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Q: High Up in the Sky ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: High Up in the Sky
Category: Sports and Recreation > Travel
Asked by: dprk007-ga
List Price: $7.00
Posted: 12 Feb 2005 12:55 PST
Expires: 14 Mar 2005 12:55 PST
Question ID: 473455
Is the summit of Everest in Nepalese or Chinese(Tibetan) territory?

Assuming it is in Nepalese territory when people climb to the summit 
from the Chinese/Tibetan side do they need to ask permission or get 
a Visa from the Nepal goverment?
Or is there an agreement between Nepal and China which allows 
climbers to approach the summit from the Chinese/Tibetan  side without further
Or do people just climb anyway from the Chinese/Tibetan side because the 
Nepalese authorities cannot do a lot about it?

Many Thanks

Subject: Re: High Up in the Sky
Answered By: mwalcoff-ga on 12 Feb 2005 14:19 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

The summit itself is on the border. According to the China-Nepal
border treaty of 1961:

"11--From Niehlu (Niule) bridge the boundary line runs generally
eastward to Chejenma (Guari Smankar), and then eastward along the
mountain ridge and then northward along the watershed between the
Rongshar River and the Rongbuk River on the one hand and the
tributaries of the Dudh Kosi River on the other hand to Nagpa Pass,
and then runs generally southeastward along the mountain ridge,
passing through Cho Oyu Mountain, Pumoli Mountain (Gnire Langur),
mount Chomo-lungma (Sagarmatha) and Lhotse, to Makalu Mountain; then
runs southeastward and then eastward along the mountain ridge to Popti

Sagarmartha is Mount Everest. It's not uncommon for borders to run
along watershed boundaries, and, therefore, bisect mountain peaks.

So your question, therefore, only pertains to someone who would ascend
the north side of Everest and descend the south side. I've been
searching for 45 minutes and haven't found any evidence of an
expedition that did that. Typically, climbers travel to Kathmandu,
then cross over to China at Zhangmu if they are going to climb the
north side. They clear customs at Zhangmu.

However, a Chinese expedition planned for 2008 is to ascend from the
south and descend on the north side, carrying the torce for the
Beijing Olympics. We'll see how they clear customs!

(Also, an American expedition planned for this spring intends to
follow a route that will start on the south side then hook around to
the north.)

I hope this answer meets your needs. If not, please request clarification.

Sources: U.S. State Department, "China-Nepal Boundary," 30 May 1965,

"Spring/Fall 2005 Expeditions," 8 Feb. 2005,

Dave Hahn, "From Nepal to Tibet," Mountain Zone Everest '98,

"Four Against Everest," 6 Oct. 2004,

Eric Simonson, "Border Crossing from Nepal to Tibet," Mountain Zone,
23 March 1999,

Search strategy:

everest ascent north descent south

"nepalese customs" everest north side

everest border china nepal

Everest China Nepal summit

Clarification of Answer by mwalcoff-ga on 13 Feb 2005 11:52 PST
Thank you for the compliment. The State Department report says that
before 1961, the Nepal-Tibet boundary was somewhat vague. This is not
suprising considering the fact that there wasn't much along the
borderline of significant worth anyway, save maybe some Sherpa
dprk007-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $1.00
Hello mwalcoff
Thank you for your answer. I was somewhat confused by the comments added 
at the end but since the commentator appeared to enjoy your answer even 
more than i did I shall give you a wee tip.

To be honest I found your answer somewhat surprising. I always thought 
that the actual border would have been on the north side of Everest.
It would appear from the answer you have given that the Summit of
Everest actually defines a point on the border.
As a small further question I am curious if this was something established 
historically between the two countries (i.e. using mountain summits including
 Everest to actually define the border) or was this thrashed out more
recently during the border and treaty agreements which happened in



Subject: Re: High Up in the Sky
From: pureanalysis-ga on 12 Feb 2005 17:01 PST
well done, no wonder you ppl (researchers) have got this going on as a
full/partime thingy, and then you give value for money,
professionalism isnt it, nice one. Not only you need excellent
pragmatic skills but also to make money out of knowing how to find/try
to find the apex of epistemic demands is so cool. I wonder what it
takes to be where you ppl are as far as this venture goes. ( not a
question by the way, otherwise I would have posted it as one :-) )
Subject: Re: High Up in the Sky
From: pureanalysis-ga on 12 Feb 2005 17:06 PST
and btw my comment was for all the researchers, i am especially
inspired by cynthia's take on psycology of human behaviour especially
from a relationship perspective. Not one of the answers which I have
read so far from any researchers here has left me unsatisfied, we all
know we still can improvise, but the details are amazing, well done

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