Nepal has come up with a rule to hike up the prices for permits to Everest. Mount Everest, being the tallest mountain in the world, has been attracting many tourists and mountaineers throughout the years. But, the death rate, as well as the traffic, has always been exceedingly high with every passing year. Addressing this, the country is not changing the permit fees to Mount Everest from a mere $4000 to $15K.
A spokesperson from the Department of Tourism in Nepal says,
“We have proposed a new royalty fee of $15,000 per person for a foreigner, which will be implemented by the beginning of 2025,”.
The increment of the permit fees has been made by 36%, and the authorities also have legitimate reasons as to why they have made the decision.
The good news, whatsoever, for anyone planning to go to Mount Everest is that the prices will not soar any further until 2025. While it has been confirmed that the 2024 expeditions starting from Nepal will have $15K as the permit fee, it is still a secret as to how much the Chinese Everest expedition will cost mountaineers in the year 2024 during the spring.
The last time the permit fees to Mount Everest were changed to $ 10,000 for an expedition of 15 people was in the year 2015. The system for a group of expeditors did not last long as the Nepal government soon started charging $11000 for an individual. This rule applied to any tourist who wanted to climb Mount Everest from the Southern route.
There is more to the increment than can be seen at the surface level. The Department of Tourism plans to improve the financial facilities, including charges, insurance, climbing fees, etc., for the guides, Sherpas, and porters going to Everest. The new law aims at decreasing the exploitation of Nepali workers serving at the mountain.
According to the director of the mountaineering section of the Department of Tourism, Rakesh Gurung, the transactions for the Everest expedition will only be done formally. A notice has been sent to all the tourism agencies abroad so that they keep themselves on the safer side and not bear any loss because of the change in the permit fees system. Gurung says, “Since some agencies have already taken bookings for expeditions in 2024, we have given them time so that their business will not be affected,”.
The spring season this year managed to accumulate a great revenue of around $5.08 million before even having formulated the increment in the permit fees. Climbing the mountain from China has always been fairly cheap.
Amendment to bring dead bodies back from Everest
There has been an amendment to bringing dead bodies back from Everest with the new set of rules. Dead bodies, despite being insured, had always been left in the mountain for several decades. But the new law mandates bringing dead bodies back from the mountain, breaking the years-old trend. One of the deadliest points in Mount Everest, the Death Zone, makes it extremely expensive for dead bodies to be brought down from the mountain. It costs from $20,000 to $200,000 to do this. One of the main reasons why the dead bodies had always been kept in the mountain was because of the hardships associated with it and the excessive cost. But despite the dangers, mountaineers have always been inclined towards summiting and then perishing in the mountain.
There have been several instances that killed people for numerous reasons in the past decade. The president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association said that insurance is able to cover the retrieval of most of the dead bodies in the mountains. If not, the government has been urged to either get the bodies back by the following year or to issue a royalty-free permit.
Nepal waits on China for Everest permit fee increment
The China Tibet Mountaineering Association has not yet opened up about their decision on the increment of Everest climbing fees. One of the biggest challenges that even Nepal is facing related to China not opening up about the fees yet is that, while it has always been easier to make last-minute reservations from Nepal, there is a big challenge in doing the same in China. The China Tibet Mountaineering Association closes openings for expeditions a month before the expedition. This makes it impossible to make last-minute reservations. Furthermore, one has to prepare at the earliest time possible if he wants to expedite the mountain from the Chinese territory.
This has made it tough for Nepal to promote expeditions to Everest in 2024. Dawa Steven Sherpa from Asian Trekking told ExplorersWeb that, though not confirmed, the cheapest expedition fees from China might be $45,000. The trends in Mount Everest have only signaled a hike in price even if one decides to climb the mountain from China.
One of the biggest advantages of climbing Everest from Nepal for a Nepali citizen, whether he is a client, a porter, a guide, or a Sherpa, is that he need not pay for the climbing permit. But that is not the case for the Chinese side. This makes backing up announcements complicate the situation all the more.