25 Sep 2022 Peak Climbing Nepal
Despite being near the Everest range, Island Peak is of relatively shorter height. Island Peak lies at the height of 6160 meters inside Sagarmatha National Park. Expedition to Island Peak is one of Nepal’s more straightforward mountain climbing challenges. The trip will require climbers to trek the Everest region to reach the peak’s base camp. The hike is very short, enjoyable, and easy to finish. The actual mountain climbing, however, will probably be more difficult.
You can be sure that the expedition to Island peak is not life-threateningly challenging. So the answer to “can beginners climb Island Peak?” is a definite yes. However, it would be best to remember that every mountain climb requires effort, so it is not a piece of cake. It would help if you did an elaborate preparation for your Island Peak expedition.
One of the climb’s most complex parts is the summit ridge’s headwall. However, it is still very manageable. The headwall of Island Peak isn’t particularly steep, but from a distance and up close, it looks more intimidating. Once you get there, there are many places to sit and stand on ledges. The ridge doesn’t seem nearly as difficult or steep as other mountain peaks.
Although the expedition is beginner-friendly, you must have a good idea beforehand about the whole expedition. Here, we will discuss some factors you need to consider while doing this expedition.
Climbing route of the Island Peak
The Island peak expedition starts from Pareshaya Gyab, the peak’s base camp. The base camp lies at the height of 5087 meters; you will reach there via Chukkung. The climb to the mountain will require ascending through some rocky steps. You need a moderate level of strength for this ascend.
As you climb up, you will pass through a broadly open gully. This gully’s top will take you on a glacier trip, followed by steep snow with an icy slope. After this climb, you need a little more than moderate strength. You should make a strenuous ascent of around 100 meters worth of mountain rock to summit the ridge. This part is hazardous due to crevasses leading to the summit ridge at the headwall.
Crevasse openings can be fatal hazards in mountaineering and need to be cautioned.
The hardest part of the entire expedition will be these crevasses, along with the ascent to the summit. These are also quite manageable, especially if you travel with guides and porters.
Moreover, the mountain’s summit ridge is long and high but not very steep. There is just enough space at the summit’s top for four to five people to stand safely. Despite the small area, the mountaintop’s breathtaking views make it worthwhile to stand there.
How long is the Island Peak expedition?
You need just one day to ascend the Island peak from the base. However, the entire expedition necessitates a lengthy journey. You must go on a hike around the Everest region as part of the expedition. The hike requires you to get to Lukla; for that, you must take a flight from Kathmandu. From Lukla, you’ll need to hike through the Everest region via Phakding to get to Namche Bazaar. Passing through Tengboche and Dingboche, you can travel from Namche to Chukkuung.
You can only climb the Island peak after you reach the base camp via Chukkung. You will again descend back to Chukkung and make your way back to Lukla after your one-day ascent of the peak, returning to Namche along the way.
The Everest region hike should include a good number of rest days and exploration days. You might need a day or two to adjust, and you’ll probably want to visit Namche and Buddhist settlement areas. Without visiting these locations, the Everest experience would be lacking. Moreover, rest days and exploration days will make the expedition more fun and less strenuous. Only trekking and climbing will make your trip more difficult and less enjoyable.
Therefore, your expedition will probably last 12 to 16 days in total, including the hike and short excursions.
Porters and guides for an easier climb
Many mountain climbs around Nepal require you to take guides as a compulsion. The guides are there to help you make the climb easier. Although taking a guide to your Island Peak expedition is not a compulsion, it makes climbing much more effortless. The guides will teach you about mountain climbing if you’re an amateur from its base. They will manage the tools and gears to help you for a comfortable climb. Porters are also very helpful during your expedition as they will make the travel less exhausting by carrying your luggage.
Best seasons to do the Island Peak expedition
Climbing Island Peak is possible all year, but the spring and autumn seasons are the most suitable. These seasons are also considered the peak trekking and climbing season in Nepal. The weather is dry and temperate, with very few chances of rainfall or snowfall. It makes for a very convenient climb as well as great vistas due to the clear sky.
The monsoon and winter, on the other hand, are considered off-season. The monsoon brings in a lot of rain, making trekking trails and mountain climbing a challenge. The trails and mountain rocks get slippery and make the ascent difficult. Moreover, it requires extra preparation with rain gear. The winter season is similar with its snowfall and freezing climate. The winter snowfall could also result in avalanches and health hazards like frostbite. On top of that, accommodation and guides will not be readily available during these seasons.
Hence, the Island Peak expedition is best done during the peak seasons of spring and autumn. These seasons also bring in a lot of trekkers and expeditors, making the trip more wholesome. You will also have a lot of support systems, which will likely excel your confidence. These seasons will also increase the availability of guides and porters, unlike the off-season treks.
Choosing a suitable season to do the expedition is necessary to make the climb easy.