Climbing into Trouble

Avalanches, high altitutude and bad weather make the Himalayas a dangerous place for anyone. But for Tibetan refugees attempting to flee their Chinese-occupied homeland, the mountains can be even more perilous. On the morning of Sept. 30, more than 100 international climbers at a base camp on Cho Oyu, the world's sixth highest mountain, watched as border guards from the Chinese People's Armed Police opened fire on a group of several dozen Tibetans ascending the 5,700m Nangpa La, a pass linking China and Nepal. "At first I was thinking it was simply warning shots," says an American who watched the scene...

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