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Everest oxygen week follow up: The cost of oxygen
15:43 p.m. EST Feb 19, 2004
For the past couple of weeks ExplorersWeb has run an oxygen special comparing and contrasting two systems that are available for Everest climbers this spring. We interviewed the creator and some users of the new Summit Oxygen demand based system and looked at the differences between this new system and the most prevalent rig on Everest, the Poisk setup.

Since the stories were published, Summit Oxygen has taken down their price list, which was in US dollars, from the site and instead urged potential clients to call in for prices. We contacted Neil Greenwood, the system’s creator, and as he’s based out of the UK he told us that with fluctuating exchange rates, he could no longer offer the prices in EU or USD. Instead he is now offering the system at a set price in British pounds, and international customers would receive the most current exchange rate on the goods.

For hire the system would be:
£450 per climbing system
£180 per 3-liter cylinder
£160 per 2-liter cylinder

For purchase the system would be:
£1100 climbing system
£430 per 3-liter cylinder
£400 per 2-liter cylinder

The climbing system consists of all the mechanics – regulator, pulse dose meter to control the on demand system, nasal cannula, and a newly redesigned mask. On top of this, the user can expect to pay approximately 10% for transportation, handling, and hazardous goods charges.

Neil will be in Kathmandu himself towards the end of March to hand out the O2 systems to clients as well as train and familiarize them with the rig.

300 USD for a regulator set
310 USD for a 3-liter cylinder
230 USD for a 4-liter cylinder

Transportation fees are as follows:
200 USD for shipment
90 USD for dangerous goods charge
4.45 USD per kilo in various charges, ie. . terminal fee, fuel fee, and rate/charge

So, here’s the updated comparison chart:

3L bottle: £430, 3345g, 22.6 hrs of use on 2L of flow (20 breaths per minute)
Regulator & Dosage Regulator: £1100 (210g + 200g) = 410g
Total weight: 3755g
Total cost for 1 setup: £1530

3L bottle: 310 USD, 2600g, 6 hrs of use on 2L of flow
Regulator: 300 USD, 350g
Total weight: 2950g + mask
Total cost for 1 setup: 660 USD

Summit: 22.6 hrs of O2 = cost of £1530 and weight of 3.8kg. With 10% shipping surcharge: £1683.
At today’s exchange rate: 3205.66 USD to buy.
To rent it would be £630 + shipping = £693 or at today’s exchange, 1319.99 USD to rent.

Poisk: 24 hrs of O2 = 1540 USD and weight of 10.8kg (1 regulator and 4 bottles)
With shipping surcharges: 1540 + 200 + 90 + 48.06 = 1878.06 USD to buy.

Company websites:
Summit Oxygen..

Prices are from respective company’s websites or correspondence and are approximate. This comparison also does not factor in long term usage of both products and the maintenance and upkeep.

'Don't try this at home' - Image of a climber attempting to use his oxygen rig to help start his stove courtesy of Serac Adventure Films.

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