5 May 2020 Peak Climbing Nepal
Nepal is home to many sky-touching peaks ranging from the lowest 5000m to the highest 8848m. You know that 8848m mountain right? If not, that is the world’s highest mountain, Mt Everest. Along with Everest, there are 7 more eight-thousanders peaks. In simple terms, Nepal is a wonderland and a blessing for mountaineers. It will be a long explanation if we start talking about the mountain in Nepal. So let’s get to the point, we are here to talk about the two most famous trekking peaks of Nepal, Lobuche East, and Island Peak. Let’s roll it
Lobuche East is a popular name in the list of trekkable mountains in Nepal. This Lobuche East peak is an extension of legendary Mount Everest. An extension of Everest means it lies in the most beautiful Khumbu region. Although having two faces; East and West, this peak is mostly climbed from the east and hence known as Lobuche East. The journey to the top of Lobuche Peak is remarkable due to its dramatic trails and beautiful views from the top.
On the other side, it is Island Peak(also recognized as Imja Tse), another popular trekkable peak of the Everest region. This peak looks like an island surrounded by the sea of ice from distance and this is why it is named Island Peak. Another interesting fact about this peak is that the first climbers of Mt Everest i.e. Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzin Norgay both summitted Island peak at first before Mt Everest. And ever since then it is also taken as a practice ground for the Everest expedition.
Until now, you have realized that both of the peaks lie in the same region. But it does not mean, the two peaks are similar in every way. There are things that make each of these peaks unique in their own way. Things like difficulty level, altitude, location, climbing route, etc. The clear differentiation is right below, go and read it.
Also if you are having a problem in which mountain to pick for the next adventure. You have come to the right place. This article will draw clear pictures of Island Peak and Lobuche East. And after reading this you can make the right decision.
Table of Contents
This beautiful peak stands just above the small Lobuche Village and that is how it got its name. The breathtaking Khumbu Glacier is also not too far from the Lobuche East. As you have already known that Lobuche is a two-point peak i.e. Lobuche East(6,119m) and Lobuche West(6,114m).
And these peaks are around 8 to 9 km southwest from the Everest Base Camp. Throughout the climb, ascenders have to cross several ridges and glaciers before reaching the top. The journey to the Lobuche peak is amazing as adventurers can enjoy the mountain views from the very start to the end.
The original name of Island Peak is Imja Tse but its appearance as an island from a distance made it popular as Island Peak. It stands nicely in between Mt Ama Dablam and Mt Lhotse just above the Chhukang Village.
And Chukung glacier is just below the foothills of Island Peak. It is not so far from the captivating Mt Everest, just 10 km away. One can enjoy the view of Everest all day long. An expedition to Island Peak is equally challenging and exciting thus it is more popular than the Lobuche Peak.
As its name suggests the east, the Lobuche East expedition is through the base camp and high camp of Lobuche peak to its east face’s top. The climb starts from the Lobuche base camp after leaving the Lobuche village behind. Until high camp, it is not necessary to equip any mountaineering gears. But from there, you will require ropes to proceed ahead. Wearing all the gears, you will move ahead in rocky and snowy moraines.
Lobuche East climb involves some technical difficulties where climbers have to push really hard. The final push is the most difficult and this is where the crampons, ropes, and ice axes come into real use. Lobuche’s final phase is steep around 45 degrees demanding uphill. Making through this phase, the summit of Lobuche East(6,119m) comes in front to provide the panorama of the ice-age Everest region. Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Nuptse, and many more mountains fit in the sight.
If you don’t know, you can do the Lobuche East expedition along with Everest Base Camp Trek. We got the right package, Lobuche Peak Climbing with Everest Base Camp Trek
The exciting route of Island Peak begins from the Island Base Camp(5,087m). And the base camp is just above the Chhukan village. Walking from base camp to the high camp is an easy hike and it requires no special mountaineering gears. But from the high camp, the tough road starts which asks for moderate scrambling and steep ascent through the gorge.
