Robert Edwin Hall
14 January 1961
Christchurch, New Zealand
|Died||11 May 1996 35) (aged|
Mount Everest, Nepal
|Cause of death||Hypothermia|
|Resting place||South Summit of Everest|
|Known for||1996 Everest disaster|
Robert Edwin Hall(14 January 1961 – 11 May 1996) was a New Zealand mountaineer. He was the head guide of a 1996 Mount Everest expedition during which he, a fellow guide, and two clients died. A best-selling account of the expedition was given in Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air , and the expedition has been dramatised in the 2015 film Everest . At the time of his death, Hall had just completed his fifth ascent to the summit of Everest, more at that time than any other non-Sherpa mountaineer.
Hall met his future wife, physician Jan Arnold, during his Everest summit attempt in 1990.Hall and Arnold climbed Denali for their first date and later married. In 1993, Hall and Arnold climbed to the summit of Everest together. In the catastrophic 1996 season, Arnold would have accompanied Hall on his Everest expedition, but she was pregnant.
Hall grew up in New Zealand where he climbed extensively in the Southern Alps. In 1989, Rob Hall met Gary Ball, who became his climbing partner and close friend. As with most other mountain climbers, Hall and Gary Ball sought corporate sponsorships to fund their expeditions. The partners decided to climb the Seven Summits, but upped the ante by ascending to the summits of all seven in seven months. They started with Everest in May, and climbed the last mountain, Antarctica's Vinson Massif, on 12 December 1990, hours before the deadline. After this success they realised that to retain their sponsorships, each successive climb would have to be ever riskier and more spectacular, increasing the chances of an accident. Hall and Ball therefore decided to quit professional climbing and form a high-altitude guiding business.
Their company, Adventure Consultants, was incorporated in 1992 and quickly became a premier expedition guiding company. That year they guided six clients to the top of Everest. In October 1993, Gary Ball died of pulmonary edema,leaving Hall to run Adventure Consultants on his own. By 1996, Hall had guided thirty-nine climbers up to the top of Everest. Although the price of a guided summit attempt – US$65,000 – was considerably higher than that of other expeditions, Hall's reputation for reliability and safety attracted clients from all over the world. Rob Hall was well known in the mountaineering world as the "mountain goat" or the "show".
In the 1994 Queen's Birthday Honours, Hall was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire, for services to mountaineering.
Adventure Consultants' 1996 Everest expedition consisted of eight clients and three guides (Hall, Mike Groom and Andy Harris). Among the clients was Jon Krakauer, a journalist on assignment from Outside magazine. Hall had brokered a deal with Outside; he would guide one of their writers to the summit in exchange for advertising space and a story about the growing popularity of commercial expeditions to Everest.
Shortly after midnight on 10 May 1996, the Adventure Consultants expedition began a summit attempt from Camp IV, atop the South Col. They were joined by climbers from Scott Fischer's Mountain Madness company, as well as expeditions sponsored by the governments of Taiwan and India.
The expeditions quickly encountered delays. Upon reaching the Hillary Step, the climbers discovered that no fixed line had been placed, and they were forced to wait for an hour while the guides installed the ropes (Rob nonetheless "fixed most of the mountain in 1996"). pm, the last safe time to turn around to reach Camp IV before nightfall.Because some 33 climbers were attempting to reach the summit on the same day, and Hall and Fischer had asked their climbers to stay within 150 m of each other, there were bottlenecks at the single fixed line at the Hillary Step. Many of the climbers had not yet reached the summit by 2:00
Hall's Sardar, Ang Dorje Sherpa, and other climbing Sherpas waited at the summit for the clients. Near 3:00 pm, they began their descent. On the way down, Ang Dorje encountered client Doug Hansen above the Hillary Step, and ordered him to descend. Hansen refused. When Hall arrived at the scene, he sent the Sherpas down to assist the other clients, and stated that he would remain to help Hansen, who had run out of supplementary oxygen.
