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Breaking News: Lincoln Hall still alive, after 1 night out

Posted: May 26, 2006 06:28 am EDT
Lincoln Hall was pronounced dead in a press release by his expedition leader Alexander Abramov yesterday, but here goes a fresh report from DCXP/Project Himalaya team at ABC:

"Lincoln Hall is still alive:

"Yesterday (25th May) Lincoln and two Sherpas were returning from the summit when suddenly he lost energy and became weak just above the third step at 8700m. Initially coherant he quickly developed cerebral edema and began to hallucinate and refused to move down the rope.

As the afternoon wore on his two Sherpas gradually moved him to the second step. But at 7pm in darkness their oxygen supplies exhausted and the Sherpas developing snow blindness they were ordered by the expedition leader Alex Abramov to leave and save their own lives.

They returned to camp 3 at 8200m at 9pm Nepal time. The two Sherpas were totally exhausted and had to be assisted down the mountain by their friends today (26th May).

This morning Dan Mazur on a summit push discovered the still alive Lincoln Hall at the second step and gave him hot tea and oxygen and he was able to use the radio to call his expedition.

Dan with one client continued to the summit. (Ed correction May 27: In a rescue debrief on May 27 it turned out that the two stayed with Lincoln until help arrived.)

Alex Abramov immediately dispatched a team of 12 Sherpas (not sure if from ABC or North Col) to re-ascend with fresh oxygen and stretcher. Alex has sent up a further 20 bottles of oxygen of his own.

The DCXP/Project Himalaya team summited on the 25th at 7:30am while Lincoln summited at 9am behind our team. The DCXP team is exhausted but returning to ABC (Advanced Base Camp).

They are all in good health and expect to all be down safe later today. The stretcher and five bottles of oxygen has been supplied by our team to the efforts and we are sending all our sherpa and climber who can stand back to the north col, so far Jamie McGuinness who has already rescued one man from 8845m this season is the only man able to move back up the hill from our team of 14 westerners & 12 Climbing sherpa.

Fresh radio call: 15:30 CST AUSTRALIA Lincoln is down to the first step with the Russian Sherpa team assisting him, it is very difficult going but with every step down he gains strength and a chance to live, this is perhaps the most dramatic rescue on the mountain.

Jamie is heading up to the North Col now and we are all hoping
Lincoln Hall gets down OK.

Duncan Chessell
DCXP Director

It's not the first time a climber is pronounced dead on the mountain but survives; in 1996 Beck Weathers was half-buried in snow for 14 hours at 8200 meters, Canadian climber Stuart Hutchison found what seemed like Weathers' lifeless body, assumed he had died with team mate Yasuko Namba, whose body lay nearby, and he left him for dead. Severely frostbitten, and nearly blind Beck woke up somehow and started walking down by himself and ended up being saved.

In 2003 Carlos Pauner was last seen descending from the summit of Kangchenjunga on May 20th, but disappeared and never returned to Camp III, 7600m. At the time there were very high winds and low visibility.

May 22, two days after he disappeared and just when all hope was about lost, Carlos called his wife and daughter at 1800 hrs Spanish time and was nearing base camp. Two Sherpas left base camp to meet him - Carlos managed to make it down by his own power. He had spent two nights outside in the open and had not drank or ate in 3 days.