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Ke Classic
Ke Classic
Holidays

Everest Basecamp and Island Peak

Nepal
1 review
Available Departures: Oct, Nov

20 days from

US$4,075

without flights
Mountaineer
Guided Group
CHALLENGING CHALLENGING

Trek to Everest Basecamp and climb Island Peak

Trip Code: IPC
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Everest Basecamp and Island Peak

Highlights
  • The best trek and climb combination in the Khumbu region of Nepal
  • Views of Everest and a close up of Lhotse from the summit of Island Peak
  • Trek to the top of Kala Patar and across the high pass of the Kongma La (5535m)
  • IFMGA qualified Nepalese Mountain Guide and a team of high altitude Sherpas
  • FREE sleeping bag, down jacket and climbing gear hire is available for this holiday

At a Glance
  • Group Size 5 to 14
  • 16 days trekking and climbing
  • Max. altitude - 6189 metres
  • Join In Kathmandu

Accommodation & Meals
  • All meals included
  • 2 nights Camping
  • 3 nights Hotel
  • 14 nights Lodge
Overview

High in the Khumbu, close to Everest and closer still to the precipitous south face of Lhotse, the aptly named Island Peak (6189m) rises above a tangled knot of glaciated valleys. With its outrageous location and elegant summit ridge, this peak has been a favourite with KE clients for 2 decades. A week of trekking on the 'Everest Trail' takes us via Namche Bazaar and Thyangboche to Lobuche beside the Khumbu Glacier.


From here, we hike up to Everest Basecamp and make the ascent of the classic viewpoint of Kala Patar, where we enjoy some of the finest views of the world's highest peak. Well acclimatised, we cross the Khumbu Glacier, trek up to the Kongma La (5535m) and drop down to the summer grazing settlement of Chhukung in the valley of the Imja Khola. From Chhukung, we trek up beside the glacial lake of Imja Tsho to Island Peak Basecamp at just over 5000 metres elevation. The ascent of this 6000 metre peak in the shadow of the huge Lhotse face is an ‘alpine experience’ in every sense, offering fine climbing in exposed situations amongst breathtaking scenery. This is one of the best of all Nepalese trek and climb adventures.

Is this holiday for you?

This is a fairly sustained trek with lots of days involving 6 hours of trekking and several with rather more than that. Most of the itinerary is on good village paths and shepherds' trails, providing straightforward walking conditions. The trek to the top of Kala Pattar and across the Kongma La (5530m) will present slightly more difficult underfoot conditions including scree and boulders. As this …

This is a fairly sustained trek with lots of days involving 6 hours of trekking and several with rather more than that. Most of the itinerary is on good village paths and shepherds' trails, providing straightforward walking conditions. The trek to the top of Kala Pattar and across the Kongma La (5530m) will present slightly more difficult underfoot conditions including scree and boulders. As this trip is primarily aimed at those wishing to climb Island Peak, the difficulty of the trekking should not be a major consideration. It should be noted that trekking at altitudes over 3000 metres is of itself demanding. Climbing difficulty The term ‘Trekking Peak’ was coined when trekking was a relatively new phenomenon. Few of the trekking peaks can be simply ‘trekked’ up, and perhaps ‘alpine’ peak would have been the better term. For these peaks, experience in the use of crampons, of roped climbing, occasionally in exposed situations, and competence on such terrain, is a requirement. If you are in any doubt as to your capability, please give our office a ring. The ascent of Island Peak is not technically very difficult and warrants an alpine grade of F+/PD. Much of the climb is on glacial terrain or 45 degree snow slopes with some steeper sections and with a summit ridge which is narrow in places. Fixed lines are used to protect climbers on all steep or exposed sections.

Why KE?

IFMGA Mountain Guide and climbing Sherpas
Our climbing groups in Nepal are led by a fully qualified Nepalese IFMGA Mountain Guide, assisted by high altitude Sherpa staff. The ratio of climbing staff to clients on the mountain is never less than 1:3.

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Itinerary

Your holiday starts at the hotel in Kathmandu. Transfers from Kathmandu Airport are provided. Depending on your arrival time, you may have the opportunity to explore the immediate vicinity of the hotel and get acclimatised to this bustling city. Alternatively, you may prefer to recover from your journey by relaxing at the hotel. Your guide will take dinner with you and will provide an informal briefing about the days ahead.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

D

After an early breakfast, we take a bus to the domestic terminal of Kathmandu Airport (or transfer to Ramechhap) where we check in for the short flight to Lukla (2840m). Landing on the narrow, sloping runway in the heart of the mountains is a very spectacular way to reach the Khumbu. Here, we meet our trekking crew and set off on the first stage of our trek to Everest Basecamp. Today's walk is very pleasant, leading down to the river, then northwards through a number of villages to our lodge in Phakding (2610m).

