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The height of Mt. Everest is 8,848.86 meter

That is the new official height of Mount Everest Nepal, declared on Tuesday. The new announcement concludes the decades-long argument over the height of the world’s tallest peak.

Mount Everest’s precise height has been challenged since 1847, when a group of British surveyors in India reported the height of Peak XV, as it was originally known, to be 8,778 metres.

The new height was reported as a result of Nepal and China’s collaborative measuring efforts, with the 8,848.86-meter mountain straddling both countries. This new height equals 29,031.69 feet. The previously acknowledged height was 8,848 meters or 29,028 feet.

[Read: What It Takes to Get a Foreigner to Everest]

The official height was declared simultaneously in Kathmandu and Beijing during a ceremony attended by Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali and his Chinese colleague, Wang Yi.

“This is a historic day,” Foreign Minister Gyawali remarked as he made the much-anticipated announcement on Tuesday. “The new height of Mt Everest is 8,848.86 metres.”

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang also reported the mountain’s height as 8,848.86 meters shortly after.

Nepal had been measuring Everest since 2011.

“The measurement is within centimetres of accuracy,” Sushil Dangol, the national coordinator of the Mt Everest Height Measurement Secretariat at the Survey Department, told The Post. “The data from the survey conducted by Nepali and Chinese measurement teams was used to determine height. The error margin is only a few centimetres.”

The “rock height” has not been announced.

[Read: Over 200 climbers set new record by summiting Everest in a single day].

The amount was calculated using a variety of methods, including both classic and cutting-edge technologies.

According to Padma Kumari Aryal, minister for land management and cooperatives, “there have been numerous surveys conducted in the last 170 years by different countries, but Nepal has never measured its own peak.”

After calculations revealed Peak XV’s mean height to be 29,002 feet, or 8,839.80 meters, the former surveyor general of India, Sir George Everest, was given the peak’s name.

[Read: Everest base camp in Nepal is ranked as the fourth finest trek in the world by Lonely Planet]

The Survey of India used the trigonometric method to establish the widely recognized height of 8,848 meters, or 29,028 feet, from Bihar in 1954. It was India’s third survey of that kind.

K2, situated in Pakistan, is the second-highest peak in the world, standing at 8,611 meters (28,251 feet).

Everest’s height has never been exactly measured.
A 1999 American survey, funded in part by the National Geographic Society, used global positioning system, or GPS, equipment to take accurate measurements. The society, as well as a number of experts in the domains of geodesy and mapping, accepted their discovery of 29,035 feet (8,850 meters).

Although Nepal had welcomed the findings, the height of 8,848 meters that had been established in 1954 is still in use.

The American society, as well as a number of experts in the domains of geodesy and mapping, recognized their discovery of 29,035 feet [8,850 meters], plus or minus 6.5 feet [2 meters], over the generally accepted height. However, Ganesh Prasad Bhatta, the previous head of the government’s survey department, stated that Nepal did not accept it.

[Read: Kami Rita Sherpa climbs Everest for the second time in a week, bringing his record total to twenty-four]

Nepal declared that it would like to take its own measurements.

By using GPS technology and an ice-penetrating radar device, the Chinese State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping remeasured the summit in 2005 and determined that the rock-height of Everest was 29,017.12 feet (8,844.43) meters.

At that time, officials from China and Nepal disputed about which height of the famous peak should be recognized: the height of the rock or the height of the snow.

Nepal disagreed with the Chinese estimate, citing 29,028 feet as the “snow height.”

According to Nepali climbing authorities, one of the main factors luring so many people to Nepal to attempt Everest is the country’s height.

[Read:Everest Three Pass Trek: A circular trek in Everest region]

Former president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association Ang Tsering Sherpa stated that since China began to issue Everest climbing certificates in 2007, which stated the height as 8,844.57 meters as opposed to 8,848 meters on certificates issued by Nepal for the ascent, the number of Everest hopefuls in Nepal began to rise.

He stated that the Guinness World Record, which keeps track of and records world records, was among the worldwide organizations that did not recognize the lower height.

China began granting climbing licenses in 2016, with the stated height being 8,848.13 meters.

Regarding Tuesday’s announcement, Sherpa stated, “Now, there will be a common height which will end all debates.”

However, China will gain a significant edge in the Everest climbing market as a result.

“Climbing Everest from the north is far less expensive than climbing from the south,” he remarked. The most lucrative tourist destination in Nepal is Everest.

 

[Read: Ang Rita Sherpa, who climbed Everest 10 times without bottled oxygen, dies at 72]

For foreign climbers, an Everest permit costs $11,000, but most end up spending an average of $50,000 on equipment, lodging, and hiring porters and guides. The Department of Tourism estimates that permits alone bring in $4 million for the government.

However, climbing from the north will cost you approximately half as much. The average cost of the package from China is $25,000. China will now have a significant advantage since consumers are price sensitive, according to Sherpa. But in Nepal, the majority of a climber’s spending money goes toward the country’s rural economy.

However, there are numerous more benefits to climbing from Nepal, which is home to eight of the world’s fourteen highest mountains.

According to Sherpa, rescue from the Nepali side happens quickly and allows hikers to experience a full journey. After weeks of trekking to the base camp, the adventure of ascending from the south is truly life-changing.

