A Chinese surveying team reached the summit of Mount Everest at 11 am on Wednesday morning to conduct a series of high-tech surveys on the pinnacle of the planet, Chinese state media reported.
The event marked a crucial step in China’s mission to remeasure the height of the world’s highest peak, which scientists believe will enhance human knowledge of nature and help boost scientific development, China Daily reported.
A surveyor’s beacon, an important piece of measuring equipment, has been placed on the summit, the ministry said.
The surveying team set off for the summit from an assault camp at an altitude of 8,300 meters at around 2:10 a.m. Wednesday.
Six mountaineering guides had previously reached the summit, building a route to set the stage for the Chinese survey team, China Daily reported.
The team failed in its earlier five attempts to build a route to the summit due to heavy snow and strong winds, said Tsering Samdrup, a leader of the support team.
Samdrup said the scaling team had made extraordinary efforts to move from the camp at an altitude of 7,028 meters to the 7,790 meter- camp on Monday amid gale-force winds, China Daily reported.
“We spent more than an hour trying to pitch the tent … all the team members had to hide behind rocks to avoid the gale,” he said.
Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, Chinese surveyors have conducted six rounds of scaled measurements and scientific research on Mount Everest and released the height of the peak twice in 1975 and 2005, which was 8,848.13 meters and 8,844.43 meters, Xinhua reported.
Technical innovations and breakthroughs applied in the survey include the application of Innovations applied in the latest survey include the application of the BeiDou-3 Navigation Satellite System, domestic surveying equipment, the airborne gravimeter and 3D interactive virtual reality, China.org.cn reported.
“The core of the mission is to accurately measure the height of Mount Qomolangma, which can be used for research in fields such as geodynamics,” said Jiang Tao, an associate researcher from the Chinese Academy of Surveying and Mapping.
It will probably take two to three months for scientists to calculate and release the exact height of Mount Everest, ministry officials said.
After data analysis and processing, they will further carry out theoretical studies and repeated verifications to determine the accurate height. Complex calculations are needed to eliminate errors caused by factors such as temperature, air pressure and the refractive environment, China.org.cn reported.
The measurement was jointly organized by the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the General Administration of Sports of China and the regional government of the Tibet autonomous region.
The survey team has the mountain to themselves, as the yearly climbing season was cancelled due to the Covid-19 epidemic.