Mazur offers glimpse into mountain climbing adventures during presentation on campus

March 13, 2013

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Dr. Daniel Mazur shows off a few pieces of his mountain climbing equipment.

 

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — Dr. Daniel Mazur held a crowd’s attention during a two-hour presentation on the University of Wisconsin-Platteville campus Tuesday evening. Mazur, a world-renowned mountain climber, offered a glimpse into his many adventures throughout the years, including the rescue that garnered international media attention.

(To view a video clip featuring Dr. Daniel Mazur on campus go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFfb6hz8vPo&feature=youtu.be)

Mazur recounted his tales of adventure in high altitudes across the globe and his yearning for a more sustainable world. He has scaled seven of the world’s highest peaks over 26,000 feet, including Mount Everest and K2.

Among the stories he shared was his experience in saving the life of fellow climber Lincoln Hall on Mount Everest in 2006. The story was chronicled by Dateline NBC and was made into a TV movie.

Mazur was guiding a team, which included two other men and a Sherpa, on Mount Everest. The group left from a high camp for the summit at 11 p.m. After climbing a ridge for approximately eight hours, Mazur spotted a piece of fabric flapping in the distance. It caught his attention and he made his way closer to discover a man sitting cross-legged in the snow. The man, Lincoln Hall, was not wearing a hat or gloves and his jackets were unzipped, revealing his bare chest. Mazur noticed Hall was looking into the distance and was not focused. He walked directly in front of Hall and they stared at each other. “I bet you are surprised to see me here,” Hall told Mazur, who was in shock that Hall was alive. Hall was able to tell Mazur his name. Mazur gave Hall some oxygen, water and a candy bar to help him regain strength. He also put the gloves and hat back on Hall and zipped his jackets. Hall attempted to remove the items, telling Mazur he was on a boat. Mazur realized Hall was delusional and needed supervision. Mazur and his group kept an eye on Hall and organized a rescue team of hikers in other camps to help bring Hall to safety.

“We took care of him and made sure he was alright because we didn’t want to start moving him until we had a critical mass of rescuers,” said Mazur, noting they didn’t want Hall’s health to deteriorate.

The team that Hall was hiking with the night before had left him, thinking he was dead. Someone from Hall’s team called his wife the night before telling her he was dead. “They were ready to have a memorial service for him,” said Mazur.

“I was a Boy Scout,” sad Mazur. “I grew up coming to Wisconsin every summer and I worked at a Boy Scout camp for years. I couldn’t walk by someone right there in front of me.”

Mazur will return to Mount Everest later this month as a guide to lead a group to the summit base camp. He leaves March 31 and will return June 10. “I love my job because I get to help people explore their dreams and experience the wild places,” said Mazur. “It is so amazing to be with them when they are discovering these wild places.”

In addition to the thrill of climbing, Mazure is also passionate about the Mount Everest Foundation for Sustainable Development in Nepal and Tibet, which encourages education, health care, and environmental and culture preservation. The foundation is involved in several projects, aimed at making the area more sustainable.

Mazur finished his time on campus by visiting two classrooms on Wednesday, March 13. He spoke to a Land Development and Planning class as well as a Cultural Anthropology class.

The UW-Platteville Social and Environmental Justice program hosted Mazur’s visit.

Written by: Dan Wackershauser, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194, wackersd@uwplatt.edu

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