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Will Everest ever be priced adequately - not getting younger

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Will Everest ever be priced adequately - not getting younger

Postby mountainseverywhere » Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:37 pm

Hey all.

long time lurker, finally joined today.

I suppose most of you will see my first post (this one) as a loaded question/topic. But it has been on my mind for a while now and want to see what you folks think.

Firstly I am not a flippant climber, or a tourist climber. I have climbed and hiked most of my life. for over 15 years I have had a passion for Everest, like many have. This passion isn't what some would call the tourist attraction of being the person who wants to climb everest simply because they have the money to do so, and want to pay their way up simply for grandeur. My passion derives from the respect of the mountain, those climbers in the past who have lit the torch for us, and simply the boundaries one has to push their bodies to in order to reach the top. I suppose I have a passion to climb Everest, which true mountaineers experiance.

However, I admit i am not the richest man in the world, and doing the math it seems the amount i would be able to save, i would be in my mid 60's before having that kind of money to spend on an Everest expedition. Its almost as if i am starring into my future knowing that this dream i have had for over a decade will never come become a reality; and it has hit me pretty hard.

I always thought that I would have my shot, I would have my attempt, but now, looking at my age, and the never dropping price of an expedition it will never be.

So I come here to ask the question. Do you think the Everest Expedition price will ever drop to a rate in which it is considered affordable to avid/experience climbers who don't have that kind of money. I am also curious, if you have made an Everest expedition, and how and what helped you save the money in doing so.

i know this was more of a midlife crisis rant, so thank you for listening to me :)
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Re: Will Everest ever be priced adequately - not getting you

Postby Sunny Buns » Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:57 pm

I think you will like this discussion of Everest costs by Alan Arnette:
http://www.alanarnette.com/blog/2014/01/06/everest-2014-the-cost-to-climb-everest/

I have been getting email for many years from Dan Mazur with SummitClimb and his company offers trips at what appear to be fairly reasonable prices. They offer Everest from either Tibet or Nepal. Check it out: http://www.summitclimb.com/new/default.asp I have never used them but from what I have seen, they look legit to me. Let us know if you sign up with them - I've always been interested in their trip to Muztagh ata - a non-technical climb to about 7500 meters in China: http://www.summitclimb.com/new/default.asp?vid=86 But not interested enough to actually do it. :)

I doubt many people make the summit of Everest just because they have the money to pay for the trip. It would take hard training, extreme desire, and a level of determination that few people can even dream about.

What big mountains have you climbed to date?

Good luck!
Last edited by Sunny Buns on Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Will Everest ever be priced adequately - not getting you

Postby ExcitableBoy » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:20 am

Everest via the North Ridge (Tibetan Side) is considerably cheaper. This was quite a few years ago but the Peak fees via Tibet were only 3k, vs 9k for Nepal. Eschew bottled oxygen, fixed ropes, no porters above ABC, and it cold be down right reasonable - just land costs, airfare, and the peak fee.

Eschewing bottled oxygen, high altitude porters, fixed ropes, etc is the only way you would have a valid ascent anyway. To use such nonsense would just make you out to be the tourist climber you don't want to be.
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Re: Will Everest ever be priced adequately - not getting you

Postby jesu, joy of man's desiring » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:40 am

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Re: Will Everest ever be priced adequately - not getting you

Postby radson » Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:16 am

Just some thoughts...

If you respect the mountain, why do you want to climb it, What does respecting a mountain mean to you anyways? I also hate to say it but it seems nowadays so called 'true' mountaineers seem to want to avoid Everest at all costs.

Also, you say you have 15 years of hiking and climbing experience but is any of that at high altitude? Do you know that you wont be one of the admittedly small percentage of people who just cant function at all at altitude no matter the acclimatisation. The cost to climb Everest is hardly ever the tear inducing prices quoted on the internet that help fuel the pontification about climbing everest...but on the other hand, the best way to climb the big 'e' is to build up your experience on other big mountains over several years and I can assure thats money that quickly adds up.

