Everest 2019 – Summary
This season has been an annus horribilis for Irish climbing on Everest with 6 attempts resulting in 4 summits and 2 fatalities. The joy of summit success for Noel, Séamus, Jenny & Robert was overshadowed by the loss of two extraordinary people – Séamus Lawless and Kevin Hynes.
This year the following climbers from Republic of Ireland & Northern Ireland have attempted Everest:
– Noel Hanna (52) from Co. Down
– Jenny Copeland (40) from Co. Meath
– Séamus Lawless (39) from Co. Wicklow
– Miko Keane (66) from Co. Galway
– Kevin Hynes (56) from Co. Galway
– Robert Smith (48) from Co. Tyrone
Noel Hanna reached the summit of Everest via the southeast ridge (Nepal) route on 16th May 2019, guiding Jenny, Shay and South African climber Saray Khumalo (who became the first black African woman to summit Everest). This was Noel’s 9th summit of the worlds highest peak.
Jenny Copeland reached the summit of Everest via the southeast ridge (Nepal) route on 16th May 2019.
Séamus Lawless reached the summit of Everest via the southeast ridge (Nepal) route on 16th May 2019, but disappeared following a fall on the descent, just below the ‘Balcony’ area. The search efforts to locate Shay ended on 24th May with no success.
Robert Smith reached the summit of Everest via the southeast ridge (Nepal) route with Adventure Consultants on 23rd May 2019, completing a 5th summit of the worlds highest peak. Thereafter Robert pushed on to summit Lhotse on 24th May completing a unique Everest-Lhotse double.
Kevin Hynes reached 8300m on the northeast ridge (Tibet) side for the summit day push with 360 Expeditions, but turned around on summit day and descended to the North Col (7000m) camp accompanied by Sherpa guides from his team. During the early hours of the morning of 24th May, Kevin passed away in his tent.
Miko Keane decided to end his expedition on 29th April prior to the team advancing to Camp 1 on their first rotation.
To those who realised their goal of reaching the summit, we congratulate you. To the families of the bereaved we are heartbroken for your loss and we extend our deepest condolences at this unbelievably difficult time.
Everest 2019 – Reflection
Much has and will be written about the lessons of the 2019 season. With 11 fatalities on Everest this season, there are issues that need tackling on the worlds highest peak, and there is no avoiding safety concerns that exist as more climbers attempt the mountain year-on-year. The fatalities this season are…
|Seamus Lawless||May 16th||Fall at Balcony [After Summit]||Seven Summit Treks *|
|Ravi Thacker||May 17th||Altitude/Illness [After Summit]||Seven Summit Treks|
|Don Cash||May 22nd||Altitude/Illness [After Summit]||Pioneer Adventures|
|Anjali Kulkarni||May 22nd||Altitude/Illness [After Summit]||Transcend Adventures|
|Kalpana Dash||May 23rd||Altitude/Illness [After Summit]||Dreamers Destination Treks|
|Ernst Landgraf||May 23rd||Altitude/Illness [After Summit]||Kobler & Partner|
|Nihal Bagwan||May 23rd||Altitude/Illness||Peak Promotion|
|Kevin Hynes||May 24th||Altitude/Illness||360 Expeditions|
|Dhruba Bista||May 24th||Altitude/Illness||Himalayan Ski Treks|
|Robin Fisher||May 25th||Altitude/Illness [After Summit]||Everest Parivar Treks|
|Chris Kulish||May 27th||Altitude/Illness [After Summit]||Climbing the Seven Summits|
* Logistics by SST, however Seamus + 2 others in the team were guided by Noel Hanna (team within a team).
As the season concludes we remember Shay and Kev. Their deaths have saddened and shocked us. We should also remember to congratulate Jenny, Noel and Robert who have achieved an incredible thing. One can imagine that for Jenny and Noel in particular, congratulations means nothing in the context of what they have gone through and are going through, but their summit success was and is significant, so congratulations.
The death of Shay Lawless following his fall en-route back to C4 was a deep shock. He realised his lifelong dream and stood on top of the world on 16th May, and it is sad that he cannot share that experience with family and friends. Shay was an incredibly kind person, and a great supporter of other Irish climbers and adventurers. His loss has touched many people deeply as can be seen from the wave of comments online and incredible support received in past weeks. I was able to observe how Shay’s other teammates Suzanna & Emma along with others in the Irish high altitude community rallied around to help and assist in the hours and days after his disappearance, and it is both an inspiration and a credit to them individually and collectively. Shay now rests in the world’s most spectacular burial site, remembered and honored where he lays, in privacy surrounded by incredible beauty. All who go to Everest know the risks, as did Shay, and are also aware of that unwritten pact that keeps climbers on the mountain if we are unable to leave it. I wish this fate had not befallen Shay, but it has and it is left to those who knew him to celebrate his accomplishments and remember his kind nature and adventurous spirit.
