Chinese surveyors on the summit of Mount Everest

Summit picture of the Chinese surveyors

At base camp the champagne corks popped. After the Tibetan rope-fixing team had secured the Northeast Ridge up to the summit of Mount Everest yesterday, a group of Chinese surveyors reached the highest point today. The picture, which was distributed by the Chinese state media, showed nine people. The ascent was broadcasted live on Chinese television thanks to the 5G technology previously installed at the base camp and along the route. The surveyors aligned their instruments at the highest point and stayed there for a total of two and a half hours – which was celebrated in the state media as a record for Chinese climbers. The results of the measurement is to provide information about the exact height of the mountain.

Results of the Nepalese survey are still pending

Highest point surveying

Previous measurements had come to different results. In 1975, Chinese experts had confirmed the altitude of 8,848 meters, which is also officially recognized in Nepal. In 2005, Chinese surveyors determined a height of 8844.43 meters – with the note that there were three and a half metres of snow on it, which again totalled 8,848 meters. In between, in 1999, there was a measurement by US scientists who determined an altitude of 8,850 metres by GPS evaluation. The result of a Nepalese survey in spring 2019 is still pending.

Only expedition on the mountain

Team on the summit (with the telephoto lens from base camp)

On Thursday a group of paying clients of the Chinese operator Yarlo Shampo Expeditions is expected to reach the summit of Everest too. The expedition on the Tibetan north side of the mountain was the only one this spring that had received a permit. The Chinese-Tibetan authorities had closed Everest to foreign climbers because of the Corona pandemic. For the same reason, the Nepalese government had not issued any permits for the world’s highest mountain.

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