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Nov 182017
Avoiding Death on Everest

94 paying members have died on Everest between 1996 and 2016. Who were they, why did they die, who were they climbing with? How can you safely climb Everest, but not risk everything? I finally took the time required to analyze all the deaths over the past 20 years and found some startling conclusions. The good news, you can climb Everest and minimize the risks, the bad news is you can’t do it on the cheap or to honor your country without increasing your chances of dying, significantly. To be clear, there is zero way to climb any mountain, much continue reading

Oct 172017
Everest: 4 Weeks, Unlimited Oxygen, $110,000

For several years, I have been writing about the bifurcation of the Everest guiding business. In other words, the separation between the low-end operators and the high-end is growing larger each season. Now as we began to think about 2018, it is clear that Nepali operators like Seven Summits Treks are making huge inroads into the guiding business based primarily on catering to the Chinese and Indian middle classes with prices under $30K,  lower than their direct competition. At the other end are Western companies like Alpenglow and Furtenbach around $100K price tags and long time operators like Alpine Ascents, continue reading

Dec 302016
Everest by the Numbers: 2017 Edition

For those who follow Everest closely, the arrival of the official summit numbers is always a milestone. The Himalayan Database was updated with the latest summit statistics on December 6, 2016. This post is a nice complement to my recent updated post on “How Much Does it Cost to Climb Mt. Everest“. The Database contains the summit records for almost all of the Himalayan peaks located in Nepal from 1905 to present day and is maintained by a small team of devotees lead by the legendary Ms. Elizabeth Hawley out of Kathmandu and published by the American Alpine Club. See this wonderful continue reading

Dec 182016
How Much Does it Cost to Climb Mount Everest? - 2017 Edition

“How much does it cost to climb Mount Everest?” This is a popular question I get after a speaking engagement. The short answer is a car or at least $30,000 but most people pay about $45,000. This completely new 2017 post introduces new options for climbers, a look at new rules, a chart of current offers and serious answers to serious questions plus a few survey questions where you can weigh in with your thoughts in addition to making a thoughtful comment. 2018 Note: I will be updating this page for 2018 in the next few months but I don’t expect significant changes. See the continue reading

Jun 162016
A Personal Letter to Everest 2016, and 2017, Summiteers

“I want to climb Everest, but there is so much negative press about it. I don’t want to add to the problems.”, she added with genuine concern as I was having coffee this week with two 20 something aspiring climbers. Her statement got my attention. On one hand, I admired her ethics, on the other, damn it, she shouldn’t let anyone stop her dreams. With the 2016 season now over and people making plans for 2017 and beyond, I want to, in private 🙂 , have a few words with those of you who summited this year and make a few suggestions for those thinking about 2017. continue reading

May 232016
Everest/Lhotse 2016: Why People Die on Everest

Why do people die on Mount Everest? That is the question many people are asking this Monday after three deaths were reported over the weekend, five thus far for the season with tragically more to be reported. Sadly, many of the press articles, and pundits, are looking for a villain, someone or some organization to blame. Much of this is a good intentioned effort to save future lives but some are self-serving efforts to demonize climbers, guides and climbing itself. So with the caveat that I also have an agenda, lets look at why people die on Everest without going too continue reading

Mar 152016
Everest 2016: A Changing Mountain - Part 3

Some people are questioning the wisdom of climbing Everest from Nepal. Is the North safer? Is this another change in climbing Everest that could result in a serious economic impact for Tibet, but more so for Nepal? The Nepal (south) side of Everest has seen a tragic series of events the past few years including Himex abandoning their entire expedition in 2012 fearing an avalanche onto the Khumbu Icefall. Then that precise scenario occurred in 2014 when that very serac released onto the Khumbu Icefall taking 16 Sherpa lives. Then when a few Sherpas lead a work stoppage, the entire season came to a early end that year.  Last continue reading

Mar 082016
Everest 2016: A Changing Mountain - Part 2

“How can I get on a team to climb Everest?” This is the second most asked question on my blog other than “How much does it cost to climb Everest?” The short answer on how to get on a team is money. Sadly, these days most anyone can join an Everest team if they have the cash. As for how much cash,  a standard climb from Tibet (north side) should run around $32,000 and from Nepal (south side) $42,000. Nepal Climber Requirements In mid 2015, the Nepal Ministry of Tourism floated several new requirement for any person applying for an Everest permit: continue reading

Feb 192016
Everest 2016: A Changing Mountain - Part 1

The Everest 2016 season is now only six weeks away and it looks to be a critical year in terms of commercial guiding. This is part one of a multi-part series I will run looking at the changing commercial landscape on the world’s highest mountain. And why for some operators 2016 is their last year guiding Everest. There are many issues with Everest this year as I outlined in my Welcome to Everest 2016 post. Clients are wary, the Nepal government is evasive with extending permits and high-end companies are taking their pricing to new levels. And of course all this is against the backdrop of fights, avalanches, earthquakes continue reading

Feb 112016
Everest 2016: Expedition Communication Gear

As the Everest 2016 season approaches, many climbers are researching how to stay in touch with loved ones back home. This post takes a brief look at the options. For a very detailed discussion please visit this page I frequently update with climbing communication options. If communication is critical to you from the time you arrive in Nepal to the summit of Everest, don’t be totally dependent on your logistics company because most will say their priority is to enable your climb, not your blogging or calls home. There are only two options you can count on for basic communications: a Thuraya satellite phone or the Delorme continue reading