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Miracle On Everest

July 14, 2008

This is the extraordinary story of mountaineer Lincoln Hall, who was left for dead on Mount Everest.

Kathmandu, July 11: This is the extraordinary story of mountaineer Lincoln Hall, who was left for dead on Mount Everest, told through a blend of re-enacted and actual footage. It charts his ascent of the mountain and the circumstances that forced his climbing party to leave him behind.

Hall and his fellow climbers speak, as does his family, who had to process the facts back in Australia. Their perspective, in particular, is gut-wrenching, as they recall getting the phone call informing them their husband and father had died. It is at that point that the story takes its thrilling twist.

Hall was not dead, though the laws of probability and the unforgiving power of nature say he should have been. He survived his night on the mountain's freezing peaks and, to the utter surprise of another climbing party making an ascent the following morning, was perched, partly undressed, on a 3000-metre precipice the following morning. His first words: "I imagine you're surprised to see me here."

he story is powerfully told and the smooth transitions between original film and recreated footage avoid the jar and jump that typically dilutes the impact of this technique. Jennifer Peedom, the producer and director, has done an astonishingly good job capturing not just the recollections but a snapshot of the turning points of the story. Director of photography Hugh Miller has also done excellent work. This is inspiring, humbling television.


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