Researching the Statistics

Collating Everest stats for ‘Irish’ climbers is complex because it spans climbers from the island of Ireland which is two different geopolitical jurisdictions, 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 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 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.

Everest - The Irish Story

Everest - The Irish Stats

Everest had been climbed 71 times by 55 different Irish climbers. In total, there has been 135 Irish attempts to climb Everest by 94 different Irish climbers. The headline stats are as follows…

– Everest has been climbed 71 times by 55 Irish climbers (9 women, 46 men) since the first Irish success in 1993.
– Irish success rate on Everest is 52%, while there have been 4 Irish fatalities (2005, 2011 & 2x in 2019).
– 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 Island of Ireland or UK.
– Noel Hanna (Co. Down) has 10 Everest summits – Noel is an accomplished mountain guide.
– Robert Smith (Co. Tyrone) has 6 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.
– The summits of Everest & Lhotse by Linda Blakeley was the first same season ‘double’ by a climber from Island of Ireland or UK.
– The youngest Irish summit is Anselm Murphy (24). Youngest Irish born person to summit is Rob Mortell (26).
– The oldest Irish born person to reach the summit of Everest was Martin Byrne from Offaly (aged 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+ on the higher end. The average cost of joining a well-equipped, experienced and well supported team is approximately €40-45k. 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 (1993-2021)

