Researching the Statistics

From an Irish climber perspective (Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland), Everest has been climbed 76 times by 59 Irish climbers (9 women, 50 men) up to end of Spring 2023, with a total of 147 attempts by 101 Irish climbers. According to the Himalayan Database, Everest has been successfully climbed 11,341 times from the first ascent by Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953 to the start of the 2023 Spring season. The route split was 7695 South (via Nepal) and 3646 North (via Tibet). The gender split was 10,519 Male and 822 Female. The average age of summiteers up to start of 2023 Spring season was 34.8 years. Of the 11,341 summits, 221 (1.9%) were without supplementary oxygen, 11,120 (98.1%) were achieved with bottled oxygen. Overall, approximately 320 deaths were recorded on Everest up to end of the 2022 Spring season, including 4 Irish fatalities over the years. 

Collating Everest stats for ‘Irish climbers‘ is complex because it spans climbers from two different geopolitical jurisdictions on the island of Ireland (Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland), and also includes overseas climbers with 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 Everest…

  • 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 climb as Irish citizen

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.

Everest - The Irish Story

Everest - The Irish Stats

Everest had been climbed 76 times by 59 different Irish climbers (ROI & NI). In total, there have been 147 Irish attempts to climb Everest by 101 different Irish climbers. The headline stats are as follows…

– Everest has been climbed 76 times by 59 Irish climbers (9 women, 50 men) since the first Irish success in 1993.
– The geographic split of successful summits is 31 Northern Ireland, 41 Republic of Ireland and 4 Irish Diaspora.
– Irish success rate on Everest is 52%, while there have been four Irish fatalities (2005, 2011 & two in 2019).
– Only 20 of Ireland’s 59 Everest summiteers had attempted an 8000m peak prior to summiting Everest. 

– The first Irish climber to reach the summit of Everest was Dawson Stelfox from Antrim in 1993.
– The 1993 summit by Dawson Stelfox was the first North side ascent by a climber from Britain or Ireland.
– Noel Hanna (Co. Down) has 10 Everest summits – Noel died on Annapurna in 2023.
– Robert Smith (Co. Tyrone) has 7 Everest summits – Robert is an accomplished mountain guide.
– Pat Falvey & Lynne Hanna have 2 Everest summits each – once from each side (Nepal & Tibet).
– Linda Blakely (Armagh) in 2018 & Robert Smith (Tyrone) in 2019 summitted Everest & Lhotse within 24 hours.
– Everest & Lhotse by Linda Blakeley in 2018 was the first ‘same season double’ by a climber from Britain or Ireland.
– The youngest Irish citizen to summit is Anselm Murphy (24). Youngest Irish born to summit is Rob Mortell (26).
– The oldest Irish citizen to reach the summit of Everest was Martin Byrne from Offaly (58) in 2012.
– The average age of successful Irish climbers on Everest is 41 years.
– The earliest summit date by an Irish climber is 7th May 2010 by Domhnall O’Dochertaigh.
– The latest summit date by an Irish climber is 5th June 2005 by Grania Willis.
– The earliest summit time by an Irish climber is 01:10am on 21st May 2011 by Noel Hanna.
– The latest summit time by an Irish climber is 11:36am on 22nd May 2007 by Bill Hanlon.
– Four Irish born climbers died on Everest – Sean Egan (2005), John Delaney (2011), Seamus Lawless (2019) & Kevin Hynes (2019).
– Noel & Lynne Hanna hold the world record for the 1st married couple to summit together from both sides (2009 & 2016).
– Charles Howard-Bury from Westmeath lead the 1st Reconnaissance Expedition to Everest in 1921 which included George Mallory.
– Edmund Hillary’s grandmother came from Clondra in Longford. His other grandparents were from Yorkshire in England.
– R.W.G. Hingston from Passage West in Cork was medical officer & naturalist to the 1924 Everest expedition.
– The biggest disasters on Everest took place in 2015 (Earthquake/Avalanche), 2014 (Avalanche) & 2006 (Weather/Decisions).

