Co Down man first from Northern Ireland to scale K2

A Co Down man has become the first person from Northern Ireland to scale K2, one of the world's most dangerous mountains.

Sunday, 22nd July 2018, 6:59 pm
Updated Sunday, 22nd July 2018, 8:04 pm
Mountaineer Noel Hanna reached the summit of K2 on Saturday

Noel Hanna reached the summit on Saturday, becoming the second person from the island of Ireland to do so.

And incredibly, just one day later, Donegal man Jason Black become the third person from the island to conquer the world’s second highest peak.

Dromara native Noel, who previously climbed Everest with his wife Lynne, told BBC News NI that K2 was a much bigger challenge.

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K2, known as the Savage Mountain, is located on the ChinaPakistan border and measures 28,251 ft

“I had a few beers last night and few beers today with some fellow climbers, but, here in Pakistan, whenever you’re on the mountain it’s hard to celebrate,” he said.

“If anybody was thinking of coming out to do K2, certainly you would need a lot more technical experience than you would for Everest and some of the other mountains. Summit day is a very long day.”

He added: “You don’t need to be crazy but probably the major factor it’s the weather that has to be on your side.”

Just hours after Mr Hanna reached the peak, Letterkenny man Mr Black followed in his footsteps.

The Donegal man, an endurance athlete, also climbed Everest back in 2013.

In an emotional audio message posted on his blog from the summit, he paid tribute to his family, as well as Gerard McDonnell, who was the first Irish man to reach scale the mountain in 2008, but who died during the descent.