Mt. Everest is the roof of earth and ascending it can be considered to be the epitome of human achievements. But of course, great things come with a great price all in terms of money, time, effort and of course some luck. If you are a professional mountaineer who is planning on acing the summit or a normal guy with some curiosity about the price it takes to climb the greatest summit on earth, then this article is for you.
Here, I would like to present a through overview of the cost of climbing Mt. Everest in the simplest form possible.
When and from where to climb Mt Everest?
The ideal time for climbing the summit precisely falls between April & May which falls between the extremely stormy winter and heavy snowing Monsoon Season.
As Mt. Everest lies in the border between Nepal (the southern side) and Tibet (the northern side), it is possible to climb from both sides. However, due to rich variety of vegetation and comparatively less steepness, the route from Nepal to Everest is mostly preferred.
Thus, in this article we will be discussing the expenses considering the route to Everest via Nepal.
Cost to climb Everest
The cost of climbing Mount Everest is from $35,000 to $ 60,000 and sometimes even up to $1,00,000 per person and around 2 months based on your choice of operator. It depends on your decisions made before joining a climbing team be it local or western.
Where does your money go?
In case you are wondering where this huge pile of money goes in your journey to Everest, I have tried to break down the entire cost into several sections for your ease and systematic understanding.
Division of Cost
The calculations here are done with an assumption the team consists of 10 members. Calculations are done on USD. The entire cost to climb Mt. Everest can be divided under these three subheadings: –
1) Mandatory costs
These are the primary costs without which the journey to Everest is not permissible. They are: –
a) Everest Climbing Permit
To climb Mount Everest, first you need the permit from the Nepal Tourism Board which is located in Kathmandu. The climbing permits cost includes all permits to Everest Region. All climbers are required to obtain the permit which costs $11,000 per person.
b) Agency Fee to apply for climbing permit
Travel agencies will charge a service fee for preparing the permit application which approximately costs 2,500$ per team and can slightly vary depending on the agency.
c) Liaison Officer Fee
Mandatory fee of $3,000 per team is provided to the Nepalese Government to assign an officer to each team.
d) Nepal Tourist Visa
It is the fee to enter Nepal as a tourist which is 100$ per person.
e) Refundable Rubbish Fee
This fee is charged by the Nepalese Government considering the growth of pollution in the Everest region. This fee is mandatory which is $4,000 per team. If after you descend, your team has not left any waste in the region, this fee will be refunded.
2) Expected Costs
These are the costs you will encounter in the course of your journey from your home to the summit.
a) Two-way International Ticket
Of course, to climb Mt. Everest you need to get to Nepal (Kathmandu) and after completing your summit to your home location. Hence, for a two-way ticket, let’s keep the price range around 2500$ depending on your home location.
b) Two-way National Ticket
This ticket covers your flight ticket from Kathmandu to Lukla, starting point of Everest Base Camp. There are dozens of Airlines which flies every day and takes 25 minutes to reach. The average flight fare is $177 for one way and $354 for a round trip.
The other option is to take a bus or hire a jeep to Jiri and then trek from Jiri to Lukla. However, this route is less popular.
c) Personal Climbing Gear
Your climbing gear generally includes: –
- Boots- $1000
- Sleeping bag-$500-$1000
- Down Suit-$1000
- Technical Gear-$500
- Glove, Glasses-$300, etc. tentatively about $6,000 per person.
Lodging and foods at Kathmandu and on the trek from Lukla to EBC costs around 800$ for an average guest but hugely varies according to your place and mode of stay.
e) Sherpa Guides
Nepal implemented in 2013 a new rule that requires every foreign climber in Nepal to hire a local Sherpa Guide. It is still there for the 2019 season. The cost for Sherpa guides comes down to approximately $5,000; however nowadays most leading Sherpas are UIAGM certified which is allowing them to earn around $8000.
f) Maintaining campsites
There might not be teahouses or lodges in a higher level. Climbers have to pay $2,000 per person for maintaining campsite. The costs include food, cooking oil, fuel to boil drinking water, personal tents, etc.
g) Transport of equipment from Lukla to EBC
Yak cost about $40 per day for a 50 kg load. It will take about 5 days, and requires 3 yaks. So, the overall cost is about $600.
h) Bottled oxygen
The amount of oxygen that a climber chooses to use on Everest can vary significantly. Although there are climbers who climb without it, it is highly suggested to carry bottled oxygen.
A typical climber would plan to use oxygen from Camp 3 (7,200m / 23,600ft) and at a flow rate of 2 liters per minute when climbing and 0.5 liters per minute when in camp or sleeping. This would equate to about 5 bottles of oxygen. Each bottle of oxygen costs about $550 in which they also need an oxygen mask and regulator, which cost each $500 additionally.
Hence, the total sum is about $3,250 per person.
3) Optional Costs
These are the costs that are not directly needed for the climb but ensures your comfort and safety. These generally includes: –
a) Everest ER Fee
This service is also called as “Medicine at the top of the world.” This fee covers unlimited visits to the Base Camp ER. It costs $100 per person.
b) Fee to Ice Doctors
This fee costs around $600 per climber which is given to ice doctors who plan, install and maintain a route through the icefall using ladders and ropes.
c) Payment to the rope fixing team
Each year a fixed rope is installed from the Camp 1 to the summit. The major teams each provide several Sherpas to lay the 8,000 meters of fixed rope, ice screws, ladder, and transportation of that equipment. It costs around $150 per person.
d) Transport of oxygen tanks, fuel and stove to high camps. -Estimated around $1,000 per climber.
e) Transport of tents, garbage and empty tanks off the mountain. -Estimated around $500 per climber.
You might be thinking if Everest is worth this heavy amount of money, time and effort. Then, I think the answer is “Yes”. However, it certainly is not worth your precious life. So make sure to be equipped, trained, skilled and have done enough research before you go for the greatest adventure on Earth.