An Everest expedition typically lasts 60 days, with the first 20 days spent hiking and intensely climbing 6000m peaks along the way to adapt to the altitude, and slowly move towards Base Camp. The following two weeks are spent making progressive advances up the mountain itself and back to base camp to adapt to the higher altitudes (these are called ‘rotations’). Summit windows typically appear from 2nd week of May onward and can be as short as 48 hours or as long as a week. This window requires the jet stream to move away from the summit of the mountain just long enough to enable climbing to the top. Normally the summit window opens around 15th May and closes around 25th of May – but it varies each year.

The cost of an Everest expedition can range from €30k on the budget end to €80k-€100k on the higher end. The average cost of joining a well-equipped, experienced and well supported team is approximately €45k. Those paying at or under €30k should do their homework carefully to ensure they are sufficiently experienced and that the support provided is adequate. Everest is dangerous, so shortcuts should not be taken on any part of the planning.

The first Irish success in 1993 took the North Ridge (1960 Chinese route) and included: Dawson Stelfox (Leader); Frank Nugent (Deputy Leader); Dermot Somers; Robbie Fenlon; Mike Barry; Richard O’Neill-Dean; Mick Murphy and Tony Burke. The full list of all successful Irish summits is further below.

Irish Summits of Everest (1993-2023)

The list below captures the 76 summits of Everest by Irish climbers (combination of climbers originally from Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland or overseas climbers resident in ROI or NI at time of climb or overseas climbers with Irish citizenship at time of climb). This list has been researched using data from the Himalayan Database along with our own independent research to produce the 1st complete record of all Irish on Everest. The map above is restricted to just those who can be linked to Irish counties, hence it does not capture those with Irish connections or Irish citizenship who are not easily aligned to a specific county. Hence the table below is a more complete data set. Please contact Paul with any correction and cite this website when using stats or info shown here.

