Island Peak & Everest Base Camp

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Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Walking & Trekking
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A chance for experienced trekkers to summit a 6000m Himalayan Peak in Nepal

This very challenging trek takes us into the heart of the Khumbu, crossing high passes and ascending spectacular viewpoints. We first acclimatise before tackling the ascent of Island Peak. Following the expedition route to Everest Base Camp, we make an ascent of Kala Pattar (5,545m), before crossing the rarely used Kongma La Pass (5,535m) and head into the Imja Valley to the base of Island Peak (6,189m). For those who are well acclimatised, determined and have the energy, the views from the top provide some of the most striking scenery in the entire region.


  • Three challenging ascents, Nangkartshang (5,100m), Kala Pattar (5,545m) and Island Peak (6,189m)
  • Close-up views of some of the world's highest mountains, including Everest, Makalu, Nuptse, Lhotse and Ama Dablam
  • Visit Everest Base Camp and cross the rarely trekked Kongma La Pass

Key information

  • 4 nights hotels, 14 nights teahouses and 2 nights camping
  • 16 days point-to-point walking with full porterage
  • Group normally 2 to 12, plus leader, Sherpa climbing guides and local staff. Min age 18 yrs
  • Altitude maximum 6189m, average 3680m
  • Experience of walking roped-up, using ice axe, crampons, jumar and abseil device essential

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners
  • Morning bed-tea on trek
  • Welcome drink at each overnight lodge
  • 4 nights hotels, 14 nights lodges and 2 nights full-service camping
  • All listed transport and activities
  • Tour leader throughout, plus climbing guides and local staff (staff to client ratio of 1:4 on trek)
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Full porterage throughout trek
  • Exodus kitbag 
  • Trekking map (provided locally)
  • Climbing permit and national park fees

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request, Kathmandu only)
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Climbing equipment: see Packing List 
  • Sleeping bag (hire in advance from £50*)
  • Down jacket (hire in advance from £50*)
  • *Hire package incl. sleeping bag & down jacket from £70
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Days of Walking & Trekking

Av. 5-8hrs walking most days, some longer 9-13hr days.


There are some steep ascents and descents and some narrow trails. There is one short ladder over a crevasse. Not suitable for vertigo sufferers. As this trek also ascends to very high altitudes participants should be confident of their physical fitness and previous experience of trekking at altitude and in snow is essential.

Day by day breakdown
Day 48.0km/5.0miles
Day 515.0km/9.0miles
Day 610.0km/6.0miles
Day 79.0km/5.5miles
Day 813.0km/8.0miles
Day 98.0km/5.0miles
Day 108.0km/5.0miles
Day 1113.0km/8.0miles
Day 128.0km/5.0miles
Day 139.0km/5.5miles
Day 145.0km/3.0miles
Day 152.0km/1.25miles
Day 1611.0km/7.0miles
Day 1724.0km/15.0miles
Day 1819.0km/12.0miles
Day 198.0km/5.0miles
Island Peak

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Exodus has a longstanding relationship with our local partner in Nepal, having worked with the family business, passed from father to son, for over 30 years. We employ local leaders, guides and staff throughout and work with family-run hotels, such as the Hotel Royal Singi wherever possible.

Exodus has set up and supported many projects in Nepal over the decades, from installing solar cookers and donating smokeless stoves (a safer means of cooking, which helps prevent eye and lung problems), to supporting a tree nursery in Braga (in the Annapurnas) and helping supply water and hydro-electric power to several villages.

Following the 2015 Nepal earthquake, Exodus’ emergency fundraising appeal raised over a quarter of a million pounds thanks to our loyal customers and friends. This enabled us to provide emergency relief (shelters, food and medical supplies), to rebuild homes and schools, and to run a medical camp in spring 2016 in the remote village of Thulopatel in partnership with volunteers from Nepal Medical College. Over 1,500 patients from rural communities were treated for a variety of ailments, to whom medical facilities are not normally readily available. Many of our previous projects (both water pipes and stoves) were damaged in the earthquake - in 2017 we started repairing and replacing these.

Exodus also worked with Health Partnership Nepal and sponsored their medical camp in Charikot in 2017 as well as sponsoring more than 400 Freedom Kits (providing sanitary wear) for women in Nepal – we will be continuing with this project in 2018.

To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 


  • Day 1

    Depart London.

    The group flights depart London this evening.

  • Day 2

    Arrive Kathmandu.

    Arrive into Kathmandu in the afternoon and transfer to the Royal Singi Hotel. Those on land only arrangements will join us at the hotel.

    Hotel Royal Singi (or similar)

  • Day 3

    Free day in Kathmandu.

