Rob Hall


Rob Hall : biography

14 January 1961 – 11 May 1996

Into Thin Air: Death on Everest, a TV movie on the 1996 Everest disaster, starred Nathaniel Parker as Rob Hall.

The Neil Finn song "The Climber" was inspired by Rob Hall’s death.

Another documentary directed by David Breashears, who was on Everest in 1996, "Storm Over Everest" aired on PBS-Frontline in 2008.

List of major climbs

  • 1990 – Seven Summits (the Bass list)
  • 1992 – K2 (Scott Fischer, Ed Viesturs, and Charley Mace helped Hall save his partner Gary Ball from edema)
  • 1992 – Mount Everest
  • 1993 – Dhaulagiri (uncertain if summited or not – Hall’s partner Gary Ball died on mountain)
  • 1993 – Mount Everest (with his wife, Jan Arnold)
  • 1994 – Mount Everest
  • 1994 – Lhotse
  • 1994 – Cho Oyu
  • 1994 – Makalu
  • 1995 – Cho Oyu
  • 1996 – Mount Everest (died on descent)


Hall grew up in New Zealand where he climbed extensively in the Southern Alps. In 1988, Rob Hall met Gary Ball, who would become 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 summiting all seven in seven months. Starting with Everest in May, they climbed the last mountain, Antarctica’s Vinson Massif, on 12 December 1990, hours before the deadline. After this success, they realized that, in order to retain their sponsorship, each successive climb would have to be more risky and spectacular, increasing the risk of an accident. Therefore, Hall and Ball 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 successfully guided six clients to the top of Everest. In October 1993, Ball died of cerebral edema, leaving Hall to run Adventure Consultants on his own. By 1996, Hall had successfully guided thirty-nine climbers up to the top of Everest. Although the price of a guided summit attempt – $65,000 USD – was considerably more expensive than those offered by 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".