Nepal says it will significantly lower the fees to climb Mount Everest to bring more mountaineers to the world's highest peak.

Madhusudan Burlakoti, head of Nepal's Department of Mountains, said Friday that beginning next year, the fees will cost $11,000 per climber, down from $25,000.

Critics have said Nepal must cut the climbing fees because they are only affordable to the wealthy. But the growing number of tourists puts a strain on the mountain with tons of garbage that include food packages, ropes and tents.