back to article Nepalese gov to nail Everest's bigness in row with China

The Nepalese government has decided to answer once and for the all the question of just how tall Everest is, since it can't agree with the Chinese on an exact height for the lofty peak. The generally accepted height of 8,848m (29,029ft) came from a 1955 Indian survey, the BBC notes. Nepal accepts this "snow height" figure ( …


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  1. Wheaty73

    Rock height

    I have to say, I am with the Chinese on this one as otherwise you could be recalculating every time it snows!

  2. Anonymous Coward


    So they're going to spend two years and a load of cash because the two figures are 4 metres apart? Have the Nepalese government totally run out of other problems?

  3. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    WHY... it important to know the exact height of Everest for border talks? Since a border is an imaginary vertical line, surely all you need is the exact position of the summit in the horizontal plane?

    Enquiring technical minds want to know....

    No 'huge mountain' icon, so Paris, for obvious reasons...

    1. ravenviz

      Re: WHY...

      The snow peak summit could be in a different position to the rock summit so there's a land grab issue. Albeit by a metre or two. So, if* the height (and hence the border) is defined on the rock summit and prevailing winds meant the snow summit was e.g. to the north of the rock summit, then all summiteers would be in China rather than Nepal. And China would be slightly larger. All round good for China.

      *big if

    2. scarshapedstar


      Think of a mountain slope as a triangle, well there's an imaginary air triangle lying next it that adds up to a rectangle. And if that triangle is taller, that's more air. They aren't just gonna give China air for free!

  4. Anonymous Coward

    resources used well.....

    Any context as to why this matters? I assume it is undisputedly the tallest mountain in the world. What's a few metres between nations?

    1. Naughtyhorse


      Try telling that to the israilies/palestinians!

      Old story really, didnt i read somewhere that spain and portugal both carried out surveys of their mutual border, last century sometime, and came up with markedly different figures?

      apparently it came down to the fact that portugal, being smaller, therefore land being more important to them (?) took more care to measure the route in smaller steps - round big stones etc, while the spaniards went from hiltop to hiltop. thereby exposing the fractal nature of geographic boundaries.

      i guess you could say the same here, im not too sure but i think china is a fair bit bigger than nepal

      1. ravenviz

        Re: lol

        68 times.

  5. Winkypop Silver badge

    I've stood at the base of Everest

    It's simply F*&^@ing big!





  6. poohbear


    @AC: those pesky Martians are claiming THEY'VE got the tallest mountain in the solar system. It's vital for Earth's reputation that we get the exact figure.

    Else they're just using this nit-picking exercise as a means to assert their independence. It's like the committee approving the new 20 million quid computer and then fighting about which cheap brand of coffee to use.

  7. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Global warming

    ...and those cheeky Chinese just keep building more and more coal fired power stations in an attempt to melt those inconvenient 3 meters of snow and solve the problem once and for all.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Third measurement

    How much to the top of the garbage heap left by climbers? Could be a new record height.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    lol :p I think this is just so Nepal can assert for sure what the _actual_ height of Mt. Everest aka Sagarmatha is without being bashed top to bottom, left to right. IMHO, assertion is good in this regard. Every country should assert it's own way of doing things be it small / big (provided it is within the boundaries of normality in every sense) :-)

  10. TeeCee Gold badge

    US measurements.

    "The US National Geographic Society has set the height at 8,850m..."

    This would be the same US of A that declared K2 to be the highest mountain in the world via the simple expedient of declaring it to be around 1000 feet higher than it actually is?

  11. lawndart

    Not the rocks?

    Why don't they measure it to the top of the bit of snow on the bobble on the hat of the tallest climber who happens to be standing bolt upright on the snow covering the rocks at the summit?

    1. ravenviz

      Bobble hat! (Re: Not the rocks?...

      I wouldn't have thought *anyone* has stood at the summit of Everest with a bobble hat on. In fact I can't even remember the last time I saw a bobble hat! :) I'm off to Google Shopping now!

  12. Big_Boomer Silver badge


    Olympus Mons is a little bit bigger than Everest.

    Everest = 88xx metres above sea level, which is 10,971 metres above the lowest point.

    Olympus Mons = 21,229 metres above the average and nearly 30,000 metres above the lowest point. The ring wall on the crater of Olympus Mons is nearly 8,000 metres tall.

    As for why, well the Chinese only conquered Tibet so they could lay claim to half of the tallest mountain in the world and now they need to justify the huge investment for what is mostly a high desert and bare rock. If they argue about it in a diplomatic exchange then it must be worth arguing about. (Diplomacy = circular logic)

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  14. Anonymous Coward

    How about sticking a Stone Henge on there

    Make it 4.5m tall and then they can't it'll give more people a reason to visit, maybe with enough interest they can put in a chairlift and avoid having to climb for days just to see a bit of snow...

  15. Christoph

    Simple solution

    Hand someone a barometer and tell him to use it to find the height of the peak.

    1. Gavin King

      I detect a problem, though.

      Isn't the appropriate way to do this to use the barometer as a gift to bribe the caretaker to tell you the height?

      But even the caretaker doesn't know in this case! How's he going to tell you, then?

  16. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    8844m above Sea level

    Just wait a few years and it's height above sea level will go down

    1. Marcus Aurelius


      IIRC, the Himalayas are going up, not down, so you'll have to wait more than a few years

      1. Stratman


        I think YAAC was hinting at the rising sea levels caused by insufficient bunny hugging and the like.

  17. Someone Else Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Re: wtf?

    It's a matter of "national pride" in a place where such things are frowned upon (if not outright banned) by the occupiers.

    Consider this analog: Assume you are a Brit, and the Yanks have been occupying your land, messing with your government (don't start cheering yet; remember, 'Murica is the land of Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, John Kyl, and other assorted wingnuts who we continue to put in places of power), and otherwise generally messing with all things British for some indeterminate period of time. How important would it be to you to defend your ability to put the letter 'u' in the word "color"?

    1. Andrew Woodvine

      Re: wtf?

      I'd have no problem dropping the u in colour as it would then require less effort to type.

    2. Jan 0 Silver badge

      Ahem, the USA _is_ occupying our land

      > How important would it be to you to defend your ability to put the letter 'u' in the word "color"?

      Very, and that's why people talk about "RAF" Lakenheath, etc.

      Yankee go home.

      Where's the occupied Europe sign when you need it?

  18. Eddy Ito

    "Big" deal

    Isn't this just an extreme case of mine's bigger than yours?

  19. Argus Tuft

    why don't the Chinese

    simply employ a couple of their billions of peasants to build a new mountain just inside the border that's just a little bit higher? and stick a nyah-nyah flag on top... [penguin because they like snow]

    1. Peter Murphy
      Big Brother

      A tall artifical pyramid built by a totalitarian government?

      Splendid idea. They could call it "Ministry of Love".

  20. Guido Esperanto

    lets see

    The Chinese, reckon theirs is the smallest.

    The Americans come in bragging that theirs is the largest

    The Nepalese, don't really care as they get to use it the most.

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