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did you know it costs $70,000 to get a permit to Climb

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12/12/2012 12:59 AM
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did you know it costs $70,000 to get a permit to Climb
did you know it costs $70,000 to get a permit to Climb Mount Everest
Why does it cost so much to climb a mountain?

"The permit is issued per expedition, with about seven to ten people on each permit," said Dennis Broadwell, owner of Mountain Gurus, a company that offers guided mountain treks to Mount Everest. "That way, the price comes out to $10,000 a person."

[Got a question? Send us an email and we'll look for an expert who can crack it.]

If a mountaineer wants to buy a permit only for themselves, the price is $25,000. Money collected by the Nepalese government for the permit goes towards ensuring that Mount Everest is kept pristine, as it is considered holy by the local villagers. Last April, a team of 20 Sherpa climbers trekked to the mountain's "death zone" (26,000 feet above sea level and higher) to clean up the garbage leftover from decades of previous expeditions.

While it may seem that the permit would include a guided tour and accommodations for that price, it actually only covers the cost of admission to the mountain. People buy the permit so that, if they manage to summit the mountain, they'll receive a certificate from the Government of Nepal acknowledging their achievement.

The permit also grants them legal permission to be on Mount Everest, so that in the event of an emergency, Nepalese authorities will rescue the climbers in distress. However, those on the mountain without a permit are out of luck, since they are legally not supposed to be there and therefore won't be acknowledged.

The cost of the permit also goes towards paying for the liaison officers that stand guard at various camp stops along the trek. The officers monitor climbers' use of communication devices, help them get weather reports and make sure that mountaineers follow the strictly enforced climbing schedule, as no climbing is permitted on the mountain after 6 pm.

Not counting the permit fee, the total price of climbing Mount Everest is staggering, with just the "optional" expenses round-trip transportation, mountaineering guides, extra oxygen bottles , tents and communication devices easily totaling over $200,000, according to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. [link to www.lifeslittlemysteries.com]