Pioneering Australian climber Lincoln Hall, who miraculously survived after being given up for dead on Mount Everest in 2006, has died from mesothelioma (a form of cancer) aged 56.
Hall, who was a member of the 1984 first Australian Everest expedition, died peacefully in a Sydney hospital on Tuesday, chairman of the Australian Himalayan Foundation Simon Baulderstone told reporters.
As well as being a founding director of the Australian Himalayan Foundation, Hall was the author of several books, including "First Ascent" and "The Life of an Explorer".
He is best known for his remarkable survival on Everest in 2006 when he was hit by altitude sickness while descending the mountain. He became disoriented, lay down in the snow and resisted attempts to help him.
The two sherpas with Hall were forced to leave him behind when they ran out of oxygen and the expedition leader issued a statement saying he was dead.
But the next morning he was found alive by another team of climbers, half-naked and without hat or gloves sitting on the edge of a massive drop at an altitude of more than 8,600 metres (28,380 feet).
A rescue effort that mountain observers described as "unprecedented in scale" then swung into action to save him.
It was a triumph tinged with tragedy, as the Himalayas had claimed the life of his friend and fellow mountaineer Sue Fear just days before.
The decision to leave Hall to die, together with the death days earlier of British mountaineer David Sharp who perished after as many as 40 climbers passed him, revived debate about the ethics of Everest expeditions.
Hall, who wrote about his against-the-odds rescue in the book "Dead Lucky", is survived by his wife Barbara and two teenage sons, Dylan and Dorje.
Mesothelioma is a cancer that occurs in the thin layer of cells lining the internal organs. It is usually caused by exposure to asbestos.
Source: AFP Asian Edition