Vale Lincoln Hall, Australian mountaineer

By AG Staff 21 March 2012
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Australian mountaineer Lincoln Hall, who survived the Death Zone of Mt Everest, has died.

AUSTRALIAN MOUNTAINEER, LINCOLN HALL has died last night after a short but typically spirited battle with mesothelioma.

His wife Barbara and long-time friends and fellow mountaineers Tenzing Sherpa and Greg Mortimer were with him.

Greg, the Australian Geographic Society’s deputy chairman, phoned this morning to deliver the sad news.

“It was very peaceful in the end, around 11.45 last night,” Greg said. “Lincoln got into quiet, rhythmic breathing – it was almost meditative – and then he quietly slipped away.”

A brilliant, witty and open-hearted man, Lincoln was a key member of the 1984 Australian Everest Expedition that put the first two Aussies – Tim Macartney-Snape and Greg Mortimer – atop the world’s highest mountain, and came within a few hundred metres of the summit himself. Lincoln’s story of the expedition, White Limbo, is a classic of mountaineering writing and one of the best known of his several books. His successful 2006 climb of Mt Everest and famous survival epic after being left alone above 8000m in caught worldwide attention. His account of the story, Dead Lucky, was published in 2007.

Lincoln served on Australian Geographic’s original editorial advisory panel in the 1980s, wrote several stories for the journal and was a great supporter of the AG Society and other Australian adventurers. His service to adventure was recognised by the Society in 2010, when he was presented with the Lifetime of Adventure award. He was also a founding director of the Australian Himalayan Foundation, which strives to improve education, health and environmental outcomes for people of the Himalaya region.

“I was lucky enough to walk with Lincoln in the Everest region in Nepal a few years ago and it’s a trip I’ll never forget,” said AG editor and Society trustee Ian Connellan. “He was so funny and warm, and had such a wonderful, open, uncomplicated honesty. I’m terribly sad to know that I won’t get to laugh with him again.” 

Lincoln was editor of Australian Geographic Adventure magazine from 2000-2002 and again from 2005-2006.

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