    There will be a full trek briefing this morning. You will be required to bring all your climbing gear to the briefing and there will be a full gear check. In case you need to hire or buy equipment locally there will be time to do this today. The rest of the day is free for sightseeing in Kathmandu. You may wish to visit the monkey temple at Swayambhunath, one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world at Boudhanath, or the most important Hindu temple in the valley at Pashupatinath. Sightseeing tours can be booked locally. Please see the Optional Excursions section. 

    Hotel Royal Singi (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Fly to Lukla; trek to Phakding.

    We fly to the mountain airstrip of Lukla (2,800m), and set off on the first short leg of our trek, heading northwards up the valley of the Dudh Kosi (or 'milk river'). The trail crosses several tributary streams and we have some tantalising views before reaching the small settlement of Phakding, where we will spend our first night.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 2,650m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Trek to Namche Bazaar.

    Heading out of Phakding we follow the Dudh Kosi northwards. This day's walk takes us through magnificent forests with glimpses of the mountains ahead. We cross the river several times by bridges as we pass through the villages of Benkar, Monzo and Jorsale. A final bridge brings us to the foot of the steep climb to Namche. Halfway up this ascent we may get our first glimpse, cloud-permitting, of the summit of Everest appearing majestically behind the great ridge of Nuptse-Lhotse. A last 300m of climbing brings us to Namche Bazaar, the Sherpa capital and the main town in the area. Namche is a prosperous Sherpa town and an important trading centre. It has a weekly market on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning but the town bustle all day every day with trekkers, coffee shops, bakeries and stores selling all kinds of trekking and climbing gear as well as Tibetan souvenirs. 

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 3,440m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Acclimatisation walk through Kunde and Khumjung to Kyanjuma.

    We climb steeply out of Namche past the airstrip at Shyangboche, to the Everest View Hotel, the highpoint of our day at 3,880m. Built by the Japanese this spectacularly situated hotel with wonderful views of Everest and Ama Dablam is an ideal place for a tea break. Descending through forest we come to Khumjung, where we have lunch close to the Sir Edmund Hillary School. After lunch, we walk up to Kunde and visit the Edmund Hillary Hospital. The twin villages of Kunde and Khumjung are set below Khumbila, the rocky peak sacred to all Sherpas. For much of the walk, we have great views of Ama Dablam and other Himalayan giants. We walk back down through Khumjumg, to the monastery. Sadly it was damaged in the earthquake but is now being repaired. Inside is a small box and after paying the entry fee (which goes towards the repairs) we will be shown the only Yeti skull in the world! Descending to the main trail we spend the night at Kyanjuma.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 3,600m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Climb to Phortse.

    At Kyanjuma we turn off the main trail and begin climbing to the Mong La, marked by a chorten on the top of a ridge at 3972m. This ridge descends from Khumbila, the abode of the patron god of all Sherpas. From the top we have great close-up views of Ama Dablam, probably the most photographed mountain in Nepal. From the ridge, the trail descends in a series of steep switchbacks past Phortse Tenga to the Dudh Kosi. We cross the river on a small bridge and then have a short climb up to Phortse, a fairly large village with a school and monastery.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 3,800m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Continue to Dingboche.

    A wonderful walk today as we take the little-used but spectacular high trail to Pangboche. The trail climbs out of Phortse and contours round the valley high above the river on a dizzying trail with spectacular views across the valley to Ama Dablam. As the trail winds upwards look out for Himalayan Tahr grazing on the steep slopes above. We then drop down to meet the main trail at Pangboche, at 3,900m, the highest permanent settlement in this valley. We are above the tree line now passing through an alpine meadow landscape where we may catch a glimpse of the rare Impeyan pheasant, the national bird of Nepal. Following a ledge above the river, the trail crosses a wooden bridge at the confluence of the Khumbu and Imja Kholas. A short steep climb brings us to Dingboche, at 4,350m. Here the great peaks of Ama Dablam, the ridge of Nuptse-Lhotse, Tawoche and Chalotse surround us. 

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,350m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Acclimatisation day in Dingboche. Ascend Nangkartshang Peak (5100m).

    We spend a day at Dingboche to continue our acclimatisation. Those adapting well to the altitude can climb Nangkartshang Peak at 5,100m for great views of Makalu, Lhotse, Chalotse, Tawoche and Ama Dablam.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,350m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Trek to Lobuje.

    The trail climbs steeply out of Dingboche past a chorten and ascends the valley gradually to Dugla at the end of the terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. From here we have a short, steep climb up to Chukpo Lari, a beautiful, yet poignant place where there is a line of memorials in tribute to the climbers who have died on Everest and from where we have a beautiful panorama of the peaks lying on the Nepal-Tibet border. The trail then eases off as we follow the valley to Lobuje, a tiny hamlet with a few teahouses. The sunset on Nuptse is not to be missed.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,930m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Trek to Gorak Shep; visit Everest Base Camp.

