Photo by  Lloyd Smith

Photo by Lloyd Smith

So you're thinking of jacking in the 9 to 5 and heading off for a couple of months to challenge yourself and set yourself apart FROm THe crowd. You've got the fitness side covered but what is it actually going to cost you to climb Mount Everest? 

There is a broad range of prices that you can pay to climb the world’s tallest mountain. A commercial expedition up Everest may have been unthinkable in George Mallory's day but today, Everest is served by both local Nepalese operators and long-established western operators (both using Nepalese Sherpas). 

Different route options further differentiate price tags. For ease, we have divided these into standard climbs from the north (Tibet) and the south (Nepal).

Many expedition’s costs will include group equipment, food, permits (which have come down in price significantly in recent years) and even travel to Everest. However, these are elements to check carefully as, if you have to pay for them additionally, they can add a significant amount to your final cost. 

Finally, remember that many guides expect a tip of 5-20% at the end of an expedition, so factor that in too.

(As most trips are discussed in US Dollars, we will do so here, giving approximate conversions to pound sterling.)

The Cost of Climbing Everest.

On average, in 2016, the basic cost of an expedition with a Sherpa guide costs $42,000 (approx. £32,000) while a trip with a western guide costs $60,000 (approx. £46,000). 

An expedition from the north, while less widely offered by companies, typically costs about $10,000 (approx. £7,500) less.

At the lower end, you can pay as little as $30,000 (approx. £21,000) for a no frills, (and perhaps less safety conscious), local company with local, non-English speaking guides. These should not be dismissed as genuine options, as their guides have probably climbed the mountain more than anyone else.

At the higher end, you can pay anything from $60,000 to $85,000 (approx. £46,000 to £65,000) to go with an established western operator. They will generally offer a more inclusive, well-equipped service, with many adding new services to differentiate them from other operators such as 5-star chefs and sushi. 

At the very top end, a personal western-guided expedition can set you back up to $114,000 (approx. £87,000).

As a guide, Jagged Globe, that highly respected operator currently has Everest listed at $60,000 in their price list (Aug. 2016). This includes flights.

Alan Arnette also has a very detailed guide to the cost breakdown here.

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