Noel Hanna died at Camp IV on Annapurna in Nepal on his descent from the summit, Mountaineering Ireland said on Tuesday, April 18. Hanna's cause of death was not immediately clear.
Just hours before his death, Irish Seven Summits congratulated Hanna for becoming the first person from the island of Ireland to summit Annapurna, which was the prolific climber's fourth 8000m peak.
Congrats to Noel Hanna from Dromara in Co. Down who today became the 1st climber from the Island of Ireland to summit...Posted by Irish Seven Summits on Monday, April 17, 2023
In the wake of his death, Hanna is being remembered for his remarkable mountaineering career, which includes reaching the summit of Mt Everest ten times and reaching the summit of the second-highest peak in the world, K2. In 2016, he and his wife Lynne became the first married couple to successfully climb Mt Everest from both sides.
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Mourne Mountain Adventures, based in Hanna’s native Co Down, said in a public social media post on April 18: “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.
“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."
Co Longford native Paul Devaney, the co-founder of Irish Seven Summits, shared an emotional tribute to the “cheeky, good-humored and infectious” Hanna.
“Noel was a trailblazer,” Devaney wrote. “A proud son of Ulster, from the beautiful County Down, he was an accomplished ultra runner, adventure racer, and a world class mountaineer.
“From a farming background in Dromara, he served as a police officer in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, and trained as a Close Protection Officer thereafter, while also carving out a career in the world of adventure and mountaineering.
“His racing achievements included two Marathon De Sables, Himalayan 100 mile races, and a plethora of Eco-Challenge adventure races, to name but a few.
“He was only the sixth Irish climber to complete the ‘Seven Summits’ (climbing the highest peak on all seven continents) and second Irish climber to complete both Bass and Messner ‘Seven Summits’ lists, behind the late great Ian McKeever who became the first to do so in 2007.
“Not content with the Seven Summits, Noel decided to up the stakes and after reaching the summit on the highest peak on each continent, he then raced to the nearest sea by means of human power (run/bike/ski), becoming the first to complete the ‘7 Summits to sea level’ challenge. Noel also tackled five of the fourteen 8000m peaks, reaching the summit on four.”
"An ash tree toppled today," Devaney wrote. "The seeds scattered is Noel’s indelible legacy."