Northern Ireland

Wife of renowned climber Noel Hanna says he 'fell asleep, never to awaken again'

Noel Hanna died during an expedition in Nepal
Noel Hanna died during an expedition in Nepal Noel Hanna died during an expedition in Nepal

The wife of renowned climber Noel Hanna has revealed he "fell asleep, never to awaken again" after returning to his tent following a successful summit in Nepal.

Lynne Hanna also said there was "no drama, no big story" adding that he had "died in the Himalayas - what better place".

Writing on Facebook, she said she had arrived in Kathmandu to "bring Noel home" after he had passed away during an expedition on Mount Annapurna - the 10th highest mountain in the world.

Mr Hanna, who was 56 and from Dromara in Co Down, had scaled the 8,091m (26,545ft) Annapurna peak on Monday, but died overnight at a camp after making his descent. 

The cause of death has not been confirmed.

Mr Hanna was from Dromara in Co Down. Picture by Mal McCann
Mr Hanna was from Dromara in Co Down. Picture by Mal McCann Mr Hanna was from Dromara in Co Down. Picture by Mal McCann

Mr Hanna and his wife Lynne, who is also an experienced climber, had scaled Everest together in 2016.

She said on Wednesday: "I have arrived in Kathmandu to bring Noel home, he passed away at Camp 4 on Annapurna.

"After a successful summit he returned to the tent, took some hot soup and fell asleep never to awaken again. 

 "No drama, no big story; it was his time to go.

“He died in the Himalayas – what better place for my Mountain Man. Sleep well Noel.”

An experienced mountaineer, 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.

Numerous tributes have been paid to the climber, who has been remembered as "a great man and one of Northern Ireland’s finest mountaineers".