Have fun :)
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Re: Will Everest ever be priced adequately - not getting you

Postby Buz Groshong » Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:48 pm

i would be in my mid 60's before having that kind of money to spend on an Everest expedition.


Nothing wrong with mid 60's! I haven't done a great deal of climbing, but all of it has been in my late 50's and my 60's.

My question is why do you want to spend all of that money on Everest when there are so many great mountains that don't cost anywhere near as much to climb. Everest may be the highest, but it isn't the most difficult or the most beautiful or the most interesting. Really, even the photos don't look that spectacular - there are other mountains far more spectacular.
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Re: Will Everest ever be priced adequately - not getting you

Postby whatdoIknow » Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:46 pm

Hi- welcome on board!!!
I guess you have two ways you can go: you spend as much time as possible with training very hard, working on both your technical climbing skills and on your endurance, or get another job and work hard on saving up a lot of money. Then you can either sign up with one of the unsupported basement priced groups, or with one that will take care of you better for a lot more money. Of course your climbing skills might already be pretty good. Remember when Ueli Steck went to Everest the first time? If I got it right, going from Tibet he was not using O2, sherpas, fixed lines. He did not even use an ice ax, only took trekking poles. I think that climb was pretty cheap. All he needed was really good skills.

That was a good point above that you may want to check Alan's write up on the topic. Alan is a super nice guy and if you have more specific questions I am sure he will answer them. You may want to ask them before he goes off to K2 in a few weeks, though. (bad joke, I know)

Wishing you the very best with both getting there and doing well on the climb! When you do it, please write up the experience for summitpost, there will be many who will find it very interesting.
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Re: Will Everest ever be priced adequately - not getting you

Postby radson » Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:24 am

I would recommend reading Alan's summary of the 2014 season in full.

http://www.alanarnette.com/blog/2014/06/09/everest-2014-season-summary-nepal-tragedy/
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Re: Will Everest ever be priced adequately - not getting you

Postby Fletch » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:58 am

Price is usually a function of supply and demand. Things like elasticity and surplus makes the analysis somewhat complicated, but for the most part, the cost of climbing Everest is exactly what people are willing to pay for it. It's not too much or too less. The market appears to be working.

That said, climbers tend to be very price sensitive, so anything not priced at "dirtbag" levels tends to get them going. Also, the addition of oxygen, Sherpa, and travel expenses make the all-in price tag get to truly exclusive levels. And that's not counting the opportunity cost of spending three months away from home, job, family, etc.

I'm not an expert climber, nor do I aspire to be. I'm as enamored with Everest as the next guy, but I have no desire to join in the shit show that is Everest. I'm fairly confident that I could climb it, but likely not without oxygen and Sherpa support. That's ok. For me, there is a real cost (price) to my time, and dollars aside, it's just not worth three months of my time.

I suspect that as long as people keep showing up, the price will stay the same, or likely increase. Especially as the cost of Sherpa support appears to be rising (insurance, benefits, strikes, etc). But there is a price that is too much. What that is? I don't know. But for now and the near future, the price is certainly not going to drop.
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Re: Will Everest ever be priced adequately - not getting you

Postby RickF » Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:53 pm

MEW, (mountainseverywhere) Welcome to SP.

If you are considering shopping for deal on a guide/expedition service for Everest, please read "High Crimes" by Michael Kodas.

I once shared similar goals of Denali and Everest. I've since reconciled that I'm fortunate to live close to pristine mountains that are challenging at a miniscule fraction of the price of Everest.
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Re: Will Everest ever be priced adequately - not getting you

Postby fatdad » Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:18 pm

Fletch wrote:I'm not an expert climber, nor do I aspire to be. I'm as enamored with Everest as the next guy, but I have no desire to join in the shit show that is Everest. I'm fairly confident that I could climb it, but likely not without oxygen and Sherpa support. That's ok. For me, there is a real cost (price) to my time, and dollars aside, it's just not worth three months of my time.

