Imja Tse (Island Peak)

Featured photo of Imja Tse (Island Peak)

This is a trekking Peak in Nepal close to the Everest Base Camp Trek. You leave the Everest Base Camp Trek at Dingboche and walk up to Chhukung. Then a base camp and/or an advanced base camp can be established between 5300 and 5600 m. The route to the summit includes a rather steep slope and a narrow ridge. Crampons, Ice-axe and ropes are necessary.

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 climbed 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 andLhotse Shar (8.383m). To the east, rising above the frozen waves of the Lhotse SharGlacier, is Cho Polu (6.734m). beyond which can be seen the red granite mass ofMakalu (8,475m).

Elevation (feet): 20,285
Elevation (meters): 6,183
Continent: Asia
Country: Nepal
Range/Region: Central Nepal Himalaya
Latitude: 27.9225
Longitude: 86.936111
Difficulty: Basic Snow/Ice Climb
Best months for climbing: Apr, May, Oct, Nov
Year first climbed: 1953
First successful climber(s): C.Evans, A.Gregory, C.Wylie, T.Norgay + 7 sherpas
Nearest major airport: Kathmandu
Convenient Center: Namche bazar

Thanks to Erling Juul and Terrill Thompson for contributing to these details. (View history)

Trip Reports

NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name

There are 56 trip reports for Imja Tse (Island Peak).

Select any entry from the list below:

