Cubby House Cancer Takes Everest Survivor Lincoln Hall

March 20, 2012 at 10:01 AM

Lincoln Hall conquered Everest, and it nearly conquered him. On May 25, 2006, just hours after reaching the summit of the world's highest mountain, the experienced mountaineer was given up for dead when he lost consciousness on the descent.
 Disoriented, in a state of undress and without food and oxygen at an altitude of 8,600m, he survived for 12 hours before being found by a British climbing crew on their way to the summit. Hall's opening remark to his rescuers - "I imagine you're surprised to see me here" - became part of Australian folklore.

While he managed to cheat death on that sub-freezing night on Everest, what Hall did not know was that an insidious killer - one that has claimed countless Australian lives - had taken a silent grip on his insides. Hall, 56, died in Sydney on 20 March, 2012 after a short battle with mesothelioma. 

It is believed that he developed the cancer as a result of his exposure to asbestos as a nine-year-old when he helped his father build two cubby houses using asbestos-cement sheets on their property in the ACT.