Climbing Mount Everest Costs More Than a Sports Car

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Tim Chong / Reuters

Mount Everest, the world highest peak, and other peaks of the Himalayan range are seen from air during a mountain flight from Kathmandu.

Have you ever dreamt of one day climbing Mount Everest, if only you could muster the guts to attempt it? Well, a thirst for adventure isn’t all you’ll need. The journey to Earth’s highest summit also requires a considerable wad of cash — more than most people might think.

Experienced climber Alan Arnette of Outside magazine outlined the different options for ascending the highest Himalayan peak. Those options are as follows: go it alone and put together your own expedition, join a logistics-only expedition, or, the priciest route, join a fully-guided expedition.

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According to Arnette’s estimates, the absolute lowest possible cost, without sacrificing safety, would be around $35,000. And that’s if you go as part of a seven-person team. To fly solo, expenses would total around $60,000. Gear, food, oxygen and tents aren’t the only necessities, Arnette explains. Each expedition must also pay for a permit, liaison officer, visa, park fee, waste deposit, insurance — not to mention a ticket to Nepal. Climbing solo could cost you up to $83,000. In other words, two years at NYU or five Toyota Corollas.

On the other hand, guided expeditions allow climbers to split some costs. Still, the “full service” trips can top $100,000 when you factor in tipping your guides and splurging on luxuries like sushi, open bars or oxygen. Fully-guided trips also offer more support to less experienced explorers. Logistics-only, partially-guided expeditions can cost just south of $30,000, but are only recommended to seasoned climbers.

If you opt to fly solo, according to Arnette’s estimates, at the high end of the spectrum that will total $82,900. Still feeling intrepid? For that cost, you could get a new Audi A8, a three-bedroom house in Schenectady, N.Y., or 150 iPads.

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