Irish Climbing Legend Dies Climbing Annapurna I

Gregg Frantz | ClimbingClimbing
Noel Hanna
Photo Credit: Donegal Daily

Noel Hanna, 56, a veteran mountaineer, died climbing the world-famous Mountain of Annapurna I in Nepal on Monday, April 17. Hanna is a legend amongst the mountaineering community and has climbed Mt. Everest ten times and was the first Irishmen to climb K2.

The details of how Hanna died are still under investigation but reports state he was found in his tent at Camp 4, the last camp before the summit of Annapurna I. According to Yubaraj Khatiwada, an official of the Department of Tourism, the circumstances of Hanna’s death were unclear. BBC Nepali said there were local reports that his body had been airlifted to the capital, Kathmandu.

Noel Hanna
Photo Credit: Daily

In 2016, Hanna and his wife Lynne were the first married couple to scale Everest from both the north and south sides. Hanna knew the dangers of climbing and said in an interview with Sunday Life in 2019, “You know when you go away there is a chance you’re not coming back, but that’s just the way we live, and if you were to think about that every time you went out the door, then there’s no point really living life,” 

Word of Hanna’s passing spread quickly throughout the climbing community, with family and peers of Hanna expressing their support and sadness for his loss. Mourne Mountain Adventures said they were “Very saddened to hear of the passing of Noel Hanna this morning” and “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.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Annapurna I is the tenth-highest mountain in the world, but it is also better known as one of the most dangerous to climb. Annapurna I is the tenth-highest mountain in the world, with an elevation of 26,545′. It is located in Nepal, a mecca for climbers wanting to explore the world’s biggest mountains. Nepal is home to eight of the world’s ten tallest summits, including Mount Everest, and attracts hundreds of climbers worldwide every spring.

The mountain is considered one of the most dangerous mountains in the world to climb and has the highest fatality rate of 40%. Annapurna I has the “normal” dangers of climbing, like unpredictable weather conditions, avalanches, treacherous terrain, and strong winds. However, there are other things like its remote location in the region and its accessibility for emergency personnel to reach the mountain in adequate time. Fifty-eight people from just 158 attempts have died trying to ascend Annapurna I, which is why it is considered the most dangerous mountain in the world.

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