Official measurement of Everest height : Nepali surveyors reach world's rooftop
By CK Khanal
Kathamandu, May 23: Two surveyors from the Department of Survey successfully climbed Mt. Everest in the wee hours on Wednesday to accomplish the task of measuring the official height of the highest peak of the world.
Chief Survey Officer Khimlal Gautam and surveyor Rabin Karki reached atop Mt Everest at 3:15 am and collected data from the receiver of global navigation satellite system (GNSS) staying about half an hour on the summit, said Damodar Dhakal, spokesperson at the Department of Survey.
Dhakal said that the survey team had been able to complete one of the important and risky tasks in the endeavour of measuring the actual height of Sagarmatha by Nepali nationals.
“Now the survey team is descending safely,” he added. It was the second ascent of Mt. Everest for Khimlal Gautam. He had reached the Everest Summit in 2011 under the First Civil Servant Expedition.
Dhakal said that after the collection of data from the top of Mt. Sagarmatha, around 75 per cent task of measuring the height of the highest peak had been completed. He said that the survey team requires additional six months to come into the conclusion of the task given that the weather in mountains remained favourable.
He said that the survey team still have to work above 6,000 metres for completing the remaining tasks.
The survey team is employing GNSS, gravity survey, precise levelling as well as trignometrical levelling for the precise measurement of the height of Mt. Everest.
The initiation of the government to measure the height of Mt Everest was made to address the question regarding the height of Everest after the devastating earthquake of 2015 jolted the Himalayan country.
According to the department, it was the sixth time that the measurement of Everest height is going to happen. Earlier, China and India each measured the height of Everest twice while Italy did it once
The current official height of Mt Everest is 8,848 metres (29,029 ft), recognised by China and Nepal, was established by a 1955 Indian survey which was later confirmed by a Chinese survey in 1975.
Surveyor Gautam and Karki were accompanied by surveyor Suraj Singh Bhandari and assistant surveyor Yubraj Dhital. Bhandari and Dhital are facilitating from Everest Base Camp (EBC), said Dhakal. Meanwhile, more than 90 climbers, including Sherpa guides reached atop Mt. Everest on Wednesday alone. Meera Acharya, director at the Department of Tourism, said that around 335 persons scaled Mt. Everest by Wednesday. Around 550 to 600 climbers are expected to climb Everest this season.
The Everest expedition is likely to end by May 24 or 25, she said.