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First ascent of Burke Khang – without Burke

Burke Khang

The very big point was missing. The 6,942-meter-high Burke Khang was successfully first climbed – but Bill Burke, the man after whom the mountain in the Gokyo Valley near Mount Everest is named, was not at the top. According to the Nepali expedition operator Asian Trekking, the Northern Irishman Noel Hanna and the Sherpas Naga Dorje Sherpa, Pemba Tshering Sherpa and Samden Bhote reached the summit of Burke Khang on Thursday. Bill had ascended up to Camp 1 but had decided not to climb higher, it said. Bummer! He would have deserved to be among the first ascenders, just only because of his persistance. For the fourth time – after in fall 2015 and 2016 and in spring 2017 – the 75-year-old American had traveled to Burke Khang. The previous attempts had failed due to bad weather or dangerous conditions on the mountain.

Late career as high altitude climber

Bill Burke

Bill had become a climber in the senior age after a successful career as a lawyer. Aged 67, he had scaled Mount Everest from the Nepalese south side, aged 72, from the Tibetan north side. Four days before his second Everest coup, the government in Kathmandu had announced that the then unclimbed almost seven-thousander near Mount Everest was now called Burke Khang. “I was never given a reason for this generous action“, Bill said in an interview on the website in 2015.

Hanna was eight times on top of Everest

Noel Hanna, who was now successful on Burke Khang, is an experienced mountain guide. The 50-year-old, who was born in Northern Ireland and lives in South Africa, has scaled Mount Everest eight times, twice with his wife Lynn. They were the first couple to reach the highest of all summits both from the north and south. Noel has scaled the Seven Summits, the highest mountains of all continents, and is also a successful ultra mountain runner.

Summit successes on Dhaulagiri


After the Spaniard Carlos Soria had failed on the 8,167-meter-high Dhaulagiri this fall, summit successes have now been reported from the seventh-highest mountain on earth. On 29 September, the Bulgarian climber Boyan Petrov stood on the top of Dhaulagiri. For the 44-year-old, it was his tenth eight-thousander. Two days later, on 1 October, the Russian climber Yuri Kruglov and Ang Phurba Sherpa as well as a little bit later Dendi Sherpa reached the summit.


8. October 2017 | 12:23