Island Peak Difficulty – Is Island Peak Hard to Climb?

15 Mar 2020 Peak Climbing Nepal

Island Peak Difficulty – Is Island Peak Hard to Climb?

Are you thinking about climbing the Magnificent mountain Island peak along with climbing island peak difficulties? This mountain is a part of the Everest region and many beginners, as well as experienced trekkers, visit this mountain to practice their climb.

The peak is making itself a name for being a novice level mountain climb. Trekkers believe the rise is moderate compared to other mountains of this region.

If this is your first climb into a higher altitude, then it can be a bit difficult. As you will be walking through the headwall at the end of this climb. And also altitude sickness can be quite a problem.

Interested in knowing about Climbing Island Peak difficulties then you can read briefly about them below.

A Brief Introduction

Most Nepalese people know this Island peak with its other name Imja Tse. This peak is situated inside the Sagarmatha national park of province no. 1. The peak is in the middle of Chhukung valley with a height of 6189 m above sea level.

It looks like an island in the sea of ice from Dingboche so, it got the name Island peak. Members of the British Mount Everest expedition gave the name in the year 1953.

To do your climb up the island peak, you have two starting point options. One from the base named Pareshaya Gyab situated at an altitude of 5087 m. And another from High Camp located at an altitude of 5600 m.

About the route

Island Peak Route Map

You fly from Kathmandu to Lukla and begin your journey from there. You head towards Island peak the highlight of your trip then return to Lukla and fly back.

On your way there, you will see many majestic mountains such as Everest, Thamserku, Kongde Ri. But the island peak won’t be visible until you reach Dingboche.

As you reach the base camp of Island peak, you acclimatize there before climbing into higher altitude. You will walk through steep slopes and narrow ridges to reach the top.

You will have to make an exhausting ascend for about 6-8 hours to reach the top. However, the descent takes about 3-4 hours thus you will be walking for around 12 hours that day.

The astounding view of Mount Lhotse Shar, Makalu, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, and many more looks remarkable from up there. You can also combine this climb with the Everest base camp trek.

After reading the short brief you must be wanting to know more about the best time, climbing island peak difficulties, etc.

Highlights of Island Peak

  • Fly to Lukla Airport; one of the thrilling airport of the worlds
  • Trek through the routes of Everest Base Camp
  • Learn about the Sherpa culture and tradition
  • Experience Himalayan lifestyle
  • Reach the summit of Island peak
  • Astounding mountain peaks such as Lhotse, Ama Dablam, etc
  • Spectacular view of the Khumbu Glacier

How difficult is island peak climb?

People make a climb to Island peak as part of the physical training before they summit Mount Everest(8848m). Thus it is the reason why people call it the training peak.

It might be a training peak but the routes are harsh in some parts. The paths are not that challenging but it requires a tremendous amount of stamina.

On the first stage of this trek, you will be trekking through uneven lands as you head over the 5000 m altitude. Thus, the climb can put slight physical pressure on you.

After arriving at the glacier field you will tie one another with ropes and wear crampons on your feet.

The hardest part will be climbing up through the foot of the headwall. But with proper preparations and safety fixed lines, you will be protected from harm.

If your will is strong then you can reach the summit ridge. From there the climb is easy and short till the top.

Climbing will not suit you if you fail to maintain proper hygiene and safety. So you must take responsibility for your safety at the time of mountaineering.

You can make the ascend easier by planning more days on this trek. And having 2-3 acclimatization days during this trip.

Climbing Island Peak Difficulties

island peak climbing

Climbing mountains is never an easy task however, it can be less difficult for the experienced mountaineer compared to a novice. In this climb, you will be heading to an altitude of 6189 m. So you should understand the threats you can face while climbing to a higher elevation.

No matter how experienced you are, there is no way we can underestimate the mountains. Some difficulties you might face are written below:

Altitude sickness

When traveling to a higher elevation, altitude mountain sickness has always been a major problem for many. Altitude sickness refers to the negative health effect caused by a lack of oxygen in high altitudes.

If you are suffering from altitude sickness headache and loss of appetite is a common symptom. But it can be caused by many other things too so other symptoms you can face are such as:

Symptom

  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Tired pretty soon
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Problem getting proper sleep

Many trekkers while facing these problems don’t notify their guide about it. The chances of being sent back and not being able to continue their journey scare them.

But you should never neglect these symptoms cause if the suffering worsens your life might be at risk. So you should stop the journey knowing your body’s limit.

Technical Section

Climbing Island peak requires technical training along with physical training to help ensure your safety. So make sure to learn the technical support training properly before you venture on this trip.

Roping section can be confusing for many even after the training. You might not trust the rope connection you have made. So the guide is there to help if you have any confusion. They will assist you on every point.

Reaching the summit can be exciting but while you make the descent you need to be more careful with the rope up. Move steadily and don’t hurry down.

You should always recheck your safety line properly because a fault in it can be fatal for your life.

Frostbite

When you are ascending at a temperature of – 20 degrees frostbite can be a major difficulty. Frostbite is caused when you reveal your skin in cold for a long time. It causes your skin and underlying tissues to freeze.

Frostbite mostly happens in fingers, toes, nose, ears, etc. It can happen even if your skin is covered with clothing. Some symptoms of frostbite are given below:

Symptom

  • Tingling feeling
  • Numbness
  • The skin turns red, bluish-white or gray-yellow
  • Stiffness in muscles and joints

Many trekkers have to return from their journey as they lose the motion in their hands and toes.

