16 Jan 2021 Peak Climbing Nepal
In this article, we are going to do a fair comparison about various aspects of Island Peak vs Everest expediton.
Nepal is home to the tallest mountain peaks of the Himalayan mountain range. Climbing the highest mountain in the world, Mt Everest (8,848.86m) is every mountaineer’s dream. This beautiful Himalayan nation is home to eight peaks above 8000m and many more 7000m and 6000m peaks.
Nepal is the favorite destination for climbers as you get to climb all kinds of mountains. There are easy 6000m trekking peaks, challenging 7000m, and the deadliest 8000m peaks as well. Out of 1310 mountain peaks, 414 are open for expeditions in Nepal. Thus, mountaineering activities are quite famous in Nepal.
Island Peak (6189m) or “Imja Tse” is a popular trekking peak in the Everest region. This peak is like an island in the sea of ice and is hence popularly known as Island Peak. Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzin Norgay both submitted this peak first before ascending Mt Everest. And thus, it is well known to be a great practice climb before taking on the Everest expedition.
Even though both of these peaks lie just 10km away from each other in the same region, they are extremely different from each other. While Island peak is a trekking peak that you can conquer in just a day after trekking to base camp, the Mt. Everest expedition is just another level altogether. Mt Everest expedition requires proper training with mountaineering equipment.
Difficulty level, altitude, climbing route, duration, are some of the major differences between these peaks. This guide will help you know about these peaks in depth with a head to head comparison. Read further for a detailed comparison between Island peak vs Everest and other relevant information in detail.
Island Peak Vs Everest – A Comparison
The Imja Tse or Island Peak looks like an island of ice in a sea hence it is also known as Island Peak. Located between Mt Lhotse and Mt Ama Dablam above the Chhukang Village, this trekking peak is quite popular among mountain climbers.
There is also a Chukung glacier below Island Peak foothills. It is just 10 km away from the highest mountain peak in the world, Mt. Everest. Island Peak is close to Mt. Everest but is quite shorter as it is just a 6000m peak.
Island peak is a trekking peak and has an elevation of 6189m above sea level. It is also widely considered a practice ground for other 8000m peaks in Nepal including Everest. There is a technical headwall section that can get quite challenging where climbers need to use some of their skills using mountaineering gears.
Mt Everest (8,848.86m) is the tallest mountain in the Mahalangur Himalayas range of Nepal. The ultimate mountain for every avid mountain climber will provide you with an incredible experience. The mountain on the border of Nepal and China formed around 25 to 30 million years through tectonic action along with the entire Himalayan range.
Everest has two ridges of Northeast ridge (From Tibet) and Southeast ridge (From Nepal). There is a rock-hard snow layer on top of Everest that changes every season. There is only one-third of the oxygen level at its top’s atmosphere in comparison to the atmosphere at sea level. Lack of oxygen, cold temperature, and high force strong winds makes Everest one of the most inhospitable places on earth.
The Island Peak expedition route begins from the Island Base Camp(5,087m) after trekking through the same trail of Everest Base camp. And we pass through Phakding, Namche, Tengboche, and Chhukan village to arrive at base camp. An easy hike from base camp will lead you to a high camp. But the route gets tougher from the high camp, as you will need to scramble and climb steeply through the gorge.
A steep icy trail from the gorge will lead you to a frozen glacier and this stretch requires the use of mountaineering gears. The Sherpa guides help to fix ropes so that you can take their help to climb a difficult part of the Island peak. The Island peak is quite challenging for the last 300 meters before arriving at the summit edge.
Island peak (6,189) summit provides you with incredible views of Mt. Everest and other snow-capped mountains. This short peak climbing adventure gets completed in just a day and you can descend back to base camp. You will trek back to Lukla and then fly back to Kathmandu on a scenic mountain flight.
Mt Everest expedition in Nepal is through the southeast ridge. It proceeds with a trek to Everest Base Camp (5,380m) after arriving at Lukla from a scenic mountain flight. The trek passes through settlements of Phakding, Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Dingboche, and Gorak shep to arrive at EBC.
