EFE/Balazs Mohai

Nepal plans to hike Everest climbing fee to $15,000

Kathmandu, Aug 11 (EFE).- Foreigners aspiring to climb the world’s highest peak will have to shell out an extra $4,000 for a climbing permit as the government plans to hike the cost.

Tourism Department spokesperson Yubaraj Khatiwada told EFE that the agency authorized to issue the climbing permits had proposed a new royalty fee of $15,000 per person for a foreigner.

A permit to climb the 8,848.86-meter Everest currently costs $11,000 for a foreigner and $568 for a Nepali.

“We are amending the mountaineering regulation soon. The draft is ready,” the spokesperson said. “But the new provision will be implemented by the beginning of 2025 as expedition agencies have already taken the bookings for 2024.”

He said the move was to streamline mountain tourism and control the number of climbers amid complaints over the growing fatalities on the world’s highest peak.

Nepal’s tourism authorities have prepared a slew of new measures apart from the fee.

Rakesh Gurung, director of the mountaineering section of the Department of Tourism, told Efe that the government was also increasing the insurance and other facilities for porters, high-altitude workers, and guides.

He said the amended guideline would set the mandatory provision that dead bodies must be brought from the mountain.

There has been an increasing trend of leaving the dead on the mountain as retrieving a body in the “death zone”, which lies above 8,000 meters where oxygen is scarce, is costly.

Removing bodies from higher camps may cost as high as $200,000.

According to Gurung, 17 people climbing from the Nepal side died on Everest during this spring season.

On April 18, 2014, an avalanche near the base camp killed 16 Nepali guides.

In 2015, earthquake-triggered avalanches killed 20 climbers. EFE