Permanent Human Settlement of the Earth, Space and Ocean Frontiers

Monday, May 29, 2006

Everest's Pride

Dan Mazur
Ralph Buttigieg
Sydney, NSW
A few days ago we saw an act of human moral debasement. A British mountain climber, David Sharp, was left to die on the cold slopes of Mount Everest as as other climbers passed him by intent on reaching the summit. As Dennis has written the people involved should be ashamed of themselves. But let me tell you of another climber who acted with true honour.

On May 25 Australian Lincoln Hall was returning from the summit of Everest with two Sherpas when he lost energy and began to hallucinate. The Sherpas tried to help him but he collapsed and appeared to be dying. The Sherpas were running out of oxygen and beginning to suffer from snow blindness so were ordered down to save their own lives leaving the still alive Hall alone.

By some miracle Hall manages to survive a night at 8700 meters on the icy slopes and was found the following day by American Dan Mazur, a professional mountaineer. Mazur and his client abandoned their climb and stayed with Hall, giving him oxygen and tea. They radioed base camp and let him talk to the climb organisers. Perhaps shamed by the David Sharp incident, a major rescue was organised . Now remember, Mazur had a paying client with him. He could have come up with some excuse and continued with the climb after he radioed for rescue but instead he stayed with Mr Hall and then descended the mountain.

Lincoln Hall is now recovering from severe frost bite and brain edema but he is still alive. He can thank his good fortune on Mr Mazur who has restored some pride and honour to the 2006 Everest climbers. Let me say thanks to Mr Mazur for saving the life of a fellow countryman!