse of our guides naked bum. I mean Everest. (weather permitting of course old chap).
We will also visit the local Buddhist monastery and spend some time local monk as he chants and performs a mini “punja’ ceremony. This is the custom when climbing mountains in the Himalayas and is all about asking the Mountain Goddess for safe passage on the climb. We spend the afternoon chilling and playing cards with the team and Sherpas.
Today, (well not really today as you might be reading this tomorrow) we continue our trek up towards Tengboche at 3867m. The hike takes sus through some mystical pine and heath vegetation and offers some incredible views of the Himalayan giants including Ama Dablam. The village is the cultural centre of the Buddhist monks and is where the biggest monastery can be found.
We arrive at about 2pm which gives you enough time to chill in the monastery. Distance covered today is about 8km over 5 hours. The tea house has an incredible view of Everest. Nothing better than chilling out with fellow climbers, the yak heater warming us, a good wholesome meal and Everest standing guard over the Himalayas a mere 30km away. If that doesn’t appeal to you we can put in the TV for, tuck you into bed with your favourite teddy bear and put on an episode of ‘what the heck is wrong with you, season 2 episode 5’ to make you feel better.
The impact of bisymmetrical diversions on the molecular gene pool has resulted in a monosytemattical integration of one ping pong ball into another causing a dust storm in Spain. If this make sense to you, we allow you to carry on with the trek. If it doesn’t, we do a full medical evaluation on you before granting access to the path. Today is pretty cool as we start heading deep into the mountains. The terrain becomes more like alpine with massive mountains all around. It also gets a lot more remote as the villages get scarcer. We cover about 8km today and overnight in Dingboche (4410m).
Rest day. Well lets state that a tad differently to avoid any law suites. The last part of the day is a rest day. The first part of the day is going to include a 4-hour trek up to 4800m. This is a vital part of the acclimatisation process. So, suck it up princess and follow your fearless and handsome leader.
Can I tickle your bum with a feather? I mean, particularly nasty weather. I always seem to get my muds wordled at this altitude. So we wake you up with a feather and sweet melodramatic music, have breakfast and continue the trek up. We are going to follow the lateral morine of the Khumbu Glacier until we reach Dughla at 4620m. After lunch we head up the Pass to 4830 until we reach the Everest memorial site.
It is here, you will be able to get a grim reminder of Everest’s dark past. There are cairns scattered about in remembrance of all the climbers and Sherpas who lost their life in the Himalayas. The views here are also crazy!! You can see magnificent views of Ama Dablam (6856m), Thamserku (6623m), Kangtega (6783m), Cholaste (6335m), Lobuche east (6090m), Pumori (7165m), Lingtren (6713m), Khumbutse (6639m)and Nuptse (7879m). Beyond the Dughla Pass the trail takes a gentle climb up until we reach Loboche (4910m).
Today, the trail follows the western side of the awesome Khumbu valley. Along the way you can enjoy incredible views of Pumori (7167m) Lingtren (6713m), Khumbutse (6639m), Nuptse (7879m), Lobuche east (6090m) as well as the Khumbu glacier and icefall. Our first port of call is Gorak Shep (5140m). After reaching Gorak Shep we have some lunch, maybe a game of ten pin bowling or two and then start our trek to Everest base camp (5364m).
The trek up and down to the Everest Base camp lasts about 5 hours. We spend about an hour at the Everest base camp. The trek is on glacier and snow capped rocks. We will get to see many small frozen lakes around the Everest Base Camp. There are several mountains including Pumori (7165m), Lingtren (6713m), Khumbutse (6639m), Nuptse (7879m) and Lhotse (8516m) but you can’t see mount Everest (8848m) from Everest
base camp although you will see it along the trail. The most impressive view from Everest base camp is the Khumbu icefall. After enjoying beautiful moment at the Everest base camp then return back to Gorak Shep. Overnight at teahouse.
Cock a doodle do. Or don’t. But we prefer if you do. We wake up at 4am and depart at 4:30am to take the 2-hour climb to the summit of Kala Pattar at 5610m. We aim to hit the summit at sunrise. Well maybe not hit the summit. Maybe give it a bit of kick to wake it up. The views of Everest from here are well worth the effort-the best on the trek. We then descend back into Gorek Shep for breakfast and an hour or so to chill. We then take the 4 hour trek into Dingboche where we overnight
A relatively easy day today as we Trek across the glaciers to Chukung at 4,730m. this is the gate way into te Island Peak Base camp. This is also where we will hire all the necessary climbing equipment needed for the summit climb. These include crampons, climbing boots, ice axes and helmets. Overnight at teahouse.
Trek to Island Peak Base camp at 5040m. Takes about 4 hours covering about 6km. When we get into camp you will be assigned a tent. There is a mess tent also set up and cooks who will provide the food and tea etc. We will spend the afternoon brushing up on your mountaineering skills. We will cover things like how to safely move from one ice anchor point to the next, how to abseil, how to use the ascenders and how to walk in formation while roped up. Stuff we will teach you back in South Africa.
Summit day!!!We wake up at 1am. Check the weather conditions and if it looks good….we start. The first part of the climb takes about 4 hours and involves a steep climb up to ‘crampon point’. We then put on the climbing boots, crampons, harness and rope up to each other.
The first part of the climb involves crevasse crossings over ladders unroll we reach the bottom of the final ice wall. The ice all involves climbers clipping onto the fixed rope with their jumars and making their way up the steep wall. This is challenging climb lads to the final summit ridge. Hopefully you will be celebrating on the summit by 9am. We then descend all the way back to base camp where we spend the night again.
Trek down to Orsho village. A long day. Looking at about 15km. Overnight in tea house
Trek down to Namche Bazaar. A long day. Looking at about 10km. And it here we can maybe have a beer or 10 or celebrate your accomplishment. Overnight in tea house
Trek down to Lukla. Overnight in tea house
Fly to Katmandu. *****Weather dependent. ***Hopefully down by 13H00. Overnight in Kathmandu. Then it’s a beer, beer, beer, 3 hour shower, beer, beer, beer, get lost in he Thamel District, beer, dinner, beer, party in the local pubs or clubs.
Spare day in case of delayed flights from Lukla or bad weather at Island Peak
Fly from Kathmandu to Dubai
Arrive back in Johannesburg