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

B L D

Ascent

270 M

Descent

500 M

Time

3 hrs trekking

Distance

8 KM

A very pleasant walk by the river through pine forest leads to a short climb to escape a narrow gorge section. We pass the entrance to the Khumbu National Park where details of our permits are recorded and then drop down again to the river which we cross on a suspension bridge. We continue up the wooded valley on a good trail and cross the river again before reaching a confluence of rivers, one coming down from Thame and the other from the Khumbu. We make a final crossing here on a spectacular high suspension bridge and then begin an hour and half long ascent to Namche Bazaar (3440m) on a wide switch-back trail. This is the sting in the tail of today’s otherwise quite gentle ascent, and one of the steepest of the trek. Just over halfway up this last hill to Namche, we gain our first views of Everest. On arrival in the Sherpa capital, we check into one of the town’s many lodges. Namche has changed tremendously since trekking first became popular in Nepal. The Sherpa people are very adept at working out what visitors need. Many of the Sherpas that own lodges, cafes and shops in the town have visited cities in the USA and Europe and have brought back all sorts of concepts. Today you can find in Namche, German bakeries, Italian coffee, British pubs, pool halls, and hot tubs.

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

B L D

Ascent

1100 M

Descent

310 M

Time

6 hrs walking

Distance

11 KM

Namche Bazaar is tucked away between two ridges amongst the giant peaks of the Khumbu. An ancient market place where goods from as far away as Tibet were and still are traded, Namche today boasts an abundance of lodges, cafes, bars and souvenir shops. It is a great place to spend an acclimatisation day before going higher. The guide will be keen to take everyone on an acclimatisation walk, whether this involves going as high as the village of Khumjung (3780m) above Namche, or just to the Everest View Hotel. Either of these options provides superb views of Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest. We spend a second night at our lodge in Namche Bazaar.

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

B L D

Ascent

500 M

Descent

500 M

Time

4 hrs trekking

Distance

9 KM

A relatively easy day of trekking, although at this altitude it will still feel tough on the uphill section to Thyangboche at the end of the day. The trail today is spectacular in terms of scenery. The main trail out of Namche heads in a northwesterly direction climbing steeply out of the town to a ridge crest where a wonderful view of Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam is revealed. Our trail now follows a contour high above the river with occasional short climbs as we cross a series of ridges. At the end of this contour trail is the tiny settlement of Kangjuma where various items of local art and craft, jewelry and even yak bells are laid out to entice passing trekkers to buy a souvenir of their visit. From Kangjuma the trail descends to a bridge across the Imja River at Phunki. Beyond the river, we climb a long ridge to Thyangboche (3860m), the location of one of Nepal’s finest monasteries. We have the chance to look around the monastery and the visitor centre there. This is a popular place to overnight as it not only affords a good view of the Everest/Lhotse massif but is also the classic viewpoint for Ama Dablam. However, water is scarce here and the lodges are often crowded so we may opt to continue for a further 20 minutes, descending to a lodge beside the river at Deboche.

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

B L D

Ascent

985 M

Descent

700 M

Time

6 - 7 hrs walking

Distance

11 KM

After breakfast at the lodge, we trek for a couple of hours to the village of Pangboche, where there is the oldest monastery in the Khumbu. An hour beyond Pangboche, there is a good lunch stop at the small Sherpa hamlet of Shomare and then it is a further 3 hours walking, gaining height very gradually, to Dingboche (4410m) at the entrance to the Khumbu Valley. We overnight in one of the relaxing lodges in this small and picturesque Sherpa village.

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

B L D

Ascent

870 M

Descent

420 M

Time

6 hrs walking

Distance

12 KM

In accordance with our careful program of acclimatisation we will spend two nights at this altitude before moving further up the Khumbu valley. We make a day hike up to the fantastic viewpoint of Nangkartshang Peak (5083m). This will be a tough climb at this stage of our acclimatisation but well worth it for the sensational views of Kangtega, Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Lobuche Peak and Taboche. For the most part this is just a walk up peak with some minor scrambling to reach the final rocky summit.

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

B L D

Ascent

680 M

Descent

680 M

Time

4 - 6 hrs walking

Distance

5 KM

The trek today follows the Khumbu Valley and climbs to the tiny settlement at Dugla where we may decide to take a break for a leisurely lunch. Shortly thereafter, we reach the memorial to those Sherpas who have died on Mount Everest. Here, the trail starts to level out, following the lateral moraine on the west side of the Khumbu Glacier to Lobuche (4910m) opposite the towering pyramids of Nuptse and Lhotse.