The death of Kevin Hynes sent another shockwave on 24th May. Kev lived in Harrow in England and was from Newbridge in Co. Galway. He was both an experienced and talented mountaineer with expeditions in Argentina, Alaska, Africa, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal and extensively across India. He was intensely private and humble about those achievements and would have been quite happy if nobody knew he climbed at all. That is a rare and wonderful quality. He clearly enjoyed the mountains immensely and built a solid pedigree over the years. He summitted Everest in 2018 via the Southeast Ridge (Nepal) and was back this year to try via the North side. His death leaves us without a great character in amateur mountaineering. Someone you likely never heard of, but who achieved a great deal on the mountains of the world, and did it all for its own sake. I chatted to him last Friday as the team prepared for summit week, and he said to light a candle for him for his summit push on 23rd May. Kev’s flame has gone out, but his legacy will linger and inspire for a long time to come.
To the Lawless family in Wicklow and the Hynes family in Harrow we extend our deepest sympathies.
Data via Himalayan Database & own research. Download PDF version of above summary here.
Everest Summits – The Irish List
|#||Climber Name||Age||Born / From||Permit Address||Route Taken||Summit Date||Summit Time||Year|
|1||Dawson Stelfox||35||Antrim||Antrim||North (Tibet)||27/05/1993||10:07||1993|
|2||Pat Falvey||37||Cork||Cork||North (Tibet)||27/05/1995||09:00||1995|
|3||Mick Murphy||44||Cork||Cork||South (Nepal)||22/05/2003||10:00||2003|
|4||Gerard McDonnell||32||Limerick||USA||South (Nepal)||22/05/2003||11:10||2003|
|5||Terence Bannon||35||Down||Down||North (Tibet)||31/05/2003||08:00||2003|
|6||Pat Falvey||46||Cork||Kerry||South (Nepal)||18/05/2004||06:45||2004|
|7||Clare O'Leary||33||Cork||Cork||South (Nepal)||18/05/2004||06:45||2004|
|8||Samantha O'Carroll||27||Cork||Cork||South (Nepal)||27/05/2004||10:20||2004|
|9||Humphrey Murphy||41||Dublin||Donegal||North (Tibet)||30/05/2005||07:10||2005|
|10||Grania Willis||49||Dublin||Dublin||North (Tibet)||05/06/2005||06:00||2005|
|11||Fergal Corrigan||31||Fermanagh||Tyrone||North (Tibet)||17/05/2006||06:40||2006|
|12||Neill Elliot||33||Fermanagh||Fermanagh||North (Tibet)||17/05/2006||06:40||2006|
|13||Raymond Hassard||33||Fermanagh||Fermanagh||North (Tibet)||17/05/2006||06:40||2006|
|14||Noel Hanna||39||Down||Down||North (Tibet)||21/05/2006||07:35||2006|
|15||Ian McKeever||37||Wicklow||Wicklow||North (Tibet)||16/05/2007||08:00||2007|
|16||Tom Lehane||49||Cork||England||South (Nepal)||17/05/2007||07:30||2007|
|17||Hannah Shields||42||Derry||Derry||North (Tibet)||19/05/2007||07:00||2007|
|18||Bill Hanlon||52||Wexford||Canada||South (Nepal)||22/05/2007||11:36||2007|
|19||Nigel Hart||41||Antrim||Antrim||South (Nepal)||23/05/2007||06:29||2007|
|20||Roger McMorrow||31||Antrim||Dublin||South (Nepal)||24/05/2007||07:55||2007|
|21||Michael O'Dwyer||32||Dublin||Dublin||South (Nepal)||24/05/2007||07:55||2007|
|22||John Dowd||53||Kerry||Kerry||South (Nepal)||21/05/2008||07:45||2008|
|23||Anselm Murphy *||24||Irish Citizen||England||South (Nepal)||21/05/2008||10:30||2008|
|24||Ian Taylor||29||Kildare||Kildare||South (Nepal)||23/05/2008||06:10||2008|
|25||Noel Hanna||42||Down||Down||South (Nepal)||21/05/2009||04:00||2009|
|26||Lynne Hanna||47||Down||Down||South (Nepal)||21/05/2009||04:00||2009|
|27||Christopher Jones||45||Unknown||Galway||South (Nepal)||21/05/2009||07:40||2009|
|28||Domhnall O'Dochartaigh **||35||Irish Citizen||Canada||South (Nepal)||07/05/2010||06:00||2010|
