Left-for-dead Australian climber Lincoln Hall was fighting for his life yesterday after surviving a night in the open, 8,600m up Mount Everest in Nepal.
Hall, 50, collapsed 250m below the summit of the world's highest mountain and was left for dead by his climbing colleagues.
Russian expedition leader Alexander Abramov, who had earlier pronounced Hall dead, sent a rescue party back up the mountain after another climber found him still alive but gravely ill.
Hall is being cared for at a camp on Everest at about 6,400m, Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported.
That is some 1,500m beneath the so-called "death zone," where oxygen levels are so low they cannot sustain life for long.
"He's in reasonably good condition, but he doesn't have much memory of things at this stage," climber Duncan Chessell told AAP.
Chessell, who also runs DCXP Mountain Journeys, told AAP he had been in contact with a guide on Everest, Jamie McGuinness, who had passed on the news of Hall's revival.
"Basically, he's been able to come down under his own steam, without assistance, is what Jamie reported," said Chessell, who was speaking from Adelaide.
Many guides and climbers now carry satellite telephones, making communication fairly reliable even near the summit of the world's highest mountain.
Hall, a highly experienced climber, now must walk or be carried for more than 22km to reach the base of the mountain.