Kathmandu: The lone surviving member of the first successful expedition to Mount Everest today led a rally of hundreds of people, marking the 61st anniversary of the historic feat.
Kancha Sherpa, 81, led the rally of 1,500 people including tourism entrepreneurs, climbers, guides and journalists.
They also remembered the 16 mountain guides who lost their lives in the deadliest avalanche in April while attempting to climb the world`s highest peak.
New Zealander Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay, became the first climbers to reach the 8,848-metre- high peak on May 29, 1953 writing a history in mountaineering.
Kancha had carried loads on his back up to 8,400 metre of the mountain for the expedition.
The expedition to the Everest would not be successful without Sherpa`s help, said Ang Tshering Sherpa, president of Nepal Mountaineering Association addressing the rally.
"We were all very happy on that day. It was the biggest achievement in my life," Kancha told the gathering, recalling the day Hillary and Tenzing reached the summit.
Since then around 4,300 climbers have scaled the Everest.
The successful expedition of 1953 has opened Nepal as a tourism destination for international visitors, Ang Tsherign said.
Yesterday, a separate programme was organised in memory of the 16 guides killed on April 18. Participants carried placards with the pictures of the brave Sherpa guides and lit candles.
After the avalanche, climbing activities were completely halted on the Everest region for the entire spring season.