Nepal on Wednesday sent a team of government surveyors to measure Mount Everest, a first for the country, as it attempts to settle a dispute over the height of the world’s tallest mountain.
Nepalese Prime Minister, KP Sharma Oli, bade farewell to a team of four surveyors at his official residence in Kathmandu on Wednesday.
The expedition team is led by Khim Lal Gautam, a surveyor, who scaled Everest in 2011 and who is supported by three Sherpa climbers, said Sushil Dangol, an official of the Survey Department, the country’s mapping organisation.
“Two members will climb the peak and two others will stay at the base camp,’’ Dangol said.
He added that the ones at the top will send data on the peak’s height and position to their colleagues at the Everest base camp.
They are scheduled to reach the summit in late May, after two years of planning.
For the past year and a half, an 81-member team carried out precision mapping of a huge swathe of land in the Everest region.
The current official height of Everest is 8,848 metres, a measurement India made in 1954.
But the controversy surrounding its height has been persistent.
It gained further traction following the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, with scientists suspecting that the mountain could have shrunk.
“Everest is in Nepal, but we have never measured it.
“We also want to end the controversy on its exact height.
“That’s why we initiated an international-standard measurement campaign,’’ Dangol told dpa.
The findings from the survey will be released at an international workshop in Kathmandu in December.