July 20, 2011

Nepal Aims To Learn Exact Height Of Everest

Nepal's government is ordering a new measurement of Mount Everest to determine the world's highest mountain's exact height.

The Himalayan country has continued to recognize decades-old measurement of 29,028-feet, though U.S. climbers and China have made new measurements.

Land Reforms Ministry spokesman Gopal Giri said Wednesday that the government decided last week during its annual budget speech to take the new measurement. 

He said the plans will entail placing three reference points on the peak that will measure the height using satellite technology.  Stations will be set up in three locations using the global positioning system.
A U.S. expedition in 1999 said it used GPS satellites to determine the peak to be 29,035-feet high.

China says that the peak is 29,008-feet high.

Nepal said it will spend two-years laying the height-debate to rest.

"We have begun the measurement to clear this confusion. Now we have the technology and the resources, we can measure ourselves. This will be the first time the Nepal government has taken the mountain's height," Giri said in a statement.

Thousands of people have climbed Everest since New Zealander Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay first conquered it in 1953.