Mountain Climbing: Three Days on a Rope

As mountains go, Switzerland's 14,701 -ft. Matterhorn is not much of a challenge any more. Robert McNamara climbed it, after all, and it is the sort of hill that Stewart Udall would probably try to run up. So many people (1,000 a year) have made the trip since Britain's Edward Whymper first succeeded in 1865 that the popular climbing routes are covered with pitons and footholds as easy to negotiate as a flight of steps. So easy, in fact, that a whimsical Englishman once won a bet that he could reach the summit without ever touching the mountain: he...

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