#Climber NameAgeFrom / ResidenceRoute TakenSummit DateTimeYear
1Dawson Stelfox35Antrim / AntrimNorth (Tibet)27/05/199310:071993
2Pat Falvey37Cork / CorkNorth (Tibet)27/05/199509:001995
3Mick Murphy44Cork / CorkSouth (Nepal)22/05/200310:002003
4Gerard McDonnell32Limerick / USASouth (Nepal)22/05/200311:102003
5Terence Bannon35Down / DownNorth (Tibet)31/05/200308:002003
6Pat Falvey46Cork / KerrySouth (Nepal)18/05/200406:452004
7Clare O'Leary33Cork / CorkSouth (Nepal)18/05/200406:452004
8Samantha O'Carroll27Cork / CorkSouth (Nepal)27/05/200410:202004
9Humphrey Murphy41Dublin / DonegalNorth (Tibet)30/05/200507:102005
10Grania Willis49Dublin / DublinNorth (Tibet)05/06/200506:002005
11Fergal Corrigan31Fermanagh / TyroneNorth (Tibet)17/05/200606:402006
12Neill Elliot33Fermanagh / FermanaghNorth (Tibet)17/05/200606:402006
13Raymond Hassard33Fermanagh / FermanaghNorth (Tibet)17/05/200606:402006
14Chris Bell32Antrim / EnglandSouth (Nepal)19/05/200609:402006
15Noel Hanna39Down / DownNorth (Tibet)21/05/200607:352006
16Ian McKeever37Wicklow / WicklowNorth (Tibet)16/05/200708:002007
17Tom Lehane49Cork / EnglandSouth (Nepal)17/05/200707:302007
18Hannah Shields42Derry / DerryNorth (Tibet)19/05/200707:002007
19Bill Hanlon52Wexford / CanadaSouth (Nepal)22/05/200711:362007
20Nigel Hart41Antrim / AntrimSouth (Nepal)23/05/200706:292007
21Roger McMorrow 31Antrim / DublinSouth (Nepal)24/05/200707:552007
22Michael O'Dwyer32Dublin / DublinSouth (Nepal)24/05/200707:552007
23John Dowd53Kerry / KerrySouth (Nepal)21/05/200807:452008
24Anselm Murphy *24Irish Citizen / EnglandSouth (Nepal)21/05/200810:302008
25Ian Taylor29Kildare / KildareSouth (Nepal)23/05/200806:102008
26Noel Hanna42Down / DownSouth (Nepal)21/05/200904:002009
27Lynne Hanna47Down / DownSouth (Nepal)21/05/200904:002009
28Christopher Jones45Unknown / GalwaySouth (Nepal)21/05/200907:402009
29Domhnall O'Dochartaigh **35Irish Citizen / CanadaSouth (Nepal)07/05/201006:002010
30James Haydock ***48Lancashire / DublinSouth (Nepal)22/05/201006:002010
31Noel Hanna43Down / DownSouth (Nepal)23/05/201003:152010
32Vivian Rigney39Dublin / USASouth (Nepal)23/05/201009:002010
33Fergus White 37Dublin / DublinSouth (Nepal)23/05/201006:452010
34Geoffrey Chambers 46Armagh / ArmaghSouth (Nepal)16/05/201106:152011
35Basil Geoghegan43Dublin / DublinSouth (Nepal)19/05/201107:252011
36Gavin Bate ****44Kent / DownSouth (Nepal)20/05/201110:002011
37Noel Hanna 44Down / DownNorth (Tibet)21/05/201101:102011
38Mark Quinn27Limerick / LimerickNorth (Tibet)21/05/201105:452011
39Martin Byrne58Offaly / TipperaryNorth (Tibet)26/05/201111:302011
40Noel Hanna45Down / DownNorth (Tibet)20/05/201208:002012
41Cian O'Brolchain32Dublin / DublinSouth (Nepal)25/05/201206:002012
42Albert Connaughton49Dublin / DublinSouth (Nepal)25/05/201207:002012
43Peter O'Connell29Galway / GalwaySouth (Nepal)13/05/201306:302013
44Seán Mooney *****27Irish Citizen / CanadaSouth (Nepal)19/05/201305:392013
45Jason Black42Donegal / DonegalNorth (Tibet)19/05/201307:002013
46Noel Hanna 46Down / DownNorth (Tibet)20/05/201305:302013
47Brian Meskell33Limerick / LimerickNorth (Tibet)22/05/201306:002013
48Robert Smith42Tyrone / ScotlandNorth (Tibet)22/05/201306:002013
49Kieran Lally54Mayo / DublinSouth (Nepal)23/05/201305:302013
50Noel Hanna47Down / DownNorth (Tibet)24/05/201406:302014
51Derek Mahon52Dublin / DublinNorth (Tibet)24/05/201406:302014
52Robert Smith43Tyrone / ScotlandNorth (Tibet)25/05/201408:002014
53Mary Scannell41Kerry / EnglandSouth (Nepal)13/05/201609:452016
54Noel Hanna49Down / DownNorth (Tibet)21/05/201606:452016
55Lynne Hanna54Down / DownNorth (Tibet)21/05/201606:452016
56Robert Mortell26Limerick / LimerickNorth (Tibet)23/05/201608:452016
57John Burke38Clare / ClareSouth (Nepal)16/05/201709:302017
58Terry Kelleher56Dublin / DublinSouth (Nepal)22/05/201707:302017
59Robert Smith 46Tyrone / ScotlandSouth (Nepal)22/05/201704:402017
60Rory McHugh40Dublin / EnglandSouth (Nepal)26/05/201711:002017
61Louise McEvoy49Dublin / USASouth (Nepal)16/05/201811:002018
62Linda Blakely44Armagh / LondonSouth (Nepal)17/05/201807:482018
63Adrian McNally41Meath / MeathSouth (Nepal)17/05/201805:302018
64Robert Smith47Tyrone / ScotlandSouth (Nepal)19/05/201806:582018
65Kevin Hynes55Galway / GalwaySouth (Nepal)21/05/201805:302018
66Noel Hanna52Down / DownSouth (Nepal)16/05/201908:302019
67Seamus Lawless39Wicklow / WicklowSouth (Nepal)16/05/201908:302019
68Jenny Copeland40Meath / MeathSouth (Nepal)16/05/201908:302019
69Robert Smith48Tyrone / ScotlandSouth (Nepal)23/05/201907:002019
70Noel Hanna54Down / DownSouth (Nepal)12/05/202108:302021
71Ronan Murphy40Dublin / EnglandSouth (Nepal)23/05/202109:152021
72Robert Smith50Tyrone / ScotlandSouth (Nepal)23/05/202110:102021
73Jonathan Duke Ruane42Sligo / SligoSouth (Nepal)15/05/202205:302022
74Robert Smith51Tyrone / ScotlandSouth (Nepal)20/05/202208:002022
75Johnny Ward39Galway / DownSouth (Nepal)17/05/2022TBC2023
76Ryan O'Sullivan27Sligo / SligoSouth (Nepal)24/05/202304:352023

