It may not be technically demanding, but the hike from high camp to atop Island Peak tests your resolve. Heavy legs making shuffling steps and lungs working overtime – this is classic high altitude trekking. The route steepens as you ascend, the snowline bringing crevasses and further tests of willpower. Keep your rhythm steady, for the rewards are immense. Summit vistas are jaw-dropping: a front-row view of the world’s rooftop. The south wall of Lhotse (the world’s fifth highest peak) rears up in front of you, and eastwards the imposing ridge of Makalu is a sensational sight. Amazing how quickly aching limbs soothe and breathless fatigue ebbs when surrounded by one of nature’s great spectacles.