Climbing the world's tallest peak is a life ambition for many people - and it has just become an even bigger challenge. Nepal and China have announced a change to the height of Mount Everest after surveyors from both countries came together to agree on a new height of 8848.86m, an increase of 0.86m.

Up to now, China's previous official measurement stood at 8,844.43m, almost four meters lower than Nepal's. The latter argued that the snow on top of the summit should be included, while China believed that it should be measured to its rock height. The joint announcement of the new height settles the dispute over the height of Everest, which stands on the border between both countries.

View of Everest from Gokyo valley with group of climbers on glacier
Everest is almost a meter taller than previously thought © Daniel Prudek/Shutterstock

The Chinese calculated their original figure after they measured the mountain in 2005. Nepal's height determination came from measurements by the Survey of India in 1954. It decided to conduct its own measurement of the summit for the first time, and four Nepalese land surveyors spent two years training for the mission. Surveyors from Kathmandu and Beijing both went to the summit at separate times and used different methods to settle on the revised height.

Foreign ministers Pradeep Kumar Gyawali of Nepal and Yang Yi of China announced the mountain's agreed new height this week without going into technical details. According to Damodar Dhakal, spokesperson for Nepal’s Department of Survey, the fact that both Chinese and Nepali data tallied "shows the accuracy” of the new height.

Mount Everest has captivated adventurers since the 1920s, when the exploits of people like George Mallory, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay put the mighty mountain on the map. Since then, thousands have followed in their footsteps, making huge sacrifices in their own attempts to make the summit. The heady mix of natural beauty, fascinating culture and a personal sense of achievement makes the Everest Base Camp trek one of the world’s most unforgettable journeys.

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