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

B L D

Ascent

640 M

Descent

140 M

Time

5 - 6 hrs walking

Distance

8 KM

Making an early start, we begin by following a trail through the ablation valley at the side of the Khumbu Glacier gaining height steadily. At this point the glacier is still hidden from us by the moraine, but as we climb to cross the rubble of a tributary glacier, we can see the great Khumbu Glacier stretching away down valley and also up towards the area of base camp. Beyond this tributary we reach an island of sparse grasses below the famous hill known as Kala Pattar. This place is Gorak Shep, once a summer yak herding meadow in the middle of nowhere, this remote spot now boasts several of the highest lodges in Nepal. As to be expected at this altitude and in this remote spot, the lodges here are quite basic but they do have heated dining rooms and offer a degree of comfort. After taking some rest here we continue along the moraine crest for a further hour or two before descending to the churned rubble of the glacier itself and our final approach to the site of the climbers' base camp is on the ice itself. Outside of the main Spring climbing season, it is unlikely that we will see any tents here but the place itself is quite inspirational, situated close beneath the stupendous Khumbu Icefall. Afterwards we return as far as Gorak Shep. It is possible to return all the way to Lobuche in one long day, but spending a night here at these high lodges will greatly assist our acclimatisation for Island Peak.

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

B L D

Ascent

470 M

Descent

245 M

Time

7 - 9 hrs walking

Distance

12 KM

This morning we have the opportunity to make the approximately 2-hour ascent of Kala Patar. At around 5500 metres, this is one of the finest viewpoints for Everest and the Khumbu Valley. Depending on the weather and the condition of the group at this point, it is also possible to swap these two excursions (Kala Patar and Everest Basecamp) around so that we visit the basecamp today Returning to Gorak Shep for some refreshment we then retrace our steps to Lobuche.

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

B L D

Time

6 - 7 hrs walking

From Lobuche, we make a crossing of the Khumbu Glacier. The glacier at this point is very slow moving, covered with rubble and moraine debris and usually has a good trail across. We then make the ascent to the Kongma La (5535m). The climb to the pass is steep, at first following a trail on a grassy hillside and then on a good path which zig-zags its way to the top of a scree slope. From the top of the scree the summit comes into view but we have another 45 minutes more level now, over boulders and scree to reach the prayer flags which stretch across from cairn to cairn. It will take a total of 3 hours or so from the glacier to the summit of the pass, but the views more than compensate for the expended effort. As well as the tip of Everest and the fantastic 8 mile-long Lhotse-Nuptse wall, the panorama includes Gauri Shankar, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Pumori and the distant peaks of Tibet. This relatively accessible Khumbu pass is not often crossed and is something of a hidden gem. A short distance below the summit we pass a usually frozen lake and drop steeply down into the valley where we pick up a steadily improving trail across yak pastures which takes us down to Chukung in the Imja Valley. This high Yal herders settlement which now boasts several lodges offers a sensational view onto the towering south face of Lhotse. From here we can also see our objective of Island Peak.

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

L D

Time

7 - 8 hrs walking

A relatively easy day’s walking to Island Peak Basecamp. The trail crosses the river by the last tea shop and follows a beautiful ablation valley for 2 hours. Basecamp is at 5040 metres by the side of the Imja Glacier, below steep grassy slopes which mark the start of the climb on
Island Peak. We may decide to tackle the peak from here or depending on the general conditions and availability of water higher up, we may elect to start from a higher camp. The afternoon is spent sorting gear for the climb or preparing for the move to high camp the following day. If there are any group members who do not intend to attempt Island Peak,
there is the alternative of a trek to the head of the Imja Valley.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Time

3 - 4 hrs trekking

This is a day for further acclimatisation prior to our ascent of Island Peak. We will take the opportunity for some skills practice before a good rest and general preparation for tomorrow's climb. Your trip leaders will decide how best to use this day.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

From the basecamp a very early start is required - shortly after midnight. Climbing by the light of our headtorches it takes 2 to 3 hours to reach the site of 'High Camp' and from there we continue ascending over scree and boulders for a further hour to reach a narrow, rocky ridge leading on to the glacier. This is the place to rope up and put on crampons as the most interesting part of the climb begins with the glacier crossing. The setting couldn’t be more impressive with the mountains of Ama Dablam, Chamlang, and Baruntse painted by the dawn’s light. We weave a route across the fairly level glacier to the bottom of a snow gully leading to the summit ridge. Here the guides fix a rope, and jumars are used to safeguard this section. The climbing is more interesting than technical, but steepens up to nearly 50 degrees in places. After approximately 200 metres, the summit ridge is gained and Lhotse’s vast South Face looms before us. Again the guides will place fixed lines on some sections of this undulating and sometimes corniced ridge. A final steep pitch brings us to the actual summit (6189m) which has space enough for everyone to sit down and take in the vastness of the surroundings. Island Peak is truly an island in a sea of ice, flanked as it is by the Lhotse and Imja glaciers and a plethora of giant peaks. Descent is by the same route and we aim to arrive back at the basecamp by early afternoon. Depending on the fitness of the group and time available, we may wish to continue our descent to the tea houses of Chukung, a further hour and a half down valley.

