Sport: Death by Descent

Twenty members of a Portland, Ore. mountainclimbing club who call themselves Mazamas (after the Indian word for mountain goat) rode in a bus early one morning last week to Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood, on their way to a fateful climb. Over 50 times the Mazamas had climbed the11,253-ft. mountain. They considered it a routine expedition.

At 4 a. m., under a sky clear except for a few flaky, high clouds, the climbers left the lodge, 16 on skis with "climbers,"* four on snowshoes. They followed a snow-tractor's broad track for two miles,...

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