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How much does it cost to climb the seven summits?

Peter the summit of Kilimanjaro in bright sunshine

Our resident mountaineer and would-be seven summiteer crunches the numbers on how much it will cost to climb the seven summits

How much does it cost to climb the seven summits? About $200,000 USD give or take $10k.

Climbers could significantly reduce costs by foregoing luxuries, cutting corners and taking (even more) risks to get that figure below $100,000, but I do not recommend this and certainly won’t be taking such unnecessary risks.

How much does it cost to climb the seven summits

I arrived at the above figure by looking at five established international mountain guiding companies based in the USA, UK and New Zealand. I compiled their prices for climbing all seven summits (using the same routes where possible) and calculated the average: $174,219.

Atlas & Boots Peter the summit of Kilimanjaro in 2010

There are then the costs of airfares, insurance and equipment to factor in. Flights, of course, depend on where individuals are based but it’s fair to assume that seven return international flights – often during peak season – will cost between $9,000-$15,000.

In terms of equipment, much of it is specialist and therefore expensive. I’ve drawn on the trusted expertise of Alan Arnette who regularly crunches the numbers on the cost of climbing Everest, combed the equipment lists of guiding companies and settled on a baseline figure of $12,000. This is an absolute minimum amount, so could – and probably will – be considerably more.

The cost of insurance changes from mountain to mountain. On a lower, more trafficked peak such as Kilimanjaro, it may just be a matter of adding a high-altitude or adventure bolt-on to your existing travel insurance policy. For Everest, you’ll need to budget in the region of $3,000 USD to cover medical support, rescue assistance and helicopter evacuation.

Additionally, the ballpark figure of $200,000 doesn’t include any supplementary courses or training a climber may require. It also doesn’t include intermediary mountains such as a preliminary eight-thousander – like Cho Oyu or Manaslu – that most climbers should really attempt before venturing onto Everest.

Only individuals can decide what training they will require. I’ve already completed rock climbing and winter mountaineering courses and intend to take further advanced alpine, rock climbing and crevasse rescue courses before I attempt Denali…

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