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Miracle on Everest - The History of Lincoln’s Rock

Named in honour of mountaineer Lincoln Hall, Lincoln's Rock is more than a marvel of nature—it's a symbol of survival and resilience. This flat rock lookout, which is nestled in the heart of Wentworth Falls, offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Jamison Valley. 

Featuring a smooth weathered surface and dramatic cliff edge, the rock formation has long been a popular spot for visitors to the Blue Mountains. Standing on its edge, you can feel the appeal of mountaineering that drove its namesake, Lincoln Hall, to summit Mount Everest. 

Today, we are going to explore Lincoln’s Rock’s history and appeal together, and learn why it’s an unmissable destination whenever you’re holidaying in Sydney! 

Lincoln Hall: A Conqueror of Heights and Elements

Born in 1955, Lincoln Hall OAM was more than your average mountaineer. A proficient writer and philanthropist, Hall contributed much to the world of mountain climbing. However, it was his unwavering fascination with the majestic Mount Everest that truly defined him and cast his legacy in stone, literally.

Way back in 1984, Hall was an integral part of the first Australian team that climbed and scaled the top of Mount Everest. In 2006, Hall once again stood on the highest point on Earth, conquering all of the physical, mental, and emotional challenges that came with it. But this climb would not end in the way Hall had wanted.

Lincoln Hall’s Miracle on Everest

On May 26, 2006, an extraordinary event unfolded on the cold, unforgiving slopes of Mount Everest. Once again, Lincoln Hall had just achieved the incredible feat of reaching the world’s most famous summit. However, the joy of his accomplishment was short-lived. As he began to descend, Hall began to experience severe symptoms of cerebral edema—a life-threatening condition caused by the lack of oxygen at high altitude.

Cerebral edema often renders climbers incapable of moving, a fatal sentence in the perilous 'death zone' above 8,000 metres, where the oxygen level is insufficient to sustain human life.

At this altitude, the harsh conditions and debilitating effects of cerebral edema made Hall's chances of survival slim. Indeed, after several hours of attempting to assist him, his fellow climbers and Sherpa guides, believing him to have succumbed to his condition, made the decision to leave him behind. Upon reaching the base camp, his friends and family were told that Hall had died on the mountain, approximately 8,600 metres above sea level.

A Remarkable Discovery

The next day, a group of climbers ascended the same route and made a shocking discovery. They found Hall, not lifeless as expected, but seated cross-legged on a narrow ledge. Upon seeing them, Hall said “'I imagine you're surprised to see me here.”

Despite having spent a freezing night without shelter or supplemental oxygen in Everest's 'death zone', Hall was, incredibly, alive. Despite this, he was still severely frostbitten, disoriented, and weak. A massive rescue mission was launched, and Hall was taken back down the mountain, losing only his fingertips and a toe.
His miraculous survival is a testament to the power of human will and resilience. It underscores the fact that while nature is an awe-inspiring spectacle, it is also a formidable adversary.

This incident offers a sobering reminder to mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts of the immense risks associated with high-altitude climbing.

What Makes Lincoln's Rock a Must-See Destination?

A journey to Lincoln's Rock is more than an opportunity to marvel at the awe-inspiring views. It's also a place to reflect on the power of human spirit and resilience, much like the man it's named after - Lincoln Hall.

The tranquil setting of the Blue Mountains, away from the non-stop city life of Sydney, is an ideal spot for introspection and meditation. The soft rustling of leaves, the chirping of birds, and the gentle whisper of the wind create a meditative ambiance that helps to create a natural sense of mental peace and clarity.

The journey to Lincoln's Rock can be a powerful reminder of the resilience inherent in all of us. Just as Lincoln Hall overcame insurmountable odds on Mount Everest, so too can visitors draw inspiration and courage to face their own battles in life.

Peaceful nature scene

Explore Surrounding Wentworth Falls

Lincoln’s Rock, unlike the peaks of  Everest, is a very accessible destination. A flat 20 metre trail will take you straight to the edge of the rock, where you can enjoy the views and take advantage of the photo opportunities. 

