peak provides some of the most striking scenery in the Khumbu,
which provides an enjoyable climb. If the peak can be likened
to an island in a glacial sea, then the mainland forms a semicircle
of cliffs that rise in the north to the rugged summits of
Nuptse (7,879m/25,850ft), Lhotse (8,501m/27,890ft), Lhotse
Middle Peak (8,410m/27,590ft), as yet still unclaimed and
Lhotse Shar (8,383m/27,503ft). To the east, rising above the
frozen waves of the Lhotse Shar Glacier, is Cho Polu (6,734m/22,093ft),
beyond which can be seen the red granite mass of Makalu (8,475m/27,805ft).
To the south of the Imja Glacier the icy flutings of Baruntse
(7,720m/25,328ft) and Amphu peaks lead the eye to the lofty
pinnacle of Ama Dablam (6,856m/22,493ft),which is like a giant
sea-stack guarding the entrance to the glacial bay in which
Island Peak stands.
Everest Base Camp trek should be followed from either Lukla
or Kathmandu as far as Tsuro Og. Where the trail divides,
take the right-hand branch leading to Dingboche and Chhyukhung.
– East Flank and South – West ridge
was the route of the first ascent. After a little rock scrambling
the route involves a small amount of glacier crossing followed
by a short, steep snow climb to a ridge which leads to the
usual site for base camp is at Pareshaya Gyab(5,087m/15,518ft),
between Imja Tse and the lateral moraine of the Imja Glacier.
This is not a particularly attractive place and in the event
of very heavy snowfall it has proved to be exposed to acalanche
reach base camp from Chhukhung (4,730m/15,518ft), the path
at first climbs quite steeply to the south before following
the moraine east along the main valley below the southern
or true left bank of the Lhotse Glacier. The trail then follows
glacial streams to the snout of the Imja Glacier. At this
point the path swings north – east and crosses a dried
up lake bed between the Lhotse and Imja Glaciers.
base camp the route skirts south-east around the base of Imja
Tse between the moraine and the mountain before turning north
– east and climbing steep grassy slopes and small rocky
steps. Occasional cairns are to be found marking the path.
Easy scrambling up an open gully leads between two well-defined
ridges and the site of high camp on the left- hand ridge below
and to the right of a small hanging glacier (5,208m/17,323ft).
the high camp on the left-hand ridge scramble across the broad
open gully and gain the right – hand ridge. Follow this,
which gives easy scrambling to the snow- covered glacier above.
A way needs to be found out leftwards, avoiding seracs and
crevasses before turning back northwards over snow covered
scree in the margin between the glacier and the base of the
main summit ridge.
that a steep snow and ice ramp leads upwards for nearly 100
metres (300 feet), to the summit ridge. The ridge itself is
a classic and undulates towards the main summit that is reached
by a final tricky snow pitch.
ascent was made by Alf Gregory, Dick Cook and two sherpas.
North of the main summit the ridge continues to a col (5,700m/18,700ft).
the route climbs the ridge from the col, which is reached
by following the true right bank of the Imja Glacier and later
the moraines on the right bank of the Lhotse Shar Glacier,
before climbing north- west over snowy slopes to the col.
On the first ascent, a camp was placed on the col.
doubt a complete traverse of both the routes describe would
make a superb outing, especially so with parties traversing
from each end so that there was no need to backtrack to collect
west face of the mountain also offers good routes although
none have been recorded. Dr. Peter Hackett, when he was resident
doctor at Pheriche hospital, did climb on the west side of
the mountain but no details of his exploration are available.