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

B L D

Ascent

1300 M

Descent

1300 M

Time

10 - 12 hrs trekking/climbing

We leave our basecamp (or Chukung) and descend the Imja Valley on our way back to Namche Bazaar and Lukla. Beyond the villages of Dingboche, we rejoin our outbound trail and
follow this down through Pangboche to camp at Deboche below the Tyangboche ridge.

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

B L D

Ascent

80 M

Descent

1100 M

Time

7 - 8 hrs

Distance

14 KM

After an early breakfast we set off and make a short climb through the woods to Tyangboche Gompa where we have a great retrospective of the Everest/Lhotse massif and Island Peak. This is a second opportunity to visit the impressive gompa if we were not able to do so on the outbound trek. Leaving Tyangboche we descend the steep path to Phunki, where we cross the Dudh Kosi and begin the steep climb to the lodges of Kangjuma. Following the contouring trail around the hillside we suddenly arrive at the top of the bowl in which Namche Bazaar nestles. A final steep descent on stone steps leads to the main bazaar. After taking some refreshment here (or lunch if we have made good time) we continue the trek, dropping steeply down to a high suspension bridge. We follow the Dudh Kosi down with the wooded valley sides rising steeply above us. We cross the river again and climb stone steps to the entrance of the Sagamartha National Park. Here we must show our permits before continuing just a short way to our overnight halt at Monjo.

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

B L D

Ascent

550 M

Descent

1280 M

Time

5 - 6 hrs trekking

Distance

13 KM

From Monjo the trail descends the valley, which becomes more enclosed as we pass the villages of Phakding and Chopling, to reach Chaumrikharka. Here we begin the final climb of the trip, the sting in the tail, with a 45 minute steady ascent up to the airstrip at Lukla. Arriving at the bustling town we check into a lodge and tonight we will no doubt celebrate the end of a great trek.

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

B L D

Ascent

665 M

Descent

580 M

Time

5 hrs walking

Distance

13 KM

After saying goodbye to our Sherpa crew, we board the flight back to Kathmandu (or to Ramechhap from where we transfer by road). The rest of the day is free for sightseeing or shopping amongst the streets and bazaars of the Nepalese capital. This evening we will have a celebratory meal and reflect on our Island Peak adventure.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

This is an important contingency day in case of delays to the flights from Lukla. If we have experienced no delays this is another opportunity for independent exploration amongst the colourful streets and temples of Kathmandu.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Your holiday ends after breakfast. Transfers to Kathmandu Airport are provided. To extend your holiday in Nepal, why not pre-book a day's sightseeing tour in the Kathmandu Valley, or a multi-day excursion to the wildlife reserve at Chitwan. Contact our office for details.

Meals

B
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Trek
Internal Flight

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • A local IFMGA qualified climbing guide
  • Kathmandu Airport transfers
  • Internal flights and all land transport involved in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as described
  • All meals throughout the trip
  • Island Peak permit Fee; National Park & TIMS Permit Fee
  • Once on trek the group will be assisted by porters and a local guide
  • FREE sleeping bag
  • down jacket and climbing gear hire is available for this holiday on request

  • Travel Insurance
  • Nepalese Visa
  • Tips for porters and other trek staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

The group will meet at the hotel in Kathmandu.

Transfers are provided from/to Kathmandu Airport for all clients arriving on Day 1 of the Land Only itinerary and departing on the last day of the Land Only itinerary.

Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

All meals are provided throughout the holiday from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 20. This applies whether you are staying in a city hotel, a lodge on trek or while at base camp.

It is not recommended to drink untreated water from the taps. If you are on a trekking or cycling holiday, water is supplied to fill up your individual bottles. This will be boiled, filtered or provided in large jerry cans or 5 litre bottles. Additionally you should take purification tablets or a filter bottle (such as a Water-To-Go bottle) to treat your water when in towns or where water is not supplied. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

Typical meals provided in the lodges will include some Nepali dishes but also international cuisine from pizza and chips to apple pie. To ensure that the group can eat together, we order meals in advance and your trip leader will arrange a set menu for the group, which will alternate daily between local and international dishes. Breakfast will usually be porridge, eggs, bread and a hot drink, lunch will be a simple meal with a hot drink, and dinner will be 3 courses consisting of soup, main meal and a simple pudding. If you wish to order additional dishes and/or snacks, you should budget accordingly. Boiled drinking water will be provided at breakfast, lunch and dinner. All the lodges and tea-houses sell snacks, chocolate bars, soft drinks and beer. The food served while at the base camp for Island Peak is a mixture of local and international cuisine, cooked by our highly trained trek cooks. The emphasis is on providing a high-carbohydrate and largely vegetarian diet, which we have found to be easily digestible at high altitude. In Kathmandu we take our meals in the hotel and local restaurants.

