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Berlin Nelson's climbing partners Joe Fontana, left, and Tim Townsend, center, descend Mount McKinley on June 13. On the way, they encountered a disoriented stranger, right, who is now believed to be Hitoshi Ogi, the sole survivor of a deadly avalanche earlier that day. Berlin Nelson / Special to The Forum

Escaping death on Mount McKinley

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FARGO - He didn't cry for help or urge a rescue. He didn't seem in danger, and indicated in what little English he could manage that he was resting but unharmed - simply a lone climber on the slopes of Mount McKinley, sitting atop his pack.

He had no snowshoes despite a foot and half of fresh powder. His tracks seemed to trace back to a nearby avalanche, meandering as if he had been lost - or searching for something.

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