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Doug Krizner: Nepal is home to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains and mountaineering is an important business. But after a decade-long Maoist conflict, there’s now a plan to bring mountaineers back. Jill Barshay reports.
Jill Barshay: Here’s an off-peak travel deal: Nepal is proposing to cut the cost of its climbing fees for Mt. Everest by 50 percent in the autumn and 75 percent in the winter.
The full permit isn’t cheap — nearly $88,000 for a group of 10.
Phil Powers heads up the American Alpine Club. He says no matter how big the discount, Everest is too dangerous in winter. The last time someone did it successfully was in 1993.
Phil Powers: It’s just, obviously, exceedingly cold. The storms are exceedingly vicious. And not only that, but generally you’re in low pressure systems in the winter which exacerbates the high altitude problem
Powers says the autumn is safer, but too short. And if a group is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for a whole trip, including gear and guides, they want to maximize their climb time.
Powers says Nepal would have better luck luring off-season tourists if it put the discount sticker on easier Himalayan peaks.
I’m Jill Barshay for Marketplace.