The list below captures the 71 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 NameAgeBorn / FromPermit AddressRoute TakenSummit DateSummit TimeYear
1Dawson Stelfox35AntrimAntrimNorth (Tibet)27/05/199310:071993
2Pat Falvey37CorkCorkNorth (Tibet)27/05/199509:001995
3Mick Murphy44CorkCorkSouth (Nepal)22/05/200310:002003
4Gerard McDonnell32LimerickUSASouth (Nepal)22/05/200311:102003
5Terence Bannon35DownDownNorth (Tibet)31/05/200308:002003
6Pat Falvey46CorkKerrySouth (Nepal)18/05/200406:452004
7Clare O'Leary33CorkCorkSouth (Nepal)18/05/200406:452004
8Samantha O'Carroll27CorkCorkSouth (Nepal)27/05/200410:202004
9Humphrey Murphy41DublinDonegalNorth (Tibet)30/05/200507:102005
10Grania Willis49DublinDublinNorth (Tibet)05/06/200506:002005
11Fergal Corrigan31FermanaghTyroneNorth (Tibet)17/05/200606:402006
12Neill Elliot33FermanaghFermanaghNorth (Tibet)17/05/200606:402006
13Raymond Hassard33FermanaghFermanaghNorth (Tibet)17/05/200606:402006
14Noel Hanna39DownDownNorth (Tibet)21/05/200607:352006
15Ian McKeever37WicklowWicklowNorth (Tibet)16/05/200708:002007
16Tom Lehane49CorkEnglandSouth (Nepal)17/05/200707:302007
17Hannah Shields42DerryDerryNorth (Tibet)19/05/200707:002007
18Bill Hanlon52WexfordCanadaSouth (Nepal)22/05/200711:362007
19Nigel Hart41AntrimAntrimSouth (Nepal)23/05/200706:292007
20Roger McMorrow 31AntrimDublinSouth (Nepal)24/05/200707:552007
21Michael O'Dwyer32DublinDublinSouth (Nepal)24/05/200707:552007
22John Dowd53KerryKerrySouth (Nepal)21/05/200807:452008
23Anselm Murphy *24Irish CitizenEnglandSouth (Nepal)21/05/200810:302008
24Ian Taylor29KildareKildareSouth (Nepal)23/05/200806:102008
25Noel Hanna42DownDownSouth (Nepal)21/05/200904:002009
26Lynne Hanna47DownDownSouth (Nepal)21/05/200904:002009
27Christopher Jones45UnknownGalwaySouth (Nepal)21/05/200907:402009
28Domhnall O'Dochartaigh **35Irish CitizenCanadaSouth (Nepal)07/05/201006:002010
29James Haydock ***48LancashireDublinSouth (Nepal)22/05/201006:002010
30Noel Hanna43DownDownSouth (Nepal)23/05/201003:152010
31Vivian Rigney39DublinUSASouth (Nepal)23/05/201009:002010
32Fergus White 37DublinDublinSouth (Nepal)23/05/201006:452010
33Geoffrey Chambers 46ArmaghArmaghSouth (Nepal)16/05/201106:152011
34Basil Geoghegan43DublinDublinSouth (Nepal)19/05/201107:252011
35Gavin Bate ****44KentDownSouth (Nepal)20/05/201110:002011
36Noel Hanna 44DownDownNorth (Tibet)21/05/201101:102011
37Mark Quinn27LimerickLimerickNorth (Tibet)21/05/201105:452011
38Martin Byrne58OffalyTipperaryNorth (Tibet)26/05/201111:302011
39Noel Hanna45DownDownNorth (Tibet)20/05/201208:002012
40Cian O'Brolchain32DublinDublinSouth (Nepal)25/05/201206:002012
41Albert Connaughton49DublinDublinSouth (Nepal)25/05/201207:002012
42Peter O'Connell29GalwayGalwaySouth (Nepal)13/05/201306:302013
43Seán Mooney *****27Irish CitizenCanadaSouth (Nepal)19/05/201305:392013
44Jason Black42DonegalDonegalNorth (Tibet)19/05/201307:002013
45Noel Hanna 46DownDownNorth (Tibet)20/05/201305:302013
46Brian Meskell33LimerickLimerickNorth (Tibet)22/05/201306:002013
47Robert Smith42TyroneScotlandNorth (Tibet)22/05/201306:002013
48Kieran Lally54MayoDublinSouth (Nepal)23/05/201305:302013
49Noel Hanna47DownDownNorth (Tibet)24/05/201406:302014
50Derek Mahon52DublinDublinNorth (Tibet)24/05/201406:302014
51Robert Smith43TyroneScotlandNorth (Tibet)25/05/201408:002014
52Mary Scannell41KerryEnglandSouth (Nepal)13/05/201609:452016
53Noel Hanna49DownDownNorth (Tibet)21/05/201606:452016
54Lynne Hanna54DownDownNorth (Tibet)21/05/201606:452016
55Robert Mortell26LimerickLimerickNorth (Tibet)23/05/201608:452016
56John Burke38ClareClareSouth (Nepal)16/05/201709:302017
57Terry Kelleher56DublinDublinSouth (Nepal)22/05/201707:302017
58Robert Smith 46TyroneScotlandSouth (Nepal)22/05/201704:402017
59Rory McHugh40DublinEnglandSouth (Nepal)26/05/201711:002017
60Louise McEvoy49DublinUSASouth (Nepal)16/05/201811:002018
61Linda Blakely44ArmaghLondonSouth (Nepal)17/05/201807:482018
62Adrian McNally41MeathMeathSouth (Nepal)17/05/201805:302018
63Robert Smith47TyroneScotlandSouth (Nepal)19/05/201806:582018
64Kevin Hynes55GalwayGalwaySouth (Nepal)21/05/201805:302018
65Noel Hanna52DownDownSouth (Nepal)16/05/201908:302019
66Seamus Lawless39WicklowWicklowSouth (Nepal)16/05/201908:302019
67Jenny Copeland40MeathMeathSouth (Nepal)16/05/201908:302019
68Robert Smith48TyroneScotlandSouth (Nepal)23/05/201907:002019
69Noel Hanna54DownTBCSouth (Nepal)12/05/202108:302021
70Ronan Murphy40DublinTBCSouth (Nepal)23/05/202109:152021
71Robert Smith50TyroneTBCSouth (Nepal)23/05/202110:102021

* 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 (1993-2021)

There has been 135 Irish attempts on Everest since the first in 1993. While 71 of those 135 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.

