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High-Altitude Climbing
High-altitude climbing is a very expensive pursuit, thanks almost entirely to the cost of the equipment and services needed to keep a climber alive. These costs increase along with the altitude, so climbers attempting to ascend Mount Everest can potentially spend six digit figures to reach its summit, according to . Fees include $30,000 for oxygen canisters, $25,000 for a lead guide, $10,000 to $15,000 each for two assistant guides, and $7,500 for the gear-hauling services of yaks. There is also such equipment as glacier glasses and sleeping bags rated to at least minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit, all of which can cost between $8,000 and $15,000.

These are only a few of the charges and while they’re steep, you simply can’t skimp on them. Those who have chosen to climb on the cheap and forego some of these expenses have paid with their lives. Indeed, mountaineer Jon Krakauer, who was part of a failed 1996 expedition that killed five of his fellow climbers, said in his 1997 book “Into Thin Air” that climbing Everest is a decision frequently made by people who may not have thought it through. “Attempting to climb Everest is an intrinsically irrational act — a triumph of desire over sensibility,” wrote Krakauer. “Any person who would seriously consider it is almost by definition beyond the sway of reasoned argument.”

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