Nepal and China on Tuesday, December 8, 2020 said Mount Everest is higher than previously thought, settling a long-running conflict over the height of the world’s tallest peak that straddles their shared border.
Kathmandu and Beijing had differed over its exact height but after each sent an expedition of surveyors to the summit they have agreed that the official height is 8,848.86 metres (29,031.69 feet), a bit more than their previous calculations.
Nepali Foreign Minister, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, said Everest is an “eternal symbol of friendship between Nepal and China,’’ announcing the findings of their surveys on a video call with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
Nepal had never previously measured the height of Mount Everest on its own but had used the 8,848 metres (29,028 feet) estimate made by the Survey of India in 1954 that includes snow.
A Chinese measurement in 2005 determined that the rock height of the summit was 8,844.43 metres (29,017 feet), about 3.7 metres (11 feet) less than the 1954 estimate.
Mountaineers had suggested a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in 2015 which killed nearly 9,000 people in Nepal may have altered the height of Everest.
Nepal, which is home to another seven of the world’s 14 highest peaks, sent its first team of surveyors in May 2019 to measure Everest.
Chinese surveyors then climbed the peak in spring in 2020, when the mountain was closed by both countries for other climbers due to the coronavirus pandemic.