Lynne Hanna Interview taken in 2016
Lynne Hanna has stood on the summit of Mount Everest twice, 2009 (South route) and 2016 (North route). This made her the first British woman to climb both routes. She also climbed both routes with her husband Noel, making them the only married couple to summit both sides together.
You have climbed Mount Everest via the South and North route. Which route did you enjoy the most?
To be honest I enjoyed the South more if enjoy is a word you can put with Everest I found the Side not as difficult as the North.
While on the summit in 2009 and 2016 did you take your oxygen mask off?
In 2009 I took my mask and gloves off and regretted the later afterwards we were on summit before sunrise and the temperature was deceiving with no wind I honestly thought my hands were going to fall off the pain was excruciating….with the oxygen mask it was okay for a 5 to 10 minutes I didn’t experiment any longer.
How did you find ascending and descending the Second Step?
Honestly when I finally saw the 1st and 2nd step they were not as bad as my nightmares about them I found the 3rd step the most frustrating we didn’t have any queues on arrival so just have to get on with it on the 2nd step there is one very exposed section but again you just focus and climb on decent I abseiled were I could going backwards it your only way down.
Would you say the Hillary Step was easier to ascend and descend than the Second Step?
Very easy one Hilary Step it’s just a scramble all you need it brute force and upper body strength.
It is often said that climbers can sometime end up having to wait their turn at the bottom of the Hillary Step or Second Step and end up getting really cold. Did this ever happen to you?
Thank goodness no there were only around 40 + climbers on North side the day we went for summit no issues at all.
What was your favourite meal while at Base Camp?
You are going to laugh I had 3 favourite things in base camp Alpen cereal /Mcvities Digestives with butter /and rice pudding.
Was there any time during your climb in 2009 or 2016 that you felt like giving up for some reason?
No absolutely not I never found myself in that sort of position maybe if I had struggled with the acclimatisation or general fitness it may have been different.
Was standing on the summit the second time as good as the first?
Even better the climb was so much harder for me on North Side I felt really proud and accomplished that I had done it and to have Noel with me both times was really special.
Did you have any health problems/worries during your two times on Mount Everest?
No I didn’t have any issues with health either time maybe I was just lucky.
Did having your husband Noel (8 Everest summits) by your side on Mount Everest make life just that little bit easier?
Yes definitely Noel and I worked as a team on during the acclimatisation we were together a lot but Noel had clients to take care of all the time as well we had separate tents as you need all your Equipment inside with you so at night it was a bit lonely and on summit push I was with my Sherpa the day before again Noel had his clients it was great having him there it can be a very lonely place Everest.
Do you plan to climb any other big mountains?
I have 3 more to complete my 7 summits Denali /Carstenz Pyramid /and Mt Vinson …it just not easy get the time off work.
Do you think that George Mallory and Andrew Irvine climbed the Second Step?
I would like to believe they did there is so much controversy, I am true romantic so Yes is my answer.