How tall is Mount Everest: Nepal, China to announce on Tuesday

By Sangam Prasain

Kathmandu, Dec 7 (efe-epa).- Nepal and China will on Tuesday announce the new, agreed height of Mount Everest to end a long dispute on the altitude of the world’s tallest mountain standing between the two countries.

Officials are tight-lipped on the new agreed height, but there are speculations that the altitude of the mountain has slightly increased.

Prakash Joshi, director-general of the Department of Survey, told EFE on Monday that the authorities had completed all the preparation to announce the new height.

The two countries will address a joint virtual platform. “There will be a live telecast at 1.30 pm,” said Joshi.

The announcement will end the debate about the altitude since it was first measured in 1849 by the Survey of India during the British rule.

Between 1849 and 1855, the Survey of India made observations from the Dehradun base to the Sonakhoda base in Bihar. They also observed the Himalayan peaks of Nepal.

At that time, it was unknown that this peak in the Himalayas is the highest in the world.

During computations, the mean computed height of ‘Peak XV’ came out to be 29,002 ft. The peak got its name after Sir George Everest, the ex surveyor-general of India.

The widely accepted height of 8,848 meters or 29,028 feet was determined by the Survey of India in 1954 from Bihar using the trigonometric method. It was the third survey by India.

Nepal, which is home to eight of the world’s 14 eight-thousanders, never measured the peak on its own before.

“There have been several surveys conducted in the past several decades by different countries, but Nepal has never measured its own peak. This survey will end debates on Everest height,” Joshi said at a press briefing on Monday.

“This will be a commonly accepted height over the world.”

The height of Everest has never been precise.

A Chinese survey in 1975 obtained the figure of 29,029.24 feet (8,848.11 meters), and an Italian survey, using satellite surveying techniques, measured 29,108 feet (8,872 meters) in 1987. But questions arose about the methods used.

In 1999, an American survey, sponsored by the National Geographic Society and others, took precise measurements using GPS equipment.

Various geodesy and cartography specialists accepted their finding of 29,035 feet (8,850 meters).

In 2005, the Chinese State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping re-measured the peak utilizing the ice-penetrating radar in conjunction with GPS equipment and declared 29,017.12 feet (8,844.43) meters as the Everest rock-height. Chinese and Nepali officials had then disagreed over the height of the iconic peak.

Nepal, in particular, disputed the Chinese figure, preferring what was termed the “snow height” of 29,028 feet.

Nepal had announced in 2011 measuring the mountain’s height as a “national pride” project, but it could not move forward because of political instability and a lack of funds.

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