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 Name||Age||From / Residence||Route Taken||Summit Date||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||Chris Bell||32||Antrim / England||South (Nepal)||19/05/2006||09:40||2006|
|15||Noel Hanna||39||Down / Down||North (Tibet)||21/05/2006||07:35||2006|
|16||Ian McKeever||37||Wicklow / Wicklow||North (Tibet)||16/05/2007||08:00||2007|
|17||Tom Lehane||49||Cork / England||South (Nepal)||17/05/2007||07:30||2007|
|18||Hannah Shields||42||Derry / Derry||North (Tibet)||19/05/2007||07:00||2007|
|19||Bill Hanlon||52||Wexford / Canada||South (Nepal)||22/05/2007||11:36||2007|
|20||Nigel Hart||41||Antrim / Antrim||South (Nepal)||23/05/2007||06:29||2007|
|21||Roger McMorrow||31||Antrim / Dublin||South (Nepal)||24/05/2007||07:55||2007|
|22||Michael O'Dwyer||32||Dublin / Dublin||South (Nepal)||24/05/2007||07:55||2007|
|23||John Dowd||53||Kerry / Kerry||South (Nepal)||21/05/2008||07:45||2008|
|24||Anselm Murphy *||24||Irish Citizen / England||South (Nepal)||21/05/2008||10:30||2008|
|25||Ian Taylor||29||Kildare / Kildare||South (Nepal)||23/05/2008||06:10||2008|
|26||Noel Hanna||42||Down / Down||South (Nepal)||21/05/2009||04:00||2009|
|27||Lynne Hanna||47||Down / Down||South (Nepal)||21/05/2009||04:00||2009|
|28||Christopher Jones||45||Unknown / Galway||South (Nepal)||21/05/2009||07:40||2009|
|29||Domhnall O'Dochartaigh **||35||Irish Citizen / Canada||South (Nepal)||07/05/2010||06:00||2010|
|30||James Haydock ***||48||Lancashire / Dublin||South (Nepal)||22/05/2010||06:00||2010|
|31||Noel Hanna||43||Down / Down||South (Nepal)||23/05/2010||03:15||2010|
|32||Vivian Rigney||39||Dublin / USA||South (Nepal)||23/05/2010||09:00||2010|
|33||Fergus White||37||Dublin / Dublin||South (Nepal)||23/05/2010||06:45||2010|
|34||Geoffrey Chambers||46||Armagh / Armagh||South (Nepal)||16/05/2011||06:15||2011|
|35||Basil Geoghegan||43||Dublin / Dublin||South (Nepal)||19/05/2011||07:25||2011|
|36||Gavin Bate ****||44||Kent / Down||South (Nepal)||20/05/2011||10:00||2011|
|37||Noel Hanna||44||Down / Down||North (Tibet)||21/05/2011||01:10||2011|
|38||Mark Quinn||27||Limerick / Limerick||North (Tibet)||21/05/2011||05:45||2011|
|39||Martin Byrne||58||Offaly / Tipperary||North (Tibet)||26/05/2011||11:30||2011|
|40||Noel Hanna||45||Down / Down||North (Tibet)||20/05/2012||08:00||2012|
|41||Cian O'Brolchain||32||Dublin / Dublin||South (Nepal)||25/05/2012||06:00||2012|
|42||Albert Connaughton||49||Dublin / Dublin||South (Nepal)||25/05/2012||07:00||2012|
|43||Peter O'Connell||29||Galway / Galway||South (Nepal)||13/05/2013||06:30||2013|
|44||Seán Mooney *****||27||Irish Citizen / Canada||South (Nepal)||19/05/2013||05:39||2013|
|45||Jason Black||42||Donegal / Donegal||North (Tibet)||19/05/2013||07:00||2013|
|46||Noel Hanna||46||Down / Down||North (Tibet)||20/05/2013||05:30||2013|
|47||Brian Meskell||33||Limerick / Limerick||North (Tibet)||22/05/2013||06:00||2013|
|48||Robert Smith||42||Tyrone / Scotland||North (Tibet)||22/05/2013||06:00||2013|
|49||Kieran Lally||54||Mayo / Dublin||South (Nepal)||23/05/2013||05:30||2013|
|50||Noel Hanna||47||Down / Down||North (Tibet)||24/05/2014||06:30||2014|
