The Island Peak

Island Peak is one of the most climbed mountains in Nepal, mainly for its easier technical accessibility and lesser altitude.


Overview

Island Peak or Imja Tse at 6,189 meters is an Alpine PD+ peak mainly know for the sports climbing.

It was named ‘Island Peak’ by the Erik Shipton’s party in 1951, because it seemed like an island floating in the sea of ice when seen from Dingboche.

Eric Shipton
Eric Shipton

Located at the Khumbu region of Nepal; which is also known for possessing Mount Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and countless other peaks, Island Peak accounts for a fairly easy climb and can be done by amateurs as well as experts.

The ascent mostly requires scrambling and ice-axing skills. Cramponing becomes essential during the Ice wall climbing and thick snow areas.

History

Imja Tse summit was first climbed in 1956 by a Swiss team as a training exercise in preparation for Mount Everest and Lhotse. Since then, it has been climbed thousands of time by hundreds of climbers, mainly for sports, training or serious climb.

PROFESSIONAL TIPS BY UIAA

  • The summit attempt from Base Camp (BC) avoids a night spent at Advanced Camp (AC) that, during high season, can get overcrowded. It may be necessary to negotiate with other groups before leaving BC in order to ensure that there is a space to pitch your tent at AC.
  • An ascent from BC requires a very early start (midnight or earlier) and often means a very late finish (sometimes in the dark). This option should only be considered by fit groups who are well acclimatized.
  • Ascending from AC means you can start at 2 am and still descend in daylight.
  • If you stay at AC you will need to take water, food and camping equipment with you. There are no toilets.
  • Some people actually enjoy the experience and the atmosphere at the AC! It allows you to feel closer to the mountain and its environment and the surrounding scenery is very beautiful.

Peak Climbing

Ascent profileIn order to reach the summit you’ll be expected to be able to climb to Scottish Grade II standard (steep snow, possible use of two ice tools, possible difficult cornice exit, but technical difficulties are short) or Alpine PD (some technical climbing and complicated glaciers).

It can generally be climbed during two different seasons. Spring lasts from February to June, and Autumn lasts from September to November.

The place can be really crowded during these two occasions, and most climbing takes place in groups to avoid hassle. It’s easier to climb the Island peak compared to most other smaller peaks, and is generally completed within a day, however, one must need to comprehend the basic skills of ice-axing, cramponing and staying fit. Trekking can be a great opportunity to get in shape and imbibe the local environment for the climb.


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