A Miracle On Mt. Everest

A Miracle On Mt. Everest
OLYMPIA - Six days ago, climbers on Mt. Everest thought Lincoln Hall was dead. But a day later, Hall staggered down the mountain into base camp.

It was a mountain miracle.

"I don't believe in miracles, but this comes close," says Harry Kikstra, Lincoln's expedition leader.

Hall owes his life to Olympia's 45-year-old Dan Mazur -- a world class climber and guide. He owns Olympia-based Summit Climb Guide service. Mazur says he didn't think twice about helping Hall, who is Australia's most famous climber.

"I know a lot of people feel climbers are in competition, but there are times we need to work together and I think this is a great example," says Dan Mazur from a Mt. Everest campsite.

"I was very thankful Dan could carry out in his usual way," says Mary Mazur, Dan's mother.

Dan did exactly what his mother thought he would do. She hasn't talked to her son since the ordeal, but she knows every detail. A climbing Web site posts daily -- sometimes hourly -- updates.

Dan was leading a group of climbing clients up the mountain. Thursday was their last chance to bag the world's tallest mountain. Three other attempts failed. This time the team was within striking distance.

They were 500 feet from the top when they found Lincoln Hall. The climb of a lifetime was now a rescue operation.

"He has the attitude if I don't summit this year there is always next year," insists Dan's mother.

Mazur found Hall perched in what climbers call "the death zone" -- the air is so thin, climbers cannot live for long. Hall was without oxygen and perched on an icy ledge 2 feet from a 10,000-foot drop wearing no shirt, hat or gloves. His climbing team said he collapsed on his way down from the summit.

His brain swelled from the lack of oxygen. He sat down, was delusional and refused to move.

Mazur gave him oxygen, food and warm clothes. Four hours later, Hall with the help sherpa guides, was out of the death zone and living the climber's credo: getting to the summit is optional, getting down is mandatory. Hall will probably lose some fingers to frostbite, and doctors are worried about brain damage.

The sherpa guides say Hall lost consciousness and was believed to be dead. Their expedition leader ordered them to leave Hall because he was concerned the other climbers could be in danger.

Mazur already has plans to go back to Mt. Everest next year for another summit dream. His mother says the Himalayas have given so much to Dan, he wants to give back. He's raising money for a health clinic in Nepal and a school dedicated to educating Nepal's female sherpas. His website says Summit Climb's philosophy is giving back to the regions and encouraging those who appreciate nature everywhere.

For More Information:

www.summitclimb.com

www.everestnews.com.