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

In Kathmandu we use a range of excellent hotels including the new and very comfortable 4 star Aloft Hotel. Located in the heart of the city, this hotel offers a range of first-class facilities including fast and free WiFi and a spa and fitness centre. Whilst on trek there are 14 nights in lodges/tea houses. The Nepalese trekking lodges also known as 'tea-houses' are simple, friendly and atmospheric. As they are far from the nearest road is it not surprising that they are simple establishments as everything must be carried up by porters or animals. Mostly these lodges have heated dining areas which are often attractively decorated. Accommodation is basic in unheated rooms with wooden beds and foam mattress. You will need a sleeping bag. The lodges normally have shared washing and toilet facilities. Some lodges have solar powered showers (charged at $4 - $5 per shower) and battery charging facilities (also charged at a rate per hour). Staying at the lodges is a great way to meet fellow hikers and the locals. While climbing Island Peak there are 2 nights camping. All accommodation is arranged on a twin sharing basis (note that in some lodges only dormitory beds may be available). If you are travelling by yourself you will join other single clients of the same sex in twin or occasionally, triple rooms. Single accommodation in Kathmandu and while at Island Peak Basecamp is available for a supplementary cost. Payment of the single supplement does not guarantee single rooms in lodges but we will make every effort to procure a single room in the lodges when these are available. A single tent is not available for any nights spent at High Camp on Island Peak. Additional hotel nights in Kathmandu are also available. For hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

Access to the high and remote areas of the Himalaya where our treks start is often only possible using internal flights. The changeable nature of mountain weather makes flying conditions complex. In addition, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal does not operate to the same standards as those of western nations and all airlines in Nepal appear on the UK Air Safety List (ASL), and are banned from operating commercial air services to, from, and within the United Kingdom. Flying in Nepal is an acknowledged risk, and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice provides further details which you can read on their website. KE is mindful of its duty of care to clients travelling with us in Nepal and we are stakeholders in an annual independent air audit of Nepal airlines undertaken by UK tour operators, most recently undertaken in February 2024. KE uses 5 airlines in Nepal which have been approved by this audit. These airlines are: Buddha Air, Summit Airlines, Shree, Tara and Yeti. We continue to cooperate with other tour operators to monitor aviation safety in Nepal and will ensure we remain a stakeholder in any further air safety audits. While we have taken appropriate action to try to minimise the risks of flying in Nepal, you should be aware that flying in mountainous terrain is not without any risk.

Please note that poor weather can cause delays on internal flights. If at the start of your holiday internal flights are cancelled for the day, you will spend an extra night near the airport (this may be at a hotel other than the group hotel). On the majority of trips there is enough flexibility in the trekking itinerary to make up 1 or possibly 2 lost days, but an alternative trek will be provided if delays to internal flights mean the original itinerary (or a shortened version of it) is no longer feasible.

For trips that end with an internal flight out of the mountains with no alternative road access, we have included 2 nights in Kathmandu as a contingency against delay. In the extremely unlikely event that a delay to your internal flight causes you to miss your homeward international flight, KE will re-book international flights for Flight Inclusive clients, but please be aware that clients booking on a Land Only basis will be responsible for re-booking their onward travel and for any associated costs. We advise you to take out suitable travel insurance and to keep your receipts, as you may subsequently be able to make a claim.

This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude. Unless you have previous experience of trekking above 4000 metres you should consult one of our trekking experts before embarking on this holiday. On this trip we carry a portable altitude chamber (PAC-bag) and/or bottled oxygen for use in emergencies.

Approximately £200 to £250 (or equivalent in US dollars, Euros etc.) should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses including porter and trek crew tips, beer, soft drinks etc. It is not necessary to obtain local currency prior to departure. Sterling, US Dollars and Euros are equally acceptable for exchange in Nepal. Please note: Scottish and Northern Ireland bank notes are not accepted in Nepal. We recommend that you carry your travel money in the form of cash, since you will exchange the majority of this on the day of your arrival in Kathmandu. If you prefer not to carry all of your spending money in cash, it is possible to withdraw money from ATMs in Kathmandu using your debit or credit card. During the trek it is possible to buy snacks, chocolate, soft drinks and beer on most days. Please be aware that since everything has to be carried up, these items become more expensive as you gain altitude.

Tipping is the accepted way of saying thank you for good service. Normally the porters and any other trek staff are given their tips at the end of the trek and this is best done as a group. Your Nepali tour leader will advise the group on an appropriate level of tipping. Most groups will hand out the tips with a bit of ceremony (or sometimes a party) on the last evening, to mark the end of the holiday. As a guide, we recommend that each group member contributes around £90 (in rupees) to these tips. At the end of their trek many people also like to donate various items of equipment to the porters and trek staff who work so hard to make the trip a success. Boots, gloves, hats, scarves and even socks are always warmly received by the porters. Your tour leader will make arrangements for a fair distribution (possibly by raffle) amongst the trek crew. Please note that you will have the opportunity to tip your tour leader separately (and additionally) during dinner on the final evening of the holiday.

