Lobuche Peak and the Island Peak, both lie in the Everest Region of Nepal. They both are one-day expedition peaks and are also very near to each other. Due to this reason, there are many similarities between the two peaks.
Lobuche peak is the extended part of the highest Mt. Everest and one of the most popular trekking and expedition destinations in the Khumbu region of Nepal.
The beauty of Lobuche Peak is what makes this expedition so popular and one of the best climbs.
Lobuche has two major peaks that are; Lobuche East (6,119m) and Lobuche West (6,114m).
It leads the climbers to one of the best vantage points that offer the surreal beauty of the landscapes and the surrounding mountains of the Everest region.
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Whereas, Island Peak rests above the Chhukkung settlement. This peak is utterly famous for its peculiar architecture that forms a sight like an Island when observed from Dingboche. This peak is also known as the ‘Imja Tse’ peak.
Island Peak was summitted by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, before attempting their actual accent to Mt. Everest.
This is also one of the reasons that made the peak popular among climbers all around the world.
Although both the Lobuche and Island Peak lie in the common region, they have contrasting features that make both of them special in their own way.
Some of their major distinctive features are the geographic location, difficulty, and altitude that separates them from each other.
If you’re in any kind of dilemma whether to choose Island PeakClimbing or Lobuche Peak Climbing, this article will help you make the right decision.
Highlights of Lobuche Peak Climbing and Island Peak Climbing
- A scenic flight from Kathmandu to Lukla with breathtaking views of the landscapes.
- Spectacular views of various mountains such as Mt. Everest, Cho Oyu, Makalu, Lhotse, Pumori, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, and many others.
- An early morning hike to Kala Patthar’s viewpoint for witnessing the best view of Mt. Everest and the Everest Base Camp.
- Warm and friendly Sherpa people who treat you with great hospitality.
- Opportunity to explore and immerse yourself into the intact Buddhist culture and tradition of the locals.
- A remarkable visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site ‘Sagarmatha National Park’ to observe the protected flora and fauna.
- The spiritual Buddhist Monasteries, Chortens, Mani walls, etc decorated with colorful prayer flags that indicate purity and spirituality.
There’s a unique story behind naming this peak the ‘Island Peak’. This peak when observed from Dingboche appears as an Island. The Island Peak is also called as Imja Tse.
This peak perches 10 km away far from the southern part of Everest, above the summer settlements in Chhukung village where the Imja river flows.
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Chhumrung is the gateway to the actual Island Peak climb. Island peak is situated between Mt. Ama Dablam and Mt. Lhotse, standing high, right above the Chukung glacier.
The challenging geography of the Island peak is what makes it more popular.
Lobuche East Peak
The Lobuche east peak lies above the beautiful Sherpa village in Lobuche and consists of two main peaks: Lobuche East and Lobuche West.
The Lobuche east peak offers various trekking routes among which, the South ridge is considered as a normal climbing route.
Lobuche peak consists of many ridges, glaciers, and rigorous ascends. The climb to the peak begins from the Lobuche Base Camp ascending from the Lobuche village.
The summit rewards the climbers with amazing views of the glorious Himalayas including Everest.
The Lobuche east summit stands 6199 m tall and Lobuche west 6,114 m tall. You will pass through two camps during your Lobuche East climb.
The Lobuche Base Camp has situated at an elevation 4950 m and the High Camp at 5400 m.
Towards the west of Lobuche is a small and beautiful Sherpa Village at 4930 m.
Island peak is situated at an altitude of 6,189 m with its Base camp at an altitude of 5,087m. Between the Lobuche East peak and the Island peak is Chhukung Village at an altitude of 4,730 m.
Lobuche Peak Climbing and Island Peak Climbing both takes you to the altitude above 5,000 m. The surrounding is covered with thick white snow under the deep blue sky.
Thus, there are high chances of getting altitude sickness and frostbites. But with proper acclimatization and packing lists, these risks can be reduced.
