Belfast Telegraph

Noel Hanna is first Northern Ireland man to conquer K2

By Staff Reporter

Adventurer Noel Hanna has become the first person from Northern Ireland to conquer K2 - the world's second-highest mountain.

The news was delivered in a Facebook post by his wife Lynne, who is also an experienced mountaineer.

She said she was thrilled that Noel had made it to the summit.

"I am absolutely delighted to share the news that Noel Made summit of K2 this morning 21st July.

"He has just called to say he is safe at base camp. I cannot begin to say how proud I am of his achievement."

Mr Hanna scaled Everest in 2006.

Three years later he repeated the feat with Lynne.

He told BBC NI that K2 was a much bigger challenge than climbing Everest.

"I had a few beers last night and a few beers today with some fellow climbers, but here in Pakistan, whenever you're on the mountain, it's hard to celebrate," he said in a phone call from base camp.

"If anybody was thinking of coming out to do K2, certainly you would need a lot more technical experience than you would for Everest and some of the other mountains.

"Summit day is a very long day."

He added: "You don't need to be crazy but probably the major factor is the weather - that has to be on your side."

Known to mountaineers as the 'Savage Mountain', K2 is one of the most dangerous and difficult climbs on the planet.

Located on the China-Pakistan border, it's estimated that one in every five who have tried to reach the summit has died.

The Dromara man, who describes himself on his website and "an adventurer", now has plans to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa.

He will also attempt to scale Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps and the highest in Europe west of the Caucasus in Russia.

Just hours after Noel reached the summit of K2, another Ulsterman, Jason Black from Donegal, completed the feat.

In an audio message to his family posted on social media, Mr Black said he was "absolutely smashed, it's the only word I can use, but elated at the same time".

"This was hell, this was absolutely hell and back," he added.

"I'm only halfway there - I have to get safely down - but so far so good."

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