    A very long, hard day today as we leave very early, following the Khumbu Glacier northwards to Gorak Shep (5,184m). The trail undulates up and down the moraine with some short steep sections. The trail is rocky in places as we are now on the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. It will take us about 3 hours to reach Gorak Shep where we will have a rest and something to eat. From here to base camp and back there are no lodges so we will fill our water bottles and take some snacks for the walk to Everest Base Camp. We start by walking across the sandy flat at Gorak Shep and climb onto the lateral moraine of the Khumbu glacier. The trail ascends the side of the glacier for a couple of hours before finally descending onto the rocky glacial moraine itself. The trail winds up and down through fascinating ice seracs to the area known as Everest Base Camp, where in spring, we might see in the distance some of the expedition teams as they prepare to climb the mountain. From the Base Camp we get fantastic close-up views of the Khumbu Ice Fall and we can appreciate just how difficult it is to negotiate a route through the huge blocks of ice. Nuptse towers above us and Pumori rears up behind us. After a short photo stop by the Base Camp rock we retrace our steps to Gorak Shep.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 5,184m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Ascend Kala Pattar (5545m) for views of Everest; return to Lobuje.

    This morning we climb steeply above Gorak Shep to the small peak of Kala Pattar, 'Black Rock', at 5,545m, from where we can look down over the camps of the various Everest expeditions. This climb affords a most magnificent view of the Khumbu Glacier and above all a close-up view of the world's highest mountain. We return to Gorak Shep and retrace our steps to Lobuje. (Please note that due to bad weather we may change the order in which we do the walks to Everest Base Camp and Kala Pattar).

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,930m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Cross the Kongma La (5535m) to Chhukung.

    An early start for a tough and very long day as we cross the Kongma La. Taking a packed lunch and plenty of snacks, we head onto the Khumbu glacier and cross it on a small rocky trail which climbs up and down in between the seracs. It takes about 1.5hrs to cross the glacier to a small meadow. From here the trail climbs very steeply all the way to the top of the pass. As we ascend the scenery becomes increasingly spectacular. A final steep zigzag brings us to the top of the pass (often the top is snow covered and icy so we must take care). From the top (5,535m), we are surrounded by peaks and glaciers in all directions. The great ridge of Nuptse appears above us and we can see the glaciers of Kongmatse ahead and the rocky peak of Pokalde is to our right and below us is a small lake. The descent is steep at first with a short scramble down to the lake. We then have a long descent to Chhukung, where we stay tonight.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,730m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Short trek to Island Peak Base Camp (5,180m)

    There will be a full gear check and group summit briefing before leaving our lodge in Chhukung this morning (in High Camp there is no dining tent but further briefings will be done on a tent by tent basis). It is possible to hire gear in Chhukung if needed.

    An easier day as we head towards Island Peak Base Camp (5,180m). The trail crosses the river and follows the valley up for a few hours. Base Camp is by the side of the Imja Glacier, below the grassy slopes, which mark the start of the climb of Island Peak. In the afternoon we will prepare all the climbing equipment, practice walking roped up, using a jumar and abseil device and pack for High Camp and the climb. Please note that equipment checks and all practice sessions are compulsory before the climb.

    Camping (sleeping altitude 5,180m)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 15

    A short steep climb to High Camp at 5,685

    A short steep climb to High Camp at 5,685. High Camp is situated on some levelled ledges beneath a rock buttress which leads onto the Island Peak Glacier. It is not a comfortable campsite but it gives us a head start for tomorrow and the views are spectacular. High Camp is extremely cold and high and camping space is very limited. There is no dining or toilet tent. Our guides will bring food and drinks to your tents and briefings will be done by the guides on a tent to tent basis.

    Camping (sleeping altitude 5,685m)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 16

    Climb Island Peak (6189m).

    An extremely long day with a very early (and usually extremely cold) start at around 2 am or earlier. We scramble steeply onto a narrow rocky ridge leading on to the glacier. We will rope up here and put on crampons for the glacier crossing. Care should be taken crossing the glacier as there are several deep crevasses (in 2017 there was a short ladder across one larger crevasse). The views are amazing with Baruntse, Chamlang and Ama Dablam on the horizon. Once across the glacier, we come to the bottom of a steep snow and ice headwall leading to the summit ridge. Our climbing guides will check the fixed ropes (sometimes they have to fix a rope for us), and we will use a jumar to climb this section. The slope is steep (up to 50 degrees in places) and after 150 metres the summit ridge is reached. Suddenly Lhotse's South Face looms before us and the most exciting part of the climb begins as we tread carefully along the narrow ridge to the summit. There's one more steep section just before the summit, but we have the fixed ropes to help. Finally, we reach the summit (6,189m), which has only just enough space for the group to take in their surroundings. Flanked by Lhotse and the Imja glaciers and a host of other huge peaks, Island Peak really is an island of rock and snow in this grand mountain arena. We descend carefully back down the ridge and then abseil off the steep section. We return via High Camp to Base Camp and then we descend further to the relative comforts of the lodge at Chhukung.

