Obit of the Day: The Man Who Died Twice
This is Lincoln Hall’s second obituary. His first was written on May 26, 2006 by several Australian newspapers. Hall had been left on the face of Mount Everest, suffering from altitude sickness, without shelter, food, or oxygen. Several sherpas had spent all of the previous day trying to lead Mr. Hall down the mountain, but Hall succumbed to swelling in his brain and fell unconscious. Attempts to revive him, including poking him in the eye, failed and the sherpas were ordered to save themselves and return to base camp.
When word reached home, newspapers published glowing tributes to his life as a climber, the man who organized the first Australian expedition to Everest, and director of the Australian Himalayan Foundation which raises money for school construction in Nepal. He would be missed.
Until later that same day when an American expedition found him at 10,000 feet, dangling his feet over the side of the mountain, half-dressed. Hall had survived but was still suffering from altitude sickness which caused irrational behavior and hallucinations. The expedition cancelled their summit and working with the lsherpas spent the day rescuing Hall. When he was finally brought down the mountain he was suffering from frostbite and a chest infection. No one before, or since, has survived on Everest at that altitude overnight without oxygen. Hall’s lasting memory was the loss of eight of his fingertips.
Lincoln Hall, who died of mesothelioma brought on by asbestos exposure as a child, was 56 years old when he died the second time.
(Image of Hall recovering after his fateful climb is courtesy of adelaidenow.com.au)