At the summit of Everest, a Chinese member of the Everest height measurement team sets up global satellite navigation equipment.

Global-satellite
A team member of Everest height measurement from China sets up global satellite navigation gear at the peak of Everest.

If one chooses to climb from the Chinese side, there is a drive that leads directly to the base camp, but there is also an extra risk of altitude sickness.

Everest and Sherpa are the two words that most people use to describe Nepal. However, that will also soon alter.

“China is generating a large number of guides for high altitude mountaineering. Sherpa stated, “The government trains them for at least two years.” “Even though Sherpas currently make up the majority of climbing guides on the Chinese side, China won’t need Sherpas from Nepal in a few years.”

A foreigner climbing from the north would have to pay an additional $8,000 to hire Sherpa guides, according to the Sherpa.

A consensus on the matter, according to Ruan Zongze, executive vice president of the China Institute of International Studies, is a sign of respect between the two nations and their readiness to expand their cooperation by encouraging information exchange, as she stated to the Global Times.

“Mount Qomolangma [Everest] could be seen as a symbol of friendship between the two countries,” Ruan was cited as saying by Global Times, the mouthpiece of the Chinese government. “China and Nepal agreed on a unified result, similar to the mountain’s area division, instead of surveying the height separately.”

In 2011, Nepal said that it would measure the height of the mountain as a project for “national pride.” However, due to political unrest and financial constraints, the project was unable to proceed.

However, according to Nepal’s survey agency, there was a sense of urgency when some geologists conjectured that the 2015 earthquake may have caused Everest’s height to alter, potentially shifting its location.

In 2017, the project finally got underway. Nepal measured the mountain’s height using both new and old technology.

Dangol, the national coordinator of the Mt. Everest Height Measurement Secretariat, stated that the five sets of surveys conducted in Nepal included precise leveling, trigonometric leveling, gravity surveying, global navigation satellite system, or GNSS, surveying, and summit observation. The survey was conducted using a combination of traditional and cutting-edge technologies.

He said that a ground penetrating radar survey was also carried out at the time to determine the depth of the snow, in addition to the GNSS survey, which involved a constellation of satellites sending signals from space transmitting positioning and timing data, which was carried out at the summit of Everest and collected data for one hour and sixteen minutes.

On May 22, 2019, a survey crew from Nepal ascended Mount Everest and set up ground-penetrating radar and GPS equipment at the peak.Courtesy of the Survey Department

The department states that precise levelling is done to determine the height between the chosen control locations and Nepal’s southern plains. In order to define the local geoid surrounding Mount Everest, trigonometric levelling is carried out from specific control points (points to which height is carried by precise levelling); GNSS-based surveys are carried out to locate benchmarks, gravity points, and the summit of Everest.

On May 22, 2019, a survey crew from Nepal, headed by Khim Lal Gautam, successfully ascended Mount Everest and set up ground-penetrating radar and GPS equipment at the top.

Photo Courtesy: Survey Department

Nepal-Survey-Team
Nepal’s own survey team climbed Everest on May 22, 2019, and installed global positioning system equipment and ground-penetrating radar at the summit.

The department states that precise levelling is done to determine the height between the chosen control locations and Nepal’s southern plains. In order to define the local geoid surrounding Mount Everest, trigonometric levelling is carried out from specific control points (points to which height is carried by precise levelling); GNSS-based surveys are carried out to locate benchmarks, gravity points, and the summit of Everest.

On May 22, 2019, a survey crew from Nepal, headed by Khim Lal Gautam, successfully ascended Mount Everest and set up ground-penetrating radar and GPS equipment at the top.

On May 27, 2020, Chinese surveyors ascended to the summit of Everest for their own survey.

Chinese surveying instruments and the BeiDou navigation satellite system were utilized by the Chinese crew. According to Chinese media reports, this seventh round of the survey conducted in May achieved several technological firsts, such as the utilization of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System and real-scene 3D technology to acquire a dependable, accurate result and the state of natural resources on the mountain.

Read More [ Traffice Jam on Mt. Everest as 200 attempt summit]

The accomplishment of the mountain quest was also greatly aided by China’s in-house designed BeiDou Satellite Navigation System, or BDS, and second-generation Geostationary Meteorological System, the Fengyun-4, as well as the Zhongxing-6A communication satellite. According to accounts in Chinese media, the team also brought GNSS to the summit.

The accomplishment of the mountain quest was also greatly aided by China’s in-house designed BeiDou Satellite Navigation System, or BDS, and second-generation Geostationary Meteorological System, the Fengyun-4, as well as the Zhongxing-6A communication satellite. According to accounts in Chinese media, the team also brought GNSS to the summit.

“The US GPS system was primarily used for GNSS satellite measurement in the 2005 hunt. This year, however, we will make use of information from the four GNSS systems currently in use: China’s BDS, Europe’s Galileo, Russia’s GLONASS, and the GPS. And the BDS data will be at its core,” the Global Times article said Li Guopeng, a Ministry of Natural Resources official.

Nepal and China decided to jointly proclaim the height and end the decades-long controversy over it during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping in October of last year.

Since the first ascent of the world’s highest peak in May 1953 by Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Percival Hillary of New Zealand, 6,507 mountaineers have scaled Everest from the Nepal side.

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