Cost of Climbing Everest – How much does it really cost?

Looking to climb the tallest mountain in the world? The feat is no easy task, however, it might end up being easier than covering the cost of climbing Everest for some people. With a hefty price tag attached to the expedition, it is difficult for many climbers to flip the bill. From the outside looking in, it may be difficult to determine if climbing Mount Everest is feasible for many climbers due to the price tag. 

In this run down I cover the big question of: What is the cost of climbing Everest? 

Additionally, I will provide a category breakdown of the different costs for a Mount Everest climbing expedition in the mountains of Nepal.

First, let’s get right to the point, the overall cost of climbing Everest.

How much does it cost to climb Mount Everest?

As of 2022, the current average price per climber for a standard supported climb is between USD $40,000 and $50,000, with some climbers paying upwards of USD $160,000 for fully custom climbs. You can cut costs in a few different ways, and get the cost to around USD $30,000 per climber by forgoing flights and other luxuries. 

What does the cost to climb Mount Everest include?

It has been reported by Alan Arnett that the cost to climb Mount Everest in Nepal has continued to increase in price, with no sight of slowing down anytime soon. With the continuous rise in price to summit the world’s tallest mountain, you may be wondering what the hefty price tag actually goes to. 

In this section I will provide you with a quick breakdown of the cost for the various categories that add up to the approximate USD $40,000 budget to climb Everest.

Cost breakdown of things included in climbing Everest:

The table below provides a rough breakdown of costs for an attempt at climbing the world’s tallest mountain. Depending on your your personal situation the following costs will be differentL travel costs to and from Nepal, as well as travel costs in Nepal (if you decide to forego flights and to hike to Lukla), as well as the additional gear you will need to buy and cost of miscellaneous (food, drinks and gifts).

Cost CategoryCost in USD
Climbing permits$11,000
Other climbing fees$1,500
Travel to base camp$4,000
Personal Sherpa$5,000 (per Sherpa)
Maintaining campsites$2,000
Bottled oxygen$3,000
Climbing gear and equipment$7,000
Miscellaneous$6,000
Flights to Nepal$2,000
Nepal Visa$125
Total$41,625

Detailed breakdown of each cost for climbing Mount Everest:

The following sections provide a more in depth look into each of the categories listed above and what is included in each. 

Climbing permits for climbing Everest:

The $11,000 goes to purchasing the required permits to climb Everest from the Nepali Government. The majority of climbers choose to summit from the south side (from Nepal) because of logistical support and ease of summit. 

Historically, people have chosen to climb from the north side (Tibet) because of cheaper permit prices, however, with recent hikes in permit prices to climb from the north (from USD $9,950 in 2021 to $15,800 in 2022) it is believed that even more people will choose to climb from the Nepali side.

The only issue with the recent price hikes is that mountaineers are afraid a subsequent price hike in permit costs by the Nepali Government will also happen. And if this happens, we will see an even larger price tag to climb Everest.

Other climbing fees:

These fees include costs associated with having a liaison officer to join their team at Everest base camp, paying for a basic medical-support fee, contributing to the cost of installing ropes up the climbing route on the mountain (this is a cumulative fund and all climbing teams contribute to this) and finally a refundable deposit for the removal of trash and human waste from the Everest climbing route.

Travel to Everest base camp:

Everest Base Camp
Photo: Jason Maehl

This fee covers the week-long trek to base camp and all the necessities that come with it. For example, the climber will need to pay for food and lodging during the hike to Everest base camp. Additionally, another expense that needs to be covered is the cost for hiring porters and yaks to carry all the equipment up to base camp.

Sherpas:

By law in Nepal, it is mandatory to have at least one Nepalese Sherpa on each team. This not only helps keep climbing culture alive and well in Nepal, but also ensures that some of the mountains of money spent to climb Everest stays in the local economy and doesn’t only go abroad with foreign climbing companies.

However, perhaps more important than the money is the fact that Sherpas are well trained and have a significant amount of experience on Everest and in high elevation situations. These Sherpas are invaluable when it comes to supporting you as a climber as well as your team.

A Sherpa will cost around USD $5,000 for the trip. Additionally, the team has to pay for the supplementary oxygen for the Sherpa as well which can cost an additional USD $3,000.

To find out more about Sherpas and the power of Nepalese climbers, check out the documentary 14 Peaks on Netflix!

Sherpa carrying supplies on Everest

Maintaining campsites:

For this, expect to contribute around USD $2,000. The Maintaining campsites fee covers ensuring that everything is stocked and there is support staff at each location. Moreover, the total price usually includes all basic food at each of the camps. This price may fluctuate depending on which company you are working with and if you have special dietary requirements / want additional types of food.

Bottled oxygen:

Oxygen tanks Everest adds to the cost of climbing Everest
Photo: The Times

Bottles of oxygen cost about USD $600 per bottle and most companies supply five bottles to each climber – which provides a little extra for safety. Thus, the total cost of oxygen runs a cool USD $3,000 per climber. However, depending on the climber and their comfortability level, additional oxygen can be purchased for the climb.

Climbing gear and equipment:

Climbing Everest Gear and equipment list

Gear is where you can experience the biggest fluctuation in price. I have put USD $7,000 for gear, as a great deal of climbers do not have the required gear, or choose to buy new gear for their Everest climb. However, depending on your current climbing equipment situation you may end up spending much less. Moreover, if you choose to go off brand, or buy cheaper equipment, you can spend much less on this as well. Just remember, saving money on climbing gear now, may end up costing you later on.

Some basic high-altitude climbing gear that you may not have already to climb Mount Everest include:

  • Down suit
  • Sleeping bag 
  • Boots
  • Ice Axe
  • Crampons

Miscellaneous costs to climb Mount Everest:

There are various costs that can add up to the overall USD $6,000 that I have quoted for miscellaneous – some that are required, and some that are optional.

Some of the required expenses you will incur are tips for the Sherpas that are mandatory, and the different types of insurance and vaccinations that you may need to get before embarking on your journey.

A few of the other expenses that are not required include things like shopping for gifts and souvenirs, extra food and drinks – especially beer! – and other activities that you may want to do while staying in Kathmandu or other parts of Nepal. 

Of course, if you are a budget climber, you can avoid some of these luxuries and save quite a bit of money while climbing Everest.

Flights to Nepal:

Depending on where you live, and how far in advance you buy your tickets, you can pay upwards of USD $2,000 for round trip flights. The current price of round trip tickets for a few common countries are:

  • United States to Nepal – USD $2,053
  • United Kingdom: – USD $945
  • Australia: – USD $1,198
  • Netherlands: – USD $1,025

Nepal Visa

Finally, the last required cost that you will encounter is the visa for Nepal. This is required for almost all countries. It will cost USD $125 for a 90 day visa which will provide you with ample time to complete your Mount Everest climb.

Takeaways – Everest mountain climbing cost:

Climbing Everest is no easy feat, both in terms of physical and financial demand. With current prices in 2022 around USD $40,000 per climber, it may be difficult to come up with enough money to buy your way to the top of the world.

However, if you are smart with traveling and spending, and can forgo the beers and souvenirs, you can save a lot of money. Your best bet is to try to book things in advance to save money on flights and hotels if you plan on staying in Nepal before or after your Everest summit push.

Climbing Mount Everest and standing on top of the world is a dream of many. However, it is important to understand the financial demands of such a feat. If you do need to save money on the trip it is more than okay to forego some luxuries, however, when it comes to gear, safety, and insurance, it is best to be smart and ensure that you are getting the highest quality for your trip.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: