Mountaineering expert Garrett Madison has made a career out of guiding ultra rich adrenaline junkies to the top of the world's highest mountains.
Madison guides wealthy individuals, including stock traders, investment portfolio managers and consultants, on extreme outings to the peak elevations at places like Everest, K2, Kilimanjaro and Rainier, as featured on a recent episode of CNBC's "Secret Lives of the Super Rich."
Madison has been a professional mountain guide since 1999 and has led 37 climbers to the peak of Everest in the last seven years alone.
But his deluxe adventures come at a steep price. John Stenderup, a logistics consultant, paid $120,000 for his trip up Mt. Everest. For a training climb in Cascade mountains of the Pacific Northwest in preparation for his trip to the summit of K2, Stenderup will shell out another $60,000.
"It's definitely not a cheap hobby," he tells "Secret Lives of the Super Rich." "But it's definitely worth every penny."
To reach these sky-high summits, Madison and his clients must travel with the proper equipment, which also comes with a lofty price tag.
A sleeping bag that allows climbers to withstand sub-zero temperatures costs $1,500. High-altitude mountaineering boots from La Sportiva go for $1,200. And the data plan on a special satellite-powered cell phone from Thuraya runs Stenderup around $4,000 per month. In total, Stenderup estimates that he's spent around $20,000 on gear.
Madison doesn't just provide expert guidance across treacherous terrain. Clients can also expect top-notch amenities, including gas-powered showers, a world class chef and meals of t-bone steak, lamb chops or salmon.
"When you're on a mountain for two months, those amenities are what keep you psychologically sound," Stenderup says.
Despite their extreme nature, for those who can afford it, Madison's audacious trips offer far more excitement than sightseeing in Paris or dipping your toes into the warm water of the Caribbean.
"When you're a wealthy or affluent individual, you can vacation wherever you like around the world. But once you've seen one beach, you've been them all," Madison says.
Watch a new episode of CNBC's "Secret Lives of the Super Rich" Wednesday, March 7 at 10P/ET.
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