Mount Everest may have shrunk as the result of a devastating earthquake – so a team of Nepalese surveyors is heading to the summit of the world’s tallest mountain to discover the truth.
After two years of training, the four-strong group will try to work out whether the official height of 8,848m (29,029ft) remains the same.
The peak was first measured by an Indian survey team in 1954 but the country was struck by a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake in 2015, and it is thought due to this the mountain may have shrunk.
“We are sending a team because there were questions regarding the height of Everest after the earthquake,” the expedition’s coordinator, Susheel Dangol, said.
The expedition’s leader and chief surveyor, Khim Lal Gautam, said: “It will not be easy to work in that terrain but we are confident our mission will be successful.”
The team will ascend the peak and then activate a global navigation satellite system before sending the data back to base camp.
“The observation sessions can last for about 10 minutes at the peak,” Mr. Dangol said in a separate interview with The Kathmandu Post. “The device will be switched on at the peak to receive data from satellites.”
First conquered by Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953, Everest’s official height has been disputed by surveyors from around the world.
Chinese scientists previously said the mountain could be more than 10ft shorter than the 1953 measurement, while the US National Geographic Society said it was five feet higher.