#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
52Ian McKeever37WicklowWicklow8848Yes2007
53Tom Lehane49CorkEngland8848Yes2007
54Hannah Shields42DerryDerry8848Yes2007
55Bill Hanlon52WexfordCanada8848Yes2007
56Nigel Hart41AntrimAntrim8848Yes2007
57Roger McMorrow31AntrimDublin8848Yes2007
58Michael O'Dwyer32DublinDublin8848Yes2007
59Gavin Bate40EnglandDown8600No2007
60Martin Byrne54OffalyTipperary7400No2007
61Patrick Doyle42IrelandEngland7100No2007
62Geoffrey Weir47DownDown7000No2007
63John Dowd53KerryKerry8848Yes2008
64Anselm Murphy24Irish CitizenEngland8848Yes2008
65Ian Taylor29KildareKildare8848Yes2008
66Graham Kinch29DublinDublin8500No2008
67Timothy O'Connor31KerryKerry8500No2008
68Peter White62DublinDublin8000No2008
69James O'Leary28CorkCork7300No2008
70Noel Hanna42DownDown8848Yes2009
71Lynne Hanna47DownDown8848Yes2009
72Christopher Jones45IrelandGalway8848Yes2009
73Martin Byrne56OffalyTipperary8750No2009
74Eddie Greene41LouthLouth8700No2009
75Gavin Bate42EnglandDown8500No2009
76Domhnall O'Dochartaigh35Irish CitizenCanada8848Yes2010
77James Haydock48EnglandDublin8848Yes2010
78Noel Hanna43DownDown8848Yes2010
79Vivian Rigney39DublinUSA8848Yes2010
80Fergus White37DublinDublin8848Yes2010
81Martin Byrne57OffalyTipperary8300No2010
82Geoffrey Chambers46ArmaghArmagh8848Yes2011
83Basil Geoghegan43DublinDublin8848Yes2011
84Gavin Bate44EnglandDown8848Yes2011
85Noel Hanna44DownDown8848Yes2011
86Mark Quinn27LimerickLimerick8848Yes2011
87Martin Byrne58OffalyTipperary8848Yes2011
88John Delaney (D)41KildareKildare8800No2011
89Noel Hanna45DownDown8848Yes2012
90Cian O'Brolchain32DublinDublin8848Yes2012
91Albert Connaughton49DublinDublin8848Yes2012
92Peter O'Connell29GalwayGalway8848Yes2013
93Seán Mooney27Irish CitizenCanada8848Yes2013
94Jason Black42DonegalDonegal8848Yes2013
95Noel Hanna46DownDown8848Yes2013
96Brian Meskell33LimerickLimerick8848Yes2013
97Robert Smith42TyroneScotland8848Yes2013
98Kieran Lally54MayoDublin8848Yes2013
99Noel Hanna47DownDown8848Yes2014
100Derek Mahon52DublinDublin8848Yes2014
101Rob Smith43TyroneScotland8848Yes2014
102Patrick Butler59AntrimAntrim7000No2014
103Paul Devaney36LongfordLongford5380No2014
104Niall O'Byrnes36KildareKildare5380No2014
105Paul Greenan38DublinDublin6100No2015
106Robert Smith44TyroneScotland6100No2015
107Noel Hanna48DownDown5800No2015
108Paul Devaney37LongfordLongford5700No2015
109Mary Scannell41KerryEngland8848Yes2016
110Noel Hanna49DownDown8848Yes2016
111Lynne Hanna54DownDown8848Yes2016
112Robert Mortell26LimerickLimerick8848Yes2016
113John Burke38ClareClare8848Yes2017
114Terry Kelleher56DublinDublin8848Yes2017
115Rob Smith46TyroneScotland8848Yes2017
116Rory McHugh40DublinEngland8848Yes2017
117Justin Condon43DublinUSA7200No2017
118Paul Greenan41DublinDublin7100No2018
119Denis O'Brien60CorkCork7200No2018
120Louise McEvoy49DublinUSA8848Yes2018
121Linda Blakely44ArmaghEngland8848Yes2018
122Adrian McNally41MeathMeath8848Yes2018
123Rob Smith47TyroneScotland8848Yes2018
124Kevin Hynes55GalwayGalway8848Yes2018
125Miko Keane66GalwayGalway5500 (?)No2019
126Noel Hanna52DownDown8848Yes2019
127Seamus Lawless (D)39WicklowWicklow8848Yes2019
128Jenny Copeland40MeathMeath8848Yes2019
129Kevin Hynes (D)56GalwayGalway8300No2019
130Rob Smith48TyroneScotland8848Yes2019
131Noel Hanna54DownTBC8848Yes2021
132Ronan Murphy40DublinTBC8848Yes2021
133Rob Smith50TyroneTBC8848Yes2021
134Diarmuid Morrissey55WestmeathTBCCamp 2No2021
135Damian Browne40GalwayTBCCamp 2No2021

(D = denotes climbers who died during their expedition)