As 2018 draws to a close it is time to start looking ahead to 2019 and the major adventures and expeditions to come. As usual, Everest will play a prominent role, dominating the mountaineering scene, casting a large shadow both figuratively and literally. With that in mind, our friend Alan Arnette has completed his annual look at the costs fo climbing the mountain and as usual there are a lot of variables to account for, even though it is clear that the world’s tallest peak is getting more expensive.
The past few years the major take away from Alan’s annual update on Everest climbing expenses is that the costs keep going up. But this year, the increase in prices is even more substantial with long-established operators like Himalayan Experience (aka Himex) tasing its prices from the $55,000-$60,000 range all the way up to $70,000 in one massive leap. On the lower end, Seven Summit Treks, which has become a major player on the lower end of the scale, has gone from $32,000 to $38,000 for a climb in 2019. As Alan points out, one of the major differences between the companies however is that Himex’s price is set, while Seven Summits will negotiate some.
Alan says that the Tibetan side of the mountain is still the most affordable for those looking for climbing deals. But the gap between operators who function on the South Side in Nepal and the North Side in Tibet is narrowing and he expects there to be very little –– if any –– difference soon. In the article Alans says “The median price for low-end climbs in Nepal is $42,500 and 43,875 in Tibet while the top end comes in at $67,000 in Nepal and a whopping $85,000 from Tibet.” That high end pricing is bringing the average price up from the North side, but the gap is obviously closing in general. By the way, f those who have the luxury if not worrying about budget, the high end of the scale, for both sides of Everest, has risen to $130,000 with companies like Furtenbach Adventures and 7 Summits Club leading the way.
As usual, Alan does an excellent job of breaking down the cost structure and where all of the cash goes on an Everest expedition. He examines travel costs, insurance rates, permit pricing, the expense of buying gear, and so much more. His annual report is as exhaustive and comprehensive as ever, giving anyone considering an Everest climb a good breakdown of what they should expect to pay not just in 2019, but moving forward.
For those of us who follow the Everest climbing scene closely it is always interesting to see where the money goes and what the trends are. I can’t tell you how many times I tell people the average cost of an Everest climb, only to have them be shocked at the answer. I also tell them that you can go “cut rate” if you choose, but is the Himalaya a place where you want to be going cheap?
To look at the numbers more closely, read the entire article here.
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