Mount Everest stands at 8848 metres or 29,029 feet, on the border of Nepal and Tibet (China).
But the perceived height of the world’s tallest mountain has varied over the years and continues to do so.
The Great Trigonometric Survey of India began in 1802 and the surveyors arrived in the Himalayas in 1830. Not allowed access to Nepal the Biritsh surveyors had to work from afar, in Terai region in India. By the mid nineteenth century Kanchenjunga was considered the highest peak in the world and, although a high peak (Everest) was seen, it was too far to give accurate measurements.
- Read our Profile of Mont Everest
- Browse a list of books about Mount Everest
- Read our Profile of Kanchenjunga
Measurements made in 1849 suggested that this distant peak (peak b as it was known) was over 9000 metres (29,500 ft), therefore higher than Kanchenjunga.
It was only in 1852 that Mount Everest was first recognized as the tallest mountain in the world from the earlier trigonometric measurements. However this was not acknowledged until 1856 when Kanchenjunga was officially declared to be 8582m tall and Peak XV as it had been named 8840m.
It was then named Mount Everest after Sir George Everest, previous Surveyor General of India.
The current acknowledged height of 8848 metres was first arrived at in 1955 and confirmed again in 1975. However, given the potential variety in the height of snow on the summit, in truth the actual summit – solid rock of the mountain – could be considered lower, sure enough a survey by Chinese Scientists in 2005, put the height at 8844 metres (29,017 ft).
LATEST BLOG POSTS
I quit the rat-race to live a more adventurous life. This is my journey.