    Please note that the climb is technical and also optional. The above notes describe the route last year. Because of gradual snow-melt, the route is becoming increasingly steeper, icier and rockier. It may alter depending on conditions. Sometimes there is no water above Base Camp. In this case, we will spend 2 nights at Base Camp and will climb from the Base Camp. 

    Summit day can be extremely cold and sometimes there can be high winds. You must be able to get ready quickly and move as fast as you can to keep warm. Your guide will set ‘turn back times’, meaning that if your rope team has not reached a given point by a certain time, you will have to descend as a group (as reaching the summit within a safe timescale is no longer achievable). Individuals cannot turn back alone and therefore, should a situation develop on summit day where members of your roped group are not suitable to continue, then all people roped together may be expected to descend, this decision will be made by the guide.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,730m)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 17

    Long descent to Kyanjuma.

    A long walk today but as it is mostly downhill and we are heading to lower altitudes, the walking should seem a lot easier. We leave Chhukung and descend to Dingboche. From here we re-join the main trail passing Pangboche and cross the Dudh Kosi by bridge. An undulating trail takes us through a magnificent rhododendron forest near Devoche, from where we have a short climb up to Thyangboche 3,870m. From here we have a fantastic panorama of mountains including Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam. Thyangboche has long been a sacred spot. The Lama Sange Dorje, who first brought Buddhism to the region, is said to have flown from his monastery in Tibet over the Himalaya, landing and leaving his footprints here. There will be time to have a quick look round the monastery before we descend off the ridge and down through the forest to Phunki Tenga. There is a sting in the tail today as we have a long climb up to Kyanjuma, from where we get magnificent views of Ama Dablam.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 3,600m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 18

    Follow a trail high above the Dudh Kosi to Phakding via Namche Bazaar and Monzo.

    The walk to Namche Bazaar takes us along a beautiful undulating trail high above the Dudh Kosi. We have some time in Namche and after lunch, we descend through Namche Bazaar and pick up our outward trail again to Monzo, and further to Phakding, where we stay tonight.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 2,650m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 19

    Return to Lukla.

    We retrace our steps to Chaunrikhara where we start the last climb to the airstrip at Lukla.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 2,800m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 20

    Fly to Kathmandu.

    We fly back to Kathmandu and transfer to our hotel.

    Hotel Royal Singi (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 21

    Free day in Kathmandu to explore the city.

    Today is free for sightseeing in Kathmandu (it is also a spare day to allow for any delays in the flights to or from Lukla). You may wish to visit the monkey temple at Swayambunath, one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world at Bodnath, or the most important Hindu temple in the valley at Pashupatinath. We offer a full range of sightseeing tours which can be booked and paid for locally. Please see the Optional Excursions section within the Trip Notes or the Exodus noticeboard in the hotel in Kathmandu.

    Royal Singi Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 22

    Fly to London.

    The trip ends after breakfast. Those on the group flight will be transferred to the airport in time for their flight home.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Stunning circuit encompassing Kala Pattar, Everest Base Camp and the ascent of Island Peak



Most nationalities require a visa for Nepal, which can be obtained in advance or on entry. If you wish to apply before departure the current visa cost is £20 for a 15-day visa and £35 for a 30-day visa for UK passport holders. The current cost of a visa on arrival is US$25 for 15 days, US$40 for 30 days or if extending your stay $100 for 90 days. All are multiple entry. The visa on arrival fee can be paid for in cash in US Dollars, Pounds Sterling or Euros. Application forms are available in the immigration hall (or for electronic passports, there are visa registration machines which, after inserting your passport, automatically fill out a form for you. If you use the machine you will not need a passport photo). You must first join the queue to pay the visa fee and then go to the relevant immigration desk to obtain your 15, 30 or 90-day visa stamp.  If you use the paper form to obtain a visa on arrival then you will also need one passport photo (a photo is not required if you use the electronic registration machines but we recommend you bring one with you anyway in case, for any reason, the machines cannot read your passport). There can be long queues for visas on arrival.

Non UK nationals should check requirements with their nearest embassy (a few nationalities are not permitted visas on arrival).



There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

There is low to no risk of malaria throughout Nepal and antimalarial tablets are not usually advised although may be considered for certain higher risk groups; you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. The risk is highest in the low lying southern ‘terai’ districts bordering India.

A yellow fever certificate is only required if travelling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission or for travellers having transited for more than 12 hours through a country with risk of transmission.

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

Most of our trips to Nepal go to high altitudes where there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness. Our itineraries are designed to enable everyone to acclimatise to these altitudes, but you should be aware that it is still possible for you to be affected. Please refer to the Altitude Warning within the Trip Notes for further advice on AMS.