|29||James Haydock ***||48||Lancashire||Dublin||South (Nepal)||22/05/2010||06:00||2010|
|30||Noel Hanna||43||Down||Down||South (Nepal)||23/05/2010||03:15||2010|
|31||Vivian Rigney||39||Dublin||USA||South (Nepal)||23/05/2010||09:00||2010|
|32||Fergus White||37||Dublin||Cork||South (Nepal)||23/05/2010||06:45||2010|
|33||Geoffrey Chambers||46||Armagh||Armagh||South (Nepal)||16/05/2011||06:15||2011|
|34||Basil Geoghegan||43||Dublin||Dublin||South (Nepal)||19/05/2011||07:25||2011|
|35||Gavin Bate ****||44||Kent||Down||South (Nepal)||20/05/2011||10:00||2011|
|36||Noel Hanna||44||Down||Down||North (Tibet)||21/05/2011||01:10||2011|
|37||Mark Quinn||27||Limerick||Limerick||North (Tibet)||21/05/2011||05:45||2011|
|38||Martin Byrne||58||Offaly||Tipperary||North (Tibet)||26/05/2011||11:30||2011|
|39||Noel Hanna||45||Down||Down||North (Tibet)||20/05/2012||08:00||2012|
|40||Cian O'Brolchain||32||Dublin||Dublin||South (Nepal)||25/05/2012||06:00||2012|
|41||Albert Connaughton||49||Dublin||Dublin||South (Nepal)||25/05/2012||07:00||2012|
|42||Peter O'Connell||29||Galway||Galway||South (Nepal)||13/05/2013||06:30||2013|
|43||Jason Black||42||Donegal||Donegal||North (Tibet)||19/05/2013||07:00||2013|
|44||Noel Hanna||46||Down||Down||North (Tibet)||20/05/2013||05:30||2013|
|45||Brian Meskell||33||Limerick||Limerick||North (Tibet)||22/05/2013||06:00||2013|
|46||Robert Smith||42||Tyrone||Scotland||North (Tibet)||22/05/2013||06:00||2013|
|47||Kieran Lally||54||Mayo||Dublin||South (Nepal)||23/05/2013||05:30||2013|
|48||Noel Hanna||47||Down||Down||North (Tibet)||24/05/2014||06:30||2014|
|49||Derek Mahon||52||Dublin||Dublin||North (Tibet)||24/05/2014||06:30||2014|
|50||Robert Smith||43||Tyrone||Scotland||North (Tibet)||25/05/2014||08:00||2014|
|51||Mary Scannell||41||Kerry||England||South (Nepal)||13/05/2016||09:45||2016|
|52||Noel Hanna||49||Down||Down||North (Tibet)||21/05/2016||06:45||2016|
|53||Lynne Hanna||54||Down||Down||North (Tibet)||21/05/2016||06:45||2016|
|54||Robert Mortell||26||Limerick||Limerick||North (Tibet)||23/05/2016||08:45||2016|
|55||John Burke||38||Clare||Clare||South (Nepal)||16/05/2017||09:30||2017|
|56||Terry Kelleher||56||Dublin||Dublin||South (Nepal)||22/05/2017||07:30||2017|
|57||Robert Smith||46||Tyrone||Scotland||South (Nepal)||22/05/2017||04:40||2017|
|58||Rory McHugh||40||Dublin||England||South (Nepal)||26/05/2017||11:00||2017|
|59||Louise McEvoy||49||Dublin||USA||South (Nepal)||16/05/2018||TBC||2018|
|60||Linda Blakely||44||Armagh||London||South (Nepal)||17/05/2018||07:48||2018|
|61||Adrian McNally||41||Meath||Meath||South (Nepal)||17/05/2018||05:30||2018|
|62||Robert Smith||47||Tyrone||Scotland||South (Nepal)||19/05/2018||06:58||2018|
|63||Kevin Hynes||55||Galway||Galway||South (Nepal)||21/05/2018||05:30||2018|
|64||Noel Hanna||52||Down||Down||South (Nepal)||16/05/2019||08:30||2019|
|65||Seamus Lawless||39||Wicklow||Wicklow||South (Nepal)||16/05/2019||08:30||2019|
|66||Jenny Copeland||40||Meath||Meath||South (Nepal)||16/05/2019||08:30||2019|
|67||Robert Smith||48||Tyrone||Scotland||South (Nepal)||23/05/2019||07:00||2019|
The author: Paul Devaney from Longford is co-founder of Irish Seven Summits and is a consultant with Seven Summits Solutions – providing Aerospace & Digital Services. Paul is an amateur mountaineer and has completed 6 of the 7 Summits and attempted Everest in 2014 and 2015. In both seasons the expedition was halted due to major incidents on the mountain (Avalanche in 2014, Earthquake & Avalanche in 2015). Paul has climbed and trained in the Alps and completed expeditions from Alaska to Antarctica. He currently lives in London, England.