April 23, 2014 2:53 pm
Updated: April 23, 2014 3:01 pm

Big, risky business: Mount Everest by the numbers

This undated photograph shows unidentified mountaineers as they walk past the Hillary Step whilst pushing for the summit of Mount Everest as they climb the south face from Nepal.


Getting to the highest place on Earth can be deadly not just for climbers but for the experienced guides who ensure expeditions reach the top of Mount Everest.

Last week an avalanche killed 16 Sherpas sparking a massive walkout of Sherpa guides who left Mount Everest’s base camp Wednesday in protest over their treatment, benefits, and pay.

READ MORE: Dozens of Sherpas leave Everest following deadly avalanche

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Climbing Everest is big business for the small country of Nepal. In 2012, the Nepalese government issued summit permits at a rate of $10,000 for each expedition, which contributed to the roughly $11 million dollars generated by climbing tourism.

Sherpas play a key role in climbing Everest as they guide expeditions and haul equipment for climbers up the mountain.

Climbing companies like International Mountain Guides charge between $40,000 to $110,000 to summit Everest depending on how many people are in the expedition. A second company Alpine Ascents International charges $65,000.

Following the walkout by Sherpas, Nepal’s government has sent top tourism officials to negotiate to save the peak climbing season which occurs from late April until June.

Here’s a look at the numbers behind climbing the world’s highest peak

  • 400-Roughly the number of Sherpas that work on Mount Everest. Currently it’s unknown how many will participate in the ongoing walkout.
  • 415-Dollar amount the Nepalese government said it would pay the 16 families of each Sherpa killed in last week’s avalanche.

Relatives carry a casket bearing the body of Mount Everest avalanche victim for cremation in Kathmandu on April 21,2014. AFP PHOTO/Prakash MATHEMA

  • 4,000- Roughly the number of climbers that have reached the top of the world’s highest mountain since 1953.
  • 3.5 million-Dollars Nepal earns annually in Everest climbing fees.
  • 8,850-Mount Everest’s height in metres.

In this photograph taken on May 19, 2009, unidentified mountaineers descend from the summit of Everest. AFP PHOTO/COURTESY OF PEMBA DORJE SHERPA/FILES

  • 8,000-Metres at which climbers hit the “Death Zone,” (zone where they can die from a lack of oxygen).
  • 56– Percentage of climbers who successfully scale Everest, according to the German Aerospace Agency. It says that number has tripled since 1990 from 18 per cent. This has been attributed to more guides and better equipment.
  • 1953– Year of Everest’s first summiters: New Zealand’s Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay.

This picture taken 27 October 1957 shows Sherpa Tensing Norgay (R) being welcomed at London airport by Brigadier Sir John Hunt.

  • 1982-Year that Laurie Skreslet became the first Canadian to summit Everest.
  • 2010-Year that American mountain climber Jordan Romero became the youngest person to climb Mount Everest at the age of 13.

US teenager Jordan Romero (C) gestures as he arrives with supporters and family members at The Nepal-China border in the village of the Liping. AFP PHOTO/Prakash MATHEMA

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