How Much Does It Cost to Climb Everest?

Dec 10, 2009
Outside Magazine

How much does it cost to climb Mt. Everest? This is one of the most common Google searches that lead people to my site. And the most often asked question during my presentations. My usual answer is "A car."

But everyone who has read Jon Krakaurer's Into Thin Air bookread that both Adventure Consultants and Mountain Madness' clients paid$65,000 each in 1996. So in 14 years, has that changed?

Here is my annual update on list prices based on December 2009public information posted on the companies' websites. The high pricefor 2010 goes to RMI with a climb guided by 11 time Everest summiter,Dave Hahn at $74,000. The low-end, as usual, is offered by the localKathmandu operators; with Asian Trekking leading the way at $30,300.

Remember that these are list prices and sometimes discounts can benegotiated but not always. I tried to 'normalize' the prices by addingflights, oxygen, full support at all camps and a 1:1 Sherpa/Clientratio for summit night if the companies' base price does not include it.

In the following table you can see that prices have moved a bit fromlast year, on average south side prices went up for some operators andnow average about $51,000 on the south. The north side prices remainedabout the same at an average of $26,900. This spread has narrowedsomewhat over the decade as the costs on the Chinese side haveincreased. However, prices on the Nepal side have also increased in aclassic case of supply and demand.

(2009 price)
(2009 price)
Adventure ConsultantsNZ$65,000 ($65,000)N/AMike Roberts
Alpine Ascents InternationalUS$65,000 ($65,000)N/A
Mountain TripUS$62,000 ($65,000)
Scott Woolums
Mountain MadnessUS$59,000 ($65,000)N/AWillie Benegas
RMIUS$74,000 ($65,000)N/ADave Hahn
Dream GuidesUK$60,000 ($60,000)N/AKenton Cool
Jagged GlobeUK$54,000 ($54,000)N/A
High Altitude DreamsNP$37,500 ($45,000)N/ANo Western Leader
Himalayan ExperienceFRN/A ($43,440)N/ARussell Brice
7 SummitsNLN/A$29,332 ($31,586)
International Mountain GuidesUS$40,000 ($42,950)N/A$55K with Mike Hamill oversight
$70K for a personal guide
Project HimalayaNP
$29,950 ($27,500)Jamie McGuinness
Altitude JunkiesUK$40,000 ($35,000)N/APhil Crampton
Peak FreaksCA$41,000 ($35,000)$30,000Tim Rippel
SummitClimbUS$35,550 ($32,700)$32.250 (27,700)Dan Mazzur, Arnold Coster
Asian TrekkingNP$30,300 ($26,000 est.)$21,757No Western Leader

The major difference between the higher and lower prices for allcompanies is primarily the inclusion of western guides and a smallguide to climber ratio. In other words, the highest price is based onsmall teams with a at least one, if not more, western guides and a highnumber of Sherpas. The low prices usually have no western guide andsometimes a minimum number of Sherpas. Finally some of the pricechanges are due to currency adjustments with companies offering theirclimbs in Euros, not US Dollars.

This can be quite confusing so if you want to know more I have extensive details on my Guide and Questions for Guides pages.

Climb On!


Arnette is a Speaker, Mountaineer and Alzheimer's Advocate. You can read more on his site.

Filed To: Adventure, Climbing

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