The Lobuche Peak consists of several small summits. Among them, Lobuche east is the climbing peak. It is the most technical and challenging climb that includes sharp descents. The snow slopes are steep, slippery and challenging.
Thus, a climber is demanded to have advanced knowledge about climbing. Besides that, climbers should also be skilled and trained to use the climbing gear.
The descender should be used on fixed lines while crampons, ice axes, pickets, and other equipment must be proper while the ropes are getting fixed.
The Island peak is a difficult climb but not as difficult as the Lobuche Peak climb. It includes several technical sections and walking through many crevasses and rocky, slippery wedges.
Good skills of using ropes, ice axe, and other equipment is a must. Island Peak lies at a higher altitude than Lobuche. Yet, climbing Lobuche is much harder than Island Peak.
Mode of Accommodation
During Island Peak climbing you will spend your nights in the basic tea houses up to Chhomrong village. As there are no settlements from onward the base camp, you will spend the nights in Camps until you are done with your climbing and return back to Chhomrong village.
Lobuche Peak Climbing serves you with the accommodation and food facility up to the Lobuche village. There are many teahouses and lodges running commercially at your services up to the village.
As you ascend to the Lobuche Peak Base Camp at a higher elevation, you will have to spend nights on the tents/camps as there are no settlements. The team will provide you basic services.
You are advised to take good care of your hygiene during your stay in the lodges and camps. Make sure you don’t get sick or dehydrated.
Physical condition and experience requirements
Climbing both Lobuche Peak and Island Peak requires technical skill and training. Climbing includes many technical difficulties.
You need to have extreme physical endurance and push as you will typically be using crampons, ice axes and ropes, and the final stage.
Lobuche East is comparatively much more difficult to climb than the Island peak. It requires you 5-6 hours of walking per day in general, excluding the days of acclimatization.
Lobuche East is perfect for those trying to climb Mt. Everest.
Although Island Peak is considered an easier climbing in comparison to Lobuche East, do not forget that both of the peaks lie in the Everest region.
You must be physically fit some extent and be able to walk for 6-7 hours a day and even 10- 12 hours on the summit day.
You don’t have to be experienced in previous climbings for both the climb but some rock climbing and high altitude trekking experiences would be very beneficial.
Also, take some ice climbing training and experience with skills to use equipment and gear to ease the climb.
For the Heart, lung, and blood disease patients, these climbs could be more difficult and sometimes even be fatal. Therefore, you are suggested to consult with a medical doctor before you undertake this journey.
We attempt to summit the Lobuche peak from the east face. Ascending gradually towards the high camp from the base camp, we follow the rocky moraines.
The paths are moderately inclined in angle. Reaching up to the high camp won’t require you any equipment. Upon reaching the high camp, guides will fix the necessary ropes for you to proceed towards the main summit of Lobuche East.
The route to Lobuche peak has a lesser number of summits with only a few enthusiastic climbers. The top of the peak rewards fantastic views of Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam.
The summit to the Island Peak begins from the base camp situated at 5,087 m. The climbing starts early in the morning at around 2-3 am opting for the High Camp for an overnight destination at around 5,600m.
You will simply hike from the base camp until you reach above the high camp which includes rough advances. The walk onward requires moderate scrambling and a steep ascent upon reaching an expansive open gorge.
Once you cross the gorge, you will be walking along the glacier and towards the steep icy slope. Then the attempt to the strenuous climb of almost 100 meters to the summit edge begins with the use of ropes. Upon reaching the top, you will be rewarded with the best views of the enormous mass of Lhotse.
Best time to travel
The best time to travel to the Lobuche Peak and Island Peak is during the Spring and Autumn season. Both these peaks lie in the Everest region, which has the best favorable weather during the Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November)
Besides these two months, Island Peak climbing can also be done in winter. But you may face difficulties to sustain in the extremely cold winter.
If you’re looking forward to climbing these two peaks during the winter, you must have early climbing experience.