Mount Everest measured to settle height confusion
Measurement project marks the first time that Nepal has measured the mountain.
Tue, Jul 19, 2011 at 07:17 AM
Nepal has begun a project to re-measure Mount Everest in an attempt to end confusion about the exact height of the world's tallest peak, a government spokesman in Kathmandu said Tuesday.
Everest, which straddles Nepal and China, is generally thought to stand at 8,848 meters (29,029 feet) after an Indian survey in 1954, but other more recent measurements have varied by several meters.
Gopal Giri, a spokesman with the Nepalese land reform and management ministry, told AFP that during border talks between the two countries, the Chinese delegates often use their measurement of 8,844 meters.
"We have begun the measurement to clear this confusion. Now we have the technology and the resources, we can measure ourselves," Giri said. "This will be the first time the Nepal government has taken the mountain's height."
He said that the project's results would only be known in two years' time after reference points are set up on Everest and then global-positioning system satellites are used to calculate the precise measurement.
Last year, officials from both nations reached a compromise under which Nepal measured the height of Everest's snowcap at 8,848 metres and China measured the rock peak at 8,844 metres.
The first measurement of Everest was made in 1856. It was conquered in 1953 by Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary, and has since been climbed by more than 3,000 people.
Copyright 2011 AFP Global Edition