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Average Cost to climb Everest

Mt. EverestMikhail Perfilov / Getty Images

Prince Harry announced he would soon climb Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.

When Everest Base Camp opens for the spring climbing season in March, Prince Harry may be among the climbers hoping to conquer the world’s tallest mountain, according to The Telegraph. The 27-year-old prince trekked across the North Pole last year in an effort to raise money for Walking with the Wounded (WWTW), a U.K.-based charity that helps those who were injured while serving in the armed forces, and plans to join the WWTW Everest team.

Mollie Hughes, one of the WWTW expedition team’s members who is hoping to become the youngest British woman climber at 21 to summit Everest, confirmed that the prince will be one of the climbers. “He won’t be doing the full climb, as it will take a long time and it requires rigorous training, so I think he’ll be joining us at base camp, ” Hughes told The Telegraph. It can take up to 10 days just to reach base camp from the south on the Nepalese side, the route Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay used to first conquer Everest in 1953. Once there, climbers usually spend six weeks on the mountain acclimating to the thin air and doing practice climbs before making the five-day summit push.

(PHOTO: Sir Edmund Hillary: First Ascent of Mount Everest)

Climbing Everest is a bucket list item for many until they realize the great price involved—both monetarily and mentally. Because of the high cost, climbers usually range from the young, sponsored athlete to wealthy men in their late forties trying to battle personal demons, tackle insecurities, or otherwise satisfy some existential urges. I myself decided to tackle the world’s tallest mountain this year as a 30th birthday gift to myself. Like Prince Harry, I didn’t opt for a full climb of 29, 029 feet, because I don’t have a deep interest in going past 26, 000 feet, the so-called death zone where the fatality rate goes up exponentially. Otherwise I had a full Everest experience and can break down the financials in case Harry has inspired you to consider a climb.

Training—$8, 000
You don’t want to step foot on one of the world’s deadliest mountains without being in the best shape of your life. When I began to train, I was already a marathon runner, but I still needed to hire a trainer twice a week for a year for squat routines and other almost vomit-inducing exercises. Not included in this estimate is the time that’s taken away from other things—you’ll be running three to four hours in 90 degree weather or climbing for six to eight hours in extreme conditions to prepare. In the months leading up, I became comfortable with the idea of working out two to three hours a day.

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Gear—$10, 000
Everest is not the place to skimp on the grade of your down jacket. Buying a cheaper featherweight on your summit mittens might cost you a hand to frostbite. I never knew gloves could cost $300 or that I would own two pairs of them. The Arc’Teryx hard shells start at $600, and down suits run closer to $1, 000. I’m now also the proud owner of a pee funnel, a device women use to prevent frostnip on the lower body, which set me back $23. Before leaving you’ll also need to consult a doctor, who’ll prescribe you a chest of medicines from Diamox to anti-diarrhea remedies. I even carried around Viagra pills, which are known to help ease the symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness. Who knew that little blue pill could help save lives on Everest? Even though the average expedition will allow you 32 pounds of gear, it’s daunting how much each pound seems to cost.

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