Chinese Climbers Tasked with Measuring Height of Mount Everest Will Try Again Next Week

A Chinese government team currently conducting a scientific project on Mount Everest is expected to reach the summit within the next week.

The mountaineers, who are scaling the world's tallest mountain to survey its natural resources, height and monitor any potential impacts of climate change, are now scheduled to reach the peak on May 22 permitting acceptable weather conditions.

A climb to an altitude of 7,028 meters was halted on May 9 due to risks of snow slides, with the team returning back to a camp at an altitude of 6,500 meters (21,300 feet) on the legendary mountain—located on the border between Nepal and Tibet.

A separate team that is constructing a route to the peak retreated the same day due to high winds, according to the Xinhua News Agency, a Chinese state media outlet.

The mission on Everest, known in China as Mount Qomolangma, launched on April 30 and contains experts from the government's Ministry of Natural Resources.

According to state news, Chinese surveyors have previously conducted six research projects on the mountain. In 1975, it judged the height to be 8,848.13 meters (29,029 feet), while in 2005 it was recorded as being 8,844.43 meters (29,017 feet).

The South China Morning Post reported China and Nepal have previously disputed the exact height of the mountain, debating whether its snowcap should be included. Nepal records the mountain to be 13 feet less than China, The Hindu reported.

The two countries agreed to spearhead a new scientific project to determine the exact height after Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Nepal last October.

According to the Associated Press, the Chinese satellite navigation system BeiDou is being used to help survey the mountain's current features while data on snow depth, wind speed and weather conditions will help monitor for glacier deterioration.

Mount Everest is known under the Tibetan name Chomolungma. In Nepal it is referred to as Sagarmatha. While it borders Nepal and Tibet (an autonomous region of China), the Nepal side is most popular for tourism and commercial climbs.

More than 870 people made the ascent last year, however 2020 has seen numbers fall off a cliff due to the global outbreak of COVID-19. The Nepal Tourism Board confirmed all expeditions would be temporarily halted as a precautionary measure.

"All the permits for mountaineering expeditions issued and to be issued for spring 2020 are suspended," authorities said in a statement, issued March 13.

Earlier this month, a tweet published by Chinese state media outlet CGTN resulted in online backlash after appearing to claim the mountain was solely located in China. The post was later deleted and re-posted to clarify it is on the China-Nepal border.

Mount Everest
The Himalayan Mount Everest (C-L) and other mounts ranges are pictured from Namche Bazar in the Everest region, some 140 kms northeast of Kathmandu on March 26, 2020. (Photo by PRAKASH MATHEMA / AFP) (Photo by PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP via Getty Images) PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty