Who hasn’t dreamt about standing on top of the world? At 29,029 feet, Mount Everest is the tallest peak on the planet and your chance to make that happen. However, not only is reaching the summit of Mount Everest a formidable challenge, it is also a monetary feat. High-altitude climbing is a pay-to-play game and if you’re going to attempt to climb Mount Everest then you’re going to need to shell out some serious cash.

First, you’re going to need a two-month commitment to successfully complete this climb. Then, you’ll need to sign on to a guide service which costs upward of $60,000. And while you can’t put a price on those views, you can figure out where all that money goes.

Here is what you are actually paying for when you decide to climb the mighty Mount Everest.

Climbing Permits: $11,000

Photo via Flickr, Brigitte Djajasasmita – CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Before you even set foot on the mountain, you’re going to need a climbing permit. Depending on which route you take, permits can be obtained from the government of Nepal or Tibet. For logistical and support reasons, most climbers go for the south side of Everest in Nepal which costs $11,000 for a permit. You can save a bit of money by traveling to the north side, in Tibet, where the cost is roughly $7,000.

Other Climbing Fees: $1,500

As with any excursion, unexpected fees will sneak up on you while preparing to scale this peak. These fees include a basic medical-support fee which contributes to the cost of installing ropes on the mountain and a refundable deposit for the removal of trash and human waste.

Travel to Base Camp: $4,000

Getting to base camp is an obvious and necessary cost. While porters and yaks are needed to carry the gear on the week-long trek, you’re also going to need to eat and stay in tea houses along the way.

Sherpas: $5,000

At a cost of $5,000 per person, most teams assign one climbing sherpa per person, and some opt for two as an additional safety measure. Sherpas charge about $5,000 for their services — well-earned considering they’re putting their lives on the line to help you get there. Sherpas require bottled oxygen as well, which can run upward of $3,000.

Maintaining Campsites: $2,000

Guide services operate a series of camps on Everest that range in altitude. And, at a price, these camps can be stocked with supplies. You can expect to pay roughly $800 per person for six weeks worth of food.

Bottled Oxygen: $3,700

It goes without saying that having supplemental oxygen on your Everest climb is a good idea. Most climbers will use five bottles to reach the top, at a rate of about $550 per bottle. You’ll also need an oxygen mask and regulator, which can cost about $500 each.

Gear: $7,000

You will need to buy additional high-altitude gear which includes a down suit, sleeping bag, and boots.

Miscellaneous: $10,000

Photo via Flickr, Gunther Hagleitner – CC BY 2.0

Miscellaneous costs include traveling to Kathmandu, emergency-rescue insurance, visas, immunizations and tips for the cooks and Sherpas. While these prices can vary, they will significantly add to the entire price of the climb.

TOTAL: $44,200

Despite the financial and physical sacrifice, hundreds of people climb Mount Everest each year. No other feat on Earth has an allure quite like Mount Everest. Once you’re standing on the top of the world, money will be the last thing on your mind.

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