Nepal and China on Tuesday jointly announced that the revised height of the world’s highest peak Mount Everest was 8,848.86 metres, about 86 centimeters more than the previous measurement done by India in 1954.
The Nepal government decided to measure the exact height of the mountain amid debates that there might have been a change in it due to various reasons, including the devastating earthquake of 2015.
The announcement — which was broadcast live on national television in Nepal — is the culmination of an exhaustive process involving two trips to the summit and years of measurements to calculate Everest’s precise height above sea level.
“We can be confident that this is the most accurate height of Everest that we have ever had,” said Susheel Dangol, Nepal’s chief survey officer, who headed the project. “It was a huge responsibility on our part. It is a moment of great pride for us.”
For Nepal, the drive to measure Everest was partly an exercise in national pride. Despite being home to the world’s highest peak, Nepal had never conducted its own measurement. Starting in 2018, Nepal announced it would spend $1.3 million on the project.
The country’s surveyors employed two methods to measure the mountain: The first was based on trigonometry, a time-tested technique that is also known as a leveling survey. The second used the latest technology, relying on a combination of readings from a satellite navigation system and a complex model of sea level.