* Anselm Murphy climbs on his Irish passport. He was born in London and lives in England. His father is from Co. Wexford.
** Domhnall O’Dochartaigh climbs on his Irish passport. He was born in Scotland and lives in Canada. His father is Irish.
*** James Haydock is from Blackburn UK, but Dublin has been his and his family’s home for many years now.
**** Gavin Bate is originally from Kent UK, but has lived in Northern Ireland for over 25 years.
***** Sean Mooney climbs on his Irish & Canadian passport and was born in Canada. His father is Irish.

Irish Attempts on Everest (1993-2023)

There has been 147 Irish attempts on Everest since the first in 1993. While 76 of those 147 attempts proved successful, it is fascinating to see how close many others came to the summit. In particular it is fascinating to see how many climbers had to turn around above 8000m. This must have been a very difficult decision for each to make, and anyone who has been to extreme altitude will acknowledge the incredible strength and effort it takes to get that far. It is also remarkable to note how many people did not make it on the first attempt. Gavin Bate reached the summit on his 5th attempt. Pat Falvey had two successes, but also turned around on two attempts, once with just 50 meters from the summit. Martin Byrne finally made it on his 4th expedition. Others were not so lucky but their persistence is incredibly noteworthy, including Patricia McGuirk who made three attempts, getting to 8650m on the third time, but not reaching the summit. It is also interesting to see how high each of the 1993 team managed to reach on that first expedition. Dawson rightly gets the plaudits for reaching the summit, but many of his teammates almost made it too. Interestingly only one of that team went back to try again – Mick Murphy would succeed on the second attempt 10 years later in 2003. There has only been one recorded Irish attempt without bottled oxygen, by James McManus from Tipperary in Spring 2022. James reached 7,850m on this third and final rotation, but was thwarted by the weather on his summit push and was unable to proceed. 