From the gorge, the trail leads towards a steep icy slope through a frozen glacier. That is when the mountaineering gears have to be unpacked. The fixed ropes help to climb the difficult part of the Island peak expedition. The most strenuous ascent of Island peak lasts for 300 meters before reaching the summit edge. And after that, it is the Island peak(6,189) summit that provides a wide view of the Everest region.
Your Lobuche East journey starts from the altitude of 1400m(Kathmandu). Then you will head for Lukla(2,860m) to enter the Khumbu region via a flight. As you move ahead the altitude increases more and more. To reach Lobuche East base camp you have to cross several settlements.
The villages that you will cross until base camp are Phakding(2,652m), Namche Bazaar(3,440m), Tengboche(3,870m), Dingboche(4,360m), Lobuche(4,940m). And then the journey upwards starts from Lobuche Base Camp to the Lobuche High Camp(5400m) and finally to the Lobuche East Summit(6,119m).
Just as the Lobuche East expedition, the Island Peak’s voyage begins from Kathmandu(1400m). Then fly to Lukla(2860m) before starting the trekking through various villages of the Everet region.
After leaving the Lukla, you will cross Phakding(2,652m), Namche Bazaar(3,440m), Tengboche(3,870m), Dingboche(4,360m) in some days before making to the Island Peak Base Camp(5087m). And then climbing thoroughly it comes to the summit point of Island peak(6,189m).
As you can see, the Island Peak and Lobuche East expeditions share the same trekking route until Dingboche. The route then departs from Dingboche in which Island peak adventurers have to move towards base camp and Lobuche Peak climbers towards Lobuche village. Hence, the altitude gains in both of the adventures are more or less the same. The Island peak is slightly higher than the Lobuche peak by only 70m.
Similar trips you may like:
Lobuche East’s journey is not as easy as you expect, it is one of the most difficult trekking peaks in Nepal. The trails are steep, slippery, and icy which are enough to increase the difficulty level. The expedition demands a high altitude walk of 5 to 6 hours per day on normal trekking days. Whereas on the summit day, you have to push yourself upwards for around 8 to 10 hours. There is always a fear of altitude sickness in the Himalayas and you know that Lobuche East is the part of it.
The trail until Lobuche village is a moderate track of Everest Base Camp. But as you cross the Lobuche village, the hill starts to slope upwards and trails become rocky and rough. Such steep and the rocky trails are strenuous to walk on. And trails level up from Lobuche East with snowy trails. You have to climb steep, rough, and snowy hills down to reach the top. The snow and steep trails are very much slippery to walk.
The real feeling of difficulty comes when you are just below the summit of Island peak and you have to climb the 45- degree sloped snowy hill. Without the fixed lines it is very risky and challenging to scale up. This 50m long line holding climb is the most difficult part of Lobuche East peak.
Thus we can say that the Lobuche East will not treat you easily at all. So you have to have the prior climbing experience, knowledge, or at least training.
Imja Tse or Island Peak is considered a less-difficult trekking peak even less than the Lobuche East. But that does not mean it is easy and you can do it without a single sweat drop. It is just a comparatively easier expedition than the Lobuche. The factors like hilly trekking, altitude sickness, technical section make this journey a little bit challenging.
Just as the Lobuche east, this peak does involve trekking via hilly terrains of the Everest region. On normal trekking days, you have to complete 4 to 6 hours of walk. And on the summit day, you are required to push yourself for 6 to 10 hours. Your half of the walk will be over the altitude of above 4000m and there is always a chance of getting caught by altitude sickness. The Island peak does have the technical sections where there are rocky, crevasses, and slippery boulders. One of the most difficult parts of the Island Peak climb is when you have to climb a steep headwall of 150m. Climbing through such trails can be difficult for both the experienced and starter ones.
The one coming for Island peak climb should either be an experienced climber or at least a trained climber. This journey is not for anyone who just loves mountains. You have to come with better preparations physically, mentally, and gear-wise. Read this article to find more about the Island Peak Difficulty.
