Irish & 8000m Peaks

This page tracks Irish climbers (defined here as climbers from Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland or Irish Citizens living overseas or other citizens with RoI or NI as their home), who have climbed any of the 8000m peaks as well as Irish climbers who unsuccessfully attempted 8000m peaks. To date, Irish climbers have successfully climbed 7 of the 14 peaks above 8000m. The list of 8000m peaks are as follows:

  • Everest (8848m) – Nepal/Tibet
  • K2 (8611m) – Pakistan
  • Kangchenjunga (8586m) – Nepal
  • Lhotse (8516m) – Nepal
  • Makalu (8485m) – Nepal/Tibet
  • Cho Oyu (8201m) – Nepal
  • Dhaulagiri (8167m) – Nepal
  • Manaslu (8163m) – Nepal
  • Nanga Parbat (8125m) – Pakistan
  • Annapurna I (8091m) – Nepal
  • Gasherbrum I (8068m) – Pakistan/China
  • Broad Peak (8047m) – Pakistan/China
  • Gasherbrum II (8035m) – Pakistan
  • Shishpangma (8013m) – Tibet

Irish Activity on 8000m Peaks

To date (Feb 2021) there have been 252 climbs of 8000m peaks by Irish climbers, with 106 successful summits (most are Everest summits) and 146 unsuccessful attempts. Thus a success rate of 42%. Click below for names & details. 

– The 1993 Everest expedition is notable for the first Irish summit of Everest, but also as a non-commercial & unaided expedition.
– The 1998 Cho Oyu summit by Pat Falvey and Gavin Bate was 1st Irish 8000m peak climbed unaided & without bottled oxygen.
– The 1998 Broad Peak summit by Eddie Cooper also stands out as it was part of an unaided Irish team without bottled oxygen.
– Robert Kelso Smith from Tyrone has completed the most 8000m peaks of any Irish climber – 5 different peaks in total. 
– Noel Hanna, Anselm Murphy, Domhnall O’Dohertaigh and Cian O’Brolchain have each completed 3 of the 8000m peaks.
– Robert Kelso Smith (2019) and Linda Blakely (2018) reached the summit of two 8000m peaks with 24 hours (Everest-Lhotse.)
– Noel and Lynne Hanna have climbed Everest (North) and Everest (South) and Manaslu as a married couple – surely a world record.
– Six Irish climbers scaled an 8000m peak without bottled oxygen (E. Cooper, G. Bate, P. Falvey, D. O’Dochartaigh, N. Hanna & L. Hanna).
– Sadly, six Irish climbers died while attempting to complete various 8000m peaks (4 on Everest, 1 on K2, 1 on Cho Oyo).

List of Irish Climbers - 8000m Peaks

Irish Summits:

– Dawson Stelfox (1993)
– Pat Falvey (1995)
– Mick Murphy (2003)
– Gerard McDonnell (2003)
– Terence Bannon (2003)
– Pat Falvey (2004)
– Clare O’Leary (2004)
– Samantha O’Carroll (2004)
– Humphrey Murphy (2005)
– Grania Willis (2005)
– Fergal Corrigan (2006)
– Neill Elliot (2006)
– Raymond Hassard (2006)
– Noel Hanna (2006)
– Ian McKeever (2007)
– Tom Lehane (2007)
– Hannah Shields (2007)
– Bill Hanlon (2007)
– Nigel Hart (2007)
– Roger McMorrow (2007)
– Michael O’Dwyer (2007)
– John Dowd (2008)
– Anselm Murphy (2008)
– Ian Taylor (2008)
– Noel Hanna (2009)
– Lynne Hanna (2009)
– Christopher Jones (2009)
– Domhnall O’Dochartaigh (2010)
– James Haydock (2010)
– Noel Hanna (2010)
– Vivian Rigney (2010)
– Fergus White (2010)
– Geoffrey Chambers (2011)
– Basil Geoghegan (2011)
– Gavin Bate (2011)
– Noel Hanna (2011)
– Mark Quinn (2011)
– Martin Byrne (2011)
– Noel Hanna (2012)
– Cian O’Brolchain (2012)
– Albert Connaughton (2012)
– Peter O’Connell (2013)
– Seán Mooney (2013)
– Jason Black (2013)
– Noel Hanna (2013)
– Brian Meskell (2013)
– Robert Smith (2013)
– Kieran Lally (2013)
– Noel Hanna (2014)
– Derek Mahon (2014)
– Robert Smith (2014)
– Mary Scannell (2016)
– Noel Hanna (2016)
– Lynne Hanna (2016)
– Robert Mortell (2016)
– John Burke (2017)
– Terry Kelleher (2017)
– Robert Smith (2017)
– Rory McHugh (2017)
– Louise McEvoy (2018)
– Linda Blakely (2018)
– Adrian McNally (2018)
– Robert Smith (2018)
– Kevin Hynes (2018)
– Noel Hanna (2019)
– Seamus Lawless (2019) *
– Jenny Copeland (2019)
– Robert Smith (2019)
– Noel Hanna (2021)
– Ronan Murphy (2021)
– Robert Smith (2021)