Eating and Drinking

Breakfast is included throughout the trip and all meals are provided while camping (all breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners).

In the teahouses, the breakfast will be a set menu usually consisting of porridge, toast and egg. Any additional items that are not included in the set menu should be ordered and paid for separately. We do not include lunch and dinner on trek allowing you to choose what you want to eat and when. The menus in the lodges are almost identical to one another but offer a varied choice, ranging from traditional Nepalese dhal bhat to pizza and apple pie.

Dhal bhat is the staple diet in Nepal and comes in many different forms but generally comprises some curried lentil dhal and meat or vegetables, some rice, and a pickle/chutney. Another popular snack is momos; a type of Nepalese dumpling, fried or steamed, filled with meat or vegetables.

Although meat is available in the teahouses, we advise against eating it on trek. The meat has often been carried in the heat from lower altitudes for several days before reaching the lodges, and can cause stomach upsets or illness. Germs can also be spread by handling dirty money - we recommend using hand sanitiser.

If you buy imported food and drink whilst on trek you will spend more than the suggested amount.

Drinking Water

Staying hydrated is important when undertaking any physical activity but particularly so at altitude where it is generally recommended to drink at least 3-4 litres per person per day.

We strongly encourage you not to buy bottled water on trek as this contributes to the growing problem of plastic pollution in Nepal’s trekking areas.

All teahouses will provide cold water free of charge, if requested. Although this should not be drunk untreated, we recommend that you bring a reusable bottle with a wide opening (Nalgene or similar) with you and use a SteriPEN to treat it with. A SteriPEN is a handheld UV water purifier – small, lightweight and battery powered so easy to pack for a trek. In Nepal’s trekking regions most of the bottled water isn’t strictly ‘mineral water’ anyway but is UV treated, so it’s exactly the same technology. It’s quick to use, far more effective than purification tablets, and the water is ready immediately. It’s fine to use a SteriPEN on non-boiled water so long as it isn’t cloudy or full of sediment (which is uncommon in these regions).

SteriPENs are widely stocked on Amazon, outdoor shops and other online retailers; look for the latest models but avoid USB charging ones. Models which take lithium batteries are best as these last longer, especially in cold conditions. A SteriPEN will pay for itself over the course of the trek and you won’t leave behind a single plastic bottle – you will end up spending the same or even less than you would on bottled water, plus you can keep it for future trips.

If you prefer not to invest in a SteriPEN, the teahouses also sell boiled water for approx. Rs150-300 per litre (the price increases the higher you trek) which should not require treating. This is also perfect for a bedtime refill as it can double up as a hot water bottle.

While camping boiled water is supplied for drinking.


The main trekking season in Nepal is from October to mid-May when daytime temperatures at most altitudes are generally comfortable for walking, the sky is clear much of the time and rain and snow are occasional occurrences. Daytime temperatures will vary from 15ºC to 35ºC in the Kathmandu Valley to around 10ºC at 3,600m and progressively lower the higher we go.

Different seasons offer different advantages for trekking.

Post Monsoon/autumn: Mid-September to November. This is the main trekking season in Nepal. Day temperatures in Kathmandu are approximately above 20ºC. Skies are usually clear and days on trek are sunny and mild with clear mountain views. At the highest altitudes although the days can be nice and sunny, nights will be colder with temperatures dropping as low as minus 30ºC or lower.

Pre monsoon/spring: March to May. Both day and night temperatures will be warmer in general but haze will often build up in the afternoons. It is very hot in the lowlands and temperatures rise to 35ºC in Kathmandu. Flowers bloom in this season and this is one of the reasons people chose to trek in spring.

Snow can be expected on any departure, usually at the higher altitudes. Summit day will be a very early start (usually about 2 am) and will be extremely cold. There may be high winds on the mountain. You need to be equipped for temperatures as low as minus 30ºC plus wind chill on summit day. You must heed the advice of your guides on summit day about keeping moving and keeping warm.

Please remember that in any mountain area the weather is never wholly predictable and you should be prepared and equipped to deal with any differences in weather beyond the conditions described above.

Is this trip for you?

This is a Tough+ trek. It is activity level 9 with 16 days point-to-point walking and full porterage throughout. Please read a description of our Activity Levels, found on our website.

The maximum altitude is 6,189m (or 5,545m without Island Peak) and the average is 3,680m. The altitude can have a significant effect on your physical state - please refer to the 'altitude warning' within the Trip Notes. It is important that you take heed of the leader's advice and decisions at all times.

This is a strenuous trip requiring stamina; you should be physically fit and active and take regular exercise. You may find our Walking & Trekking Fitness Training Guide a useful reference.

There are some steep ascents and descents and some narrow trails. As this trek also ascends to very high altitudes participants should be confident of their physical fitness and must have previous experience of trekking at altitude and in snow.  

