Photo: Everest Base Camp (EBC) 5,364m
Below are the quotes from the companies and some additional expenses. In short, the cost of preparing for and climbing Everest on average is $75,000 – $95,000 (£55k – £75k). This number can go up depending on comfort and safety requirements.
I have read quite a few articles on costs of climbing Everest and most of them do not include preparation, which is key to successful summit. In this post, I will include all costs including making sure one is ready to concur the tallest mountain in the world.
Before we get to the details, below are the quotes I have received from two companies for climbing Everest from Nepalese side. Both quotes include cost of permits, fees, guides, porters, living in tents during expedition and main meals.
Please keep in mind that there are costs on top of these quotes that sum up to around: $40,000 (£29k), Preparation: $27,000 (£20k), Personal Gear: $8,000 (£6k), Medical and Rescue Insurance: $1000 (£700), Travel and Logistics: $3,500 (£2,600). Tips are also expected for the Sherpas, especially if expedition is successful $280-$2800 (£200-£2,000) per person depending on performance.
Company one: Quote for $35,000 (£26k)
This is Nepalese company. The guide I am staying in touch with has been on top of Everest 5 times and regularly comes to Europe for seasonal work and so is very familiar with western culture. The company has little digital footprint or references; however, I have met the guide I am in touch with in person when climbing Mont Blanc. I have still to collate more information about the company and their expeditions. The quote includes cost of permits, fees, guides, porters, living in tents during expedition and main meals.
Company two: Quote for $54,000 (£40k)
This is UK based company, who has a good digital footprint and self promotes on Instagram. Sherpas working for this company attempt to break world records such as climbing Lhotse South face (not climbed yet) or climbing all 14 peaks (8000+) with no oxygen. This company promotes safety, help in preparation and building a team well in advance of the climb.
The slightly discounted preparation quotes for Aconcagua, 6,998m and Manaslu, 8,163m (excludes travel, visas, medical insurances…etc) are $6,000 (£4.5k) and $20,000 (£15k), respectively.
The quotes include cost of permits, fees, guides, porters, living in tents during expedition and main meals.
Let’s now go into the details. Stay with me if you are interested.
Not included in the quotes above. All costs are estimates.
Preparation: apprx. $27,000 (£20k):
When it comes to expedition such as Everest the preparation is not just physical, but also learning to cope with lack of Oxygen at high altitude.There are multiple (expensive) gadgets to simulate low oxygen environments, however, there is no better way to prepare than climbing actual mountains. Climbing mountains will allow you to brush up or learn new mountaineering skills, physically prepare and learn how your body reacts to high altitude. This approach is designed to maximise your success chances and is the one I have chosen.
Every year I increase my altitude and climb a higher mountain. My highest mountain so far is Island Peak, 6189m. 7000+ and 8000+ meter mountains are still to go before climbing Everest.
The challenge is that the higher the mountain the more complex the expedition is and the more expensive it gets. If I could climb Aconcagua (6,998m) all-inclusive for around $6700 (£5k), Manaslu (8,163m) would cost me minimum $20,000 (£15k).
After seeing these costs, one might argue that a person can prepare for the Everest without climbing mountains, but to me it feels like jumping out of the plane without proper knowledge of how to operate a parachute.
Personal gear: $8,000 (£6k)
Such expedition as Everest requires specialised gear i.e. specialised boots, down jumpsuit, clothing layers, backpacks, specialised sleeping bag, emergency shelter, medical kit..etc
Given the gear is specialised for extreme altitudes, it is quite costly. Below are some examples, but this is not a full list of gear. All prices are based on Snow and Rock UK.
- Phantom Scarpa 8000 boots cost $1100 (£780)
- Mammut Altitude down 5 season sleeping bag cost $1150 (£825)
- Mountain Hardwear Absolute Zero Body Suit costs $1400 (£1,000)
- Mountain Hardwear Absolute Zero Parka costs $980 (£700)
- Mountain Hardwear Absolute Zero mittens costs $250 (£180)
Travel and logistics $3500 – $10,000 (£2.5k – £7k)
There are plenty of logistical costs. Here are some of them broken down:
- Flights (from UK inc. exceess baggage) to Kathmandu $1000 (£700)
- Flights Kathmandu to Lukla $350 round trip per person (£250)
- Hotel and food in Kathmandu $100-$550 depending on delays (£70 – £400)
- Nepal Visa $100 (£70)
- Immunisations $0-$200 (£0-£145). Most immunisations are covered by NHS in the UK.
- Specialised Medical and Rescue Insurance. Some alpine clubs have rescue coverage and the price might differ $1000 (£700)
- Travel and Trip Cancellation Insurance (as per 2014/2015 events) $700 (£500)
- Personal Medical Kit $100-$550 (£70 – £400)
- Tips to Sherpas $280-$2800 (£200-£2,000) per person depending on performance.
- Most of the companies include main meals, but one should think of bringing snacks for the expedition.
Included in the quotes above, but this is how much you would be expected to pay if you decide to organise the expedition yourself. All costs are estimates.
Everest Permits and fees: apprx $20,000 (£15k)
- Permit to climb Mt. Everest (Nepalese side) $11000 (£8k). It is expected to rise to $15000 (£10.7k) by 2019.
- Permit admin $2,500 (£1,800) for the team. Nepal requires using a local company to organise permits.
- Compulsory fee to Liaison Officer $3000 (£2,150)
- Contribution for Icefall doctors, fixing ropes $750 (£550)
- Waste deposit (not always refundable) $4000 (£2,900)
- Entrance fee to the park $100 (£70)
Sherpas and Guides $11,000 – $16,000 (£8k-£11.5k)
- Sherpa guide charge from $5,000 (£3,5k) and Western guides charge from $10,000 (£7k)
- Cooks for 6 weeks would cost another $5,000 (£3.5k)
- Yaks to and from EBC $40 per yak per day carrying 50 kg; 10 days: $400 (£300)
- Porters to and from EBC $20 per porter per day carrying 15-30kg; 10 days: $200 (£150)
- Tea Houses and food on trek to EBC $20 – $100/person/day; 10 days: $200 – $1000 (£150-£700)
Team gear $14,500 – $20,000 (£10.5k – £ £14.5k)
- EBC and High Camps Tents $3,000 (£2,150) (sleeping, cooking, toilet, storage for 4 camps)
- Food and fuel $800 (£580) per person for 6 weeks
- Mountaineering equipment (robes, harnesses..etc) per person $1000 (£700)
- Oxygen (6 bottles) $3,300 (£2,400)
- Oxygen Mask $450 (£320)
- Oxygen Regulator $450 (£320)
- Oxygen per Sherpa $2,000 (£1,500)
- Full Medical kit $500 – $1,000 (£350-£700)
- Gamow Bag $2000 (£1,500)
- Satellite phone (own): from $1,000 (£700)
- Gear allowance for Sherpas $2,000 (£1,500)