The requirements for climbing Mount Everest are the same whether you’re climbing alone or as part of a commercial or private expedition. Here’s a rundown of what you’ll need to do before you even step foot near Everest Base Camp.
Secure an Everest Climbing Permit
Whether you’re climbing as part of a commercial expedition team or on a private team, you’ll need a permit issued by the Nepalese Government to visit Mount Everest. The Nepalese Government issues a few kinds of permits, but they are usually confined to three visit categories:
Visiting Mount Everest Base Camp
The Nepalese Government offers different permit tiers. These also cover people who don’t necessarily wish to reach the summit.
Visitors can apply for and purchase a permit to visit Everest Base Camp for a specified number of days. However, if issued this permit, the holder is restricted from traveling past Everest Base Camp. This means no climbing the Khumbu Icefall into Advanced Base Camp!
Completing the Khumbu Ice Fall
The Nepalese Government also issues permits for climbers who only wish to climb the Khumbu Icefall and experience this kind of mountaineering at a lower altitude. If Issued this permit, the holder may travel to and from Advanced Base Camp and Base Camp as part of a private team or a commercial expedition.
Many commercial guiding companies offer expeditions to Everest specifically to climb the Khumbu Icefall and go no further. These commercial expeditions are relatively inexpensive when compared to a full summit expedition. A Khumbu Icefall experience runs at around $5,000 vs. $65,000 for the summit expedition.
Climbing to the Summit of Mount Everest
The summit climb permit is issued to climbers who have intentions of climbing past Advance Base Camp. This is the same whether the climber plans on attempting a summit climb or just would like to acclimatize and get to know the mountain before a future expedition.
This permit allows you to travel alone or as part of a team throughout the mountain from Advance Base Camp to the Summit at a cost of $11,000. Keep in mind that there are other fees required before climbing Mount Everest. Expect fees for a liaison officer, trash and local agency facilitators. These fees will add an additional $10,000 to your permit bill.
There are also some prerequisites needed before the Nepalese Government will issue a summit permit for the climber.
The government of Nepal ruled that all climbers seeking to climb Mount Everest must have previously climbed a Nepalese mountain with a height of 21,325 ft (6,500 m) or higher before getting a permit.
Climbers must also submit documentation certifying that they are in good health and physical fitness as determined by a medical health professional. Furthermore, climbers are required to undergo a basic training session for good mountaineering practices and high altitude climbing techniques.
Purchase Rescue Insurance
Nepal requires that all climbers purchase rescue insurance. This is a special type of travel insurance that covers emergency rescue and evacuation from the mountain in the event you get injured or fall ill. The cost is relatively inexpensive when compared to, for example, a heli-vac to Everest Base Camp, which costs $10,000.
There are various reputable companies that offer quality travel insurance. As an example, Global Rescue offers comprehensive travel insurance packages. For a 12-month enrollment of an individual for an expedition lasting up to a period of 90 days, the total cost is just $429.00.
Hire a Local Sherpa Guide
Nepal also imposes a requirement whereby all foreign climbers must hire a local Sherpa guide for their expedition. This is in part due to the economic development of the native Sherpas. Nepal relies heavily on permit fees for its revenue.
This policy ensures that a greater quantity of Sherpas also receive job opportunities and income to build their own futures and secure a quality standard of life for their families. At the lowest cost, hiring a Sherpa guide will run at about $4,000. Sherpas also help curve the possible mishaps that come with having inexperienced climbers on the mountain.
Double Check Current Nepalese Everest Laws
Nepal proposes new rules and regulations often. It also enacts these as law quite abruptly without much notice.
It’s imperative to always check on the current Nepalese Everest laws, rules, permit information and trek regulations before booking your trip. Visit the official Nepalese immigration page for the trek permit application.
Amid growing concerns regarding COVID-19, Nepal has decided to shut down access to Mount Everest and to the rest of its Himalayan Mountains. As of 13 March 2020, the spring climbing season in Nepal is closed.
Climbing Mount Everest costs over $65,000 when climbing with a commercial guiding company. The cost of your expedition is high due to the amenities offered and the popularity of the climb.
How much do you know about Mount Everest? We start learning about Mount Everest from the moment we can understand speech. Through random sayings, news segments in the background about a disaster… it seems to always come up. But how much do you really know about Mount Everest?