We’ve compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions about this trip.
Hopefully you find some of these useful but if you have a specific question that isn’t covered in the FAQ’s, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.
For more information please head over to our Island Peak trip page here.
What is Island Peak?
Island Peak is a popular trekking peak in Nepal, with an altitude of 6,189 meters (20,305 feet). It is located in the Solu-Khumbu region of the Himalayas and is considered a beginner’s climbing peak.
What equipment and gear do I need for the climb?
You can find a full kit list here.
How do I prepare for the physical and technical demands of the climb?
Physical and technical preparation for the climb involves regular exercise and training, as well as practicing technical climbing skills, such as rope management and ice axe use. It is also important to properly acclimatise to the high altitude during the climb.
What are the risks and challenges associated with the climb?
The risks and challenges associated with the climb include high altitude sickness, exposure to the elements, and technical climbing hazards, such as rock fall or avalanches. It is important to be properly equipped and prepared, and to follow the guidance of your guide.
What’s the food like?
When in Kathmandu options are endless. Whether you’re looking for local Nepalese cuisine or something a little bit more familiar, you’ll be able to get it. When on the trails your options are also pretty good. The local dish is called Dhal Bhat which is comprised of white rice and lentils, typically accompanied by a vegetable curry. Your Sherpas and porters will eat this dish throughout the length of the journey frequently quoting ‘Dal Bhat Power 24hr’. It’s not just Dal Bhat on offer though as almost all tea houses will offer momos, noddles, pizza, burgers and curry dishes. One thing’s for sure, you won’t go hungry. You can pick up snacks and drinks all along the route but be aware the price goes up the higher you go. One of the big questions we get asked before this trip is whether it’s safe to eat the meat. The answer is both yes and no, much like anywhere. If you want to remove any risk of food poisoning then stick to vegetarian options as it’s no fun trekking with an ‘iffy’ tummy.
Can i drink the water?
You can buy bottled water along the way or you can pay for filtered / boiled water as you go. You can also bring along water purification tablets or a bottle with a filter option in it. It’s worth being cautious as the last thing you want is to get ill on the trip.
What’s the weather like?
Trips take place between September and November and March and May. Each period has its own positives and negatives. Autumn: The days tend to be sunny and clear with temperatures on the milder side. That said at night and at altitude it can get very cold. Spring: This can bring a few more showers with some unsettled days however it does bring a little more warmth, which can really be felt at night. In all honesty there isn’t much in it so don’t overthink it. Expect day time temperatures to average at around 15°C to 20°C, and night time temperatures to range from 0°C to -10°C.
What’s the culture like?
One of the best things about the trip is being able to get to know and learn about the Nepalese people, specifically the Sherpas. They were believed to have migrated to this region some 400 years ago rom Tibet. You’ll find prayer flags, mani wheels and monasteries all along the route to symbolise their Buddhist traditions.
They’re an extremely friendly and welcoming group of people and enjoy a laugh. However you need to understand that in Nepal things don’t always go to plan and they have thus developed a laid back approach to plans. We find it’s best to try and embrace that, rather than fight it.
What do I need to do about Visas?
You can either get a visa before you leave for Nepal or you can get it upon arrival. A visa is required for all nationalities, except for people with an Indian passport, and it will cost anywhere from €30-€50, depending on the length of your stay. We recommend getting the 30 day visa in case there are any problems with your trip. You don’t need to bring along a passport photo as you can get one there but it is worth bringing one if you already have it.
What money will I need on the trek?
Nepal accepts the USD or the Nepalese Rupee. There are ATMs in Kathmandu, Lukla, and as high as Namche Bazaar, where you can withdraw funds. However, we advise getting it before you come out as the ATMs are sometimes broken or empty. You should budget $20-50 USD per day.
Will I have a porter?
Porters are the backbone of trekking in the Himalayas. Everything you see that is man made on the mountain has probably had porters bring it there. They are immensely strong and are used to the thin air. On our trips we use porters to carry your overnight bags meaning you can carry a lighter day-pack. It can feel a little uncomfortable at first but it provides work and opportunity for those aspiring to be guides. We will help with what to take on the trip but it’s important to remember when deciding on taking on that extra book or pair of shoes that someone else will be carrying it.
When will the trip be confirmed?
We need a minimum of 4 trekkers to run this course. Your booking will remain pending if you are the first to book onto a course and we will send you a confirmation as soon as
the course is confirmed. We recommend not booking flights till the course is confirmed. We will confirm the course at the latest
10 weeks before the start date. In order to increase the chance of confirming trips as soon as possible we team up with other small suppliers, so you may be on the trip with trekkers who have booked from a similar company.