The Everest Base Camp Trek takes around 6 to 8 days to arrive at the destination and is one of the best treks in the world. Then the climbers spend two months in Base Camp to acclimatize at low oxygen conditions of higher altitudes. Then we pass through Khumbu Icefall which is one of the most dangerous parts of the climb.
The climbers reach Camp I (6,065m) and acclimatize there for some time. Then the route leads you to Camp II (6,500m) and acclimatizes further. The trail will lead you to the top of the Lhotse face to arrive at Camp III. Fixed ropes and technical climbing skills to reach Camp III (7,470m).
Camp IV (7,920m) on the South Col is just 500 meters away from Camp III. The climbers need a fixed rope for 100 meters To reach Camp IV. From South Col in Camp IV, the infamous death zone of Everest starts with many challenging and dangerous paths. And it takes around 10 to 12 hours to climb 1000 meters from Camp IV. The Balcony (8,400m) to the South Summit (8,749m) is the last part of the climb.
The Cornice Traverse will lead you to the knife-edged southeast ridge on a narrow trail and many mountaineers have perished in this part of the climb. The Hillary Step (8,790m) is a rock wall of 12m that was first crossed by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. Hence, the Everest expedition through the Southeast ridge route is one of the best routes for the climb.
Altitude Gain – Island Peak vs Everest
The Island Peak’s expedition starts with a scenic flight from Kathmandu (1400m) to Lukla (2860m) and we trek through various settlements of the region. After arriving at Lukla, we trek through Phakding (2,652m), Namche Bazaar (3,440m), Tengboche (3,870m), and Dingboche (4,360m) before arriving at Island Peak Base Camp (5087m). From base camp, we will climb the summit of the Island peak (6,189m).
The Island Peak and Everest expedition have the same route until Dingboche. From Dingboche, Island peak expeditioners move towards its base camp. The altitude gains of Mt Everest and Island peak is quite different. The Island peak summit is just above 6000m whereas Mt. Everest summit reaches a maximum height of 8848.86m.
Mt Everest has the highest altitude point on earth at 8,848.86m (29,031.7ft). The K2 is the second tallest mountain with an altitude of 8,611m (28,251m). The capital city of Kathmandu is the starting point of your journey at an altitude of 1,400m. Trekkers will trek through various settlements gaining altitudes gradually while acclimatizing at same time.
The trek starts from Lukla (2,860m) and goes through various settlements of Phakding (2,652m), Namche (3,440m), Thyangboche (3,867m), Dingboche (4,260m), Gorak Shep(5,180m) to arrive at Everest Base Camp(5,380m). However, there are acclimatization days between these treks to adapt to the new altitudes.
Climbers pass through Camp I, II, III, IV from Everest Base Camp, after acclimatizing for almost two months to arrive at Mt. Everest summit. Climbers will gain the altitude of 8848.86m which is the highest point on earth from sea level. Hence, the altitude gain of Everest makes this mountain quite popular among mountaineers and peak climbing enthusiasts.
Difficulty Level – Island Peak vs Everest
Island Peak or Imja Tse is a trekking peak and is hence less difficult in comparison to Mt. Everest. But it does not mean that you can complete this climb without any preparation. It is an easier expedition than climbing the highest mountain in the world and thus Island peak vs Everest is no comparison when it comes to difficulty level.
The altitude sickness and some technical sections make the climb of Island peak climbing quite challenging. This Island peak requires trekking before arriving at base camp. It requires a trek of around 4 to 6 hours whereas you need 6 to 10 hours to climb the summit of the Island peak. The trail passes through an altitude of 4000m and above which means there is a high chance of altitude sickness among climbers. There are no technical sections in this climb like rocky crevasses, and slippery boulders.
Climbers need to climb a steep headwall of 150m which can get quite challenging especially for beginners. The Island peak climber should have a proper training regime along with a basic level of fitness. This journey to the summit requires proper preparations both physically and mentally. You will also need to pack mountaineering and trekking gears along with warm clothes.
