Imja Tse Trip Report (#10851)
- Signed By: Mark & Shelley Damm
- Date submitted: May 01, 2004
A great introduction to high altitude climbing - a scramble up a rock gully, followed by some brief glacier travel to the bergshrund. After clipping in to the fixed ropes, and swinging yourself over the bergshrund, you jumar your way up the headwall to the summit ridge. Once on the summit ridge, clip in to more fixed ropes or a running belay to some short ramps and one section of ice climbing. The view from the summit is incredible, with views of Ama Dablam, Makalu and the face of Lhotse right in front of you. On the day of our summit, several avalanches crashed down the Lhotse Face. Make sure you start early (like 3 am) as Island Peak is infamous for terrible winds on the summit. We lucked out - blue, sunny skies and NO winds until we began our descent after an hour on the summit. Don't expect to walk up - this climb is not a "walk up" - you could climb it withour fixed ropes, but there is a fair bit of exposure, and given the altitude, the fixed ropes provide a nice degree of "comfort". Although it has a reputation as a bit of a "slag heap", it really is a beautiful peak once you get higher up the mountain. We began our descent at 10:30 in the morning, and by 5 pm we had reached Chukkung, and had lost roughly 5000 feet in altitude, which made for a very refreshing slep that night. There were at least five other teams making their summit bids that day, so Base Camp is quite busy - avoid it altogether, as it is not only busy, but filthy dirty.