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Chinese Teams Summit Everest During Covid Pandemic

Richard Salisbury of the Himalayan Database said, "In spring 1960, only the Chinese reached the summit"

Three teams of Chinese climbers have reached the summit of Everest, including surveyors who hope to measure the height of the world’s highest mountain. Nearly all permitted climbs were cancelled for the spring/summer 2020 season due to the covid-19 pandemic. In total, 49 people summited Everest this year, compared to 876 summits in 2019.

The Chinese team started up in early April, but summit bids had been thwarted by bad weather until last week. On May 26, six climbers fixed ropes on the Northeast Ridge leading to the top and made the first successful ascent of the season. On May 27, eight surveyors spent two and a half hours on the summit, attempting to get the most accurate measurement to date of the mountain. On the morning of May 28, 14 Chinese clients and 21 guides stood on the summit.

“After summiting, team members began erecting a survey marker on the snow-covered peak, which measures less than 20 square metres,” the Xinhua news agency reported. China has been showing Everest’s height as 8,844.43 metres (excluding the snow cap) after it conducted a measurement in 2005. Nepal uses 8,848 metres, a figure determined by the Survey of India during British colonial rule. That height also includes the snow cap. The effects of the 2015 earthquake on Everest are yet to be assessed, but geologists believe it may have caused the snow cap to shrink. We should have the results from the 2020 measurement this summer.