Noel Hanna: Northern Irish climber dies descending Mt Annapurna in Nepal - what happened?

Noel Hanna has climbed Mount Everest 10 times.

An image of Noel shared on his website noelhanna.comAn image of Noel shared on his website
An image of Noel shared on his website

Northern Ireland’s renowned climber Noel Hanna has died on his descent from Annapurna.

According to expedition organisers, Hanna, a 10-time Everest summiteer from Dromara in County Down passed away at Camp IV after he returned from the summit point. Record-holding Indian woman climber Baljeet Kaur has also gone missing near Camp IV while descending from the summit point, NationalWorld’s sister title the Newsletter reported. Climbing websites reported extremely cold temperatures near the summit.

Annapurna, in north-central Nepal, is the 10th highest mountain in the world at 8,091 metres - and one of 14 peaks above 8,000 metres. It is known for its difficulty, and historically had the highest fataltiy-to-summit rate of all peaks over 8,000 metres, although recently K2 has had a higher fatality rate.

Hanna has climed Mount Everest 10 times, and was the first person from the island of Ireland to smmut K2 - the second highest mountain in the world.

Earlier social media page Irish Seven Summits wrote: “Congrats to Noel Hanna from Dromara in Co. Down who today became the 1st climber from the Island of Ireland to summit the mighty Annapurna I (8,091m) alongside Dawa Nurbu Sherpa . This is 8,000m peak number four for Noel.” The page listed that Hanna has summited Everest 10 times, K2, Manaslu and now Annapurna.

Noel Hanna,  EverestNoel Hanna,  Everest
Noel Hanna, Everest

A later post from Irish Seven Summits said: “RIP Noel. I don’t know what to say. This is shocking and heartbreaking. Thinking of Lynne and remembering an awesome guy today.”

On social media Mourne Mountains Adventures said: “Very saddened to hear of the passing of Noel Hanna this morning, local to the Mournes Noel was the first person from Ireland to successfully climb K2, and astonishingly he climbed the summit of Everest 10 times.

Annapurna mountain rangeAnnapurna mountain range
Annapurna mountain range

“There is some peace in that he spent his last moments doing what he loved best, such a great man and one of N.Ireland’s finest Mountaineers. I had the pleasure of interviewing Noel on two occasions, he will be greatly missed by all that knew him. My condolences go out to his wife Lunn and the rest of his family, RIP Noel”.

Yesterday, 17 April, the Explorersweb website reported difficulties for climbers descending Annapurna. It said one climber was missing after falling into a crevasse and several others were struggling with extreme cold. It is not known if Hanna was affected by this.

More than 72 people have died while trying summit Annapurna, with more than 365 people reaching the summit. The mountain has avalanche dangers, unpredictable weather and extremely steep climbing routes.

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