#NameAgeBorn / FromPermit AddressReached (m)SummitYear
1Dawson Stelfox35AntrimAntrim8848Yes1993
2Frank Nugent44DublinDublin8680No1993
3Robbie Fenlon28DonegalDonegal8500No1993
4Tony Burke29IrelandWales8500No1993
5Richard O'Neill-Dean39IrelandNew Zealand8000No1993
6Mike Barry39KerryKerry7700No1993
7Mick Murphy33CorkCork7700No1993
8Dermot Somers45WicklowWicklow7700No1993
9Pat Falvey36CorkCork7800No1993
10Pat Falvey37CorkCork8848Yes1995
11Sean Smith33IrelandEnglandNo DataNo1995
12Greg Conley49IrelandScotland6400No1997
13Josephine Kieran44LouthLouth8750No1998
14Carl Flynn44DublinDublin7900No1999
15Marcella Dunne42DublinDublinNo DataNo1999
16Gavin Bate33EnglandDown8300No2000
17Mick Long40KerryKerryNo DataNo2001
18William Canning35TyroneTyrone8600No2002
19John Neville26IrelandCork7500No2002
20Patricia McGuirk42KerryKerry7000No2002
21Mick Murphy44CorkCork8848Yes2003
22Gerard McDonnell32LimerickUSA8848Yes2003
23Terence Bannon35DownDown8848Yes2003
24Pat Falvey45KerryKerry8800No2003
25Richard Dougan26ArmaghArmagh8650No2003
26Hannah Shields38DerryDerry8400No2003
27Patricia McGuirk43KerryKerry7400No2003
28Clare O'Leary31CorkCork7300No2003
29George Shorten41CorkCork7300No2003
30Stephen Synnott46DownDown6400No2003
31Martin Duggan50ArmaghArmagh5200No2003
32Pat Falvey46CorkKerry8848Yes2004
33Clare O'Leary33CorkCork8848Yes2004
34Samantha O'Carroll27CorkCork8848Yes2004
35Mick Long43KerryKerry7600No2004
36John Joyce43GalwayGalway6100No2004
37Mark Carr52DownDownNo DataNo2004
38Bridget Rossiter-O'Flynn43WexfordWexfordNo DataNo2004
39Humphrey Murphy41DublinDonegal8848Yes2005
40Grania Willis49DublinDublin8848Yes2005
41Gavin Bate38EnglandDown8760No2005
42Noel Hanna38DownDown7050No2005
43Lynne Stark43DownDown7050No2005
44Sean Egan (D)63ClareCanada6000No2005
45Fergal Corrigan31FermanaghTyrone8848Yes2006
46Neill Elliot33FermanaghFermanagh8848Yes2006
47Raymond Hassard33FermanaghFermanagh8848Yes2006
48Noel Hanna39DownDown8848Yes2006
49Patricia McGuirk46KerryKerry8650No2006
50George Shorten45CorkCork7400No2006
51Geoffrey Weir46DownDown7300No2006
52Chris Bell32AntrimEngland8848Yes2006
53Ian McKeever37WicklowWicklow8848Yes2007
54Tom Lehane49CorkEngland8848Yes2007
55Hannah Shields42DerryDerry8848Yes2007
56Bill Hanlon52WexfordCanada8848Yes2007
57Nigel Hart41AntrimAntrim8848Yes2007
58Roger McMorrow31AntrimDublin8848Yes2007
59Michael O'Dwyer32DublinDublin8848Yes2007
60Gavin Bate40EnglandDown8600No2007
61Martin Byrne54OffalyTipperary7400No2007
62Patrick Doyle42IrelandEngland7100No2007
63Geoffrey Weir47DownDown7000No2007
64John Dowd53KerryKerry8848Yes2008
65Anselm Murphy24Irish CitizenEngland8848Yes2008
66Ian Taylor29KildareKildare8848Yes2008
67Graham Kinch29DublinDublin8500No2008
68Timothy O'Connor31KerryKerry8500No2008
69Peter White62DublinDublin8000No2008
70James O'Leary28CorkCork7300No2008
71Noel Hanna42DownDown8848Yes2009
72Lynne Hanna47DownDown8848Yes2009
73Christopher Jones45IrelandGalway8848Yes2009
74Martin Byrne56OffalyTipperary8750No2009
75Eddie Greene41LouthLouth8700No2009
