Nepal and China set the height of Everest at 8,848.86 meters

View of Mount Everest

View of Mount Everest

Nepal and China set the height of Everest at 8,848.86 meters on Tuesday, both countries jointly announced this Tuesday after collaborating on a measurement that end to years of controversy and questions about how tall the tallest mountain on the planet is.

“The height of Mount Everest is 8,848.86 meters,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi from Beijing and Nepalese Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali from Kathmandu announced in a virtual event.

Until now, Kathmandu, the country to which the southern slope of Everest belongs, set the height at 8,848 meters, respecting an internationally recognized measurement made by India in 1955, while for Beijing the mountain measured 8,844.43 meters, according to its last measurement made in 2005.

This is therefore the first time that the two countries, Nepal and China, agree on the height of Everest, thus ending a controversy that has surrounded the roof of the world since it was first measured in 1849 by the British.

With this joint announcement the friendship between the two countries will reach “new heights”Insisted the authorities of the two countries that participated in the event, a close collaboration that has been increasing in recent years and is viewed with concern by Beijing’s rival and southern giant, India.

“For Nepal, this is a special moment for everyone. Mount Sagarmatha (name of Everest in Nepalese), Qomolangma (in Tibetan), has stood as an eternal symbol of good relationship and continued friendship between Nepal and China,” said the Minister Gyawali.

In this project – which started in 2017 and was completed during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jingping to Nepal in October 2019 – Kathmandu participated for the first time in the measurement of the mountain. In the first measurements, when it was not yet known that it was the highest mountain in the world, they were used trigonometric calculations and it was at this time that “peak XV” was given the name Everest, the surname of the British geographer who led them.

In 2005, the Chinese Bureau of Topography and Cartography recalculated the peak using GPS and radar equipment and established its height almost four meters below the widely recognized one, discounting about three meters of snow covering the top of the mountain, arguing that that layer varies according to weather conditions.

This announcement also settles the doubts derived from speculations of geologists about the impact of the 2015 earthquake in the area, of a magnitude 7.5 on the Richter scale, in which more than 9,000 people died, including 19 on Everest.


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