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Asia, Nepal, Pumori, Southwest Ridge

Pumori, Southwest Ridge. The Internet contributed this spring to a new type of awkward situation concerning membership of an expedition. A Swiss, Markus Sofer, saw that a Canadian team was listed for an attempt on Everest’s neighbor Pumori, so he got in touch with them and signed up as a member. But when they met in Kathmandu, he announced that he would be entirely independent of them since he did not believe in expeditions. He did some climbing with the team, led by Tim Rippel, on its seldom-climbed southwest ridge, but most of the time he moved alone. He became the only one to go to the 7161-meter summit, which he reached on May 20.

Elizabeth Hawley