Renowned climber Noel Hanna has been remembered as "a great man and one of Northern Ireland’s finest mountaineers" following his death on one of the world’s highest mountains.
Mr Hanna (56), who was Dromara in Co Down, died during an expedition on Mount Annapurna in Nepal - the 10th highest mountain in the world.
It was reported that he had scaled the 8,091m (26,545ft) Annapurna peak on Monday, but passed away overnight at a camp after making his descent.
The cause of death was not immediately known.
Thaneswar Guragai of Kathmandu-based Seven Summit Treks said Mr Hanna's body was carried down the mountain and taken to the Nepalese capital Kathmandu.
Mr Hanna's friend and fellow mountaineer Pat Falvy told RTÉ that details were scant, but it is believed that he died at base camp after returning from the mountain's summit.
"I got a text in from my people in Kathmandu... which said that Noel had passed away," he said.
An experienced climber, Mr Hanna had scaled Mount Everest 10 times and in 2018 became the first person from the island of Ireland to successfully summit and descend K2.
Mr Hanna and his wife Lynne, who is also an experienced climber, had scaled Everest together in 2016.
Numerous tributes have been paid to the climber, including a post from Mourne Mountain Adventures - a guided hiking company based in Kilkeel - which said it was "very saddened" to hear the news of his death.
"Local to the Mournes, Noel was the first person from Ireland to successfully climb K2, and astonishingly he climbed the summit of Everest 10 times," it said in a post on Facebook.
"There is some peace in that he spent his last moments doing what he loved best, such a great man and one of Northern Ireland’s finest mountaineers."
The Duke of Edinburgh NI organisation also paid tribute to Mr Hanna.
"We were devastated this morning to learn of the death of Northern Irish mountaineer Noel Hanna whilst descending the world’s 10th highest mountain, Annapurna in Nepal," it said on Facebook.
"Noel and his wife Lynne presented Gold Awards for DofE on a number of occasions and in 2012. Noel took a DofE flag to the top of Everest.
"Noel scaled Everest 10 times and he and Lynne were the first married couple to scale Everest from both the north and south sides.
"Noel’s down to earth manner and incredible expertise were an inspiration to everyone he met."
DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson said it was "devastating news".
"I had the privilege of meeting Noel and hearing about his mountain climbing exploits, including his conquest of Everest," he said.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and his fellow mountaineers at this sad time."
Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard described Mr Hanna as a "legendary" mountaineer.
"Slieve Croob man Noel was the first person from Ireland to successfully climb K2 & he climbed the summit of Everest 10 times," he said.
"Thoughts with Noel’s family at this tough time."
SDLP councillor Laura Devlin also said it was "awful news" and said Mr Hanna would be remembered as "an absolute gentleman".
"To say he was an athlete was an understatement," she said.
"He was an incredible climber who climbed Everest many many times. Noel was such an interesting person with so much life experience and always up for a chat."
Dromara Village Football Club said Mr Hanna had "played for the club back in the 90s and was a tenacious footballer".
"He certainly carried them skills into his mountaineering career in which he became a local legend and very well respected all over the world," the club said.
Cancer Focus NI said it was "saddened to hear of the untimely passing of NI climber and past supporter, Noel Hanna".
"Previously, he and his wife Lynne, climbed Everest raising £130k for us," the charity said.
Earlier this week, Indian climber Baljeet Kaur went missing near Camp IV while also descending from the summit point, but it emerged on Tuesday that she had been found alive.
A third climber, Anurag Maloo, also disappeared after falling from 6,000m into a crevasse while descending from Camp IV the day before.