Our holidays are normally designed with minimal 'down time' at the start of the trip, but having a day or two at the beginning will have the additional benefit of allowing you time to get over the stress of a long journey or travelling across time zones, leaving you refreshed and ready for your holiday. We can easily arrange for you to have additional nights and airport transfers.

Your main item of luggage should be a sturdy kit bag, duffle bag or similar which will be carried during the trek by porters and should weigh no more than 15kg. If you are picking up a sleeping bag and down jacket from KE in Kathmandu, you need to factor in the weight of these items (around 3kg) and allow space in your bag for them. Your personal mountaineering equipment (boots, axe, crampons etc) will be carried separately. On arrival at Lukla you will hand these items of equipment to your trek leader who will pack them in communal bags until you reach Island Peak Basecamp. You should also take on your holiday a daypack of approximately 40 litres capacity.

For all STOL flights in Nepal, the normal allowance for hold baggage AND hand baggage combined is 15kg. But, for our climbing holidays we have arranged an allowance of 15kg hold baggage PLUS 5kg cabin baggage. You may also wish to consider wearing your heavy mountaineering boots and any heavier clothing on these flights. Please be aware that you will have to pay any charges for excess personal baggage above this allowance at check-in, and that excess baggage may have to be flown separately. It is possible to leave items not required on trek at the hotel in Kathmandu. For your international flights, please check the baggage allowance with your airline.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

Visa Nepal

All nationalities require a visa. The visa process is partly automated and the fee is $30 for 15 days, $50 for 30 days, $125 for 90 days. The visa is FREE for children under 10 years. The visa allows multiple re-entry. Payment must be made in cash and USD, GBP or Euros are accepted.

Part of this on-arrival visa process involves filling in a ‘Tourist Visa Application Form’ and you can simplify the procedure at Kathmandu Airport by filling this form in online (within 15 days of travelling) at this link. This generates a receipt which you present (hard copy or saved on your phone) on arrival. This should allow you to go straight to the cashier to pay for your visa and has the potential to save you time in the visa queue.

Whilst these are not now needed for the visa process, we recommend that you travel with at least 2 spare passport photographs.



TREKKING PERMITS – WHAT DO WE NEED FROM YOU ?

For treks in the Everest region – EBL, EVL, EHW, ELL - we need your passport details and we need you to take with you to Nepal 2 passport photographs. You will hand these over to your local leader on Day 1.

For treks in the Annapurna region – ASL, ACL, UAT, ANL and for the Gosainkund and Langtang Trek - GLT – we need your passport details and we need to send through to Nepal ahead of your departure a scan of a passport-style photograph of yourself. Please send this to us once your holiday is guaranteed.

For these Conservation Area treks and other treks requiring Special Permits – KAN, DLG, NAP – we need to send through to Nepal ahead of your departure a scan of a passport-style photograph of yourself and a scan of the information pages of your passport. Please send these to us once your holiday is guaranteed. On arrival in Kathmandu you will still be required to provide your passport (with your visa) for presentation at the Nepal Tourism Board. Your passport will be returned to you by your tour leader at dinner.

For those trips requiring Climbing Permits – MER, IPC, CTL, YAR - we need to send to Nepal ahead of your departure, a scan of a passport-style photograph of yourself and a scan of the information pages of your passport. Please send these to us once your holiday is guaranteed. On arrival in Kathmandu, for YAR and for CTL, you will still be required to provide your passport (with your visa) for presentation at the Nepal Tourism Board. Your passport will be returned to you by your tour leader at dinner.

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Vaccinations

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid.

Malarial prophylaxis is not usually required for trips in the mountains, however if you are visiting rural and remote low lying areas then they might be necessary.

On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

The unit of currency in Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee.

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking or climbing trip getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. This is a demanding trek and you need to be aerobically fit and comfortable with walking for as much as 8 or 9 hours on some days day on a variety of terrain. The best preparation for this trip is regular hiking in mountain or hill country. If this is not possible, we suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime and gradually increase your work rate as you get nearer to departure. Jogging and swimming are all good for developing better stamina. For this trip it is also essential that you have previous experience of walking on moderately angled snow slopes wearing crampons, and are comfortable with a degree of exposure while secured on fixed lines. If you do not have previous experience of walking with crampons we suggest you attend a snow skills course prior to booking on the trip.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

  • Trekking and Climbing in Nepal. Steve Razzetti.
  • Sherpas & Himalayan Mountaineering. Sherry B.Ortner
  • A History of Nepal. John Whelpton
  • Field Guide to Birds of the Himalayas. Bikram Grewal
  • Portraits of People:Nepal Himalayas. Eric Valli

