Skip to main content

Cost to climb Mount Everest is skyrocketing because people keep dying

The per-person fee is what a whole expedition cost in 2015

Prayer flags in front of Mount Everest.
Ananya Bilimale / Unsplash

There are too many dead bodies on Mount Everest; that’s the message from the Department of Tourism in Nepal. It might sound morbid, but in the several weeks it would take you to climb to the highest point on Earth, you’ll see plenty of those who were once ambitious climbers but succumbed to the challenge. There are so many bodies littering Mount Everest that it’s commonplace to use them as markers or signposts along the way.

If you’re one of the many would-be conquerors of this mighty mountain, none of this will shock you. But what might come as a shock is the knowledge that the endeavor — which already sets climbers back around $50,000 — is about to get even more expensive. But why is Nepal’s tourist board increasing the cost to reach the top of the world, and what’s it got to do with those who lost their lives trying to conquer what many consider the ultimate bucket list challenge?

A hiker looks out over Mount Everest.
Yana Druzhinina / Unsplash

What’s the situation with Mount Everest dead bodies?

There’s a good reason that the dead bodies on Mount Everest are raising the price: the removal cost. Retrieving a body from the higher camps, or the death zone, can cost between $20,000 and $200,000. Since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay first summited the mountain in 1953, there have been over 200 deaths on the Nepal side. The retrieval of all those bodies could run to millions of dollars — and that presumes that they all had insurance.

According to Nima Nuru Sherpa, the president of The Nepal Mountaineering Association, there are still climbers summiting the mountain who do not have adequate insurance. “We are discussing making insurance mandatory in search and rescue operations for all to support the retrieval of bodies from the mountain,” he said while talking with The Kathmandu Post. He also explained how the association has urged the government to issue royalty-free permits for retrieval at any time in the season.

Mount Everest with prayer flags in the foreground
Jean Woloszczyk / Unsplash / Unsplash

What’s the new cost of climbing Mount Everest?

It’s no small task cleaning up the tallest mountain in the world, and what’s more, there is hope that the incrase in costs will increase safety and success on the mountain. Recent years have seen the growth of smaller, relatively inexpensive organizations offering ‘budget’ opportunities to reach the top of the world. Climbing Mount Everest was once seen as the ultimate challenge for serious mountaineers, and there is hope from the Department of Tourism that the increase in cost and helping with body retrieval will once again see Mount Everest given the respect it deserves.

When the permit scheme was last reviewed in 2015, the climbing permit price was $11,000. This year, the cost is set to increase by nearly 50%, and if Mount Everest is on your agenda, a permit will set you back $15,000. The reality is that for those setting aside the money to stand 29,000 feet tall, this isn’t going to make or break your trip, but it might help make an enormous difference to what should be one of the world’s pristine places.

Editors' Recommendations

Tom Kilpatrick
A London-born outdoor enthusiast, Tom took the first ticket out of suburban life. What followed was a twelve-year career as…
Forget rice: This is how to actually fix a wet iPhone, according to Apple
Have a wet iPhone? This is how you fix it
Various iPhones on a table.

The world is full of precarious situations for our unsuspecting smartphones, particularly when it comes to water exposure. Whether it's a sudden downpour during a hike, an accidental drop into a sink, or a plunge into a lake, our iPhones are constantly at risk of water damage. While most models are water-resistant, none of them are completely waterproof.

Understanding this vulnerability, Apple has put forward a series of recommendations to mitigate the damage when your device encounters mishaps like these. Apple's guidelines are crucial for iPhone users, providing a lifeline for your device in what can often be a moment of panic and uncertainty.

Read more
This van life camper van sleeps 8, goes everywhere, and you can rent it for less than a hotel would cost
Explore the best of the U.S. in these custom-built, four-wheel-drive, go-anywhere rigs
Moterra Campervan rental parked in a Utah National Park campsite.

The quintessential image of modern van life is one of unbridled freedom, of taking to the open road, of living on your terms and going whichever the wind takes you. While that can be pretty accurate, actually living the van life can also be expensive. There’s buying the van, the time and investment required for building it out, and, of course, the looming cost of repairs, which can seriously add up. But what if you could have all the fun of van living without the expense and hassle of actually owning a campervan? That’s where comes in.

Here’s the low-down on Moterra Campervans
Moterra Campervans is a rental agency offering short-term campervan rentals in the United States. These aren’t your old-school Westfalias (no disrespect intended) but high-end, late-model, four-wheel-drive, van life-worthy rigs ready to take you just about anywhere. Picture your next vacation: Trading in your typical hotel room and boring rental sedan for a go-anywhere van life rig purpose-built for exploration.

Read more
Take your favorite tipple from town to trail with the best camping flasks
Leave the deadweight 6-packs at home, and tote your favorite booze into the backcountry in style
Man pouring liquor from a flask

Camping and booze go hand in hand. How else are you supposed to entertain yourself if you don't have cell service and Netflix at your disposal? As much as we consider a six-pack of your favorite IPA beer to be a camping essential, lugging it into the far reaches of the backcountry when you're already lugging your backpacking or camping tent and essential gear is not so easy.

Fortunately, modern hip flasks have been around since at least the early 18th century, providing a means for the nobles of the time to discreetly sip their libations anywhere they chose. Today, you can pick up a flask in every size and design imaginable, from titanium and stainless steel containers to next-gen thermoplastic polyurethane.

Read more