Read more on: Island Peak Difficulty
Mt Everest expedition is one of the most mountain climbs in the world. This extremely challenging climb requires proper training, dedication, and technical skills. This 60 days journey requires cautious climbing as even one misstep can lead to fatal consequences. The extreme temperature, technical sections, gale-force winds, low oxygen level, and other difficulties make this expedition one of the most challenging in the world.
A climber needs to overcome these difficulties to successfully ascend the summit of Everest. The Khumbu Icefall is one of the dangerous parts of the climb. The tough climb of this expedition will test all mountaineers to the core. Two months of acclimatization and training are essential to tackle extreme weather conditions at the summit.
Someone who wants to reach the Everest summit needs to have an endurance level, the ability to breathe at a low oxygen level, and prior climbing experience. Another important aspect to have is mental stability and a positive attitude. A strong mountain climbing experience and good climbing skills are essential for an Everest expedition. Overall, Everest Expedition is a difficult climb in comparison to Island peak.
Read more on: How Hard Is It To Climb Mount Everest?
Food and Accommodation
The accommodation facilities are similar until base camp, as you will stay in the tea houses and lodges overnight. There are bedsheets, mattresses, and a warm blanket in these teahouses. You must carry a sleeping bag so there might not be extra blankets on cold nights. From the base camp, you will need to stay in a camping tent.
A good sleeping bag and mattress are all you get in these camps. The tea houses provide a basic Nepalese meal of “Dal Bhat” along with other world cuisines like continental, Indian, and Chinese. You can also get hot beverages like tea, coffee, and garlic soup in tea houses along the trail. But in camps, you will have to eat food cooked by the Sherpa cooks.
Food and accommodation are similar till you arrive at Base camp in both Island peak and Everest expeditions. Over the trekking journey from Lukla to Everest base camp, you’ll stay in the tea houses. Tea houses offer basic food and accommodation similar to Island peak. Rooms have twin beds, a mattress, a pillow, and a warm blanket.
Likewise, you have to use a shared toilet and the internet, and a hot shower is available at added costs. But on the Everest expedition, you need to stay in camps for almost two months. Once you reach the Everest Base Camp, you will settle in the camped tent and eat food made by Sherpa chefs.
The healthy and nutritious food will provide you with the strength to tackle even the most dangerous of climbing conditions. The individual tents are safe and comfortable in high altitudes. The Sherpa guides will help you set up tents and with other things related to food and accommodation.
The cost of Island Peak Climbing starts from US$ 1,855 per person. Mt Everest Expedition Cost starts from US$ 39,999 per person.
- Arrival and Departure along with hotel transfers
- Kathmandu Heritage Tour with a professional guide
- BB Plan in Kathmandu with 3 Night stays
- Kathmandu to Lukla Round flight ticket from and vice versa
- Transportation and entrance fees
- Climbing permits for Island Peak
- All ground transportations
- Welcome and Farewell dinner
- Accommodations costs (Tea houses and Camping)
- Camping equipment
- Meals during the expedition
- Entry permits for Sagarmatha national park
- Trekking guide and climbing Sherpa guide
- Porters along trek
- First aid kits
- Personal Insurance
- Climbing gears
- Alcoholic and Extra Beverages
- Personal expenses
Fitness Level and Mountaineering Experience
Island Peak climbing involves trek and strenuous climb in a hilly and remote region. A basic level of fitness and health condition is essential to take this peak climbing adventure. The daily walk for long hours can get quite taxing especially for those who have not trekked in the region before.
The trekkers will have to ascend and descend and hence a sound fitness level is a must. Similarly, the Island peak expedition requires trekking for 4-6 hours and then climbing for the summit for 8 to 10 hours. It is equally demanding and challenging and hence you need to have a good fitness level.
