EXPEDITONS


Note

The last few years on expedition in Nepal have been some of the toughest times that I have ever experienced. In 2012 I cancelled my Everest expedition because I considered the conditions to be too dangerous. This was my decision and I stand by that. 2013 we saw a normal year and our normal high percentage of success. But in 2014 we experienced the avalanche that killed 16 Sherpas from other teams. Although a tragic accident which did not affect us directly, it then caused a strike by many Sherpas from other teams and so we were forced to cancel our Everest expedition. In 2015 when we thought that nothing could get any worse, it did, and we experienced the earthquake in Nepal and the avalanche that devastated the Everest Base Camp. Fortunately not our camp, but again we were forced to cancel our Everest expedition. So in the past 4 years we have had success on Everest in one year. During this time we have not changed our pricing structure, however just because of these incidents on Everest, inflation has not stopped in Nepal. I can no longer absorb the various changes in structure and increases in costs that enable me to operate a safe and successful expedition, so after much consideration I have decided to make modest price increases. But I also need to justify and make it clear why I have made this increase.

  • Cost of inflation in Nepal has been running at somewhere between 14 – 17% and is not helped by price increases since the earthquake. So this has an effect on all internal Nepal infrastructure.
  • Of course this has an ongoing effect on the cost of flour, milk, sugar and in fact all food, as well as gas and fuel.
  • The Hyatt Hotel has increased charges each year to keep up with inflation, and I also changed from a twin share basis to a single room per person basis.
  • We use helicopters for our flights into and out of Lukla rather than fixed wing flights as we consider a helicopter to be safer in Nepal, but again there have been modest price increases for these flights.
  • In 2012 Sherpa insurance was $4,000 and I worked hard to have this increased to $10,000 by 2014 and now after the 2014 avalanche it has been increased to $16,000, so of course our insurance premiums have increased considerably.
  • In 2012 porter rates were at $8, then increased to $10 and are now at $12 and next year are likely to be $14 per day. When one employs several hundred porters for 10 days to get loads in and out of base camp, this has a huge impact on overall costs. This increase is quite understandable as the cost of living has gone up considerably for the porters.
  • The Permit fee for Everest went from $10 – 11,000 per person.
  • The Permit fee for Lobuche Peak went from $88 – 350 per person.
  • The Icefall fee went from $500 – 600 per person.
  • Our Sherpa equipment allowance went from $1,800 – 2,000.
  • We now have a western chef at Everest BC as I feel that this maintains a higher standard of hygiene and provides a far more balance and interesting diet which in the end helps protect our members financial investment by ensuring that they are fit and strong when it comes time to attempt the summit. The cost of a chef has never been reflected in my price.
  • The cost of having a dedicated doctor on our team constantly increases as the various support costs go up, and we have seen just how important it is to have a doctor on our team in the past seasons, as it turns out not directly to our team members, but to many others around.
  • Although we have not had much of a chance to use the oxygen equipment in the past two years, however we have made significant improvements to this equipment which will make it safer and more successful for summiteers in the future.

Thanks for your understanding.
Russ