  • Log #22446 - by Veronika BARTOVA on Nov 10, 2013
    I have climbed Imja Tse (Island Peak) as the only memberof an international expedition in the company of Sherpa Tsering. Then thewhole expedition continued to other Khumbu Peaks.
  • Log #22442 - by Sven Sjöberg on Oct 31, 2013
    My first "real" mountain
  • Log #22287 - by John Bursa on Jan 23, 2012
    First successful summit attempt of the autumn season. Camping at high camp proved advantageous. Large and numerous crevasses not long after crampon point. Waist deep snow in places made the summit...
  • Log #22257 - by Petr Smid on Nov 18, 2011
    It was beautiful day. We were two - the sherpa and me. We started at 01:15 AM and summited at 8:30 AM. The views from the ridge were marvelous and were worth to climb the exhaustive vertical before.
  • Log #22029 - by julielilienkamp on July 31, 2010
    Need to be in great physical/athletic shape. This is a scramble on rock and boulders, then a glacier trek, followed by a 200 ft+ ice/snow wall (vertical), and snowridge to summit (300 ft+) all over...
  • Log #21848 - by Matthias Jaeger on Jan 08, 2010
    Best conditions (sun, no winds), start at 1am, summit 9am, then back to Pareshya Gyb and Chukung 4pm.
  • Log #21568 - by Nick De-Gare Pitt on Jan 06, 2009
    Really hard walk in when you have the flu! but the peak was well worth the effort.
  • Log #21137 - by Norbert Fels on Dec 28, 2007
    Marvellous but hard trip
  • Log #21115 - by MARK WARING on Dec 11, 2007
    WE LEFT HIGH CAMP AT 3AM AND FOUND THE SCRAMBLE VERY STRAIGHT FORWARD. ON REACHING THE ICE FIELD DAY LIGHT APPEARED QUICKLY THOUGH WE NEVER SAW THE SUN ACTUALLY RISE DUE TO THE HEIGHT OF THE...
  • Log #20766 - by Steven Hayes on May 02, 2007
    Started walking at 1am on 03 April 2007. Reached the summit at around 8am. Beautiful climb.
  • Log #20748 - by Steven Hayes on Apr 20, 2007
    Started the climb at 1am and summitted at around 9am. Very pleasurable climb and beautiful at the summit.
  • Log #20703 - by Louis Kosztelny on Mar 23, 2007
    Started on rock in trekking boots and changed into plastic boots at the snowline at daybreak. From there the climb is very straightforward with a steep headwall near the top. On a clear day the...
  • Log #20612 - by Stuart Clark on Jan 18, 2007
    There were five climbers in the group, myself, three sons, and another friend. The ice climb was long and exhausting. With fixed ropes we felt safe. Our sherpa guide was very good and cautious with...
  • Log #20438 - by Jonas Spillmann on Oct 17, 2006
    There is a detailed description of the normal way ascent on my webpage at www.jonasspillmann.ch/islandpeak.htm.
  • Log #18716 - by Jim Gutherson and Julie Chesworth on Feb 14, 2006
    Made our ascent from high camp on the most perfect blue sky day, zero wind, and with no other groups but our own. Snow a few days eralier made the ascent slightly more work as high temps had made...
  • Log #10846 - by Troy Smereka on Nov 11, 2004
    Reaching the summit of Imja Tse is the perfect way to complete a journey in the Khumbu. Views the whole way up from base camp are great but from the summit ridge to the summit itself the panorama is...
  • Log #10850 - by marc christensen on May 02, 2004
    drink lots of safe water think of somthing that gives you peace of mind when you are climbing the steep parts and bring a backup camera live life to the fullist
  • Log #17462 - by Lewis Strasburg on May 02, 2004
    Delano is one of the peaks of Beaver High Adventure Base's "Three Peaks" program, and I climbed it in June as a ranger as part of my training on staff. We started early, as usual, and...
  • Log #10851 - by Mark & Shelley Damm on May 01, 2004
    A great introduction to high altitude climbing - a scramble up a rock gully, followed by some brief glacier travel to the bergshrund. After clipping in to the fixed ropes, and swinging yourself over...
  • Log #10852 - by Arnold Kadar on Feb 23, 2004
    I am planing to climb the sumit at the end of April-early May 2004 with two frineds. We are from Transylvania-Romania. We are in the middle of preparations and would like to know if there are other...
  • Log #10853 - by Nigel Vardy on Nov 03, 2003
    Though McKinley may have taken my fingers and toes it hasn't stopped me climbing. Great fun on Island Peak, and it's much warmer than Alaska!
  • Log #10854 - by Demokan Eren on June 15, 2003
    I went to Island Peak somethimes close to end of 2002.By the time i got to high camp wind picked and become more stronger.At night i couldnt rest because of the storm I tought it was gone blow us off...
  • Log #10855 - by peter baines on Apr 20, 2003
    Lots more information, maps and photos on the summitpost.com site, (you will need to register) http://www.summitpost.com/mountains/mountain_link.
  • Log #10856 - by Marco R. Sanders on Apr 17, 2003
    I am from Mexico City, I tried to climb this mountain but some problems started on the first ridge, where wearing crampons and ice ax was necessary and my guide did not have any ice ax, water,...
  • Log #10857 - by kingkaew buatoom on Dec 29, 2002
    first thai to summitt island peak i am a thai woman
  • Log #10858 - by Armando Corvini on May 25, 2002
    john Lamb and I climbed this peak as training for our bet to climb the unclimbed south face of Cholatze.I was the leader of the Cholatze Australian Expedition Nepal 1993
  • Log #10859 - by GOVAERTS Amaury / GERVAIS Viviane on May 07, 2002
    A thrilling first experience in Himalaya. Certainly not the last. We (5 out of 12) sumitted on a brighty windless morning after 8 hours from basecamp (crowdy on the ropes). We have chosen the...
  • Log #10861 - by Rick Coleman on Mar 30, 2002
    Decided to go to high camp instead of the very crowded camp at the base. This put us at least two hours ahead of those who started from the normal base camp. There are two options for a high camp,...
  • Log #10862 - by Emmy Allgood on Mar 26, 2002
    Our group of eight dwindled down to three, by the time we reached the high camp of Imja Tse. The others having succumbed to altitude or intestinal problems. Only three of us summitted. Since I had no...
