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Half a century after his first climb, Mt. Everest still beckons
Half a century after his first climb, Mt. Everest still beckons

This column is for the adventuresome, and buying tickets to a Lakers game and yelling at the referees does not qualify. Fifty years ago — May 1, 1963, to be exact — a tall and slender man named Jim Whittaker stood at the summit of Mt. Everest. That's 29,028 feet above sea level, or about as high as you are when you fly coast to coast in a commercial jet. Think of looking out the window and having somebody wave at you at eye level. Best estimates put the number of people making it to the top of Everest at about 3,000. Best estimates put the number of people who have died trying at 225. Everest is the ultimate for those with a wandering heart and a curious mind. For those driven to...

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