Just beyond the inspiring Lincoln's Rock is the charming Wentworth Falls area, where there are numerous attractions that are sure to captivate your senses and quench your thirst for adventure. Among these are the eponymous Wentworth Falls waterfall, Darwin’s walk, and the Leura Falls. All of these attractions offer a truly unique experience, as well as picturesque views that are worthy of exploration and admiration.

Wentworth Falls

The Wentworth waterfall is a spectacular sight to behold. This multi-tiered waterfall cascades majestically down the cliff face to offer stunning views, particularly after heavy rainfall! If hiking is your thing, you can also trek the one-of-a-kind Wentworth Falls track. This track is teeming with native flora and fauna that give you a real glimpse into Australia's unique biodiversity. Bear in mind that the track can be steep and slippery in places, which may pose a moderate challenge for some visitors. However, we promise that the awe-inspiring views of the waterfall and the surrounding valley is well worth the effort.

Darwin’s Walk

You’re searching for a more leisurely stroll, Darwin’s walk is certainly worth a visit.. This tranquil walk follows Jamison Creek towards the top of Wentworth Falls. This is the very path that Charles Darwin, the renowned naturalist, trod in 1836. Overall, it's a more accessible walk that winds through open forest, shrub, and hanging swamps. Remember to keep an eye out for the honeyeaters, shrub wrens, and the black cockatoos that enjoy the banksia trees along the trail.

Leura Falls

The Leura Falls walk is a challenging but rewarding trail that takes you on a winding exploration of the Leura Falls Creek, Bridal Veils Falls, and the surrounding rainforest. 4.5km from start to finish, this route is steep, with lots of steps and some obstacles to overcome. Along the way, you’ll be amazed by the region's fantastic views and diverse flora and fauna.

Frequently Asked Questions About Lincoln's Rock

Is Lincoln's Rock safe to visit?

Lincoln's Rock is generally considered safe for visitors. There is an optical illusion of a sheer drop in photos, but there is actually a ledge underneath (a great photo op!) However, while nature has kindly carved out this rocky platform for our viewing pleasure, it's always important to remember that safety comes first. When visiting, be aware of high wind conditions, as sudden gusts could be dangerous. It’s always better to admire the view from a safe distance than to take unnecessary risks.

What is the best time to visit Wentworth Falls?

Wentworth Falls and Lincoln's Rock are attractive all year-round, with each season bringing its unique charm, experience, and feel. However, the cooler months between April and June are particularly breathtaking. Increased rainfall means fuller waterfalls and the deciduous leaves are putting on a fantastic display. The temperatures are also moderate during these months, making outdoor activities such as hiking more comfortable and enjoyable.

What should I wear to visit Lincoln’s Rock?

While Lincoln’s Rock doesn’t involve any real hiking, it’s still important to plan ahead for the other trails in the area. As you plan your visit to these attractions, create a plan that accounts for the weather forecast, as some tracks can be muddy and slippery after rain. Always ensure you're wearing appropriate footwear and have plenty of water and snacks on hand. And, of course, the Australian sun is notoriously harsh, so remember to slip, slop, slap, seek and slide!

Visit Lincoln’s Rock With Blue Mountains Tours From Sydney

If you’re looking for an easy, cost-effective way to enjoy a trip through the Blue Mountains, Oz Trails has the ultimate solution. We run Blue Mountains day tours, departing from Sydney’s CBD and stopping at nine different destinations. With our help, you can take in the ancient enduring beauty of a World-Heritage-listed natural park by foot, cable car and air-conditioned bus. We facilitate tour guide-lead hikes, so you can explore and learn more about the flora and fauna of the area.
If you’re looking for a break from Sydney’s hustle and bustle, book with Oz Trails and explore a tranquil slice of paradise just an hour from the CBD. If you want to learn more, get in contact with us today.

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