The agreed height of the ‘roof of the world’ It thus gains 86 centimeters with respect to the measure previously recognized by Nepal, Y more than four meters compared to the altitude previously measured by China.
This differential was due to the fact that China measured the rocky base of the summit and not its snow cover, which is now taken into account.
Nepal decided to carry out its first study on its own after receiving information that suggested that the movements of the tectonic plates, including a strong earthquake in 2015, could have altered its height.
About 300 Nepalese specialists participated in the study, some on foot and others by helicopter, to reach data collection stations.
Last spring, Nepalese experts and climbers, with more than 40 kilos of equipment, including a satellite navigation receiver, they had two hours of measurements at the top.
“The ascent of Everest itself is already a demanding task, but we also had to measureKhim Lal Gautam, a head of the surveying service, told AFP, who even lost a toe due to frostbite.
In the summer, a Chinese expedition ascended, benefiting from milder weather conditions and the calm prevailing on the heights of Everest, whose accesses to climbers were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Dang Yamin, an expert from the National Bureau of Studies and Cartography, interviewed by the Chinese state television channel CCTV, the agreed altitude is a mean value between the data for Nepal and China, in accordance with scientific methods.
The altitude of Everest had been calculated for the first time, at 8,840 meters, in 1856, by geographers of the British Empire, who resorted to trigonometry from the Indian plains hundreds of kilometers from the summit.
After Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa Tenzing Norgay reached the top of Everest on May 29, 1953, an Indian study had readjusted the altitude to 8,848 meters. This measure had been widely accepted.
In 1999 the National Geographic Society of the United States had come to the conclusion that the mountain reached 8,850 meters, which Nepal never officially recognized.
In the meantime, China carried out its own studies and, in 2005, announced the measurement of 8,844.43 meters, causing a dispute with Nepal.
This was not resolved until 2010, when Kathmandu and Beijing admitted that the variation between their respective measurements was due to the fact that one considered the accumulated snow at the summit and the other did not.