Island Peak (Imja Tse). Himalayan Maphouse

Includes a map at 1:50,000 covering the approach routes and a map at 1:11,236 covering the climbing routes and the summit area. Contour interval is 40 metres, with numerous spot heights. The map is indexed and shows settlements, tracks, lodges and campsites, places of interest, etc. Margin ticks show latitude and longitude.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please note that a paper copy of your travel insurance is required if you are travelling to Huaraz and the Huayhuash region.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. Use your own experience and judgement to determine what to bring with you but please ensure you have all of the mandatory items. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. Please make sure you have read the section on baggage allowance in the trip notes. It is possible to leave clothes or other items not required on trek at the group hotel.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots

  • Mountaineering boots - see ‘Mountaineering Equipment’

  • Snow gaiters

  • Good quality and fully waterproof (Gore-Tex or similar) overtrousers

  • Good quality and fully waterproof (Gore-Tex or similar) mountain jacket with hood

  • Warm jacket (e.g. down)*

  • Sunhat

  • Warm hat and thermal balaclava

  • Eyewear - Sunglasses

  • Thin gloves

  • Warm and insulating gloves or mittens

  • Daypack minimum 40 litres

  • Headtorch with spare battery

  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)

  • Water bottles 1 Litre (x2) (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic)

  • Water purification tablets

  • Dry bags(s) for daypack/kit bag contents (to ensure they keep dry)

  • Sleeping bag comfort rated down to minus 20 C*

  • Sleeping bag liner

  • Basic First Aid Kit including: A broad spectrum antibiotic, antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters (band-aids) and blister treatment, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).

Mountaineering Equipment:

  • Mountaineering double boots - see below

  • Ice axe *

  • Crampons (that fit your boots!)*

  • Mountaineering or climbing harness*

  • Karabiners (screwgate)**

  • Ascender or Jumar (provided)

  • Descender (rappelling device) **

  • Prussik loop **

  • Climbing helmet*

Packing checklist:

  • Trekking trousers

  • Baselayer shirts

  • Baselayer leggings

  • T-shirts or similar

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Antibacterial handwash

  • Small trek towel

  • Toilet paper (you can also buy this in the lodges)

  • Small padlock (to lock your kit bag)

  • Travel clothes

  • Trekking poles

  • Scarf or buff

  • Trainers for camp use

  • Pee bottle

  • Swimwear (for the hotel pool in Kathmandu)

  • Insect repellant – (DEET)

  • Camera

  • Penknife (remember to pack all sharp objects in hold baggage)

  • Basic repair kit (gaffer tape, sewing thread and needle etc)

  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)

Notes

*FREE sleeping bag, down jacket and climbing gear hire is included in your KE holiday booking on request.

Equipment hire: Please make all requests at least 4 weeks prior to the trip departure date. Items marked ** are provided with hire of a harness but are not available for individual hire. Please make all requests at least 6 weeks prior to the trip departure date. All equipment is issued in Kathmandu. Please remember to allow room in your kit bag for these items during travel to the start of your trek. During the trek your mountaineering equipment including double-boots will be carried separately in communal equipment bags.

Crampon hire: We provide Grivel G12 Crampons which are classic 12 point crampons designed for general mountaineering. They are fully adjustable and essentially, one size fits all. However if you have boots bigger than size 11 (46) you will need to purchase and take with you Grivel extender bars. Or take your own crampons.

Cultural sensitivity: The Nepalese are still traditional and conservative in the way they dress. Therefore, to avoid embarrassment on both sides, we recommend that you respect this and do not wear revealing clothing or sleeveless tops while visiting Nepal. Shorts are acceptable, but they should reach to just above the knee and be modest and for women it is preferable to wear trousers or a long skirt.

Camping mattress: For the 2 nights camping on Island Peak, foam type camping mattresses are provided. You may wish to bring your own Thermarest-type mattress for extra comfort, but this is optional.

Mountaineering Boots: Climbing at altitudes of up to 6000 metres, the temperatures can be very cold (as low as minus 30 degrees centigrade). Standard mountaineering boots are not suitable for these cold, high altitude conditions. Specialist double boots with insulated inners are the best to keep your feet warm at altitude in these extremely low temperatures. Examples of suitable boots are Scarpa Phantom 6000, Boreal G1 Lite, Mammut Nordwand, and La Sportiva G2 Evo. These boots are also designed to take step-in crampons, quickly and efficiently. This combination of double mountaineering boots and step-in crampons is by far the most sensible option when considering a mountaineering peak up to 6000 metres. You must make sure that you are suitably equipped for these extremely low temperatures.

Gear Advisor

  • PHD specialise in cold weather equipment, from the world’s lightest right up to the most protective for Everest or the Poles. It’s a large range. So to help you choose what you need to keep you warm, PHD have listed the gear that is appropriate for this expedition. Click on this link: http://www.phdesigns.co.uk/gearadviser/destination.php?destinations_id=11

  • Needle Sports is the English Lake District's foremost specialist climbing shop supplying mountaineering, rock, ice, alpine and expedition equipment worldwide. Internationally recognised as among the very best of the UK's top technical climbing gear retailers. They have a good range of equipment appropriate for this trip and offer knowledgeable advice both on their website and in store.

