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American Woman Hopes To Summit Everest Without Oxygen Canisters05:47
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Melissa Arnot posted this photo on Instagram of Mount Everest base camp with the note "Hard to imagine a more beautiful place." (Melissa Arnot)
Melissa Arnot posted this photo on Instagram of Mount Everest base camp with the note "Hard to imagine a more beautiful place." (Melissa Arnot)

One year after an avalanche killed 16 Nepalese Sherpas, 30-year-old Melissa Arnot hopes to become the first American woman to reach the top of Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen, and without using a Sherpa as porter.

She tells Here & Now's Robin Young that "walking away at this really critical time would be somewhat irresponsible," and she can "help usher Everest into a more sustainable climb" by "giving something to this place, and not just taking."

In 2012, Arnot and a fellow climber founded The Juniper Fund, to provide five years of living expenses to the families of Sherpas who die guiding climbers to the summit.

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This segment aired on April 22, 2015.

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