Mount Everest’s precise height revealed: China and Nepal announce the summit is 29,032 feet tall

China and Nepal have jointly announced a new height for Mount Everest, ending a decade-long discrepancy between the two nations.

The world’s greatest mountain now stands 29,032 feet (8,848.86 meters) tall, slightly more than Nepal’s previous measurement and about 13 feet (four metres) taller than China’s.

Nepal previously measured Everest’s height as 29,028.87 feet (8,848 metres), while China put it at 29017.16 feet (8,844.43 metres).

The discrepancy was due to the China measuring the rock base on the summit and not – as with the new reading – the covering of snow and ice on the peak. 

China and Nepal have jointly announced a new height for Mount Everest, ending a decade-long discrepancy between the two nations. This file photo shows members of a Chinese surveying team heading for the summit of Mount Everest on May 27, 2020

China and Nepal have jointly announced a new height for Mount Everest, ending a decade-long discrepancy between the two nations. This file photo shows members of a Chinese surveying team heading for the summit of Mount Everest on May 27, 2020

China and Nepal have jointly announced a new height for Mount Everest, ending a decade-long discrepancy between the two nations. This file photo shows members of a Chinese surveying team heading for the summit of Mount Everest on May 27, 2020

Nepal and China launched a scientific research project this year to determine the exact height of Everest. FILE - A member of a Chinese surveying team sets up a survey equipment on the summit of Mount Everest also known locally as Mount. Qomolangma, on May 27, 2020

Nepal and China launched a scientific research project this year to determine the exact height of Everest. FILE - A member of a Chinese surveying team sets up a survey equipment on the summit of Mount Everest also known locally as Mount. Qomolangma, on May 27, 2020

Nepal and China launched a scientific research project this year to determine the exact height of Everest. FILE – A member of a Chinese surveying team sets up a survey equipment on the summit of Mount Everest also known locally as Mount. Qomolangma, on May 27, 2020

The new height was agreed on after the two counties sent surveyors from their respective sides of the mountain in 2019 and 2020. 

Everest is an ‘eternal symbol of … friendship between Nepal and China,’ said Nepali Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, announcing the findings of their surveys on a video call with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

They simultaneously pressed buttons during a virtual conference and the new height flashed on the screen. 

The mountain, lies in the Himalayas on the border between China and Nepal, has been the centre of a dispute between the two countries for years. 

There had been debate over the actual height of the peak and concern that it might have shrunk after a major earthquake in 2015. 

The quake killed 9,000 people, damaged about 1 million structures in Nepal and triggered an avalanche on Everest that killed 19 people at the base camp.

On May 27, a team of eight Chinese climbers set off from their base camp on a conquest to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Pictured, other members who remained at the team's base camp celebrate their eight team members reaching the mountain's peak on the same day

On May 27, a team of eight Chinese climbers set off from their base camp on a conquest to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Pictured, other members who remained at the team's base camp celebrate their eight team members reaching the mountain's peak on the same day

On May 27, a team of eight Chinese climbers set off from their base camp on a conquest to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Pictured, other members who remained at the team’s base camp celebrate their eight team members reaching the mountain’s peak on the same day

After Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Nepal last October, the two countries agreed to remeasure the height of the mountain in a bid to end the long-standing dispute once for all.  

Nepal and China launched a scientific research project this year to determine the exact height of Everest, an expedition described by Chinese government as ‘an eternal symbol of the friendship between the two countries’. 

Nepal, which is home to another seven of the world’s 14 highest peaks, sent its first team of surveyors in May last year to measure Everest. 

Damodar Dhakal, spokesman for Nepal´s Department of Survey, said the Nepali surveyors had used the Global Navigation Satellite System to get ‘the precise height’ of the giant peak.

Chinese surveyors then climbed the peak in spring this year, when the mountain was closed by both countries for other climbers due to the coronavirus pandemic.   

Telescope video camera footage released by state broadcaster CCTV captures the extraordinary moment the Chinese climbers reached the summit point buried in deep snow on May 27. 

The world's tallest mountain now stands at 29,032 feet (8,848.86 meters). In this file photo taken on September 14, 2013 Mount Everest is seen from an aircraft over Nepal

The world's tallest mountain now stands at 29,032 feet (8,848.86 meters). In this file photo taken on September 14, 2013 Mount Everest is seen from an aircraft over Nepal

The world’s tallest mountain now stands at 29,032 feet (8,848.86 meters). In this file photo taken on September 14, 2013 Mount Everest is seen from an aircraft over Nepal

Everest’s height was first determined by a British team around 1856 as 29,002 feet (8,842 metres).

But the most accepted height has been 29,028 feet (8,848 metres), which was determined by the Survey of India in 1954.

In 1999, a National Geographic Society team using GPS technology came up with a height of 29,035 feet (8,850 metres). A Chinese team in 2005 said it was 29,009 feet (8,844.43 meters) because it did not include the snow cap.   

For China, the announcement appeared to be as much about politics as geography. China has drawn Nepal ever closer into its orbit with investments in its economy and the building of highways, dams, airports and other infrastructure in the impoverished nation.

That appears to serve China’s interests in reducing the influence of rival India, with which it shares a disputed border, and Nepal’s role as a destination for refugee Tibetans.

A 53-member team from China´s Ministry of National Resources has been conducting scientific work on Everest since early March. In this photo taken on May 16, Chinese surveyors hike toward a higher spot from the base camp on Mount Everest at an altitude of 5,200 metres

A 53-member team from China´s Ministry of National Resources has been conducting scientific work on Everest since early March. In this photo taken on May 16, Chinese surveyors hike toward a higher spot from the base camp on Mount Everest at an altitude of 5,200 metres

A 53-member team from China´s Ministry of National Resources has been conducting scientific work on Everest since early March. In this photo taken on May 16, Chinese surveyors hike toward a higher spot from the base camp on Mount Everest at an altitude of 5,200 metres 

China has previously conducted six major surveys of the mountain, known in China as Qomolangma, since the establishment of the People´s Republic in 1949. The successful summiting today would mark the country’ seventh conquest.

But only the surveying results from two ascents have been revealed to the public, according to the press. Mount Everest’s height was registered by China at 29,029.3 feet (8,848.13 metres) in 1975 and 29,017.16 feet (8,844.43 metres) in 2005. 

Garrett Madison of the U.S.-based Madison Mountaineering company said he was excited about climbing the ‘new heights’ on Mount Everest next year.

‘Surely some new records for climbing the ‘highest Everest’ will happen in 2021,’ the 42-year-old ten times Everest summiteer told Reuters in a text message. ‘Hopefully I get Everest summit #11 in 2021!’

Many Western climbers use the slightly greater height of 29,035 feet (8,850 metres) 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. 

Everest has been climbed 10,184 times by 5,789 people from both sides since it was first scaled by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953, according to the Himalayan Database, which maintains records on climbs.

At least 311 people have died on its slopes.

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