Australian Everest Climber Dies from Mesothelioma at Age 56

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Lincoln Hall, a world-renowned mountaineer and member of the 1984 First Australian Everest Expedition died earlier this week from mesothelioma. Hall was being treated at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, and was surrounded by his wife, sons, and close friend and fellow mountaineer Greg Mortimer. The Herald interviewed Australian Himalayan Foundation chairman Simon Balderstone who stated that “Lincoln was well-known for his feat of survival on Everest in 2006, when after summiting the mountain he collapsed just below the summit and had apparently died…Hall was found alive the next morning by other climbers making their way up the mountain.” 24 hours before he was discovered Hall had been reported as having died on the mountain. The Herald stated that prior to being left for dead, “A rescue team of sherpas helped the veteran climber descend 100 metres from where he had collapsed.” The article also stated that Hall “had to be carried over several obstacles and restrained when he became delirious from altitude sickness…those with him could not move him after he became delirious, a sign of oedema, or fluid on the brain.” The next morning a second group of climbers found him still clinging to life. During ABC’s 2007 interview with Hall on Enough Rope, Lincoln claimed he was attracted not only to the dangers associated with mountain climbing but also challenges such as “mental fortitude, physical fortitude, and judgment.” When he wasn’t mountain climbing Lincoln said his wife and their two sons made “the world go round.” The Herald has reported that Mr. Hall’s lawyer has recently filed an asbestos compensation claim for her client. Hall’s diagnosis is believed to have been the result of childhood asbestos exposure. In fact, Hall was reported to have a remarkable memory regarding his exposure. Hall’s lawyer claims that “it was alleged that in 1965 and 1966, Mr. Hall assisted his father with building two cubby houses using asbestos cement flat sheets on their property in Red Hill in the ACT.” The Herald asked Barbara Scalan, Hall’s wife, how she felt when her husband left the family to go climbing. Scalan simply stated she knew she couldn’t change that part of him. “I guess climbing, and more so, mountaineering is such an integral part of Lincoln and what make him tick,” she replied. During the ABC interview Lincoln also stated that it was the “intensity of the experience, at a sustained level. The experience is incredibly intense because it is so dangerous.” Reference:
  • Gardiner, Stephanie. (March 21, 2012). “Adventurer who survived Everest dies from asbestos exposure.” Retrieved on March 21, 2012, from The Sydney Morning Herald. 
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