  • Log #10864 - by sandro Cacchio on Nov 13, 2001
    three days vor my 50. birthday we left the Imja base camp at 3.00 in the night and went stright up in a wonderfull full moon night. we nearly did not need headlamps to see the way.
  • Log #10865 - by Ian de Bruyn on Sep 04, 2001
    Summited Island Peak 3 days after summiting Lobuche East. An early start (2 am) saw us departing the rather over-busy base campsite at 5100m, immediately ascending northwards up an earth hillside for...
  • Log #10866 - by Mike Masino on Aug 02, 2001
    Excellent peak, although can be busy, over 40 people all trying to get up the fixed ropes at same time, fun! Member of New Heights group led by Simon Yates. www.newheights.co.uk
  • Log #10867 - by Guillermo "David" Navarro on Aug 01, 2001
    I am planning to attempt the sumit the middle of October with my father. We are from Mexico. We are in the middle of preparations and would like to know if there are other groups attempting the...
  • Log #10868 - by Mark Hale on Apr 21, 2001
    Island Peak is a lovely little peak which is worth doing if you are in the area. I used it as an acclimatisation peak for Lobuche in the Khumbu valley but enjoyed it as a mountain in it's own right....
  • Log #10869 - by FloRyan Schuster on Apr 12, 2001
    fairly straightforward walk/climb with the "ice-wall" at about 6000m alt. being the only technical thing. started abt 02h a.m., summited abt.
  • Log #10870 - by Alex Sanders on Jan 12, 2001
    On march the 1st i climbed Island Peak solitary by the south south-west face, which is a very steep wall of rock (sometimes losse) and ice (in the top). It was a magnificent weather the whole morning...
  • Log #10871 - by Greg Hull on Jan 01, 2001
    Our team did not have a high camp, so we left base camp around 0230. We summitted at 1:30 in the afternoon and got back down to base at 8:30. it was a long day but the weather was perfect and we...
  • Log #10872 - by Tom Jessor on Dec 28, 2000
    I climbed Imja Tse with Alpine Ascents International, led by guides Wally Berg and Patrick Cook, with 3 Sherpa climbing guides. Eleven clients summitted, on a stunningly beautiful and clear day.
  • Log #10873 - by Mike Holman on Dec 20, 2000
    We spent 2 days at base camp to acclimate, then moved up to high camp, a move I would not recommend, because high camp is dirty, dusty, prone to wind, and has marginal tent sites. We should have...
  • Log #10874 - by Brice on Nov 29, 2000
    My wife and I and our guide and porters came through the Hongu valley and over the Amphu Labtse to reach the Island Peak BC after climbing Mera. We started at 3am and reached the glacier just as it...
  • Log #10877 - by Mads Brockmann-Petersen / Kas Hounisen on Oct 21, 2000
    "Danish Island Peak Exp. 1999". Excellent alpine peak with perfect views of the Khumbu Region - Ama Dablam, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Lhotse and Nuptse. With an early start from advanced base camp, we got...
  • Log #10878 - by Torben Benoni on Sep 09, 2000
    DIX99 - The Danish Imjatse Expedition 1999. The spring season for climbing in the Khumbu was near its end as we approached Imja Tse in may 1999. Conditions had been very good this year and the...
  • Log #10879 - by Rene Mendez on July 24, 2000
    This year the Island Peak summit was very difficult to reach, because of the bad conditions of the glacier. There was not enough snow and for that reason there were several crevasses all the way up...
  • Log #10880 - by Ian Arkley on July 18, 2000
    Three of us (plus Sirdar and porter) trekked in from Jiri after the obligatory hellish bus ride from Kathmandu. We Arrived at Dingboche 12 days later,dropped my girlfriend at the Snowland Hotel and...
  • Log #10881 - by Ron Hudson on May 31, 2000
    Our group of 14 left Lukla on April 5, 2000 and 8 days later, April 13, 2000, we walked up Kali Patar. On April 14 we went to Everest Base camp and back to Dughla. On April 15 four of us split off...
  • Log #10882 - by Jason Eng on May 09, 2000
    Imja Tse was the climax of a 21 day trekking tour I took of the khumbu (REI Summit Challenge). I left there very satisfied at having reached the summit, although I could have done without the...
  • Log #10884 - by Tom Trimmer on Mar 28, 2000
    Ww skipped base camp and made only a high camp. It was myself, my buddy, and our Sherpa. Skipping base camp turned out to be a bad move as my friend got severe altitude sickness and had to turn back....
  • Log #10885 - by CHIP DUYCK on Mar 03, 2000
    Great climb, pretty easy. Could do without guide
  • Log #10886 - by Willi Kuhn on Feb 16, 2000
    Start at the base camp 02.00 a.m. Summit at 07.00 a.m. Return to base camp at 10.00 a.m.
  • Log #10887 - by Eva Nilsson on Feb 13, 2000
    I had never climbed before, rocks or ice, but my friend that I went trekking with had attempted Imja Tse a few years previously and failed and wanted to have another go. (The two first parties in his...
  • Log #10888 - by Erling Juul on Feb 12, 2000
    We were three friends "climbing" this mountain after spending more than three weeks trekking Jiri - Namche - Gokyo (Gokyo Ri) - Cho La (easy pass) - Kala Pattar - Dingboche - Chukung. Well...
  • Log #10889 - by Bretton Adams on Nov 29, 1999
    Six feet of new snow had not sloughed off yet. Turned back due to extreme avalanche danger around 18,000 ft.
  • Log #10890 - by peter baines on Oct 15, 1999
    Treat this peak as an Alpine one - Go light and set off as early as you can in the morning from the High Camp. 0430hrs is advisable in order to get the best of the snow conditions. Have fun - an...
  • Log #10891 - by Jorge Sanchez Flores on Sep 26, 1999
    Thanks to Dibi Tamang, Vashira and Silvia. It has been marvellous
  • Log #10892 - by Lars Sjöqvist on Aug 13, 1999
    The Jävlaranamma expedition. 7h BC-summit-BC......... Nice view! Take a look at our pictures at www.algonet.se/~ute Lars Sjöqvist & Henrik Brunnsgård
  • Log #10893 - by Mark Penry on Aug 09, 1999
    This is an excellent peak for people with midrange mountaineering experience. On the standard route, expect a fairly straight forward rock climb with some minor exposure to about 19,400'. Then you...