Chinese surveyors prepares for remeasuring Mt. Qomolangma

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Publish Time: 2020-05-05 Author: From: Xinhua

(InTibet) CHINA-TIBET-MOUNT QOMOLANGMA-HEIGHT MEASURE (CN)

Xue Qiangqiang (L) and his teammate view a map at the base camp of Mount Qomolangma in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, May 2, 2020. It is the first time for Xue Qiangqiang, 37, to ascend Mount Qomolangma, the world's highest peak. He is a member of a Chinese team to remeasure the mountain's height in May. (Xinhua/Jigme Dorje)

MOUNT QOMOLANGMA BASE CAMP, May 3 (Xinhua) -- It is the first time for Xue Qiangqiang, 37, to ascend Mount Qomolangma, the world's highest peak. He is a member of a Chinese team to remeasure the mountain's height in May.

A father of two young boys, one of whom is just three months old, Xue works for the First Land Measurement Team under the Ministry of Natural Resources, which is organizing the ascent and survey along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the General Administration of Sport and the government of Tibet Autonomous Region.

Though the official announcement of the survey was made on Thursday, preparations have been going on for some time. Since March 2, 53 members of the team, including Xue, have conducted preliminary leveling, gravity, global navigation satellite system, and astronomical surveys at the mountain and its peripheral areas.

The final ascent to the peak is planned in May when the weather allows, said Li Guopeng, team chief.

Xue's job is to manage an observation point at the western Rongpo glacier, about 5,600 meters above sea level. It is one of the six points to conduct intersection surveys using trigonometry, the traditional method of height measuring.

Since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, Chinese surveyors have conducted six rounds of scaled measurement and scientific research on Mount Qomolangma and released the height of the peak twice in 1975 and 2005, which was 8,848.13 meters and 8,844.43 meters, respectively.

This time, the team is using both traditional and modern surveying and mapping technologies such as GNSS satellite survey, precision leveling, geodimeter, snow depth radar survey, gravity survey, astronomical survey and satellite remote sensing, said Li. China's BeiDou Navigation Satellite System and homegrown surveying equipment are applied to the measurement.

Li said results from the survey will also facilitate studies in glacier change, earthquakes and earth movements.

Xue joined the team in 2002, a veteran institution that sent members to measure the world's tallest mountain in 2005.

"I applied for the 2005 survey, but I was not chosen. I'm lucky to have been selected this time. I'm not afraid of any hardships. I'm going all out," he said.

Starting from April 20, Xue has been performing simulation surveys outdoors. "Time is limited, and we are seizing every moment," he said.

Xue's job requires him to spend most of the time working outdoors and he is no stranger to the harsh environment. However, measuring the world's tallest mountain comes as a fresh challenge.

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