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Nepal Sticking With Everest Height

February 2, 2000

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) _ Nepal on Wednesday urged the National Geographic Society to share information supporting its claim that Mount Everest is 7 feet taller than previously calculated. Until then, it’s sticking to the old figure.

In November, the society announced that new measurements showed the world’s highest mountain was even higher than the 22,028 feet officially recognized for 45 years.

But Shambu Prasad Shrestha, spokesman of the Land Reforms and Management Ministry, said the society has not shared its findings with the Nepalese government, despite repeated requests.

``Unless they come up with data and prove to us that the height has indeed increased, we will stick with the old height and continue to use it,″ Shrestha said.

Everest’s height was determined in 1954 by averaging altitude measurements taken from a dozen different observation points around the mountain. A Chinese team that conducted a detailed survey in 1975 also determined the same height.

That survey also found that Mount Everest is moving steadily northeast at a rate of 2.4 inches a year because of the geological fault system that slowly pushes India under Nepal and China.

The society revised the altitude to 29,035 feet on evidence gathered since 1995 by three teams that placed measuring devices and other scientific sensors at key points. A seven-member team led by Pete Athans, 42, of Boulder, Colo., and William Crouse, 35, of Carbondale, Colo., were on the summit May 5 collecting data from Global Positioning System satellites.

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