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Mountain Climber Who Survived Two Disasters on Mount Everest Succumbs to Mesothelioma at Age 56


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.