The last big day of the trip, and it's a good one!









FATMAP difficulty grade



Get up at 2.00am and shove some fluids and calories down.

Crawl out of your tent and start hiking up the trail which leads up scree towards the Island Peak Glacier.

Sections of the trail involve some easy scrambling but generally it is "heads down" terrain where you should just try to gain height so as to arrive at the toe of the glacier at daybreak. As the sun begins to rise the panorama is fabulous, with Ama Dablam (frequently labelled the "most beautiful mountain in the World) dominating the view.

Put your crampons on, rope up and begin climbing the glacier.

There are some pretty sizeable crevasses so it's important that you are able to route find effectively on a glacier, especially because you are likely to be there in semi-darkness. Climb the glacier as it gently ascends towards Island Peak's south face.

At the foot of the face begin climbing the steep (45 degree) snow slope towards a col just to the west of the summit of Island Peak.

There are often fixed ropes on this slope but if there aren't you will need to be very confident climbing and descending steep snow.

Once at the col, turn right and climb the short aesthetic ridge which leads to the summit of Island Peak.

From the top the view of Lhotse's south face is almost overwhelming.

Try to take it all in! Descend via the same route back to base camp, then all the way back down past Imja Tsho and out to the tiny village of Chukhung.

After so long in the wild, high mountains the dozen buildings that make up Chukhung feel like Manhattan! Toast your success (hopefully with a beer if there has been a recent delivery to Chukhung) because provided you don't twist an ankle walking down the trail, the trip is "in the bag" at this stage.