Fancy a bargain? Check this out: a mountain sale.

The Pakistan government has celebrated the designation of 2007 as Visit Pakistan Year by dropping its royalty rates for climbing some of its highest peaks. The summits remain as high, but the cost is coming down.

If you’re content with summits less than 6,500 m, it’s free! At least, you won’t have to pay the government fee. From this December to next January, the higher mountains’ royalty fee is cut to a mere 5% of its usual level. Other rates are halved, except in the less popular Chitral, Gilgit, and Ghizer regions, which are set at 10% of normal fees.

Expeditions to the high mountains of Pakistan have been severely curtailed since the World Trade Centre attacks in 2001 and the murders of three climbers in recent years. The Pakistan tourism authorities are keen to tempt climbers back to the country.

Royalty fees for K2, the world’s second highest mountain, have been as high as $12,000 US for a party of up to five, with extra payable for each climber above that number.

So if you’re considering a high-altitude trip to the Karakorum, perhaps now’s the time.