Although it is not compulsory to participate in the climb (the summit attempt is optional), anyone who does must have previous ice axe and crampon experience and know how to use a jumar and abseil device. There will be equipment checks in Kathmandu at the briefing and compulsory practice sessions for climbing equipment: rope use, ice axe, crampon and harness use, abseiling and crevasse rescue. Anyone who does not participate in all of these sessions may not be allowed to attempt the climb - this is at the leader’s discretion.

The climb itself is not recommended for anyone with a fear of heights or vertigo and the main trail itself crosses several modern suspension bridges over rivers and valleys - all of these have mesh sides but some are quite long and high.

Though technically harder than Mera Peak, for those with the necessary experience the summit is within the reach of those seeking their first Himalayan summit. The climb requires strong lungs and a great deal of will power - it is graded alpine PD+ and starts with some rocky scrambling to a glacier. We cross the glacier roped up (there is one ladder to cross), and then come to a 200m steep 40-45 degree headwall, which leads to a 20m summit ridge. We will rope up to cross the glacier and you will be walking with an ice axe, crampons and plastic/double boots. There are fixed ropes up the headwall (approximately 200m) and along the summit ridge. On the ascent you will need to use a jumar and on the descent, you will need to use an abseil device. Please note that we leave for the summit in the night and it can be very cold on summit day with temperatures down to minus 30˚C and there can sometimes be high winds and snow. You must be fully equipped for the cold conditions and have all the gear we list as essential in the kit list.

Walking distances and hours stated within the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings stated exclude lunch stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Why Trek with Exodus?

  • Over 30 years’ experience of organising treks in Nepal.
  • 100% of clients who did this trek with Exodus in 2017 would recommend us. 
  • Experienced English-speaking local leaders who are qualified in first aid and trained in recognising and dealing with altitude sickness.
  • Small group size (max. 12 clients).
  • One of the highest staff to client ratios on trek - 1 staff member: 4 clients. 
  • For the summit climb: a minimum of 1 qualified climbing Sherpa: 4 clients.
  • All staff (leaders, guides and porters) are fully insured and paid a fair wage.
  • Carefully planned ascent rates and itineraries with built-in acclimatisation and contingency days. 
  • Staff carry oxygen, first aid kit, and a Sat-phone. 
  • Self-assessment AMS cards used to monitor every client at altitude.
  • Established protocol for Lukla flight delays – see below.

Internal Flight Delays

Please note that adverse weather conditions at Lukla airport occasionally mean that flights to/from Kathmandu cannot operate. We include an additional day at the end of the itinerary to allow for this, but on occasion, persistent bad weather may delay the start of your trek or your return to Kathmandu.

Should there be a lengthy delay at the start of a trip we will aim to provide a shortened Everest trek, but if adverse weather conditions continue and the main objective of the trek become impossible to reach, an alternative trek to another region of Nepal will be offered. When fixed-wing planes are unable to fly, but helicopters to Lukla are available, clients may choose to travel by helicopter; in this event, the price per person will be approximately US$500-600 per person, of which Exodus will cover half.

Should there be a significant delay at the end of your trek, we will endeavour to get you on the first fixed-wing flights to Kathmandu available. Should helicopters be able to fly, we will consider paying for these on a case by case basis to enable clients to meet their international flights. In the case of persistent adverse weather, Exodus 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.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Hotels, Lodges and Camping

This tour spends four nights in a hotel in Kathmandu, fourteen nights on trek in lodges (teahouses) and two nights are camping.

In Kathmandu, we usually stay at the Hotel Royal Singi, located within walking distance of the Thamel district. All rooms have en suite facilities and there is a restaurant, a bar and an outdoor courtyard. There is complimentary Wi-Fi in the hotel lobby and Wi-Fi codes are available from reception for the rooms. There is an Exodus desk in the hotel reception area and an Exodus representative will usually be available daily in the mornings and evenings.

On the trek we will stay in teahouses for the most part. Some days there may be no tea house at lunchtimes – on these days we carry a packed lunch. The teahouses are basic but adequate; please be realistic about what to expect in the mountains. We ask that you read our Nepal Destination Guide for further details about the lodge facilities. 

The hub of the teahouse is the dining room, usually decorated with colourful traditional rugs, sometimes with a stove or heater (some lodges charge a fee to put the heater on). Most teahouses sell snacks and other essentials such as tissues, soap and toilet paper. Almost all lodges have electricity but it is not wholly reliable and lighting may not be bright enough to read by – a torch is essential. Electrical charging facilities are generally available only in the dining room (charged at approx. Rs150-350 per hour per device). Many of the lodges use solar power so sometimes there is not enough electricity for charging. Many lodges have Wi-Fi these days – in some areas it works well but in others it is slow and temperamental.

We book twin-share bedrooms throughout this trek. Beds with foam mattresses, bedsheets and a pillow are provided. Bedrooms are generally unheated and can get cold at night so you will need to bring or hire a sleeping bag.