76Gavin Bate42EnglandDown8500No2009
77Domhnall O'Dochartaigh35Irish CitizenCanada8848Yes2010
78James Haydock48EnglandDublin8848Yes2010
79Noel Hanna43DownDown8848Yes2010
80Vivian Rigney39DublinUSA8848Yes2010
81Fergus White37DublinDublin8848Yes2010
82Martin Byrne57OffalyTipperary8300No2010
83Geoffrey Chambers46ArmaghArmagh8848Yes2011
84Basil Geoghegan43DublinDublin8848Yes2011
85Gavin Bate44EnglandDown8848Yes2011
86Noel Hanna44DownDown8848Yes2011
87Mark Quinn27LimerickLimerick8848Yes2011
88Martin Byrne58OffalyTipperary8848Yes2011
89John Delaney (D)41KildareKildare8800No2011
90Noel Hanna45DownDown8848Yes2012
91Cian O'Brolchain32DublinDublin8848Yes2012
92Albert Connaughton49DublinDublin8848Yes2012
93Peter O'Connell29GalwayGalway8848Yes2013
94Seán Mooney27Irish CitizenCanada8848Yes2013
95Jason Black42DonegalDonegal8848Yes2013
96Noel Hanna46DownDown8848Yes2013
97Brian Meskell33LimerickLimerick8848Yes2013
98Robert Smith42TyroneScotland8848Yes2013
99Kieran Lally54MayoDublin8848Yes2013
100Siobhan McFeeney41DublinUSA7400No2013
101Noel Hanna47DownDown8848Yes2014
102Derek Mahon52DublinDublin8848Yes2014
103Rob Smith43TyroneScotland8848Yes2014
104Patrick Butler59AntrimAntrim7000No2014
105Paul Devaney36LongfordLongford5380No2014
106Niall O'Byrnes36KildareKildare5380No2014
107Paul Greenan38DublinDublin6100No2015
108Robert Smith44TyroneScotland6100No2015
109Noel Hanna48DownDown5800No2015
110Paul Devaney37LongfordLongford5700No2015
111Siobhan McFeeney43DublinUSA6100No2015
112Mary Scannell41KerryEngland8848Yes2016
113Noel Hanna49DownDown8848Yes2016
114Lynne Hanna54DownDown8848Yes2016
115Robert Mortell26LimerickLimerick8848Yes2016
116John Burke38ClareClare8848Yes2017
117Terry Kelleher56DublinDublin8848Yes2017
118Rob Smith46TyroneScotland8848Yes2017
119Rory McHugh40DublinEngland8848Yes2017
120Justin Condon43DublinUSA7200No2017
121Paul Greenan41DublinDublin7100No2018
122Denis O'Brien60CorkCork7200No2018
123Louise McEvoy49DublinUSA8848Yes2018
124Linda Blakely44ArmaghEngland8848Yes2018
125Adrian McNally41MeathMeath8848Yes2018
126Rob Smith47TyroneScotland8848Yes2018
127Kevin Hynes55GalwayGalway8848Yes2018
128Michael Keane66GalwayGalway5600No2019
129Noel Hanna52DownDown8848Yes2019
130Seamus Lawless (D)39WicklowWicklow8848Yes2019
131Jenny Copeland40MeathMeath8848Yes2019
132Kevin Hynes (D)56GalwayGalway8300No2019
133Rob Smith48TyroneScotland8848Yes2019
134Noel Hanna54DownDown8848Yes2021
135Ronan Murphy40DublinLondon8848Yes2021
136Rob Smith50TyroneScotland8848Yes2021
137Diarmuid Morrissey55WestmeathWestmeath6500No2021
138Damian Browne40GalwayAustralia7000No2021
139Jonathan Duke Ruane42SligoSligo8848Yes2022
140Rob Smith51TyroneScotland8848Yes2022
141James McManus39TipperaryTipperary7300No2022
142Michéal Brogan53TyroneWestmeathEBCNo2022
143Diarmuid Morrissey56WestmeathPortugal6440No2022
144Michael Keane69GalwayGalwayEBCNo2022
145Tom Cleary28DublinDublinEBCNo2023
146Johnny Ward39GalwayDown8848Yes2023
147Ryan O'Sullivan27SligoSligo8848Yes2023

(D = denotes climbers who died during their expedition)