Climbing Everest is a challenge that sits unchecked on most people’s ‘bucket lists’.
Not so for Noel (49) and Lynne Hanna (54) from Northern Ireland.
In a week that saw three adventurers lose their lives attempting to climb the highest mountain in the world, Noel and Lynne completed it for a second time, following a different and very challenging route.
They made history in the process, becoming the first husband and wife team to successfully reach the summit together from both the northern and southern sides of Everest.
Lynne is now the only woman from the UK or Ireland to have done so.
She still has a bit of work to do to catch up with Noel, who has reached the summit on seven separate occasions.
It took the adventurers six weeks to reach the summit, which they did on Saturday 21 May – exactly 7 years on from their first successful attempt in 2009.
Life on Everest hasn’t always been as good for the Hannas.
The pair first attempted to reach the summit from the north side back in 2005, only for their progress to be halted when Noel suffered from a retinal haemorrhage at 7000 metres.
To keep Noel company during his recovery they decided to get a dog who they named Babu– meaning child or son in Tibetan.
German Shepherd, Babu, became part of the family and accompanied his owners on endless training trips into the mountains.
When Babu died in December 2015, Noel and Lynne decided to honour him by spreading some of his ashes in the Mournes. Before his most recent Everest climb, Noel told the Belfast Telegraph:
“Babu had been to the summit of Slieve Donard with us about 50 times. We also want to take some of his ashes to the summit of Everest.”
So not only have they managed to complete another remarkable achievement and make history, but in doing so they paid the perfect tribute to their beloved Babu.
Noel and Lynne’s long list of adventures is incredible and well worth a look.