Island Peak (Imja Tse) is one of the most popular so-called trekking peaks in the Khumbu Region of East Nepal. Desite the name it is of course not really a peak for trekkers at all, but a designated summit that may be attempted by organised parties for a minimum fee (when compared to the cost of climbing 7000 or 8000 meters peaks). ‘Alpine Peaks’ would be a better description, and in this regard, Island Peak fits the bill perfectly.
Island Peak was first climbed by members of the 1953 Everest Expedition as part of an acclimatisation programme, prior to their successful campaign on the mountain. Charles Evans, Alf Gregory, Charles Wylie, Tenzing Norgay and seven Sherpas tested the oxygen sets on Island Peak, whilst John Hunt, Wilfred Noyce, Tom Bourdillon and Mike Ward scrambled up Pokalde.
The mountain remains a favourite amongst climbers smart enough to warm up on something lower before attempting any of the higher peaks, including Everest, in the Khumbu. In more recent times, the mountain has received a multitude of ascents, but it still retains a certain charm, holding a commanding position at the conluence of the Khumbu and the Imja Tse valleys.