Dublin man climbs Everest


Dublin outdoor pursuits consultant Humphrey Murphy (41) has become the eighth Irish person on record to climb Mount Everest.

Mr Murphy, a father of two from the Liberties, reached the summit on Monday of this week by the northeast ridge route from Tibet. He made the ascent with no Sherpa support, using oxygen for the final stages of the 8,850m climb.

His partner, Suzanne Kennedy, told The Irish Times he had descended safely to a lower camp, and was in very good spirits and very good shape. "Sun-filled blue skies and no wind was how he described the conditions, and he was absolutely alone when he reached the plateau - which is unusual, given the number of expeditions on the mountain this season," Ms Kennedy said.

Mr Murphy trained as an outdoor pursuits instructor and subsequently took degrees in business and entrepreneurship. He runs three outdoor pursuits consultancies and has been national inspector for the former Centre Standards Board, which monitored safety at adventure centres.

He is a very accomplished canoeist, having navigated rivers in Africa, Mongolia, Siberia and in the Caucasus, and took up mountaineering latterly.

Four years ago he climbed Mount McKinley and he made an ascent of Cho Oyu, the world's sixth-highest mountain, two years ago with a Northern Irish group. One of that group, Adam Cinnamond, from Banbridge, Co Down, lost his life during the attempt.

Ms Kennedy said that the couple's two children, Altan (5) and Zak (2), were delighted with their father's achievement. Also an accomplished outdoor pursuits instructor and manager, she has her own expedition planned for later this year. She says she did ask her husband if he would sell his boots when he reached Kathmandu, but "somehow I doubt it will happen . . . not yet!"

The route taken by Mr Murphy was that climbed by Belfast architect Dawson Stelfox, who became the first Irishman to make it up the mountain in May 1993. Since then, Everest has been climbed by Pat Falvey (1995 and 2004), Mick Murphy (2003), both of Co Cork, Ger McDonnell (2003) of Kilcornan, Co Limerick, Terence "Banjo" Bannon (2003) of Newry, Clare O'Leary (2004) of Bandon, Co Cork and Samantha O'Carroll (2004) of Cork.

A Northern Irish group led by Richard Dougan plans to climb the mountain next year.