Mountaineering is not a rare holiday activity anymore because of three reasons:
- Faster easier access to the mountains and related information
- Various training options
- Availability of relatively cheaper gear
Peaks now-a-days are therefore not out of bounds of common persons. The mountainous countries have realized commercial value of the peaks. The countries use various criteria such as access, altitude, difficulty, and consumption/climbing status to group the peaks, “the commercial products for adventure tourism segment.” This peak classification influences promotional and peak royalty strategies.
Peaks based on Access
In most of the mountainous countries, many peak clusters are completely or partly closed for mountaineers, especially from foreign lands because of national security reasons. Thus, peaks are divided into two groups: open and protected.
Open peaks are open for all. Anyone can climb without any special permission. However, basic formalities, including booking a peak have to be fulfilled.
Protected / restricted area peaks are the peaks located on international borders and / or in sensitive and strategically important areas of the country. Some of these peaks require additional permissions from defense and other mountaineering authorities depending on the local laws. Some of these peaks may not be open at all for foreign climbers.
Peaks based on Altitude
Some countries follow altitude-based classification of the peaks to arrive at correct amount of the royalty. For example, mountaineering royalty varies from US$ 500-4,000 depending on number of climbers and season for 7,501-7,999 meter peaks in Nepal.
The royalty ranges from US$ 375-3,000 for 7,000-7,500 meter peaks, whereas US$ 225-2,000 for 6,501-6,999 meter peaks.
The royalty for less than and equal to 6,500 meter peaks is the lowest, US$ 100-1,000.
Peaks based on Consumption or Climbing Status
These peaks are divided into two categories: climbed and virgin (unclimbed) peaks.
Climbed peaks are those peaks that have already been successfully climbed at least once.
Virgin peaks are the peaks that are still not scaled even once. However, these peaks might have been attempted by mountaineers more than once. These peaks definitely tempt record makers.
Peaks based on Difficulty
This group consists of two types of peaks: climbing / mountaineering and trekking peaks.
Climbing peaks are those peaks requiring both special mountaineering gear and technical skills. Generally, royalty for these peaks is also higher than that for trekking peaks. Mountaineering peaks may also require more time.
Trekking / walking peaks are those peaks that neither require special equipment nor skills. These are long hard treks, perfect for seasoned trekkers.