|51||Derek Mahon||52||Dublin / Dublin||North (Tibet)||24/05/2014||06:30||2014|
|52||Robert Smith||43||Tyrone / Scotland||North (Tibet)||25/05/2014||08:00||2014|
|53||Mary Scannell||41||Kerry / England||South (Nepal)||13/05/2016||09:45||2016|
|54||Noel Hanna||49||Down / Down||North (Tibet)||21/05/2016||06:45||2016|
|55||Lynne Hanna||54||Down / Down||North (Tibet)||21/05/2016||06:45||2016|
|56||Robert Mortell||26||Limerick / Limerick||North (Tibet)||23/05/2016||08:45||2016|
|57||John Burke||38||Clare / Clare||South (Nepal)||16/05/2017||09:30||2017|
|58||Terry Kelleher||56||Dublin / Dublin||South (Nepal)||22/05/2017||07:30||2017|
|59||Robert Smith||46||Tyrone / Scotland||South (Nepal)||22/05/2017||04:40||2017|
|60||Rory McHugh||40||Dublin / England||South (Nepal)||26/05/2017||11:00||2017|
|61||Louise McEvoy||49||Dublin / USA||South (Nepal)||16/05/2018||11:00||2018|
|62||Linda Blakely||44||Armagh / London||South (Nepal)||17/05/2018||07:48||2018|
|63||Adrian McNally||41||Meath / Meath||South (Nepal)||17/05/2018||05:30||2018|
|64||Robert Smith||47||Tyrone / Scotland||South (Nepal)||19/05/2018||06:58||2018|
|65||Kevin Hynes||55||Galway / Galway||South (Nepal)||21/05/2018||05:30||2018|
|66||Noel Hanna||52||Down / Down||South (Nepal)||16/05/2019||08:30||2019|
|67||Seamus Lawless||39||Wicklow / Wicklow||South (Nepal)||16/05/2019||08:30||2019|
|68||Jenny Copeland||40||Meath / Meath||South (Nepal)||16/05/2019||08:30||2019|
|69||Robert Smith||48||Tyrone / Scotland||South (Nepal)||23/05/2019||07:00||2019|
|70||Noel Hanna||54||Down / Down||South (Nepal)||12/05/2021||08:30||2021|
|71||Ronan Murphy||40||Dublin / England||South (Nepal)||23/05/2021||09:15||2021|
|72||Robert Smith||50||Tyrone / Scotland||South (Nepal)||23/05/2021||10:10||2021|
|73||Jonathan Duke Ruane||42||Sligo / Sligo||South (Nepal)||15/05/2022||05:30||2022|
|74||Robert Smith||51||Tyrone / Scotland||South (Nepal)||20/05/2022||08:00||2022|
|75||Johnny Ward||39||Galway / Down||South (Nepal)||17/05/2022||TBC||2023|
|76||Ryan O'Sullivan||27||Sligo / Sligo||South (Nepal)||24/05/2023||04:35||2023|
* 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.
|#||Name||Age||Born / From||Permit Address||Reached (m)||Summit||Year|
|5||Richard O'Neill-Dean||39||Ireland||New Zealand||8000||No||1993|
|11||Sean Smith||33||Ireland||England||No Data||No||1995|
|15||Marcella Dunne||42||Dublin||Dublin||No Data||No||1999|
|17||Mick Long||40||Kerry||Kerry||No Data||No||2001|
|37||Mark Carr||52||Down||Down||No Data||No||2004|
|38||Bridget Rossiter-O'Flynn||43||Wexford||Wexford||No Data||No||2004|
|44||Sean Egan (D)||63||Clare||Canada||6000||No||2005|
|65||Anselm Murphy||24||Irish Citizen||England||8848||Yes||2008|
|77||Domhnall O'Dochartaigh||35||Irish Citizen||Canada||8848||Yes||2010|
|89||John Delaney (D)||41||Kildare||Kildare||8800||No||2011|
|94||Seán Mooney||27||Irish Citizen||Canada||8848||Yes||2013|
|130||Seamus Lawless (D)||39||Wicklow||Wicklow||8848||Yes||2019|
|132||Kevin Hynes (D)||56||Galway||Galway||8300||No||2019|
|139||Jonathan Duke Ruane||42||Sligo||Sligo||8848||Yes||2022|
(D = denotes climbers who died during their expedition)