After issuing a record breaking number of permits to climb Everest in 2023, Nepal is witnessing a decline in the number of permits for Everest this year.

In 2023, up until April 16th, a total of 743 climbers were issued permits to scale various mountains in Nepal, with 319 permits specifically allocated for Everest. By May 14th, 2023, the number of permits rose to 1176, with 478 designated for Everest alone – the highest number of permits issued for Everest ever recorded. Unfortunately, 19 individuals were reported dead or missing in the same period.

This year, from March 1st to April 10th, only 209 permits were granted for Mount Everest, a significant decline compared to last year. Meanwhile, a total of 512 permits have been issued for the same period for mountaineers looking to summit a 6,000 metre or higher peak in Nepal.

The decline in climbing permits has had significant economic repercussions for Nepal’s tourism economy, with royalty dwindling from NRS 680 million in 2023 to NRS 297 million so far this year. Mountaineering entrepreneurs are skeptical about the number of permits increasing, with a majority stating that most climbers have already made their way to the base camp.

While the decrease in climbers may improve safety and also help reduce growing alpinism’s environmental impact, a delicate balance between adventure tourism and sustainability in the Himalayas is crucial for the national economy and local communities.

In Nepal, there are 414 mountains open for mountaineering, with 86 remaining unclimbed. The charges for climbing Mount Everest for foreigners are $11,000 USD, and for Nepalese climbers, it’s 75,000 NPR, varying according to the climbing season. Climbers also need to deposit a garbage management charge ranging from 500 USD to 4000 USD, depending on the mountain.