By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu : An Australian climber, who was given up for dead on the icy slopes of Mt Everest but miraculously survived the long night of exposure, will return to Nepal soon to raise funds for charitable work.
"On the evening of Thursday, 25 May 2006 I died on Mt Everest" – that's how 51-year-old Lincoln Hall begins to describe his incredible experience on Mt Everest last year that dubbed him a modern-day Lazarus who was miraculously resurrected on Mt Everest.
The guide and author created worldwide furore – as well as mountaineering history – last May after he was struck by cerebral oedema (swelling in the brain due to lack of oxygen at high altitude) while descending from the 8,848 m summit of Mt Everest, the highest peak in the world.
Hall's companions thought he was dead and left him at 8,600 m, less than 300 m below the peak.
After the ill mountaineer lay in the open for 12 hours, exposed to the elements and freezing cold, he was found by a team of climbers the next day, sitting down on the slope and talking lucidly.
The team abandoned its own plan to summit Mt Everest in order to bring Hall down to safety and he survived the ordeal with nothing more severe than frostbite.
A year after the "resurrection", which is still fresh in people's minds, Hall is ready to tell the world what happened with his new book, "Dead Lucky: Life After Death on Mt Everest".
Launched in Australia this month, the new book is slated for international release this week.
After that, an undaunted Hall is ready to return to Nepal in October.
This time, however, he will not attempt the highest peak in the world. Instead, he is leading a trek to the Everest region to raise money for his Australian Himalayan Foundation that is involved in various charitable projects.
The 15-day AHF Everest Sherpa Trail will cover Namche Bazaar, Thami, Khumjung, Khunde and Thyangboche, villages in mountainous northern Nepal where the Sherpas live, to share the daily-life routine of the community who are the pillars of mountaineering.
"I had plenty of time to appreciate just how close I had come to being just another frozen statistic on the world's highest peak," Hall says.
"I also realised how far removed from the truth were many of the web-reports being issued from the base camps during the weeks when 11 people died on Everest.
"I decided that Dead Lucky would be my personal story of my own climb, but I hoped that through the telling I would be able to convey something of the essence of climbing the greatest of all mountains."