climbers on Everest in 2016
Everest in 2016; photo credit: Mário Simoes

Nepal, China Announce New Mt. Everest Height

After 2 years of surveying efforts and years of deliberation, Nepal and China have announced the new official height of Everest (and guess what, it’s taller!)

You’ve probably heard us say it several times: Mount Everest is 29,029 feet (8,848 m) tall — that has a nice ring to it. But as it turns out, Everest stands higher than we thought. The mountain, which sits in the Himalayas in Nepal bordering Tibet over tectonic plates, has shifted over the past decade.

For years, Nepali officials at the Land Reform Ministry and Survey Department have been working to find out for sure how tall the mountain stands.

The new height is precisely 8,848.86 m, which is 29,031.7 feet. The generally accepted height of Mt. Everest previously was 8,848 m, or 29,029 feet, (declared by the Survey of India in 1954). It may be a small difference, but it’s a difference nonetheless.

The department conducted four different methods of geological surveys, reported the Kathmandu Post: precise leveling, trigonometric leveling, gravity survey, and GNSS survey.

Last year, China and Nepal signed an agreement that they would announce the new height together. “Mount Sagarmatha/Zhumulangma is an eternal symbol of the friendship between Nepal and China,” read the joint statement.

While Mt. Everest is still the highest peak in the world (measured by its altitude above mean sea level), Mauna Kea in Hawaii is the tallest from base to peak, at over 33,500 feet.

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Mary Murphy

Mary is based out of GearJunkie's Denver, CO office. She has a degree in English and Journalism, and been writing professionally for over four years. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.