At 5:00 pm, a blizzard struck the Southwest Face of Everest, diminishing visibility and obliterating the trail back to Camp IV. Shortly afterward, Hall radioed for help, saying that Hansen had fallen unconscious but was still alive. Adventure Consultants guide Andy Harris began climbing to the Hillary Step at 5:30 pm with water and supplementary oxygen.
On 11 May, at 4:43 am, close to twelve hours after the blizzard had started, Hall radioed down and said that he was on the South Summit. He reported that Harris had reached the two men, but that Hansen had died sometime during the night and that Harris was missing as well. Hall was not breathing bottled oxygen, because his regulator was too choked with ice. By 9:00 am, Hall had fixed his oxygen mask, but indicated that his frostbitten hands and feet were making it difficult to traverse the fixed ropes. Later in the afternoon, he radioed to Base Camp, asking them to call his wife, Jan Arnold, on the satellite phone. During this last communication, he reassured her that he was reasonably comfortable and told her, "Sleep well my sweetheart. Please don't worry too much." He died shortly thereafter. His body was found on 23 May by mountaineers from the IMAX expedition, and still remains just below the South Summit. In the 1999 New Zealand bravery awards, Hall was posthumously awarded the New Zealand Bravery Star for his actions.
Mount Everest is Earth's highest mountain above sea level, located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas. The China–Nepal border runs across its summit point. Its elevation of 8,848.86 m (29,031.7 ft) was most recently established in 2020 by the Nepali and Chinese authorities.
Anatoli Nikolaevich Boukreev was a Russian Kazakhstani mountaineer who made ascents of 10 of the 14 eight-thousander peaks—those above 8,000 m (26,247 ft)—without supplemental oxygen. From 1989 through 1997, he made 18 successful ascents of peaks above 8000 m.
Scott Eugene Fischer was an American mountaineer and mountain guide. He was renowned for his ascents of the world's highest mountains made without the use of supplemental oxygen. Fischer and Wally Berg were the first Americans to summit Lhotse, the world's fourth highest peak. Fischer, Charley Mace, and Ed Viesturs summitted K2 without supplemental oxygen. Fischer first climbed Mount Everest in 1994 and later died during the 1996 blizzard on Everest while descending from the peak.
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster is a 1997 bestselling nonfiction book written by Jon Krakauer. It details Krakauer's experience in the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, in which eight climbers were killed and several others were stranded by a storm. Krakauer's expedition was led by guide Rob Hall. Other groups were trying to summit on the same day, including one led by Scott Fischer, whose guiding agency, Mountain Madness, was perceived as a competitor to Hall's agency, Adventure Consultants.
Edmund Viesturs is a high-altitude mountaineer, corporate speaker, and well known author in the mountain climbing community. He is the only American to have climbed all 14 of the world's eight-thousander mountain peaks, and the fifth person to do so without using supplemental oxygen. Along with Apa Sherpa, he has summitted peaks of over 8,000 meters on 21 occasions, including Mount Everest seven times; only four other climbers, Phurba Tashi Sherpa Mendewa, Juanito Oiarzabal, Namgyal Sherpa, and Ang Dorje Sherpa, have more high-altitude ascents.
Yasuko Namba was the second Japanese woman to reach all of the Seven Summits. Namba worked as a businesswoman for Federal Express in Japan, but her hobby of mountaineering took her all over the world. She first summited Kilimanjaro on New Year's Day in 1982, and summited Aconcagua exactly two years later. She reached the summit of Denali on July 1, 1985, and the summit of Mount Elbrus on August 1, 1992. After summiting the Vinson Massif on December 29, 1993 and the Carstensz Pyramid on November 12, 1994, Namba's final summit to reach was Mount Everest. She signed on with Rob Hall's guiding company, Adventure Consultants, and reached the summit in May 1996, but died during her descent in the 1996 Mount Everest disaster.
Dan Mazur is a climber, trekker and expedition leader who has ascended nine of the world's highest summits, including Mount Everest and K2. In addition he is known for several high altitude mountain rescues: the 1991 rescue of Roman Giutashvili from Mount Everest, the rescue of Gary Ball from K2 in 1992, the rescue in 2006 of Australian climber Lincoln Hall from Mount Everest, and the rescue of British mountaineer Rick Allen from Broad Peak. In 2018, Daniel Mazur was awarded the Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal "for remarkable service in the conservation of culture and nature in mountainous regions."
