Rob Hall, a.k.a. “mountain goat” or the “show,” was a New Zealand professional mountaineer. He had successfully summited the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest, four times. Unfortunately, during his 5th ascent (highest at that time than any other non-Sherpa mountaineer), Rob was killed in the 1996 Mount Everest disaster. His body is still on the South Slope of Mount Everest.
Who Is Rob Hall? Bio
A native of Christchurch, New Zealand, Rob Hall was born on 14th January 1961. His full name was Robert Edwin Hall. He had eight elder siblings.
Growing up on the South Island of New Zealand, where the majestic presence of the Southern Alps bloomed, Rob fell in love with mountain climbing. Upon quitting his studies as early as 16 years old, Rob Hall became a designer and manager with various outdoor clothing and climbing gear manufacturers.
While still a teenager, he explored the Himalayas, By the age of nineteen, he had already summited Ama Dablam (6,812 m) and Numbur (6,958 m) the following year in 1981. That same year, back in his country, he took part in the first winter ascent of the steep Caroline Face of Mount Cook, which happens to be the country’s highest peak.
Partnership With Gary Ball
In the late 80s, Hall met a fellow New Zealand climber, Gary Ball. They would become a close friend and, more than that, a true climbing partner. They did Seven Summits in Seven Months together, beginning with the top of the world, Everest, in May. Their mission concluded by summiting Antarctica’s Vinson Massif, on December 12, 1990, hours before the deadline.
Then the duo enters a business together, starting the high-altitude guiding business Adventure Consultants. The company was established in 1992, quickly becoming the leading expedition-guiding company in the world.
In their first season, Hall and Ball guided six clients, including Peter Hillary, the son of Edmund Hillary to the top of Everest. The following year, Gary Ball passed away of pulmonary edema in October, leaving Hall to run Adventure Consultants independently. The company saw great success in the coming year, with Hall leading thirty-nine climbers up to the top of Everest. The price of Hall’s guide summit was considerably high, $65,000, compared to other expeditions companies. Thanks to Hall’s safe guiding prominence.
Nevertheless, Hall’s expedition was not always successful. In 1995 Everest Expedition guided by Hall had to turn back at the South Summit, very close to the real Everest summit due to excessive snow. However, his decision-making was praised a lot.
Hall was honored as a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 1994’s Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to mountaineering.
1996 Everest Disaster
On 10th May 1996, following midnight, Hall’s team moved camp IV to the summit point. However, the expedition was delayed as there needed to be a fixed line placed. Hence, the team has to wait until the rope is fixed. Due to this reason, many climbers had yet to reach the summit by 2:00 pm.
Near 3 pm, all began to descend; however, one of the clients, Doug Hansen, was on his way to ascending. Though Ang Dorje Sherpa warned him to move back, he did not listended. After Hall arrived at the scene, he remained to help Hasen, who had the time had already gone out of supplemental oxygen.
That day at 5:00 pm, a blizzard struck the Southwest Face of Everest. Hall radioed for help to the base camp without delay, stating that Hansen needed emergency help. Soon, Adventure Consultants sent guide Andy Harris for help. Harris started climbing to the Hillary Step at 5:30 pm with the necessary aid material.
The next day at 4:43 am, Hall radioed down, reporting he was on the South Summit, and Harris reached out for help. However, Hansen died.
Hall’s breathing bottle’s regulator was choked with ice at that time. Though he had fixed his oxygen mask by 9:00 am, he had already caught his hands’ frostbitten. Later in the afternoon, he radioed again to Base Camp, asking them to call his wife. After his last communication with his wife, Rob Hall died.
That day, many other climbers were at a high altitude on Everest, including an American mountaineer and mountain guide, Scott Fischer, and three officials from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, including the Green Boots.
Hall’s expedition was almost successful until the deadliest storm caught them and ultimately took life.
Hall’s body was discovered almost 12 days later by mountaineers from the IMAX expedition on 23 May. Hall’s remains are just below the South Summit.
Love Is In The Mountain
Rob Hall found the love of his life Jan Arnold, a physician, during his first Everest summit in 1990. The lovebird climbed Denali for their first date. The Climber Things!!! Later, Hall and Arnold married in 1992. Further, they went on to summit Everest together in 1993.
In the 1996 Everest Expedition, Arnold would have accompanied Hall, but she was pregnant.
What Did Rob Tell His Wife In Their Last Talk? Rob Hall’s last words
Hall remained in radio contact with his wife in New Zealand and base camp.”Sleep well, my sweetheart. Please don’t worry too much.”
After death, Jan Arnold said she wished for her husband Rob hall’s corpse to remain on the mountain for eternity. She said, “where he’d like to have stayed.”
Where is Rob Hall’s Wife & Daughter now?
Just two months after Rob Hall Died, Sarah Arnold-Hall (daughter of Rob and Jan) was born. In 2003, Sarah with her mother visited Nepal. The baby girl knew her father died on the Mount Everest and said someday she wanted to go to the top of Mount Everest and meet her father.
Born on this day, 1961.01.14; Rob Hall, Kiwi climber, who ascended Everest five times (1990, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1996), Lhotse & K2 in 1994, Cho Oyu twice (1994 & 1995) and Makalu in 1995. He died on descent after his last Everest ascent in 1996, aged 35. https://t.co/c98T97VYGp pic.twitter.com/CG2IP6HIgU
— Everest Today (@EverestToday) January 14, 2019
As of 2023, Sarah is 27 years old and doing well. Rob’s widow, on the other hand, is a doctor who specializes in women’s health and advocacy at a clinic in New Zealand.
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Jon Krakauer, who was among the Adventure Consultant’s clients for their 1996 Everest expedition, published a book, Into Thin Air, after the disaster. There he mentioned fixed ropes obstruction and the guides’ decision to summit late even after 2:00 pm were major reasons for the deaths.
Later a TV movie was made on the 1996 Everest disaster, Into Thin Air: Death on Everest.