Note: 1993 Irish expedition was unaided. All other summits above occurred as part of commercial expeditions. 
Note: All Everest summits above were completed during the Spring season using bottled oxygen. 

* Seamus Lawless successfully climbed Everest in 2019, but disappeared following a fall above Camp 4 on the descent. 


Irish Attempts (No Summit):

63 unsuccessful attempts to climb Everest by 49 different Irish climbers between 1993 & 2021.

List of all successful & unsuccessful attempts on Everest by Irish climbers can be found here

Irish Summits:

– Ger McDonnell (Aug 2008) *
– Noel Hanna (Jul 2018)
– Jason Black (Jul 2018)
– Robert Kelso Smith (Jul 2018)


Irish Attempts (No Summits):

– Calvin Torrans (1998)
– Eddie Cooper (1998)
– Martin Daly (1998)
– Paul Dunlop (1998)
– Donie O’Sullivan (1998)
– Ian Rea (1998)
– Terence Bannon (2005)
– Ger McDonnell (2006)
– Mick Murphy (2006)
– Terence Bannon (2006)
– Noel Hanna (2015)
– Jason Black (2015)
– Noel Hanna (2021 – Winter)

Note: The 1998 ‘Irish K2 Expedition’ team climbed via the Abruzzi Ridge, alpine style, unaided with no oxygen.
Note: Noel Hanna attempted K2 in Winter in 2021, but abandoned the summit push due to extreme low temperature on summit day.

* Ger McDonnell died on K2 in 2008 on the descent, attempting a rescue following an avalanche. His body was not recovered.

Irish Summits:

– Anselm Murphy (May 2011)


Irish Attempts (No Summits):

– Noel Hanna (2017)
– Noel Hanna (2018)

Irish Summits:

– Domhnall O’Dochartaigh (May 2009)
– Cian O’Brolchain (May 2017)
– Linda Blakely (May 2018)
– Robert Kelso Smith (May 2019)


Irish Attempts (No Summits):

– Christopher Jones (2011)
– Domhnall O’Dochartaigh (2012)
– Jason Smith (2014)
– Kevin Hynes (2016)
– Robert Kelso Smith (2016)
– Robert Kelso Smith (2017)

Note 1: Linda Blakely summitted both Everest and Lhotse within 24 hours in May 2018. Robert Kelso Smith done the same in May 2019.
Note 2: Kevin Hynes stopped short of the summit by 50m due to one of their climbing team suffering a fatal fall down the Lhotse face. 

Irish Summits:

– None


Irish Attempts (No Summits):

– Terry Mooney (1984)
– Terry Mooney (1988)
– Calvin Torrans (1989)
– Robert Kelso Smith (2010)

Irish Summits:

– Pat Falvey (May 1998) [No O2]
– Gavin Bate (May 1998) [No O2]
– Damian Ryan (Sep 1998)
– Richard Dougan (May 2002)
– Humphrey Murphy (May 2002)
– Grania Willis (Sep 2004)
– Roger McMorrow (Sep 2005)
– Nigel Hart (Sep 2005)
– Michael O’Dwyer (Sep 2005)
– Patrick Doyle (Oct 2006)
– Anselm Murphy (Oct 2007)
– Kieran Lally (May 2010)
– Fergal Savage (Oct 2011)
– Cian O’Brolchain (Oct 2011)
– Robert Kelso Smith (Oct 2011)
– Kevin Trundle (Oct 2013)


Irish Attempts (No Summits):

– Wes Sterritt (1988)
– Josephine Kieran (1996)
– Neil Lindsey (1994)
– Con Collins (1998)
– Eoghan Sheehan (1998)
– John Dowd (2001)
– Patricia McGuirk (2001)
– Adam Cinnamond (2002) *
– Philip Kelly (2002)
– Eamon Hickey (2006)
– Martin Murphy (2006)
– Gavin Bate (2007)
– Patrick McDonagh (2007)
– Michael Wall (2007)
– Adam Sulwinski (2007)
– James Haydock (2007)
– Stewart Barbour (2009)
– James Haydock (2009)
– Barry Griffin (2010)
– Robert Mooney (2011)
– John Jones (2011)
– Paul Greenan (2013)
– Mark Quinn (2016)

Note: In 1998 Pat Falvey and Gavin Bate became the first Irish to summit an 8000m peak without bottled Oxygen and without use of high-altitude porters. 