Most lodges have only one or two basic toilets and sometimes these are located outside the main lodge building. Toilets are usually Asian ’squat’ style; although many lodges have now installed ‘western style’ seated ones. Toilet paper is not provided so you should bring your own or buy it locally (please dispose of it the bin provided – do not put it in the bowl). If there is not a flush handle, there should be a container of water to pour down – if it is empty (or frozen) please either refill it or ask the lodge to. Some lodges now have hot 'showers' (charged at approx. Rs250-500 per shower). Sometimes a hot shower is simply a bucket of hot water and not a shower head.

Standards of cleanliness vary especially in the peak trekking season and in winter when the water freezes at night. Please report any problems to your leader or the lodge and be vigilant in your personal hygiene regime – use soap or hand sanitizer gel before and after toilet breaks, snacks and meal times. As a general rule, the higher altitude you go to, the more basic the lodges and the more expensive food and services become.

For the summit climb, we spend two nights camping. We provide two-person tents, cooking and kitchen gear and support staff. Please note that at the camps there is limited space. At Base Camp, there are very basic toilets, a dining tent and a kitchen tent (these are organised by the staff from the lodge in Chhukung). At High Camp, there are no toilets and no dining tents. Food and drinks will be served by your guides to the tent and briefings will be done on a tent by tent basis. The conditions are basic due to the nature of the mountain.

Extra Accommodation

If you require any additional accommodation in Kathmandu either before or after the tour, we can book this for you (subject to availability), please enquire with your Sales Consultant.

Single Accommodation

A single room for the four nights spent in Kathmandu can be booked for a supplement; please enquire with our Sales Team. While in the tea-houses, single rooms cannot be guaranteed but if a single room is available that night, you can pay locally on a day by day basis. It is not possible to have a have a single tent whilst camping for safety reasons.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Embracing a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, but if you’re going to keep it up there’s got to be more to it than

  • Reviewed October 2017

    Island Peak & Everest Base Camp

    This was a fantastic, but hard trip. The scenery is stunning. I reached Everest Base Camp but had to descend back to 4200m as I had altitude sickness. So I missed Kala Patthar and the Kongma La pass. However I made a quick recovery so then managed to summit Island Peak - the highlight of the trip. Climbing it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, purely because of the altitude. The climb is one of the most difficult of the trekking peaks but if you have done grade 1 snow gulleys it’s straightforward. It’s doing this at altitude that makes it really hard! The views of the surrounding peaks at dawn were incredible.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of Island Peak.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leaders worked really hard to get us all to the top.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Technical gear, including plastic boots, can be hired up the trail near Island Peak. This means there is no need to carry excess weight on the Lukla flight. There is no need for a sleeping mat as the ones provided are good. A (metal) thermos is useful on summit day to ensure you have water that doesn’t freeze. Hydration pouches are not that useful for the same reason. Save money by getting a Steripen to treat water instead of paying for mineral water.
  • Reviewed December 2012


    A fantastic trip!  A small and well balanced group of trekkers who got on really well, supported by a first class team of leader, guides and yak driver made this a trip to remember for all the right reasons. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Nepal and the Himalaya are inspiring locations - just being there makes the whole trip 'an inspiring moment' But if I had to pick one, then ......... Getting to the top of Island Peak with all six of my trek mates anbd the climbing guides and enjoying the fantastic views from the summit was it.A close second must be we trekkers dancing with the suport team at Phakding (on the way down) and earning the nickname "Dancing Exodus" from other groups at the lodge!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lhakpa Gelu Sherpa was an excellent leader.  It is hard to believe that he is only 28 years old - a very wise head on experienced, but youthful, shoulders.  He ensured each and every member of the group was well looked after which resulted in us all reaching our destination summit in good shape.  We all learned a great deal about Nepal, the Sherpa people, Solu Khumbu and the nepalese/sherpa languages from this talented young man.  He is an extremely professional leader and is a credit to Exodus - it is people like him that make Exodus stand out from other companies.Lhakpa Gelu was well supported by the guide, Mingma, assistant guide, Som and climbing guide, another Mingma.  Our yak driver, Dawa, was an unsung hero and together, the support team ensured that we had a fantastic time. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If travelling via India, put spare batteries in your hold luggage.  Indian security do not large a large amount of batteries in carry-on baggage and wanted to confiscate mine - resulted in a lot of unnecessary hassle at Dehli when we transferred to the Dehli-Kathmandu flight.Although you can get visas at Kathmandu I would strongly recommend against it.  Those of us who already had visas had to wait 2 hours in the Exodus bus in the car park for other team members who didn't have visas - not a great way to start your holiday!Try and learn a few words of Nepali (and/or Sherpa) other than Namaste!  We had great fun learning a few new words from the guides each day and then using them - often to the surprise and delight of the locals.I carried a 'power monkey' solar battery charger for the first time - it ensured that my camera was always topped up (very necessary with the number of awe inspiring views).  Plenty of free sunshine compared with relatively expensive charging at tea houses.I also had a Katadyn water filter, which I found quick and easy to use (bowls of cold water were readily available at all tea houses) - I didn't need to buy bottled or boiled water which is better for the environment. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Definitely the best trek I have been on (my 5th with Exodus and my 3rd in Nepal). Several of the group had previously done Mera Peak.  Both treks are graded E, but Island Peak certainly felt a lot tougher - perhaps you need to add 'sub-grades' and make Island Peak E+. 
  • Reviewed November 2011