Accommodation is not a problem until Lobuche Base Camp. There are plenty of teahouses/lodges installed in the areas of Lobuche East trekking trails. The only thing is that, as you up and up the numbers of lodges decrease. You will find more alternative lodge options while in the lower areas but as the altitude increases the total no of lodges decrease. This is the case for areas below base camp. But as you leave the base camp, your accommodations will be on the camping tents. You have to spend overnights in the camping tent until your return to the base camp.
Likewise, there will be no trouble to get food by Lobuche Base Camp. The teahouses upto Lobuche base camp provide wide varieties of cuisines. From international food menus to the local Dal Bhat. But as you walk past the camp, there will be no teahouses to provide meals. And you have to have food made by our cooks. They are specially trained and experienced cooks and no need to worry about hygiene.
Just as the Lobuche East, the accommodation facilities are more or less the same.
It is until base camp, you can enjoy the overnights in the average tea houses and lodges. The rooms of lodges are satisfactory where you can expect clean bed sheets and enough blankets. But, you can carry your sleeping bag with you to be on the safe side. As your climb starts from the base camp, your accommodations will be in a camping tent. You will be given a good sleeping bag and foam mattress to sleep. For the toilet stuffs the natural preservations will be used.
Talking about meals, the tea houses of trails have long food menus of continental, Indian, Chinese and Nepali foods. You can eat whatever you like from the menu but the most popular trekking food is the Nepali Dal Bhat. But while you are on the climbing route, the foods you eat will be cooked by trained Sherpa cooks. The taste of Sherpa’s hand-made food is quite delicious.
The cost of Island Peak Climbing from Peak Climbing Nepal starts from US$ 1,855 per person.
The cost of Lobuche East Climbing from Peak Climbing Nepal starts from US$2,255 per person.
Cost includes and excludes for both of the peak adventures is the same. Read the below headings to know about the includes and excludes of your climbing cost.
Lobuche East vs Island Peak, both of them involve hill trek and strenuous climb. And for that, you need to have a certain level of good fitness and health condition. Both of the expeditions demand daily walk and walking in the hilly trails is not easy as you think. The trails are scattered with many ascents and descents to be crossed by you. Therefore, it is a must thing to have a sound fitness level.
To make you clear, the Lobuche East climbing demands you to walk for 5 to 6 hours daily except the acclimatization days. And on the summit day, the walk is even more long and difficult. Similarly, the Island peak expedition requires you to trek for 4 to 6 hours on normal trekking days and 8 to 10 hours on a summit day. So it is clear now that both of the peak journeys are equally demanding and challenging. And it is also clear-cut that you need to possess a good fitness level.
As far as mountaineering experience is concerned, both of the climbings does not necessarily demand any previous climbings. But the prior experience comes handy while climbing these peaks. Both of the peaks want you to have mountaineering training or at least the knowledge about using the equipment like ice-axes, carabiners, ropes, crampons, etc.
Read this article to find out How to prepare for Island Peak Climbing and you will get knowledge about the preparations for both of the peaks
The best time for Island peak and Lobuche east expedition is any time around Spring and Autumn seasons. The ideal time for both of these peaks is identical as they lie in the same Khumbu region. Hence, if you like to climb either of these peaks or both of the peaks at the same time, you can embark during Spring and Autumn months.
March, April, and May are the months of Spring, and similarly, September, October, and November are the months of Autumn. Other than these ideal months, the expedition to these peaks is not suggested. Winter is the coldest time of the year and it can make you face a lot of hurdles. And Monsoon is the rainy season, and no one dares to climb mountains in the rain.
After revealing so much information about both Lobuche East vs Island Peak, we can say that both of the expeditions are equally challenging, exciting, and beautiful as well. They both examine your hard work, struggle, and effort before providing the exquisite view of the Everest region. And the sense of achievement after completing the summit is an extraordinary feeling.
We, the Peak Climbing Nepal Team, have so much of experience in providing excellent guide and assistance in both of the expeditions. If you would like to do both of the climbs in a single trip, we got the package for you, Lobuche and Island Peak Climbing. So don’t hesitate to book mountain adventures with us. Your every second and penny will be worth with us, Peak Climbing Nepal.
You may also like: