Lincoln Hall, a world renowned mountain climber, adventurer, author and
philanthropist lost his battle with
malignant mesothelioma last Tuesday, March 20, 2012. He was 56. Lincoln developed the rare disease
from exposure to asbestos as a child when he and his dad built cubby houses
using asbestos cement flat sheet.
In 1984, Mr. Hall was part of the first Australian expedition to ascend
Everest as it traced a new path for climbers not carrying oxygen. The
expedition survived an avalanche, and two of his companions achieved the
summit, but Lincoln did not, turning back a few hours short of the top
when it became clear that to continue would have put him in grave physical danger.
In 2006 Lincoln did reach the summit, but collapsed from altitude sickness
and was believed to have died, his companions in a Russian-led expedition
were forced to leave him on the mountain. The following morning a group
of climbers found him alive and were able to help him down to rescue and safety.
Lincoln helped found and was also director for the Australian Himalayan
Foundation, whose aim is to help impoverished communities and set up schools
in the Himalayas. He was committed to that work until his death.
Lincoln is survived by his wife Barbara and their two sons Dylan and Dorje.
Friends will remember him for his intellect and his determination.
As a mountain climber who had summited the world's tallest peaks without
supplemental oxygen, Lincoln clearly possessed an extraordinary level
of cardiovascular fitness. Lincoln's story reminds us that, without
much-needed advancements treatment and prevention strategies, no one is
immune from the ravages of asbestos-related disease.