Nepal and China on Tuesday jointly announced that the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, is 8,848.86 metre high. This is about 0.86 metre higher than previous calculations, Reuters reported. Both the countries share a border on Mount Everest and there has been a long-running conflict over its height.
In 2005, China’s measurement of 8,844.43 metre had put the mountain about 3.7 metre lower than Nepal’s. Despite being home to the world’s highest mountain, Nepal had never previously measured the height on its own. Reports said the most commonly used estimate by Nepal came from a survey conducted by India in 1954, which includes snow.
Tuesday’s announcement came after Kathmandu and Beijing sent an expedition of surveyors to the summit to calculate Everest’s precise height above sea level. Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali declared the findings of their surveys on a video call with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. “Everest is an eternal symbol of friendship between Nepal and China,” Gyawali said.
Meanwhile, Susheel Dangol, Nepal’s chief survey officer, head of the measurement project, said they were confident that this is the “most accurate height” of Everest, according to The Washington Post. “It was a huge responsibility on our part. It is a moment of great pride for us.”
Mountaineers had earlier suggested that a 2015 earthquake, which killed nearly 9,000 people in Nepal, may have changed Everest’s height.
Damodar Dhakal, spokesperson of Nepal’s Department of Survey, said their surveyors had used the Global Navigation Satellite System to get “the precise height” of the peak.
So far, Everest has been climbed 10,184 times by 5,789 people from Nepal and China. At least 311 people have died on its slopes.