    Great mountain scapes. I opted out of the Peak ascent due to laziness. Very well looked after.MOST IMPORTANTLY, Luckla had a 2000 backlog of trekkers waiting to leave because of bad weather. Exodus got ALL of their clients out in the first 24 hours of the airlift. A fantastic achievement and reinforces my recommendations for this company.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hearing someone say the top of Kongma La was as good as climbing Mera. No need to do that nowBooking a Dental appointment for Nima

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nima was cheerful and supportive. He loves it

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Island Peak is the most technical climb Exodus do, harder than M Blanc, Cotopaxi, Kili.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was a great pleasure to have Valerie Parkinson with us. Lots of good stories and an Everest -eer.
  • Reviewed May 2011


    Well organised and managed. Great route.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Mount Everest for the first time!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely fantastic and super friendly!
  • Reviewed May 2011


    Spirits may sometimes have soared during the day but invariably came crashing back to Earth once we reached our accomodation and tasted our food.  I was last in Nepal 10 years ago and was impressed at how well they understood the tourist - provide basic but clean accomodation and cheap but filling food; I'm afraid standards have crumbled since then and the overwhelming perception was one of complacency and milking the traveller.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the summit of Island Peak in spite of some pretty awful conditions; the clouds parting on Kala Patthar and Everest appearing.  The flight taking off and knowing we were leaving with our guts apparently stable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was kind, caring, considerate and inspired great respect. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you catch a cold before you go - or you'll get one.  Make sure you are several stone overweight - you'll need it to avoid becoming a wizened husk.  Ignore the advice of the London office...sorry guys, but you gave very poor advice to many people who found themselves out of their depth (trip notes were accurate though), you fouled up our booking leaving us to pay 2 x £35 excess baggage for getting to and from Heathrow, even though you booked the flight and it was on the same ticket (23 kg and 1 bag ABZ to LHR, despite 32 kg and several bags from LHR), and you couldn't give us the correct details on equipment (e.g. 10 or 12-point crampons) or baggage allowance.  Finally, ignore the Exodus bag and get a decent-sized one - how were we supposed to fit all of our gear, plus climbing gear and winter boots in that bag? well, your office admitted it was not possible.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Oh yes.  much of the accomodation was squalid (see Gorak Shep for a prime example - renamed Gollum Sh*t with little requirement for inspiration, but many other places too - though I am happy to mention Chukkhung #1 but not #2 and Tengboche as being worthy of praise) with too few toilets (often utterly foul) and no access to water in which to wash one's hands.   Western toilets should be avoided unless they flush - most did not!  I went for over a week using only the alcohol gel to wash my hands, no wonder almost everyone got sick...repeatedly.  Charging up to £2 / litre for boiled water is distasteful profiteering - on the Annapurna 10 years ago we always had access to water to purify ourselves and had a leader who always made sure people were disinfecting their hands before eating - didn't get sick once.  The food has deteriorated, not only were the portions often tiny but the quality was very poor and the cost high - use of something nasty, powdered and lingering to give some taste - high on grease and simply inadequate for maintaining the required calorofic intake (without getting really sick).  Finally, and this is of course not Exodus' fault, but the trails to and from Everest area are appallingly busy and the anthesis of what most people get out in the mountains for.  OK, I'm getting older and more discerning (fussy), but I'm going to need some highly selective amnesia before I go back on another such trip - get your act together guys and sort out your standards! you've shown my how much better you can do many times in the past or I wouldn't have been on so many of your trips.
  • Reviewed November 2009


    Exceeded my expectations. Very well organised with really good local staff. Not for the faint-hearted, a very demanding trek even if you can cope with the altitude but just a wonderful experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Just being in the Khumbu region to see such magnificent scenery and see at first hand the lives of local people. Oh yes, and summiting at over 20,000ft!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good, coped with everything very well and maintained a very happy team.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be fit enough if you want to get the most from this trek and have the right gear, the hire equipment was not good.

Dates & Prices

Please provide as much information as possible below so we can best help with your holiday requirements.

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Please provide as much information as possible below so we can best help with your holiday requirements.

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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Call us on 020 8772 3936