On first-aid courses you’re taught that a casualty is not dead until they’re warm and dead.
Well, the Sherpas who left 50-year-old Australian Lincoln Hall for dead 8 700m up on Everest must have forgotten the adage.
Twelve hours later, he was found, motionless but, according to mounteverest.net with faint signs of life. Mountaineer Dan Mazur stayed with the stricken climber for two to three hours before help arrived, then descended with him, forsaking his own summit bid.
Picture shows Lincoln being evacuated from advance base camp by yak
The original Sherpa team had been ordered down from the death zone after their oxygen ran out and they began going snow-blind.
Despite suffering from cerebral oedema and frostbite on his fingers, the Lazarus-like Mr Hall was able to walk into advance base camp with his rescue team.
Controversy is still raging over the fact that parties of Everest summiteers walked past the dying Briton David Sharp on their way up the mountain. More than 40 people passed the dying 34-year-old. Sir Edmund Hilary who, with Tensing Norgay was the first to conquer the world’s highest peak in 1953, said: “We would never have left a man under a rock. He was a human being, and we would regard it as our duty to get him back to safety.”