The height of Mount Everest is widely recognized as 29,029 feet. But the calculation is inexact and subject to multiple factors.
Teams from around the world, including China, Denmark, Italy, India, and the USA have come up with other calculations, which have sometimes strayed a little bit higher, or a little bit lower, than that figure.
Italy, in 1992, lopped seven feet off the standard height, measuring it at 29,022 feet. In 1999, a measurement by American scientists pushed the peak a little higher, saying the mountain reached 29,035 feet.
Now, for the first time, Nepal is sending a team of surveyors to the summit to settle the “How tall?” question for themselves. More than a little bit of national pride is at stake.
Bhadra Sharma and Kai Schultz, The New York Times:
“Mount Everest is our treasure,” said Buddhi Narayan Shrestha, the former director general of Nepal’s Department of Survey. “What will happen if foreign experts continue to reduce the height of our mountain without us participating?”
We start off the year with news of new regulations out of Kathmandu, Nepal. The motivation is obviously one of safety, however this will be controversial.
From The Himalayan Times:
The government has revised the Mountaineering Expedition Regulation under the Tourism Act barring people with complete blindness and double amputation, as well as those proven medically unfit for climbing, from attempting to scale mountains.
The Council of Ministers which passed the revised regulation yesterday also stated that Sirdars, mountain guides and high-altitude workers, who accompany expeditions to the top of the climbing peaks, including Mt Everest, shall get summit certificates.
More coverage by Tamara Hardingham-Gill, CNN:
Nepal has amended its mountaineering regulations, prohibiting foreign individual climbers from scaling all mountains in the country without an escort.
Double amputee and blind climbers are also banned (with the exception of those who obtain medical certificates) as part of the new guidelines, which were implemented in a bid to reduce accidents and climbing-related deaths.