KATHMANDU: Two government surveyors scaled the world’s highest mountain collecting the data for the measurement of height of Mt Everest on Wednesday morning.
According to Babu Sherpa, Managing Director at Peak Promotion, Khim Lal Gautam, the team leader of the Everest Height Measurement Expedition and Rabin Karki, a member of the team, stood atop the summit at 3:15 am.
The team of two surveyors was supported by three Sherpa climbers—Chhiring Jangbu Sherpa, Dawa Sherpa and Lakpa Thindu Sherpa.
The Department of Survey will analyze the data collected by the surveyors to reveal the actual height of Mt Everest. The government has planned to announce the exact height of Everest by early January next year.
The precise height of Mount Everest has been contested ever since a group of British officers during their rule in India first surveyed the peak in 1849.
Several international institutions and India had expressed their interest to measure the height of Everest. Following the devastating earthquake in April 2015, the height of Everest has become the subject of interest not only for Everest expeditions, scientists and researchers but also for the whole world.
Some geologists speculated that the height of Everest could have changed due to the 2015 earthquake, with a possible shift in its position.
In 2005, the Chinese State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping re-measured the peak and declared 8,844.43 meters as the Everest rock-height. Chinese and Nepali officials disagreed over the height of the iconic peak.
In 2011, the government of Nepal wanted to clear the air by re-measuring the height but it failed due to various factors including political instability and lack of fund. The government has since declared the plan to measure the mountain’s height a ‘national pride’ project.
The government collects more than $3.5 million in royalty fees from Everest aspirants every season that normally starts from April and concludes in May. Each climber has to pay $11,000 for a permit to climb Everest.
More than 5,000 climbers have scaled the mountain since it was first climbed by Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Hillary in 1953.