Interesting and justifiably famous, not only for its proximity to the world's highest mountain, but also for its Sherpa villages and monasteries, the Everest, or Solu Khumbu area is the second most popular trekking destination in Nepal. The primary objective of Everest treks is either the Everest base camp, about 5.340 meters, or Kala Pattar, an unassuming 5.545 meter hump on the southern flank of Pumori (7.161 meters), which provides a fine view of Everest (8.848 metres).
One of the biggest problems with the Everest Trek is the high likelihood of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), commonly known as altitude sickness, a potentially deadly illness caused by too rapid an ascent to high elevation. Be sure to read the section on Mountain Sickness if you are planning an Everest trek. If you suffer any symptoms of altitude sickness it is still possible to make a fascinating trek to less ambitious destinations including Namche Bazar, the administrative headquarters of the Khumbu region; Khumjung or Thami, more typical Sherpa villages; or Thyangboche monastery, from which an excellent view may he had of Everest and its more spectacular neighbor Ama Dablam (6.856 metres).
The Everest region may be reached by STOL (short take-off and landing) airstrips at LukIa (2.800 metres), Shyangboche (3.700 metres), or Phaphlu (2364 metres) or by an eight-day trek from the road head at Jiri, 188 km from Kathmandu. Those who fly to Lukla miss the historic and culturally fascinating route followed by the Everest expeditions of the ''50s and '60s although the trek has changed substantially in the past 30 years. It is best to take the time to walk from Jiri, then after acclimatization and conditioning afforded by the trek, visit base camp or climb Kala Pattar and either fly out from Lukla or walk back by an alternative route to Kathmandu. Those who insist their time is limited can fly to Lukla and spend as little as six days to visit Namche Bazar and Thyangboche. It is ill advised to attempt a quick visit to base camp, because of the lack of time for acclimatization, if you fly in to one of these airstrips. You should allow at least eight or nine days to reach the base camp region if you fly to Lukla; the return from base camp to Lukla can be made in as few as four or five days, so an absolute minimum of two weeks is required for a safe trek to base camp. The timing is further complicated because flights to LukIa often do not work as planned, so those with a tight schedule would do well to allow a few spare days for both the flight in and the flight out.
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The Island Peak or Imja Tse ( 6.165m ):
| The name Island Peak was given to the mountain in 1952 by Eric Shipton's party who were on their way to explore the Barun Gorge. Seen from above Dingboche the mountain does indeed resemble an island in a sea of ice. In 1983 it was renamed Imja Tse, although for most people the descriptive name of Island Peak seems to have been retained.
The mountain was first dimbed in 1953 by a very prestigious team in preparation for the ascent of Everest. They were Charles Evans, Alf Gregory, Charles Wylie and Tenzing Norgay, with seven Sherpas who were trying out the new fangled oxygen sets; as practice, of course, for loftier things. Fortunately this didn't set a precedent and most people seem able to climb it without bottled air, although a Sherpa.
Seen from the moraines between Pheriche and Dingboche the mountain doesn't look too impressive, dwarfed as it is by one of the largest mountain faces in the world; the South Face of Lhotse. However, on close inspection it reveals itself to be an interesting and attractive summit with a highly glaciated West Face rising from the Lhotse Glacier. The mountain itself is really an extension of the South Ridge of Lhotse Shar and is separated from it by a small col. Above this gap, rising to the south, is a classically beautiful ridge leading to the summit of lmja Tse. The continuation of this ridge, descending south-west, provides part of the normal route of ascent and leads in turn to the South Summit, seen capping the rocky west facet of the mountain when viewed from near Chhukhung.
As well as providing an enjoyable climb the peak also provides some of the most striking scenery in the Khumbu. If the peak can be likened to an island in a glacial sea, then the mainland forms a semicircle of cliffs that rise in the north to the rugged summits of Nuptse (7.879m) Lhotse (8.501m), Lhotse Middle Peak (8.410m), as yet still unclimbed and Lhotse Shar (8.383m). To the east, rising above the frozen waves of the Lhotse Shar Glacier, is Cho Polu (6.734m). beyond which can be seen the red granite mass of Makalu (8,475m)
To the south of the Imja Glacier the icy flutings of Baruntse (7.720m) and the Amphu peaks lead the eye to the lofty pinnacle of Ama Dablam (6.856m) which is like a giant sea-stack guarding the entrance to the glacial bay in which Island Peak stands.
Day 01 Lukla 2,800m. fly from Kathmandu, trek to Phakding 2600m
Day 02 Trek to Namche Bazzar 3440m
Day 03 Namche Bazzar - rest day – explore around 3440m
Day 04 Trek to Fortsethenga 3450m
Day 05 Trek to Machermo 4410m
Day 06 Machermo- rest day - explore around 4410m
Day 07 Trek to Gokyo lakes 4750m
Day 08 Gokyo Lakes - visit Gokyo Ri 5360m
Day 09 Trek to Thaknak 5360m
Day 10 Trek to Zhongla- 4843m, after crossing Chola Pass 5420m
Day 11 Trek to Labuche 4930m 4930m
Day 12 Trek to Gorakshep - 5284m. Visit Kalapatthar - 5610m. back to Gorakshep 5610m
Day 13 Gorakshep- visit Everest Base camp 5360m. back to Gorakshep 5360m
Day 14 Trek to Labuche 4930m 4930m
Day 15 Trek to Chikung - 4730m. after crossing Khongma La 4730m
Day 16 Trek to Island Base camp 4970m
Day 17 Island Base Camp - rest day explore around (reserve day) 4970m
Day 18 Trek to High Camp 5600m
Day 19 Summit Island Peak - 6189m. back to Base Camp 6189m
Day 20 Trek to Pangboche 3985m
Day 21 Trek to Namche Bazzar 3440m
Day 22 Trek to Lukla 2800m
Day 23 Kathmandu - return by flight from Lukla
US$ 3700 Per person, minimum number of participants 2 * .
Air fare :
US$ 460 Kathmandu - Lukla - Kathmandu.
Equipment hire costs :
US$ 1.5 Per item per day, Down jacket - waterproof jacket - kit bag etc.