Sport: No Peak, Just Pique

Mountain climbing is a symbol of man's loftiest aspirations: a test of mettle, a purification of the soul, a reach for the heavens. George Leigh Mallory, asked why he wished to climb Mount Everest, solemnly replied, "Because it is there." If asked the same question, the most recent adventurers to tackle the peak would probably respond differently: "Because we want to beat the guy from the other country."

The latest expedition consisted of 15 climbers: seven Austrians, two Germans, one Tyrol Italian, one Swiss, one Iranian and three Britons. Last March this oddly mixed...

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