American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Cordillera Raura

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1962

Cordillera Raura. A British expedition from the University of London School of Economics, led by Peter C. Bebbington and composed of Edward Booth, Christopher Jones, Beverley Clark and Dr. Patrick Thomas, climbed principally in the Cordillera Raura. They established Base Camp on the shores of the Laguna Santa Ana near the Raura mine at 15,200 feet on July 27. Joined by the Frenchmen Olivier Dollfus and François Mégard, two days later these two and Jones climbed a peak which they were told was called “Pigeon Slaughterer” (17,390 feet). On July 31 Bebbington and two other members of the Club Andino Peruano, Colin Darbyshire and Tomás Lama, made the first ascent of a 17,160-foot peak, which they called “Alexander.” Then began a week’s work for the whole party on the Torre de Cristal (17,717 feet), which rose above Base Camp. Finally on August 8 Clark and Bebbington established a bivouac at the foot of the northeast ridge and climbed the peak the next day. (First ascent by Jungmeier and Krenmayr, July 25, 1957.) Between August 13 and 18, Bebbington and Booth climbed all the twelve peaks on the western arm of the range, all but Santa Rosa being claimed as first ascents. The latter (18,758 feet) had been climbed twice before. From camp halfway up the icefall below Santa Rosa, they climbed the severe snow and ice face of this peak on August 14. To avoid difficult crevasses on the face, they descended the southwest ridge over a 16,900-foot peak. In the next few days they traversed the entire western arm of the range, climbing some ten peaks of altitudes between 17,225 and 17,725 feet. The final climb was the third ascent of Yarupa (18,173 feet), made in 16 hours on September 2 by Jones and Clark. They found the climb difficult and both suffered frostbitten feet. This completed their climbing in the Cordillera Raura, where they had made some 22 ascents in all, which included all the peaks over 5000 m. (16,404 feet). They had had plans to continue into the Cordillera Huayhuash, but Booth had an infected ear and Jones and Clark, frostbitten feet ; Dr. Thomas had to return towards civilization to look out for them. Bebbington continued on to camp on Quesillo Kocha at the eastern foot of Carnicero, but could do no more than make a hasty reconnaissance of the north face of the peak.

*According to La Montagne of February, 1962, Bonatti has informed Terray that they reached a subsidiary summit and not the main one.

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