Members of Nepal mountaineers association participate in a candle light vigil on the eve of the anniversary of the conquest of Mount Everest as they remember the climbers who died in the April 18 avalanche in Katmandu, Nepal, Wednesday. Pic: AP.

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Hundreds of people in Nepal’s capital have held separate rallies to mark the 61st anniversary of the first conquest of Mount Everest and to remember the 16 Sherpa guides who died in an avalanche last month on the world’s highest mountain.

New Zealander Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay, became the first climbers to reach the top of Everest on May 29, 1953. More than 500 people, including mountaineers and trekking guides, marched in Katmandu on Thursday to mark the day.

A separate rally was held Wednesday night in memory of the 16 guides killed in an April 18 avalanche just above Everest’s base camp. Participants held candles and pictures of the guides who died in the disaster.