Nepal plans to settle debate over Mt Everest's height once and for all

  • 23/09/2017
Mt Everest.
Mt Everest. Photo credit: Reuters

Nepal will measure Mt Everest afresh to settle a controversy over the height of the world's tallest peak, especially after some estimates suggested it became a little shorter after an earthquake two years ago.

Nepal, home to Mt Everest and half the world's 14 highest mountains, has never measured the peak on its own and uses its snow height of 8848m that was measured by the Survey of India in 1954.

Many Western climbers use the height of 8850m determined in 1999 by the National Geographic Society and Boston's Museum of Science, in a survey that used satellite-based technology to measure the peak.

Mt Everest straddles the border between Nepal and China and in 2005 Chinese mountaineers and researchers put its height at 8844.43m.

Ganesh Prasad Bhatta, director general of the Nepal government's Survey Department said an expedition would be made next year to settle the debate.

Officials said they would seek to establish whether a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in April 2015 had altered the mountain's height.

The earthquake occurred during the peak climbing season and massive avalanches killed 18 people at the base camp.

During the summer mountaineering season this year, some climbers said the Hillary Step - a near-vertical rock formation below the summit - had collapsed, though the Nepal government has rebutted those claims.