As far as mountaineering experience the Island peak climbings do not require previous climbing experience. But the prior experience is quite helpful. Climbers should have the training and use of mountaineering equipment like crampons, carabiners, ice-axes, fixed ropes, etc. hence, Island Peak vs Everest is completely different when it comes to fitness and mountaineering experience.
Everest expedition requires prior experience and a high fitness level. You must have a peak climbing adventure of the mountain peaks above 20,000ft. You should also learn about mountaineering gears including fixed ropes, crampons, carabiner, ascender, figure 8 devices, belay devices, and others. The climber should also get used to extreme weather and freezing temperature.
You should also have experience with rock climbing, ice climbing, and snow climbing. Practice climbing with 50 to 60 lbs of weight while ascending and descending. You should also train in cardiovascular activities with hiking, jogging, swimming, cycling, and others. Mental stability is also essential in the Mt Everest expedition.
Overall, if you are trying to climb Mount Everest, you should have all the necessary skills, prior experience, high fitness levels, and mental stability. You should also climb a trekking peak like Mera peak or Island peak before tackling the highest mountain on this planet.
Island peak climb just takes a single day and is comparatively shorter in duration. It takes around 8-9 days to trek from Lukla to arrive at Island Peak Base Camp. You will then summit Island peak from base camp and return the same day.
While Island peak is a trekking peak, it does not mean that you don’t have to train for the peak. You need to train for the climb in advance as there is a headwall which is a technical section that will challenge you to the core. It takes around 15-18 days to complete this peak climbing adventure.
The Everest Climb is a long duration expedition that takes around 66 days. The two monthly long expeditions start with a scenic flight to Lukla and a trek of around 9 days to reach EBC. The long duration of the climb is due to the required acclimatization at various camps before arriving at the summit of Mount Everest. Hence, the Everest expedition is one of the longest mountain expeditions in the world.
Read more on: How Long Does It Take To Climb Mt. Everest?
When is the Best time for Climbing Island Peak Vs Everest Expedition?
The Island peak and Everest expedition are ideal in Spring and Autumn seasons. The Khumbu region looks incredibly beautiful in these seasons with clear skies and stable weather conditions. Hence, you can find many trekkers and climbers flocking the region for their conquest.
Spring is the peak season for mountain climbing and trekking in the Everest region. Spring is a beautiful time to trek as there are colorful wildflowers like Rhododendron blooming all over hills. Autumn is the second-best time for mountain peak climbing. Climbing permits are high along with the number of climbers in these seasons.
Winter is off-season as there are heavy snowfalls and extremely cold temperatures in the region. It is almost impossible to climb mountain peaks in such conditions as there is a high risk involved and many mountain peaks get closed in winters. Monsoon brings heavy rainfall which increases the chance of avalanches and landslides.
Moreover, these factors make off-seasons unfavorable for climbing mountain peaks. Hence, Spring and Autumn months are ideal seasons to embark on this peak climbing adventure.
Read more on: Best time to climb Island Peak
Island Peak vs Everest – Final Say
Island Peak and Mount Everest are two incredibly different peaks as one is a trekking peak whereas the other is the tallest mountain on earth. But both these expeditions are exciting and challenging at the same time. You will require incredible stamina, fitness, and effort to successfully summit these mountains.
Everest expedition is a long time duration which takes around two months to complete. It requires proper mountaineering training with gears like fixed ropes, carabiners, ascenders, belay 8 devices, ice axe, and others. Prior climbing experience of mountain peaks above 20000 ft is also essential.
Island peak is a trekking peak and hence requires around 15 days to complete including trekking before summit climb. This 6000m peak is a less challenging mountain peak in comparison to Everest and does not require prior climbing experience. You should train well for this climb as well as there are some technical sections like headwall that will test you in this climb.
Moreover, we hope you learned about Island Peak vs Everest comparisons in detail. We organize both Island Peak Climbing and Everest expeditions and have years of experience in providing excellent service. You can contact us for more details and book with us for a hassle-free mountain climbing experience. Happy climbing!