Irish Everest team on top of the world
TWO Irish climbers can look forward to a special homecoming party after successfully reaching the summit of Mount Everest.
Derek Mahon, from Naul, Co Dublin, and Noel Hanna, from Dromore, Co Down, battled strong winds and snow to make it to the top of the 8,850m peak just after 7am on Saturday.
The pair, part of a seven-man team led by Hanna and guided by seven Sherpas, began their gruelling expedition to the roof of the world early last month on the less popular Tibetan side of the Himalayan mountain.
The challenging Tibetan route has remained open to climbers despite the recent deadly avalanche on the Nepal side of the peak that killed 16 Sherpa guides.
Last night, the climbers' families and friends were praying for their continued safety as they tackled the most dangerous part of their expedition – the descent known as the 'death zone'.
The infamous stretch, which involves altitudes higher than 8,000 metres, have accounted for most fatalities on Mount Everest. More than 150 bodies have never been recovered from the higher slopes.