Environment: Garbage Mountain

After struggling for 18 days in blinding snow and biting wind to the 18,200-ft. level of Alaska's 22,320-ft. Mt. McKinley, five University of Oregon students and two teen-agers called it quits. But as the climbers saw it, the trip was hardly a waste of time. At the 17,200 ft. level they found heaps of junk discarded by previous climbers—ski bindings, socks, even underwear—plus tons of paper blown round the mountain by 100 m.p.h. winds that rake its frigid slopes.

Appalled by the litter on North America's tallest mountain, the climbers tackled the hazardous job of smashing and burning junk and backpacking as...

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