Though it's not really responsive to your post, I'm in the same camp as Fletch. Don't get me wrong, it would be TOTALLY awesome to climb Everest. But, for me, climbing is a getting out with a few buds or other nice folks, enjoying the mountain, the good company, the challenge. Being jammed onto a fixed line, congo style with dozens of other folks who have varied motives for being there, just doesn't fit into my rationale of why I climb. Look at the recent photos in Rock & Ice about the lines of people (and subsequent avalanche) on Makalu. Though I'm 50 already (it sneaks up on you), and fantasize about climbing Everest from the North Side, looking at everything I've seen about modern "expeditions", I know I would be really disappointed with the experience.

Good luck with your endeavor. If you are ever able to afford it, I hope you find the experience a rewarding one.
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Re: Will Everest ever be priced adequately - not getting you

Postby radson » Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:24 am

I have had some of the best times on my life on modern expeditions. If you were to climb on Shish, Dhaulaghiri, Broad Peak, the G's etc you will probably be with fairly limited company and have a technical challenge equal to or greater than than the big 'E'.

As for the big 'E' one of my favourite 'climbing experiences ever was walking up the Lhotse face for an acclimitisation run to Camp 3. We watched Pumori glow in the morning sun and than just sat over the Cwm looking at the majesty beneath us. No crowds.

I was fortunate never to experience the 2012 congo lines and this may sound dreadful to al those pure mountaineers but I was glad to have some people around above 8000 m. It made a very scary experience somewhat more reassuring.

Who knows with everest but there are calls now to limit the amount of trips through the icefall and as per Alans comments maybe the high end providers will not supply space camps and dining tables at camp 2. If Everest becomes a place where less support is provided and less people, perhaps once again the whole experience may be more enjoyable for all. I wouldnt hold my breath though.

In the meantime, Nepal has released 121? more mountains that are able to be climbed and for some, the lure of an unclimbed peak will always be more enjoyable and intrinsically rewarding than Everest ...just be prepared for the fact that no-one will have ever heard of it nor be able to relate to the how or why.
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Re: Will Everest ever be priced adequately - not getting you

Postby johngenx » Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:26 am

I'll preface my remarks by being clear that I have no desire to climb Everest. I see the clusterfuck of climbers lined up on fixed ropes, going hypothermic at bottle-necks and that in itself is enough to turn me off.

That said, were I set on Everest, I'd start on Denali to get some 6000M time and experience working in the cold. Then maybe Aconcagua for some 7000M work. I'd do both of these self-supported, carrying my gear, being self sufficient, and making decisions at altitude.

Then heading to Everest, I'd go with one the opinion of one of the previous posters and eschew bottled O2, Sherpa assist, and so on. I'd do a "Steck" and try to head up ahead of the Sherpas at the start of the season and lead it myself.

To me, it's the difference between "climbing" Everest and "summitting" Everest. I would want to do the former.
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Re: Will Everest ever be priced adequately - not getting you

Postby radson » Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:57 am

johngenx wrote:I'll preface my remarks by being clear that I have no desire to climb Everest. I see the clusterfuck of climbers lined up on fixed ropes, going hypothermic at bottle-necks and that in itself is enough to turn me off.

That said, were I set on Everest, I'd start on Denali to get some 6000M time and experience working in the cold. Then maybe Aconcagua for some 7000M work. I'd do both of these self-supported, carrying my gear, being self sufficient, and making decisions at altitude.

Then heading to Everest, I'd go with one the opinion of one of the previous posters and eschew bottled O2, Sherpa assist, and so on. I'd do a "Steck" and try to head up ahead of the Sherpas at the start of the season and lead it myself.

To me, it's the difference between "climbing" Everest and "summitting" Everest. I would want to do the former.


Comedy gold. All the best climbing decisions and plans are made in the comfort of ones home on the internet :)
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Re: Will Everest ever be priced adequately - not getting you

Postby jesu, joy of man's desiring » Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:48 am

^^^^^^

oh well, at least johngenx is thinking BIG; can't fault a man for positive thoughts, even if it's armchair blarney

it's like ...3-Easy-Steps to Becoming Ueli Steck!
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