How do you measure a mountain?

The mountains that Nims will be climbing are all measured as “height above sea level”, but there are different ways to measure a mountain. If you take this into consideration then Mount Everest is overshadowed by not one but 2 other mountains.

Mount Kilimanjaro, in Africa, is 5,895m above sea level. This makes it seem quite small in comparison to Mount Everest, but if you took another measurement from the base of the mountain to the summit a different picture arises. Mount Kilimanjaro is then nearly 400m taller than Everest.

One step further to find the tallest mountain then you would need to go to
Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Although it is only a climb of 4,205m to the summit of the volcano, the base has been measured as being 6,000m below sea level. This would then place Mauna Kea nearly a mile taller than Everest at 10,210m.

In 1802 the ‘Great Trigonometrical Survey’ was conducted to measure the entire Indian subcontinent, endorsed by the East India Company. It was led by Lieutenant Colonel William Lambton who was supported by his junior…George Everest.

One of the main accomplishments was to measure the height of Peak XV, K2 and Kangenchunga. Initially known as ‘H’, by1850 it had become Peak XV and in 1856 was measured as the highest point above sea level in the world at 8,840m; in 1865 Peak XV was renamed Mount Everest, after Sir George Everest, Surveyor General of India, by the Royal Geographical Society.

The height of Everest was adjusted to 8,848 in 1955.

The story of the height of Everest doesn’t end there. With global warming causing snow & ice melts and the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in 2015, doubts are being cast as to whether Everest is still the highest mountain above sea level – did it shrink or grow during the earthquake?

Another measurement for the height of a mountain can be taken from the centre of the earth. If this is the case then the world’s highest peak is Chimborazo in Ecuador; an inactive volcano rising 6,249m above sea level. Because of the curvature of the earth at the equator it would then actually be higher than Everest by that metric.

Does this affect Nims and ‘Project Possible’? Not in the slightest! His focus is not on the measurements but rather on the technical difficulties, the weather and his team.

Maybe you have a view on this subject but for Nims & the team it is about the climb.