Nepali survey team collects Everest height data

June 4, 2019  - By
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The survey team set up the base station in Everest base camp. (Photo: Tshiring Jangbu Sherpa via Nepal24hours.com)

The survey team set up the base station in Everest base camp. (Photo: Tshiring Jangbu Sherpa via Nepal24hours.com)

A Nepali survey team made a successful ascent of Mount Everest to measure its official height.

This is the first height survey conducted by the government of Nepal. The precise height of Mount Everest — now listed as 29,029 feet, or 8,848 meters — has been contested since the first survey by British officers in 1849.

Nepal plans to end the controversy and declare both snow and rock height of the world’s tallest mountain.

Chief Survey Officer Khimlal Gautam and surveyor Rabin Karki reached the peak of Mt. Everest on May 22 at 3 a.m. local time and collected data from a Trimble R10 GNSS receiver gifted from New Zealand.

The surveyors stayed atop the peak for about 1 hour, 16 minutes, according to Nepal24hours.com.

The final result of the official height measurement of Mt.Everest is expected within the next six months.

“To make the observation of data on GNSS we spent one hour and 16 minutes in the summit which was a very challenging and trying time for us,” Gautam said. “We faced extreme difficulty mainly while descending from the summit.”

According to Tshering Janbu Sherpa, guide leader of the survey team, the team faced difficulties because of the exhaustion of oxygen of one member, who was rescued during the descent.

Besides a GNSS survey at the summit, teams conducted precise leveling, trigonometric leveling and gravity surveys. The GNSS survey will cover 285 points with 12 different observation stations, nine of which are in hills of Sankhuwasava, Bhojpur and Solukhumbu districts.

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Tracy Cozzens has served as managing editor of GPS World magazine since 2006, and also is editor of GPS World’s sister website, Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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