The 1996 Mount Everest disaster occurred on 10–11 May 1996 when eight climbers caught in a blizzard died on Mount Everest while attempting to descend from the summit. Over the entire season, 12 people died trying to reach the summit, making it the deadliest season on Mount Everest at the time and the third deadliest after the 22 fatalities resulting from avalanches caused by the April 2015 Nepal earthquake and the 16 fatalities of the 2014 Mount Everest avalanche. The 1996 disaster received widespread publicity and raised questions about the commercialization of Everest.
Lopsang Jangbu Sherpa was a Nepalese Sherpa mountaineering guide, climber and porter, best known for his work as the climbing Sirdar for Scott Fischer's Mountain Madness expedition to Everest in Spring 1996, when a freak storm led to the deaths of eight climbers from several expeditions, considered one of the worst disasters in the history of Everest mountaineering. Notwithstanding controversy over his actions during that expedition, Lopsang was well-regarded in the mountaineering community, having summited Everest four times. Lopsang was killed in an avalanche in September 1996, while again on an expedition to climb Everest for what would have been a fifth ascent.
Into Thin Air: Death on Everest is a 1997 disaster television film based on Jon Krakauer's memoir Into Thin Air (1997). The film, directed by Robert Markowitz and written by Robert J. Avrech, tells the story of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster. It was broadcast on ABC on November 9, 1997.
Sandra Hill is a socialite, mountaineer, author, and former fashion editor. She survived the 1996 Mount Everest disaster shortly after becoming the 34th woman to reach the Mount Everest summit and the second American woman to ascend all of the Seven Summits.
Ang Dorje (Chhuldim) Sherpa is a Nepali sherpa mountaineering guide, climber and porter from Pangboche, Nepal, who has climbed to the summit of Mount Everest 20 times. He was the climbing Sirdar for Rob Hall's Adventure Consultants expedition to Everest in spring 1996, when a freak storm led to the deaths of eight climbers from several expeditions, considered one of the worst disasters in the history of Everest mountaineering.
Everest is a 2015 historical adventure film directed and produced by Baltasar Kormákur and written by William Nicholson and Simon Beaufoy. It stars an ensemble cast of Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Martin Henderson and Emily Watson. It is based on the real events of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, and focuses on the survival attempts of two expedition groups, one led by Rob Hall (Clarke) and the other by Scott Fischer (Gyllenhaal).
Adventure Consultants, formerly Hall and Ball Adventure Consultants, is a New Zealand-based adventure company that brings trekking and climbing groups to various locations. Founded by Rob Hall and Gary Ball in 1991, it is known for its pioneering role in the commercialisation of Mount Everest and the 1996 Mount Everest climb during which eight people died, including Hall, a guide, and two Adventure Consultant clients.
Asian Trekking is a commercial adventure company based out of Kathmandu, Nepal started by Sherpa Ang Tshering. In 2001, it was recorded that Asian Trekking ran 25 large mountain expeditions per year. Asian Trekking made international news when in 2006 four of its clients and two of its Sherpas died in a single season. One of their clients, David Sharp, died near the summit and this event became the center of an international climbing ethics controversy. Founder of the company Ang said that climbers can die if they use all their energy getting to the summit of Mount Everest, only to be too fatigued for the descent.
The May 1996 expedition by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police to reach the summit of Mount Everest happened in the background of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, and resulted in three members of the expedition dying.
Andrew Michael Harris was a New Zealand mountain guide who died in the 1996 Mount Everest disaster. Harris was one of the guides for the Adventure Consultants' 1996 Everest expedition, led by Rob Hall. It was Harris' first attempt to summit Mount Everest, though he had extensive climbing experience in New Zealand.
Gary Ian Ball was a New Zealand mountaineer who summited Mount Everest twice, in 1990 and 1992.