No wonder Everest lures millions of adventurers from around the world. The mighty peak ranges at an elevation of 8,848 meters above sea level in international border between Nepal and India.
People have a lot craze for Everest and why shouldn’t there be, it is the tallest peak in the world. Scaling the summit certainly takes courage and time, but they say collecting fund for Everest expedition is tougher than the climb, well so today let’s take a scoop on cost of climbing Everest.
Cost as per side
As Everest lies between Nepal and Tibet, we can get to the summit from two routes; southeast ridge, Nepal and north ridge, Tibet. Of this two route, southeast is the most popular, easy and frequently used.
From Nepal, it takes about $45,000, however the price is relatively cheaper from Tibet. Due to the high price competition, cost may vary but $45,000 is the average charge. While the least cost is $30,000 some even pay as high as $130,000.
Cost associated on the package
The permit itself cost $11,000 per climber on Nepal, while in Tibet, price is slightly cheaper at around $8,000. As the permit fee is charged by Government, it is fixed amount and they also charge for a Liaison Officer who job is to monitor the expedition and ensure that rules are met with and everyone has a permit.
Also the icefall doctors who fix the ropes and ladders receive a fee from each team and everyone also contributes to fixing of the rope higher up. Expedition team also pays a garbage deposit to Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee and for weekly collections of human waste.
Where does your money go?
Now about where actually the money goes? Looking at the trend there are four major sections: travel, permits/insurance, supplies/gear and guides. However, if you are climbing on your own without joining any team, then these expense rules won’t work. Here are some outline of where your money gets spend.
-Kathmandu to Luka: $350 round trip per person
-Hotel and Food in Kathmandu: $300 to $700 depending on delays.
-Nepal Visa: $100
-Yaks (to and from Base Camp): $40 per yak per day carrying 120 lbs
-Porters (to and from Base Camp): $20 per porter per day carrying 60 lbs
-Sagarmatha National Park permit fee: $100/team
-Fees for Nepali agent: $2,500 per team
-Nepali Liaison Officer: $3,000/team
-Medical support: $100/person
-Permit: $11,000 per climber regardless of team size
-Garbage and human waste: $4,000/team
-Icefall doctors to fix route: $2,500/team or $600 per climber
-Personal Gear (high altitude boots, sleeping bag, down suit etc): $7,000
-Gear allowance for Sherpa: $2,000
-Medical kit: $500 – $1,000
-Tips for Sherpas: $250 – $2,000+ per individual depending on performance
-Cooks: $5,000 per cook and assistant for six weeks
-Food and fuel: $800 per person for six weeks
-Oxygen mask: $450
-Oxygen regulator: $450
-Climbing Sherpa: $5,000 per personal Sherpa
Everest in 2018
Now that 2018 has bid the goodbye, Everest received a record breaking summit with 802 climb in total. Looking back at 2018, there were less than five suitable summits day forcing hundreds of climbers to scale the peak on same day. However, in 2018, there were 11 days of great weather but limited crowds. And it made a record setting season with 802 summits from all routes and sides. Previously the record was held by the year 2013 with 670 summits from all route.
As per the Himalayan Data, from 802 summits, only one summit did not use supplemental oxygen and 68 of them were females. From Nepal, there were total 562 summits (266 foreigners/members and 296 Sherpas/high altitude workers). Only 76% were successful enough to scale the peak from camp.
While Tibet witnessed total 240 summit with 130 foreigners and 110 workers. Along with the success, there was casualty of five as well; four from Nepal side and one from Tibet.
With the record breaking number of summit in 2018 in Everest, many records were broke too. Like Kami Rita Sherpa set the record for most ascent to the summit by climbing for 22nd time; Xia Boyu, a 70 year old double amputee from China who summited the peak after winning an appeal to Nepal Supreme Court to overturn ban against double amputees climbing the peak.
Another fact on Everest is the death rate. With such a large number of climbers every years, you might think the casualty must be high but it has gone down from 1.06 on standard route to 0.79 since 200. Also more supplemental oxygen. Improved weather forecasting, acclimatizing on route and increased support of Sherpa has helped a lot to make Everest safer today than ever.
This year 2019 has possibility of some changes in Everest. Nepali tour guide operators are hitting their strides with huge business from China and India. While traditional foreign guides are taking turn into smaller and more custom climb at higher prices.