8000M PEAKS - STATISTICS

Collating 8000m stats for Irish climbers is complex because that definition spans climbers from two different geopolitical jurisdictions on the island of Ireland (Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland), and also includes overseas climbers of Irish heritage who climb on an Irish passport and claim their summits as an Irish success. For the purposes of this assessment, we assume the following to be defined as ‘Irish summits‘ of 8000m peaks…

  • Born in Republic of Ireland
  • Born in Northern Ireland
  • Resident in Republic of Ireland at time of climb
  • Resident in Northern Ireland at time of climb
  • Born or Resident overseas but climbed on Irish passport

For the purpose of this analysis we list successful Irish summits from all groups mentioned above. This is not a political statement, merely a method of identifying those who we believe should be included in this assessment. This data is researched from a range of different published sources and first hand accounts. Thank you to the team who maintain and manage the Himalayan Database for enabling access to some of the data used for this assessment.

8000M PEAKS - SUMMARY

This page tracks Irish climbers (defined here as climbers from Ireland or Northern Ireland or Irish Citizens living overseas or other citizens with IRE 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 9 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

8000M PEAKS - IRISH BREAKDOWN

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)
– Chris Bell (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)
– Jonathan ‘Duke’ Ruane (2022)
– Robert Smith (2022)
– Johnny Ward (2023)
– Ryan O’Sullivan (2023)
– David Keating (2024)
– Michael Fortune (2024)
– Darragh Ó hAodha (2024)
– Robert Smith (2024)
– Éoin Brogan (2024)
– Michéal Brogan (2024)

Note 1: 1993 Irish expedition was unaided. All other summits above occurred as part of commercial expeditions. 
Note 2: All Everest summits above were completed during the Spring season and using bottled oxygen. 

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


Irish Attempts (No Summit):

There have been 72 unsuccessful attempts to climb Everest by Irish climbers between 1993 & 2024.

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 Smith (Jul 2018)
– Robert Smith (Jul 2021)

Note: Ger McDonnell was the first Irish climber to summit K2. Noel Hanna was the first to summit and return safely. 

* Ger McDonnell died on K2 in 2008 on the descent, while attempting a rescue following a deadly avalanche. His body was never recovered. Ger had previously attempted K2 in 2006 alongside Mick Murphy and Banjo Bannon, and had survived a deadly avalanche which killed four Russian climbers, and left Ger in hospital with what turned out to be a fractured skull, which if he had not been wearing his helmet would have doubtless been fatal. 


Irish Attempts (No Summits):

– Aleister Crowley (1902)
– Calvin Torrans (1998)

– Eddie Cooper (1998)
– Martin Daly (1998)
– Paul Dunlop (1998)
– Donie O’Sullivan (1998)
– Ian Rea (1998)
– Terence ‘Banjo’ Bannon (2005)
– John Fitzgibbon (2005)

– Ger McDonnell (2006)
– Mick Murphy (2006)
– Terence ‘Banjo’ Bannon (2006)
– Noel Hanna (2015)
– Jason Black (2015)
– Noel Hanna (2021 – Winter Attempt)

Note 1: The 1998 ‘Irish K2 Expedition’ team attempted via the Abruzzi Ridge, alpine style, unaided with no oxygen.
Note 2: Robert Kelso Smith is the only Irish climber to have successfully climbed K2 twice (2018 & 2021).
Note 3: Noel Hanna attempted K2 in Winter in 2021, but was forced back by extreme low temperature on summit day.
Note 4: In August 2005 Banjo Bannon reached 8,100m (26,600ft) but was forced back by a severe storm. **

** The 2005 Irish K2 team consisted of Expedition Leader Terence ‘Banjo’ Bannon (Down) and fellow climber John Fitzgibbons (Cork) as well as a wider team of Paul Moran (Deputy Expedition Leader), Lauren O’Malley (Base Camp Manage, USA), Pat Christie (Team Medic, Mayo), Des Murphy (Armagh), Turlough Murphy (Armagh) and Kevin McClelland (Armagh). Banjo reached 8,100m (26,600ft) along with Mick Parker, an Australian climber he met at Camp 2. Both climbers left Camp 3 last night and on reaching Camp 4 decided to go for the summit. The ‘Weather Gods’ of K2 had other plans and a whiteout followed by a severe storm forced the climbers to retreat. (Source: www.irishk2005.com)

Did You Know: In 1902, an Irish adventurer named Aleister Crowley was a member of the first team to make a serious attempt on K2. Crowley, a magician with an interest in Satanism, dope and other mystical pursuits, was an accomplished Alpinist who advised against his leader’s approach by a north-east ridge. He was proved to be correct when the group was forced back in bad weather at 6,000m. It appears that he believed in a very direct style of teamwork; at one point, he threatened another climber with a revolver.  (Source: Irish Times)

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 Smith (May 2019)
– Darragh Ó hAodha (May 2024)


Irish Attempts (No Summits):

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

Note 1: Linda Blakely from Armagh in Northern Ireland reached the summits of both Everest and Lhotse within 24 hours in May 2018. Robert Smith from Tyrone in Northern Ireland done the same in May 2019 and Darragh Ó hAodha from Cork became the first from Republic of Ireland to complete an Everest-Lhotse double within 24 hours in May 2024. 

