Wife of Northern Ireland climber Noel Hanna says he 'died in his sleep with no drama'

Noel Hanna died while descending Annapurna I in the Himalayas.

The wife of esteemed climber Noel Hanna has said he died in his sleep with 'no drama.'

The Co Down mountaineer died during an expedition on Annapurna I in the Himalayas.

He has been remembered as a "truly remarkable man, with a heart of gold".

The mountain is the 10th highest in the world and has the highest fatality to summit rate of any summit over 8,000m.

Mr Hanna, from Dromara, Co Down, was the first person from the island of Ireland to successfully climb K2, the second tallest mountain in the world and often considered the most difficult.

His wife Lynne has travelled to Kathmandu in Nepal to recover his body. She said on a Facebook post: "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 and he died in the Himalayas, what better place for my mountain man, sleep well Noel."

There has been an outpouring of support and tributes to Noel and his family.

One user said: "To have had the privilege of knowing Noel and sharing so many happy times together will forever be with me.

"A truly remarkable man, with a heart of gold - his legacy will live on for always.

"His courage and determination were admirable, always with a twinkle in his eye and a ready smile.

"To Lynne, his incredibly loving and supportive wife, you remain in my prayers - you will always be his BG. Rest well dear friend.

Another person wrote: "Lynne, my heart is so heavy for you this week, your loss is mighty.

"Noel was exceptional in so many ways. He has left too soon, but with a deep imprint on us all - you both have, you made the best team. Sending so much love xx

Mingma Sherpa, chairman at Seven Summit Treks, who organised the expedition, said Noel "breathed his last breath at Camp IV after he returned from the summit point last night".

Mourne Mountain Adventures added: "There is some peace in that he spent his last moments doing what he loved best, such a great man and one of N.Ireland’s finest Mountaineers. "He will be greatly missed by all that knew him. "My condolences go out to his wife Lynne and the rest of his family, RIP Noel.

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