Everest Prices Soar

Nepal’s government intends to increase Everest permit fees by 36%, but the big unknown is what will happen on the Tibetan side of the mountain.

Nepal’s Department of Tourism has proposed a raise from the current $11,000 fee to $15,000 per foreign climber. However, they will not raise the price until 2025, to give the market time to adapt.

Expedition outfitters have already fixed the prices for their 2024 spring expeditions and their Everest teams are virtually full. In this sense, the companies’ main concern is what will happen with permits to climb Everest from Tibet. After years of closure, China will open Everest to foreign expeditions in spring 2024, but how much they will charge is still a mystery.

Waiting on China

“The CTMA (China Tibet Mountaineering Association) has not given us the permit rates for next year yet,” Dawa Steven Sherpa of Asian Trekking told ExplorersWeb. “This is making pricing and promoting the expedition in Tibet a challenge.”

We don’t expect news about royalty fees until the end of the year, far too late for companies to close a price with potential clients.

“Unlike Nepal, where we can take advantage of flexible logistics and easy-to-obtain permits to do last-minute sign-ups, on Tibet expeditions we need to have all our documentation done months in advance because they close the permit applications at least one month in advance,” Dawa Steven added.

Everest's North Col.

Everest’s North Col. Photo: Furtenbach Adventures


“We can only guess [at the price] looking at the past increases,” Lukas Furtenbach of Furtenbach Adventures told ExplorersWeb. “In our case, we have taken the full risk and kept the prices we had in 2019.” Furtenbach said the permit cost per individual climber on Everest’s north side in 2019 was about $15,000.

“I suspect the permit prices will go up by about $3,000 to $5,000 for the north side which is what they did the last time they increase permit prices in 2018,” Dawa Steven estimated. “Effectively the permit price could go up to $20,000 per person, not to mention the permits required for Nepali sherpas and cooking staff.”

Indeed, Nepalese citizens, including clients, guides, and high-altitude workers, are not required to pay for a climbing permit for their home country’s mountains. But the situation is different in Tibet.

“I think overall, the cheapest expedition prices including permits wouldn’t be less than $45,000,” Dawa Steven said. Born in the heart of the Khumbu valley, for the time being, Dawa Steven’s Asian Trekking is only offering expeditions from the Nepali side of Everest.

Chicken feed

Yet, rising permit fees are unlikely to stop Everest climbers from flocking to the mountain. All costs related to Everest expeditions have multiplied as the market thrives.

Several companies offer luxury upgrades, from real beds and furniture in Base Camp tents, to limitless O2 at any altitude, and helicopter transfers from Base Camp to Kathmandu. In some cases, they even offer shortcuts between Camp 2 and Base Camp, so that wealthy clients can avoid the dangers of the Khumbu Icefall, especially on their way down.

Endless lines of yellow individual tents on the Khumbu Glacier.

Everest Base Camp. Photo: Seven Summit Treks


Everest expeditions currently vary from roughly $50,000 for the lowest-cost offers, to $300,000 for premium VIP options. Beyond the average range, hard-core mountaineers going without O2, carrying their gear, and staying in a lodge in Lobuche instead of using Base Camp (as Kilian Jornet did in the past years), could get going for less than $20,000.

On the other side of the scale, there is word that some VIP clients approach the million-dollar figure to climb with super-star guides, extra sherpa support, and exclusive services.

Other Tibet openings

Already this year, a large number of 8,000’er collectors will enter Tibet for Cho Oyu and Shishapangma, which finally opened to foreign teams. The climbing fees for both add up to $10,848 per person for the standard package, Furtenbach noted.

Cho Oyu from Tibet, with a chorten and prayer flags in front.

Cho Oyu from Tibet. Photo: Viridiana Alvarez


Pakistan peaks

While still much lower, royalty fees in Pakistan have increased this year. Although there is no official announcement yet, companies expect them to keep growing in 2024.

Unlike Everest, K2 still retains the classic group system for climbing fees. The fee is applied to a seven-person group (it is therefore common for climbers belonging to different expeditions to share permits). From eight people up, the cost increases by $3,000 for each additional member.

Currently, all 8,000’ers in Pakistan have a royalty fee of $9,500 for a seven-member team except for K2. On K2 a group climbing fee is $12,000. You can check Pakistan prices for 2023 here.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.