Note 2: Kevin Hynes stopped short of the summit by 50m in 2016 due to one of their climbing team suffering a fatal fall down the Lhotse face. 

Note 3: Noel Hanna is in the Himalayan Database for Lhotse & Everest in 2021, however he did not make an attempt on Lhotse that year. 

Irish Summits:

– None


Irish Attempts (No Summits):

– Terry Mooney (1984)
– Terry Mooney (1988)
– Calvin Torrans (1989)
– Robert Smith (2010)
– Jonathan ‘Duke’ Ruane (2023)

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 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)
– Kelven Reid (2017)
– James McManus (2023)

Irish Summits (True Summit):

– Domhnall O’Dochartaigh (May 2012) [No O2]

Irish Summits (Foresummit):

– Christopher Jones (Oct 2008)
– Jason Smith (Oct 2008)
– 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 Smith (Sep 2019)
– Jonathan ‘Duke’ Ruane (Sep 2021)

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)
– Paul Howard (2011)
– Kevin Keane (2012)
– Paddy Cave (2012)
– Tony Diskin (2017)
– Miko Keane (2017)
– Robert Smith (2013)

– Gerard Reidy (2019)
– Iain Bisset (2021)
– Brian Cleary (2022)
– William MacCleave (2022)
– Cian O’Brolchain (2022)

Note 1: The 1991 ‘Irish Manaslu Expedition’ team was 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 few to summit the highest point on Manaslu (i.e. the True Summit). The sub peak becomes something of a perceived ‘highest point’ during Autumn/Winter ascents due to snow load and conditions make crossing the ridge to the true summit pretty tricky if not impossible. However in Spring of 2012 Guy Cotter led a group of climbers including Domhnall across the hair-raising ridge to the true summit, and were among the first to have ever stood on the true summit of Manaslu. In September 2021 Mingma G and the Imagine Nepal team would be the next group to stand on the true summit of Manaslu.


Summit Controversy: Manaslu is somewhat unique among 8000m peaks in that most people who claim to have climbed to the summit may not have! The author Mark Horrell wrote an interesting article in 2016 (here) on the ‘real summit’ debate 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 (upper) fore-summits and follow an exposed snake-like ridge”. Most Manaslu summits were claimed at the sub peak at the end of the fixed ropes (known in more recent times as ‘Selfie Point’, which had been regarded as reaching the ‘summit’ by many authorities including the Himalayan Database team, but was challenged by others because it is not the true summit, which though dangerous to reach, can and has been climbed). Damien Gildea has also written widely on this topic too, here and here, while Explorers Web wrote about the 2021 success here.

In 2021 an Australian adventure traveler called Jackson Groves captured drone footage of the Manaslu summit ridge and demonstrated clearly where the true summit was relative to the various fore-summits which most climbers peaked at. His detailed account of the expedition, complete with some extraordinary photographs of the summit ridge of Manaslu, put the matter of the ‘true summit’ to rest once and for all, and can be read here

The Himalayan Database team announced on 29th September 2021 that following the success of Mingma G and his Imagine Nepal team in climbing to the true summit in September 2021, and following the evidence presented by Jackson Groves drone footage, that they would be reviewing all past summits to assess what constitutes reaching the summit of Manaslu. Their decision was that prior summit claims would stand, while all future claims would be expected to follow the newly acquired knowledge on the summit ridge to push on to the true summit in order to be deemed a summit success. 

Irish Summits:

– None


Irish Attempts (No Summits):

– None

Irish Summits:

– Noel Hanna (April 2023)

Noel passed away at Camp IV after returning from the summit (announced on 18th April 2023) [Link]


Irish Attempts (No Summits):

– Gavin Hennigan (2015)

Irish Summits:

– None


Irish Attempts (No Summits):

– Mark Quinn (2013)

Irish Summits (Summit):

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


Irish Summits (No Summits):

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

Note 1: Eddie Coopers reached the summit of Broad Peak on 8th July 1998, unaided without bottled oxygen. Eddie was part of the 6-man ‘Irish K2 Expedition’ team who attempted K2 that year and included Broad Peak as their adaptation peak.

Note 2: Ger McDonnell reached the foresummit of Broad Peak in 2006 but arrived to that point somewhat late and had to turn back due to darkness. Ger was part of an Irish group within a larger expedition team attempting to climb K2 that season, with Broad Peak as their adaptation peak. 

Irish Summits:

– Josh Morrison (2023)


Irish Attempts (No Summits):

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

Note: Josh Morrison (aged 26) from Templepatrick in Co. Antrim reached the summit of Gasherbrum II at 9:55am on 18th June 2023, becoming the first climber from the Island of Ireland and the first from Northern Ireland to reach the top. 

Irish Summits:

– None


Irish Attempts (No Summits):

– None

This data has been assembled by combining a range of published and first-hand sources as well as the invaluable Himalayan Database. If you have any new information or corrections to any of the records above please contact me at paul@sevensummitssolutions.com