To End Fight, Nepal Sets Out to Measure Everest
Nepal, China squabbling over behemoth's actual height
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2011 11:17 AM CDT
Mount Everest, at 29,029 feet ... maybe.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Mount Everest stands at a towering 29,029 feet—officially. And that number is causing quite the diplomatic fracas. China and Nepal have been arguing over the height of the mountain, which falls on the Nepal side of the Nepal-China border, and how it's measured. China believes the rock height is the one that counts, while Nepal prefers the snow height, which happens to be 13 feet taller. And so Nepal has decided to re-survey the mountain, in an effort expected to take two years, reports the BBC.

The two agreed on 29,029 feet last year, but Chinese officials are apparently still using the rock height during border discussions. "We have begun the measurement to clear this confusion. Now we have the technology and the resources, we can measure ourselves," says a Nepal government rep, who notes it will be the first time his government has done so. The 29,029-foot height was recorded in 1955 following an Indian survey. In 1999, the US used GPS technology to determine a height of 29,035 feet.