May 7 Short hike to Island Peak basecamp

 
Today was supposed to be an easy restful day as we prepared to climb the highest mountain of the expedition: Island Peak. After a late breakfast we packed up and left the lodge to walk the few miles to Island Peak Basecamp. On our two previous big mountains we had camped alone in isolated valleys but this was completely different. Island Peak is probably the most popular mountain to be climbed in Nepal. It was first climbed in 1953 by an Everest expedition who used this peak as a preparation for Everest.
Today it probably sees over 1000 people attempt it each year, but it is still a very tall, technical, steep and difficult mountain to climb, requiring ropes, crampons and ice axes. Nonetheless, the Basecamp is like a mini version of the Everest Basecamp, crowded with many tents, toilet tents, people and yaks. Because most teams start their climbs between midnight and 2:00am, basecamp was silent by 7:00pm as everyone was trying to get some sleep.