World

Nepal official says climbers returning to Mount Everest after last year's avalanche disaster

  • FILE - In this Wednesday, March 18, 2015 file photo, trekkers take an acclimatization hike to Nagarzhang peak above Dingboche valley on the way to Everest base camp, Nepal. Climbers are returning to Mount Everest as the climbing industry recovers from last year's deadly disaster on the world's highest peak, a Nepalese mountaineering official said Wednesday, April 1. The popular spring climbing season began last month and runs until the end of May. (AP Photo/Tashi Sherpa, File)

    FILE - In this Wednesday, March 18, 2015 file photo, trekkers take an acclimatization hike to Nagarzhang peak above Dingboche valley on the way to Everest base camp, Nepal. Climbers are returning to Mount Everest as the climbing industry recovers from last year's deadly disaster on the world's highest peak, a Nepalese mountaineering official said Wednesday, April 1. The popular spring climbing season began last month and runs until the end of May. (AP Photo/Tashi Sherpa, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this  Saturday, March 21, 2015 file photo, a caravan of yaks return after dropping off supplies for the climbing season at the Everest Base camp, Nepal. Climbers are returning to Mount Everest as the climbing industry recovers from last year's deadly disaster on the world's highest peak, a Nepalese mountaineering official said Wednesday, April 1. The popular spring climbing season began last month and runs until the end of May. (AP Photo/Tashi Sherpa, File)

    FILE - In this Saturday, March 21, 2015 file photo, a caravan of yaks return after dropping off supplies for the climbing season at the Everest Base camp, Nepal. Climbers are returning to Mount Everest as the climbing industry recovers from last year's deadly disaster on the world's highest peak, a Nepalese mountaineering official said Wednesday, April 1. The popular spring climbing season began last month and runs until the end of May. (AP Photo/Tashi Sherpa, File)  (The Associated Press)

A Nepalese mountaineering official says climbers are returning to Mount Everest as the climbing industry recovers from last year's disaster on the world's highest peak.

Mountaineering Department official Gyanendra Shrestha said Wednesday that four team permits have been issued, and another 11 written applications are pending and more applications are expected in the next few days.

It was feared that the deaths of 16 local Sherpa guides in an avalanche that led to the end of the 2014 climbing season would deter climbers from returning to the mountain.

Shrestha said they expect more than 40 teams during the popular spring season that ends in May, up from the 31 teams that signed up last year.