* Adam Cinnamond (34) was part of a four-person ‘Northern Ireland Cho Oyu Expedition’ team in 2002 when he went missing on the descent after deciding not to summit. Adam’s body was recovered some days later at 6800m. 

Irish Summits:

– None


Irish Attempts (No Summits):

– Robert Mooney (2012)

Irish Summits:

– Domhnall O’Dochartaigh (May 2012) [No O2]
– Peter O’Connell (Oct 2012)
– John Roche (Oct 2014)
– Miko Keane (Sep 2018)
– Lynne Hanna (Sep 2019) [No O2]
– Noel Hanna (Sep 2019) [No O2]
– Robert Kelso Smith (Sep 2019)

Irish Attempts (No Summits):

– Frank Nugent (1991)
– Dawson Stelfox (1991)
– Mike Barry (1991)
– Martin Daly (1991)
– Robbie Fenlon (1991)
– Philip Holmes (1991)
– Gary Murray (1991)
– Harry O’Brien (1991)
– Dermot Somers (1991)
– Calvin Torrans (1991)
– Gordon Brown (2008)
– Geoffrey Chambers (2008)
– Christopher Jones (2008)
– Jason Smith (2008)
– Paul Howard (2011)
– Kevin Keane (2012)
– Paddy Cave (2012)
– Robert Kelso Smith (2013)
– Gerard Reidy (2019)

Note 1: The 10 climbers listed above for 1991 formed the ‘Irish Manaslu Expedition’ team co-led by Frank Nugent & Dawson Stelfox and accompanied by Leslie Lawrence (BC Manager), Nick Stevenson (BC2 Manager) and Donie O’Sullivan (Expedition Doctor). This was an unaided (non-commercial) expedition team. 

Note 2: In 2012 Domhnall O’Dochertaigh was among the first group to summit the highest point of rock on the peak. The sub peak is typically the highest point due to snow load, however in Spring of 2012 it had 20m of exposed ridge that led to a slightly higher section of rock that was the true rock summit. Guy Cotter led Domhnall and the team across the ridge to that higher point, and may have been the first to have ever stood on that higher point. 

Mark Horrell wrote an interesting article in 2016 on the subject of the real summit debate on Manaslu in which he says… “The summit crown contains three summits, the first a snow dome, the second a slightly narrower snow dome, and the third being the main summit itself. The main summit is very small, with space for only two people. To get there you have to pass the two fore-summits and follow an exposed snake-like ridge”. Most Manaslu summits are claimed at the sub peak at the end of the fixed ropes which is fairly universally regarded as reaching the summit by many authorities including the Himalayan Database team. No doubt the debate will roll on. 

Irish Summits:

– None


Irish Attempts (No Summits):

– None

Irish Summits:

– None


Irish Attempts (No Summits):

– Gavin Hennigan (2015)

Irish Summits:

– None


Irish Attempts (No Summits):

– Mark Quinn (2013)

Irish Summits:

– Eddie Cooper (Jul 1998) [No O2]
– John Dowd (Jun 2006)
– Mick Murphy (Jun 2006)


Irish Attempts (No Summits):

– Calvin Torrans (1998)
– Martin Daly (1998)
– Paul Dunlop (1998)
– Donie O’Sullivan (1998)
– Ian Rea (1998)
– John Lawlor (2001)
– Ger McDonnell (2006)
– John Roche (2006)
– Con Collins (2006)
– Kevin Hynes (2016)

Note 1: Eddie Coopers reached the fore-summit of Broad Peak on 8th July 1998, unaided without bottled oxygen.

Note 2: In 2006 during K2 adaptation, Ger McDonnell reached the false summit of K2 but did not have time to push on to the true summit.

Irish Summits:

– None


Irish Attempts (No Summits):

– Mark Quinn (2013)
– John Lawlor (2001)

Irish Summits:

– None


Irish Attempts (No Summits):

– None

If you have any new information or corrections to any of the records above please contact me at paul.devaney@gmail.com.