Beginning in the 1990s, experienced climbers like Rob Hall began organizing group tours, which made Everest accessible for the first time to less experienced people. Guided tours will involve an expedition leader, other guides and a Sherpa support team. There are pros and cons to joining a guided tour, but if you are considering it, experts recommend that you climb another, less difficult mountain with them first.
Even "solo" climbers often hire Sherpas to assist with the climb, and hiring a cook for Camp II can greatly improve the quality of your experience.
The average cost of a fully guided journey up Everest from the south side is $65,000. A fully guided climb from the north costs somewhat less, averaging around $40,000. These costs do not typically include personal gear, international airfare, or insurance, all of which can add thousands to the trip. Starting from scratch, the required gear would run at least $8,000. The figure is closer to $15,000 with the addition of items like a laptop and digital camera.