Into Thin Air - Dehra Dun, India: 1852 - 2,234 Feet Summary & Analysis

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Dehra Dun, India: 1852 - 2,234 Feet Summary and Analysis

Krakauer backs up to give some history of the determination of Mt. Everest as the highest point on earth. The year is 1852, and the British government has undertaken a complete survey of India, which it controls as a colony. Data taken from the surveys is computed by hand by mathematicians to determine elevation. The measurement of the peak of Everest, then called Peak XV, had been made three years earlier. Now the measurements had been compiled and computed and its height estimated at 29,002 feet. In a footnote, Krakauer explains that modern techniques using satellites and lasers have revised this measurement by 26 feet to 29,028 feet. Sir Andrew Waugh, the Surveyor General of India, named the peak after Sir George Everest, his predecessor.

Shortly after this determination, Krakauer says, people started to think about climbing...

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