Reaching the world’s highest peak is, for most climbers, an indescribable feeling. For some reason, standing at the top is both a proud and humble moment in their lives. It was an achievement acknowledged even by the government of Nepal. At the same time, it was an epiphany about how little humans are compared to the earth’s vastness.
That surreal feeling only comes after the fatigue, cold, and seemingly endless trek. But before the experience, you need to pay a certain price. That said, how much does it cost to climb Everest?
Average Cost Of Climbing Mount Everest
The cost to climb Everest, according to The Manual, may average around $45,000 this year (2017). Breaking it down, the price of a standard supported climb ranges from $28,000 to $85,000. A “supported climb” means you will join a group expedition led by expert guides.
A custom climb, on the other hand, can cost up to $115,000. Basically, this price applies to private expeditions that accommodate extra requests from mountaineers.
High-risk climbs (those without guides) are cheaper, pricing around $20,000.
The exact cost to climb Everest will depend on a number of factors including:
- The cost of flying from the US to Nepal or Tibet (two places where you can climb the mountain) will vary depending on where you’ll be coming from.
- CheapFlights.com offers round-trip tickets deals to Nepal starting at $550, increasing depending on the return flight date and airport you’re coming from.
- Once you reach Nepal, you will have to spend $300+ to travel from Kathmandu to Lukla. After that, you will have to pay fees for a yak to carry your gear and supplies to the Everest Base Camp (EBC).
- It will take some time to trek towards the EBC so you’ll end up spending for food and tea houses.
- You have to secure a permit before you can climb the mountain. That amounts to $11,000 per climber in Nepal and about $9,000 in Tibet. The latter tend to change the price fees at times.
- Climbing the world’s highest peak is no mean feat. You need to equip yourself with the proper gear to survive the weather. Some of the equipment you need include:
- Supplemental oxygen: $550 per bottle
- Oxygen mask: $500
- Oxygen Regulator: $500
- Personal gear (including suit, sleeping bag, boots): $6,000 to $8,000
- Full medical kit: $500 to $1,000
- Satellite phone: $1,000 to $3,000
- Guides operated by western companies tend to charge more than locally-owned ones. Both offer guide services supporting climbers including accommodation during the expedition, food, fuel, and other supplies.
The overall cost of climbing Mount Everest also depends on your starting point. The price is lower if you’re coming from Tibet’s north side.
Aside from the above cost factors, you should also consider the following expenses:
- Visa: $100
- Immunizations: $200
- Fee to local company who will organize the climbing permit: $2,500 (for the team)
- Refundable trash deposit: $4,000 (for the team)
- Liaison officer: $3,000 (per team)
- Sherpas: $5,000 for each client
- Gear allowance for Sherpas: $1,000 to $3,000
- Campsite maintenance: $2,000
- Tips to Sherpas: $200 and up (depending on performance and summit)
To further give you an idea on the cost of climbing Mount Everest, here are samples from some guide services (western companies):
- Everest South Col: $65,000
- Everest + Lhotse: $84,500
- Everest Camp II: $10,000
- Departure from Kathmandu: $65,000
- Lhotse add on price: $19,750
Jagged Globe (UK)
- Everest South Col: £38,200 (roughly 50,000)
- Departure from Kathmandu: $40,000
International Mountain Guides
- Classic Everest Climb: $44,000
- Hybrid Everest Climb: $59,000
- IMG Private Everest Climb: $114,000
Locally-owned guide service companies charge lower prices. However, you have to contact them to receive precise quotes.
Tips And Considerations
- While it is more affordable to hire guides from locally-owned companies, you may want to check if they observe the same safety standards as their western counterparts. You can choose between Sherpa-supported and Sherpa-guided expeditions. The latter pertains to companies providing all the logistics but does not provide a Western lead guide for the climb.
- Expensive as it may, a permit is essential not only for legal purposes but also for your safety. Nepalese authorities will acknowledge climbers who have permission and will rescue them if necessary.
- As mentioned before, you can climb Mount Everest for $20,000. That is, provided you have no oxygen, a Sherpa guide, fixed ropes and ladders, and weather forecasting. No doubt an “affordable climb” is only for risk-takers.
- Companies differ in pricing supported/guided expeditions. It has something to do with what is included in their package. That said, choose one that is aligned with your needs and can provide you the utmost safety.
- There is no such thing as a “standard route” in climbing Mount Everest. With your permit, you can choose one of the 30 named routes or make up your own.
- Climbing Everest alone is highly impossible. The Nepalese government requires each climber to have at least one Sherpa guide.
What To Expect
- According to professional mountaineer Alan Arnette, it will take about 40 days to climb Everest once you reach the EBC.
- Not all attempts to summit Mt. Everest succeeded. Historically, around 60 percent of expeditions have led at least one climber on the highest summit.
- Climbing Mt. Everest is definitely not for beginners. Thus, you need to have sufficient climbing experience before you attempt to conquer it. Most of all, you have to prepare to endure beyond what you’re capable of.
- Mountaineers tend to flock to Everest during spring, with more climbing from Nepal than from Tibet.
- The summit is the size of an average living room, now covered with prayer flags left there by previous climbers. If you reach the summit on a clear day, you can savor the sight of other 8,000-meter mountains.
Climbing Mount Everest is an expensive undertaking. However, the price is justifiable as it’s what you will pay to ensure that you will have a safe ascent. The experience you will gain from attempting to conquer the highest peak will be worth all the money if you can descend safely in one piece.
You have a lot of time to save up money and join an Everest expedition. For the meantime, train your body and mind by conquering other mountains. Wishing you the best of luck!