Sport: Cloud Piercer

The tedious life on her husband's sheep ranch in New Zealand's Eglinton Valley gave Mrs. Ruth Chartres a wistful eye for the peaks that towered into the clear air high above her home. She set her heart on mastering Mount Cook, New Zealand's tallest (12,349 ft.). Called Aorangi (Cloud Piercer) by the Maoris, Cook is a tough enough test for a professional mountaineer. Sir Edmund Hillary, co-conqueror of Everest, practiced there; many lost their lives in the attempt.

Whenever she could take time from helping to run the ranch, Ruth Chartres sharpened her climbing skill. Last month, at 60, she decided that...

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