Climbing Mount McKinley will get more expensive next year, as the National Park Service increases expedition permits in an effort to better fund search and rescue missions on the mountain. The NPS will charge $50 more per permit for climbers under age 24, pushing the total cost to $250, and will charge older climbers $350. Permits were first introduced for $150 in 1995, then jumped to $200 in 2005. The service is looking to offset search-and-rescue costs, including safety education for climbers, a program that some estimates indicate have cut deaths on the mountain in half. Stagnant permit income has created in a 13 percent budget gap under current prices. Park officials introduced the age-graded pricing structure to keep McKinley accessible for young climbers. At 20,320 feet, McKinley is the highest peak in North America.
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