PERU: Conquest of a Mountain

Mountaineering veterans of some of the toughest climbs of the Alps, the Rockies and the Himalayas are currently flocking to Peru, drawn by the country's cluster of virgin (i.e., unclimbed) peaks ranging up to 20,000 ft. or more. In recent months, two major expeditions have been preparing assaults on the spectacular snowcrest of Salcantay, 20,551 ft. above sea level. One, an American-French group, has been reconnoitering the peak in an airplane; the other, a Swedish-Italian group, has been warming up by scaling other Peruvian slopes.

Last week, while the big parties were still flexing their muscles, Lima learned that two...

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