What insurance do I need?
Let’s face it, these types of trips don’t come risk free. We’re putting ourselves in amazing environments but also environments that carry an element of risk with them. In order
to protect yourself adequately you will need a specialist travel insurance that caters for the types of activities that you will be undertaking. It is a condition of our agreement that you are covered by adequate travel insurance for your arrangements. Click here to understand which one is for you.
Is there wifi along the way?
Mostly yes. Not all tea houses will have WiFi but most will for a small charge. Expect to pay around $5 for this.
What are the guides like?
Our guides are local Sherpas who know the route well. We’ve been working with them for years and are hand picked for their knowledge but also their friendly personalities.
What are the Tea Houses like?
The tea houses are comfortable and come with basic amenities. Usually you stay in a twin room and there is a common area to eat and socialise in. The further up you go the more basic things become but you will still eat and sleep well.
Can i shower?
Yes, the tea houses often come with warm showers for a charge. Expect to pay around $5 for this. As you get higher this becomes less likely so it is worth packing some
wipes or a flannel.
Is there electricity?
Yes, you will be able to charge devices like phones, cameras or Go Pros on the trip for a small charge. For Nepal there are three associated plug types, types C, D and M. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins, plug type D is the plug which has three round pins in a triangular pattern and plug type M has three round pins. Expect to pay around $3 for this. It’s worth bringing a battery pack so you don’t have to pay for charging each time you stop.
Whats the toilet situation like?
When in the tea houses the toilets are what you would expect to find anywhere else in the world. At restaurants or shops along the way expect to find a hole in the floor. You will need to buy toilet paper when you get to Kathmandu as this doesn’t come as standard.
Will I definitely make it from beginning to the end?
In short, no. Whilst we will always strive to get you along the trek, sometimes the weather or other factors like your personal fitness will prevent you from completing the trek. The lead guide will always conduct a meeting with the clients each evening to check how everyone is doing and to field any questions or concerns. All decisions will have clients well-being in mind.
What will we do if the weather is bad?
This depends on a few factors and how bad the weather is. We’ll always aim to continue the trek even if it’s raining/snowing as long as it’s safe to do so.
How will the Altitude affect me?
Everyone will feel the effects of altitude but not everyone will be affected the same way. Here are some of the ways they might effect you:
– Disturbed sleep
– Loss of appetite/nausea
– Shortness of breath
We build in acclimatisation days to help with this process and all of our guides are trained to look out for any symptoms. If there are problems we will react quickly to
make sure they don’t turn in to major issues.
What happens if I do get ill?
If you get ill then our team are on hand and will take control of the situation. They carry a medical pack and are in regular contact with our Operations team in Kathmandu.
Depending on the severity, you will descend and rest where we will assess your condition.
Should I take Diamox (Aceta-zolamide)?
This medication is used to prevent and reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness. It can decrease symptoms such as headaches, tiredness, nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath that can occur when you climb quickly to high altitudes. It’s not something that is often required on our trips due to the itinerary, as we account for acclimatisation days where you rest or have a short sharp climb to prepare you for the future days.
Is there an age limit?
There is no age limit but this is a tough physical and mental challenge so you will need to come prepared. For anyone under 18 please get in touch.
Do I need a first aid kit?
No, you don’t need a first aid kit as your guide will be equipped with one. It is worth carrying some personal medication like paracetamol, ibuprofen and blister plasters.
Can I buy stuff in Kathmandu?
Yes you can. Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal and a bustling city. The Thamel market is a great place to head to pick up any kit you might need for the trek. You can pick up sleeping bags, down jackets, t-shirts and anything else you might need for the trip at a fraction of the price that you would pay at home.
What bag will I need for the trek?
We will provide you with a free duffel bag that you will use on the trek. The porters will carry it for you each day and deliver it to your accommodation. You will need a day pack of around 20-25L that can carry layers, snacks, water and anything else you might need while trekking. You will be able to leave your travel bag at the hotel until you return so can leave anything you wish in that also.
Do we need to leave a tip for our guides?
Tipping your guide and porters is an important part of the trip. While they’re discretionary it’s very common place to tip them. As a general rule of thumb we recommend tipping 10-20% of the total cost of the trip.
How do we get to Lukla?
One of the most exciting and iconic parts of the trip is flying in to Lukla to start your trek. This only happens if the weather is good so you may find that your trip starts a day later than scheduled because of this. Don’t worry though, our operations team on the ground will manage this for you.