Ever since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay climbed Mount Everest in 1953, adventure seekers from across the globe have been inspired to challenge themselves on Mount Everest and some of the toughest mountains around the world. Successfully reaching the Seven Summits - the tallest mountains on each of the seven continents is the considered by many to be the pinnacle achievement of a mountaineer. Even so the author of Into Thin Air, John Krakauer believed that climbing the second-tallest mountains on a continent, the so-called Seven Second Summits maybe an even more difficult proposition. Whether your goal is to reach one peak, seven, or fourteen you will need a lot more than just courage to get you there. Whatever skill one has as a climber, the process takes a lot of money to provide for the necessary training, equipment, food, guides, and even licences to be protected and stay alive. It is no wonder that only wealthy adventurers, sponsored athletes, and members of mountain climbing clubs get exclusive access to the highest places on Earth. There is no luxury at the camps and summits of these mountains but for some the peak can become paradise.
9 Aconcagua - $10,000
Located in the Andes of Argentina, the tallest mountain in South America was first successful ascended in 1897. Most climbers attack Aconcagua by its Northern Route as opposed to the Polish Glacier or South Wall where it is most dangerous. Prior to including equipment and park fees, the cost to climb Aconcagua’s Northern Route as part of a guided tour is between $4000 to $6500 dollars. John Krakauer in Into Thin Air compared navigating Aconcagua to a walk with unpredictable winds and a 40% failure to summit rate, it is important for climbers of any skill level not to under-prepare or underestimate the challenges. Though Aconcagua is located in one of the most temperate places in the world, temperatures near the peak can dip to -25 degrees Celsius. After a perilous trek, you have the fine foods and weather of Argentina to look forward to.
8 Mount Elbrus - $10,000
6 Mount McKinley / Denali - $15,000
5 Kilimanjaro - $10,000
4 Annapurna - $20,000
3 Vinson Massif - $45,000
2 K2 - $50,000
1 Mount Everest - $110,000
This year, Nepal has dramatically cut the cost of an individual license to climb Mount Everest from $25,000 to $11,000. Climbers and their teams are a big part of the Nepali economy bringing demand for hotels, restaurants, and mountain guides. As one of the top mountaineering locations in the world nearly 7,000 people have summited Mount Everest since Edmund Hillary reached the peak in 1953. It takes over thirty days on average to climb up the World’s Tallest Mountain including stays at camps to help the body adjust to the changes in altitude. These long expeditions can cost between $50,000 and $110,000 including the cost of equipment, food, and accommodation. An oxygen tank for instance costs around $300 and depending on the experience and physiology of a climber might not need one or need six. Along with the honor of having the highest peak in the world Everest also carries the highest price.
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