The figure included seven climbers from the United States, Canada
and Britain accompanied by seven Sherpa mountain guides, who reached
the peak on Friday -- the last group to do so this season, it said
"The spring season is ending at Saturday midnight," an official
An official of the Ministry of Tourism said the 2003 spring
season had been the busiest ever because expeditions wanted to mark
the 50th anniversary of the first ascent on by Sir Edmund Hillary
and Tenzing Norgay on May 29, 1953.
"We are very happy that the Golden Jubilee season was completed
without any major accident or loss of life," the official said.
But one day before the anniversary, celebrations were marred when
a helicopter carrying porters to Everest Base Camp crashed 100
meters (yards) from its landing point, killing two Nepalese onboard
and injuring seven others, including a German woman who was trekking
Several records were set during the season, including the fastest
time to the top and by reaching the peak for the 13th time.
Appa Sherpa, 42, reached the top of the world's highest mountain
on Sunday breaking his own record of 12 ascents.
Sherpa Lhakpa Gela, 36, clipped almost two hours off the Everest
speed climbing record that was set just three days previously,
reaching the summit from Base Camp in a time of 10 hours 56 minutes
and 46 seconds.
Friday's summitters were named as Americans Vernon Edward Tejas,
50, Luis G. Benitaz, 31, James Patrick Clarke, 40, Paul Obert, 53,
Jean Michel Valette, 43, Canadian Bruno Rodi, 49, and Matthew Holt,
41, from London.