Tuesday, May 30, 2006

To paraphrase Mark Twain...

The rumors of an Everest climber's death were greatly exaggerated.

Last week, Australian climber Lincoln Hall was left for dead by members of his team at the 28,543-foot level of Everest. Later, the SummitClimb North Ridge Expedition team passed by and found the not-dead Hall sitting cross-legged in the snow. That team abandoned its summit push and successfully got Hall down the mountain. SummitClimb member Myles Osborne, writing on www.Everestnews.com, tells about finding and rescuing Hall, and how he felt when he visited him in Advanced Base Camp the next day:

"The following day Lincoln had been brought back to ABC by a massive rescue effort involving several teams. We went over to visit this man of mystery we had found at 8600 metres, in his expedition's medical tent. We reintroduced ourselves and sat there talking about his family and wife. During the conversation, I could not help but wonder, 'How in ANY way is a summit more important than saving a life?' And the answer is that it isn't. But in this skewed world up here, sometimes you can be fooled into thinking that it might be. But I know that trying to sleep at night knowing that I summitted Everest and left a guy to die isn't something I ever want to do. The summit's always there after all."

(This picture of Lincoln Hall leaving ABC on a yak was taken by Jamie McGuinness, Project-Himalaya.com

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