"At 6:00 pm the expeditions Sirdar Mingma Gelu contacted us from C3. Lincoln was resting and drinking tea. He was conscious, but confused." Image of Lincoln courtesy of 7Summits-club, compiled on an image of Everest courtesy of the World Wide Vikings expedition (click to enlarge).
File image from the expedition, Thomas Weber (left) and Harry Kikstra (right), courtesy of the 7summitclub expedition.
Image of the camp at North Col where Lincoln got first aid by the team doctor, courtesy of the 7summits expedition/Alex Abramov (click to enlarge).
Joint effort never before seen on Everests North side: Lincoln Hall in C1

Posted: May 26, 2006 02:55 pm EDT
(MountEverest.net) Early this morning, climbers on their way up the mountain found Australian Lincoln Hall still alive - after his spending one night in the open at 8700m. A rescue operation was immediately launched resulting in an unprecedented joint effort from all teams still on Everests north side.

Sherpas reached Lincoln who, after receiving O2 and drugs, regained consciousness but remained in extremely serious condition. He was transported down across the technical upper sections of Everest.

At 10.00 this evening local time Lincoln is in camp at North Col 7000m; he even made the snow slope from 7500 m without assistance, Abramov reports. With him now in the makeshift hospital tent is doctor Andrey Selivanov . Lincoln is confused, due to acute brain edema and hypoxia. The doctor examined his hands, frostbitten 2-3 degrees. Lincoln remains in critical condition, but on a question regarding the outlook, the doctor said, "We shall overcome!".

"Now Lincoln Hall is in a warm, spacious tent with electric light, looked after by ten people. Descent to ABC is planned for tomorrow morning," Abramov said.

Australian Lincoln Hall (50) is an Everest veteran and one of Australias most renowned climbers. He was a member in the first Australian expedition to summit Mount Everest back in 1984, following a new route across the North face and Norton Couloir. The team climbed in light style, without supplementary O2. The resulting route was called White Limbo, also the title of a book written by Lincoln afterwards.

This year Lincoln was accompanying teenager Chris Harris, who hoped to become the youngest Everest summiteer ever at 15 years old. However, Chris called off his attempt due to health reasons. Lincoln felt strong and thus decided to give the summit a try. On May 24 he departed C3 with Harry Kikstra, visually challenged climber Thomas Weber and three Sherpas.

Thomas went completely blind on the way up. He turned back, but couldnt make it to C3 and perished on the mountain.

Meanwhile, Lincoln reached the summit, but became ill on descent. At 8700m he couldnt go on. Three Sherpas tried to help him for 9 hours, but eventually Lincoln lost consciousness and the Sherpas declared him dead at 7:20 pm (Nepal time) yesterday. Running out of O2, exhausted, and both of them snow blind, team leader Alex Abramov told the Sherpas to return to C3.

This morning, Dan Mazur reached Lincoln on his way to the summit with some clients, and found him still alive. He gave him oxygen, tea and lent him his radio, so Lincoln could speak to his team. Dan then proceeded to the summit* while Abramov and other teams on the mountain immediately dispatched all resources up the mountain to save Lincoln.

*Ed correction May 27: In a rescue debrief on May 27 it turned out that the two stayed with Lincoln until help arrived.)