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

Extensions

Extension Details

Kathmandu Tour - Nagarkot and Bhaktapur

1 Day

The Kathmandu Valley contains the cities of Patan, Bhaktapur and Kathmandu itself, all of which were once independent kingdoms. An exploration of the valley’s historic and cultural sights is an excellent way to begin or end your adventure in Nepal. Highlights of this tour includes a very early drive up to Nagarkot on the Kathmandu Valley rim, the perfect place to watch a Himalayan sunrise. This is followed by a tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bhaktapur, renowned for its temples and traditional buildings. 

 

Extension Code: KTMV
Sharing Price from
US$175
Single Traveller Price from
US$270
Deposit Per Person from
US$125

Extension Itinerary

We have a long morning of sightseeing in the Kathmandu Valley, beginning with a very early start (at around 0430). We drive for approximately 1 hour through the quiet streets to Nargakot on the valley rim to watch the sunrise light up the Himalayas. Dropping back down to the valley, you will then have a guided tour of medieval Bhaktapur before returning to your hotel towards midday.

Whats Included
  • Experienced tour guide
  • Vehicle transport and driver
  • Entrance fees
What's Not Included
  • Packed breakfast to be provided. Other meals and drinks are not included
Extension Details

Chitwan Jungle Extension

3 Days

The jungles of southern Nepal are an interesting counterpoint to trekking in the foothills or the high Himalaya. Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge provides a relaxing and comfortable base for a wildlife safari and cultural village experience. During two days of wildlife viewing in the Chitwan National Park 'buffer zone' - the interface area between visitors and the animals that live at Chitwan – you will be accompanied by expert guides on safaris by jeep by boat and on foot. 



Extension Code: CHTL
Sharing Price from
US$1,545
Single Traveller Price from
US$2,155
Single Room Supplement from
US$440
Deposit Per Person from
US$200

Extension Itinerary

KE extension package services begin with a transfer to Kathmandu airport for the flight to Bharatpur. You are met by a Tiger Tops representative and transfer to the lodge. After a welcome briefing, you head off for the first of your jungle activities which may be by jeep, on foot or by boat. We can enjoy an excellent meal from the Tharu kitchen before retiring.

Meals

L D

After an early wake-up call you will go out with your guide to catch the birds and animals at the watering hole. After breakfast at the lodge you will go out on safari again. As with yesterday your safaris can be by jeep, on foot or by boat. After a full day of wildlife viewing, you spend your final night at Tharu Lodge.

Meals

B L D

You have another opportunity this morning to observe the animals at the watering hole, then after breakfast at the lodge, you transfer to the airport for the flight to Kathmandu where KE extension package services end.

Meals

B
Whats Included
  • Return flights - Kathmandu / Bharatpur / Kathmandu
  • Kathmandu Airport transfers
  • Transfers to the lodge on arrival at Bharatpur Airport
  • 2 nights full board accommodation at Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge
  • Jungle activities including jeep rides / boat rides / nature walks and birdwatching
  • Airport departure tax
  • National park buffer zone fee
What's Not Included
  • Any additional hotel nights required in Kathmandu before or after the extension
  • Expenses of a personal nature - drinks and souvenirs etc.

Reviews

5 out of 5 from 1 review

Great climbing experience ★★★★★

Another amazing and successful trip with KE, we achieved our goals and had a fantastic experience in Nepal. As always with KE the itinerary was well planned but flexible and we were well looked after during our trip.

By Colin from Dunbar | 23 November 2019

Traveller Reviews
5 out of 5 from 1 review

Great climbing experience
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Another amazing and successful trip with KE, we achieved our goals and had a fantastic experience in Nepal. As always with KE the itinerary was well planned but flexible and we were well looked after during our trip.

By Colin from Dunbar | 23 November 2019

DATES & PRICES

Private Departure?

Gather a few friends, family or club and take over your own departure.

2024

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Everest Basecamp and Island Peak
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: IPC /01/24/
  • This trip begins on Mon 21 Oct and ends on Sat 9 Nov
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$550
  • Single Supplement Price: US$315 - Group hotel nights (single tent not included)
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$55
  • Download Trip Notes

2025

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Everest Basecamp and Island Peak
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: IPC /01/25/
  • This trip begins on Mon 20 Oct and ends on Sat 8 Nov
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$625
  • Single Supplement Price: US$325 - Group hotel nights (single tent not included)
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$55
  • Download Trip Notes

Land Only Information

The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary starting at the hotel in Kathmandu. Transfers are provided from/to Kathmandu Airport for all clients arriving on Day 1 of the Land Only itinerary and departing on the last day of the Land Only itinerary.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE

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