Sometimes, trekking to one location just isn’t enough. You get to your destination and you just want to keep on going! Luckily, the trek to Island Peak isn’t just one expedition… it’s two. That’s because you have to hike to Everest Base Camp first, which is one of the most beautiful routes you could ask for. Then, when you’ve trekked through the foothills of the Himalayas, the Khumbu Valley and to the base of Everest, you make your way onwards to Island Peak. Long considered a training peak for mountaineers before they summit Everest, Island Peak is a stunning mountain. And you’ll be well acclimatised before you ascend. If you’re thinking this trek is the one for you, we’ve put together an ultimate guide to Island Peak, so you’ll know exactly what to expect…
Ultimate Guide to Island Peak
- How hard is it to climb Island Peak?
- How long does it take?
- What is the food like?
- How much does it cost?
- How do I cope with altitude sickness?
- What’s the accommodation like on Island Peak?
- Is it safe to climb Island Peak?
- What do I need to pack?
- How do I train for Island Peak?
- What is summit day like?
How hard is it to climb Island Peak?
At Earth’s Edge, we give all of our expeditions a difficulty level. Island Peak is a level 7, which means it’s a tough challenge. You can expect to trek an average of 6 to 8 hours per day at altitudes not usually exceeding 6,500 metres. While the trek to Everest Base Camp itself is much more manageable (a level 4), the continuing climb to Island Peak is much tougher. You can read a great blog post from one of our guides, about whether Island Peak is tougher than Everest Base Camp.
Read more about how hard it is to climb Island Peak in our blog post.
How long does it take?
Our expedition takes 23 days in total. It takes 10 days to reach Everest Base Camp, before we make our way to Island Peak. We also have a spare summit day, and a rest and skills day to practice our rope work.
Read more about how long it takes to climb Island Peak in our blog post.
What is the food like?
One of the best parts of any expedition is the food! You get to try out a whole new world of cuisine, and eat as often as you can to keep your energy levels up. You often have a choice between plenty of foods on this trek, from local dishes like Dal Bhat (rice, poppadum, lentils, curry), and Western dishes like egg and chips.
Read more about what the food is like on Everest Base Camp and Island Peak in our extensive Food Diary blog post.
How much does it cost?
The Earth’s Edge expedition to Island Peak currently costs €4,999. This includes your return flights from Dublin. Pretty much everything is included in this fee, like accommodation, food, guides and porters. You’ll want to bring a bit of extra cash, particularly if you want to use the electricity or wifi in the tea houses along the way.
Read more about how much it costs to climb Island Peak in our blog post.
How do I cope with altitude sickness?
There are plenty of things you can do to reduce the risk of altitude sickness. We take a slow and measured pace, allowing ourselves to acclimatise slowly as we climb. The most important things you can do are staying well hydrated and fed, don’t race ahead, and get good sleep. We send an international doctor on every single one of our expeditions. They are highly experiences when it comes to AMS, but you need to tell them the moment you start to feel unwell.
Read more about coping with altitude in our blog post.
What’s the accommodation like on Island Peak?
There’s a bit of a mix of accommodation on the trek to Island Peak. On the trek to Everest Base Camp we stay mostly in tea houses along the way, rather than camping. This means a proper bed and, if you’re lucky, a hot shower! We continue to stay in tea houses for a few nights, aside from when we start to ascend Island Peak, when we camp.
Is it safe to climb Island Peak?
With every expedition, there comes a certain amount of risk. But at Earth’s Edge, safety is our number one priority. Every decision we make is about the safety of our clients and team. Climbing with a good team means you’re in the safest possible hands. Remember, our expedition doctor is there for a reason – if you feel unwell, they are there to help you.
Read more about if it’s safe to climb Island Peak in our blog post.
What do I need to pack?
As it’s such a long trek, you need to think carefully about your packing for Island Peak. The first stretch of the trek can be a little warmer than the Island Peak section, so you’ll need to pack for all eventualities. When you book with Earth’s Edge, we send you a full packing list, and you can read more about it below…
For the full equipment list, read our blog post.
How do I train for Island Peak?
As the trek to Island Peak is a long one, you need to make sure you have the endurance to keep going. In order to enjoy the expedition to its fullest, it’s really important to train beforehand. The best way to do this is a combination of hillwalking and cardio, with some strength training too.
Read about how to train for Island Peak in our blog post.
What is summit day like?
The journey to the summit of Island Peak is a tough one! We start off before dawn, and the day takes around 14 hours in total. It is physically demanding, too. We use fixed ropes and ascenders to conquer the headwall and reach the summit ridge. But the views from the summit make it all worth it!
Read about what summit day is like in our blog post.
And that’s our Ultimate Guide to Island Peak! If you want to read all about our expedition to trek Everest Base Camp and Island Peak, click the link to find out more, including dates.