Nepal To Remeasure Everest

Border dispute prompts new survey

Jul 21, 2011
Outside Magazine

Researchers from Nepal will begin a two-year project to remeasure Mount Everest in an effort to close the latest chapter in a border dispute between China and the Nepalese government. Everest's official height—or at least the height accepted by much of the international community—is 8,848 meters, or 29,029 feet. China, whose border with Nepal bisects the mountain, uses a slightly lower figure, 8,844 meters, which is based on the mountain's rock height and ignores a roughly four-meter layer of ice and snow on Everest's summit. (Confusing matters slightly, a 1999 survey conducted by American scientists and accepted by the U.S. government puts the real height at 8,850 meters.) The dispute is the most recent, if not the strangest, dispute in a Himalayan-wide border conflict between China and India that dates back to the 1962 Sino-Indian war. In recent years, that conflict has slipped into politically fragile Nepal, as well as neighboring Bhutan. Everest, meanwhile, continues to grow at a rate of about four millimeters per year, the result of the collision between the Indian-Australian plate and the Eurasian plate that created the Himalayas 70 million years ago.

Read more at the BBC

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