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Lincoln Hall, Everest climber, dies at 56

March 21, 2012 at 2:12 AM

SYDNEY, March 21 (UPI) -- Australian mountaineer Lincoln Hall, who survived a night in the open on Mount Everest in 2006 after being left for dead, died Wednesday of cancer. He was 56.

Hall had been diagnosed with mesothelioma, a type of cancer usually associated with asbestos exposure, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

In 1984, Hall participated in the first Australian expedition to climb Mount Everest, although he did not reach the summit. He wrote a book, "White Limbo," about the climb.

In 2006, 22 years later, Hall did reach the top of Everest, only to come close to death on the way down. He developed altitude sickness and was given up for dead but survived through the night.

"There were very few tougher, better climbers in the world, and very few better people," said Simon Balderstone, head of the Himalayan Foundation and a longtime friend. "Frankly, I'm grief-stricken. He was a dear friend and a simply wonderful human being and a wonderful humanitarian. I guess I finally have to admit he wasn't invincible."

Hall was exposed to asbestos in the 1960s when he worked with his father, a builder, his lawyers said. He won a claim for compensation, the Australian said.

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