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Weather Condition

island peak climbing

Weather can never be predicted up in the mountains. You can experience temperatures ranging from 30 degrees to -15 degrees according to the season you will be traveling.

Early morning and nights can be cold but as the sun rises it tends to get warmer. During windy and cloudy weather it will get colder than usual.

Pack your bags according to the weather you will be trekking.

Accommodation

On this journey, you will be staying in both tea houses and tents. You get to spend your nights in teahouses till you reach the base camp. After that, you will travel camping on different rest points.

You will be sharing rooms with your trekking companions in most of the tea houses. Also, the bathroom facilities provided by them are clean and satisfying.

As for the camping part, you will be provided with a foam mattress and sleeping bag adjustable for any season.

Food and water

Food and water are essential things while climbing the mountain. You should drink about 6 liters of water in a day.

The main priority should be keeping your body hydrated. Your body tends to dry up quickly as you reach higher elevation due to the energy required to do the climb.

Also, the air is thinner in the upper areas. So, your body produces more red blood cells to carry oxygen. Thus to maintain your body functionality, you should drink plenty of water.

You will require a lot of energy to make the ascend. So you should consume foods that are rich in carbs and proteins. Energy bars can be useful during the Island peak Climbing.

When is the best time to climb Island Peak?

Before starting your trek in the mountains, you have to know about the weather. Any month of the year can be considered good for climbing Island peak.

But the time during the months of April, May, September, October, November is the best time for doing the climb.

During these months the temperature is favorable. The days are sunny and the night is less windy. There is no heavy rainfall as in Monsoon and the weather is not very cold as in Winter.

The chances of reaching the summit safely are higher during these months.

Equipment list

Climbing Island peak requires you to carry mountain gears along with your clothes. So you have to carry only the necessary things for this trek. The lighter your backpack the better it is.

Clothes

Here is the list of a few things you can bring along in this trek. You can still modify the list according to your choice.

  • Hiking boot that is comfortable for trekking to base camp
  • Pair of gloves. It should keep your hands warm and also be comfortable when using the Mountain gears
  • Hat or cap that is warm and covers your head and ears
  • Woolen scarf to cover your neck and your mouth
  • Trekking jackets and pants
  • Thermal clothes
  • Wind jackets
  • Sock liners, warm socks that keep your feet warm

Accessories

  • Cameras and extra batteries
  • Face moisturizer
  • Body lotion
  • Wipes
  • Glasses

Mountain Kits for climbing Island peak

To climb island peak you will be needing a few special gears. If you don’t own them you can hire them from Kathmandu or Chukhung.

  • Crampons that fit your feet
  • Climbing boots for high altitude
  • Excellent quality harness for climbing
  • Ascending device
  • Descending device
  • Ice axe with a strap
  • Tape sling (open 220 cm or closed 2 x 120 cm)
  • Carabiners 2x lockable 2x non-locking
  • Quality prusik loop

Is island peak climb accomplishable?

island peak climbing

After reading the climbing island peak difficulties, you might have doubts in your mind about whether you can make the climb or not.

These doubts are normal if this is your first climb. You should not worry too much as many novice mountaineers have already made their climb to the summit.

Before starting your journey you have to take both physical and technical training. A mountaineer should have a positive mindset throughout the trek.

On this trek, you will be carrying mountain gear such as ropes, crampons, climbing harness, etc. These gears are essential to make the climb easy and safe.

You should go camping to adapt to the camping life and also use the gears if possible. This will help increase your knowledge of how to handle them.

Before your climb, you can do some physical training of your own. Such as going on short hikes, swimming, cycling, etc.

With proper training and acclimatization schedule, you will reach the summit without any hesitation. Just focus on your goal to reach the top.

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Permit

A climbing permit is compulsory to make an ascend in the island peak. Along the way, you will visit many checkpoints. If they ask for your permit you need to show them to pass through. So, always carry the permit with you and don’t lose it.

The summit is in the Sagarmatha national park so you will be needing an entry permit for the national park as well.

Some tips to overcome climbing island peak difficulties

Extra time:

While planning your trip for Island peak it is better to add extra time. You can never know about the climatic conditions up in the mountains. Due to bad weather, your flights can be delayed or canceled. Also if you suffer from altitude sickness you might have to rest in lower elevation for a few days.

Acclimatization schedule

Reaching an altitude above 6000 m will be challenging so the right amount of acclimatization is needed. Acclimatization is done to help your body adapt to the surrounding in high elevation. It is necessary to give your body proper rest before you climb further up.

Proper training

Your body and mind should be well prepared before starting this journey. A tremendous amount of energy is needed while ascending the steep paths. The most thrilling part is the final steep climb through the headwall. You can overcome these with proper training.

Check your gear

Gear plays a vital role in ensuring your safety. You will be needing different mountain equipment to reach the summit. You can hire the equipment from Kathmandu or Chukhung but they can be of average condition. So you have to check your gear properly. Avoid snowfall and winds.

The weather condition is not that favorable between the month of December till Mid February. It is the time when heavy snow and cold wind occur on the top. During this time reaching the summit will be very challenging. So it is better to travel from March to May or from September to November.

Conclusion

If you’re a novice mountaineer the climb can be thrilling as the equipment and routes will be completely fresh. But for an experienced mountaineer, the ascend will be easy. However, facing the headwall will be an obstacle for both.

Overall, you will be able to reach the summit with proper training and dedication. You should be physically and mentally fit before you attempt the ascend.

Peak climbing Nepal hopes the information on climbing Island peak difficulties was helpful for you. And you take proper measures to avoid these difficulties.

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