Friday, November 12, 1999 Published at 18:01 GMT
World: South Asia
Mount Everest reaches new heights
The west face of Mount Everest,
A team of mountaineers which went to Everest six months ago with sophisticated measuring equipment has revealed that the world's highest mountain has grown even higher.
The revelations of the American Millenium Expedition were presented in Washington to the National Geographic Society, which has now officially accepted the new height and will revise its maps accordingly.
Bradford Washburn, director of the expedition said: "We now know much more about the configuraton of our Earth... than we did 40 years ago."
Nepal has welcomed the revelations. However, it says that it would like to carry out its own measurements.
Two metres taller
That height had been fixed at 29028 feet in 1953 when Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay made the famous first ascent of Everest.
Back then, sophisticated height measuring instruments - like the Global Positioning System, a satellite device - were not available.
The American mountaineering team spent nearly two hours on the summit collecting satellite data which later provided an exact fix on their position.
Fifty million years ago, the Eurasian and Indian continents collided spectacularly to form the Himalayas. The study confirmed that geological movements continue to take place to this day as India is gradually pushed beneath China and Nepal.
The revised height is the second secret Mount Everest has revealed this year. A separate American team located the body of the long-lost English mountaineer, George Mallory, who died there 75 years earlier.