American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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South America, Peru, Central Peru, Santa Rosa, Cordillera Raura

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1974

Santa Rosa, Cordillera Raura. Tom Frost, Charles Grossbeck and I spent June in Peru preparing for a climbing-filming expedition to the Cordillera Raura. The National Geographic Society, in conjunction with the Colorado Outward Bound School, was planning to film the climb of an Andean peak by 19 inexperienced students. Selecting Santa Rosa (18,758 feet), the highest in the range, as our objective, we located a reasonably safe but long route up the north face. On June 27, the 19 students, three Outward Bound instructors and a filming crew of 12 arrived in Lima and in a few days were established at Base Camp below Santa Rosa’s north icefield. Unseasonably bad weather grounded us for a week. Outward Bound staff, Terry Burnell, Matt Wells and Jim Koons, worked with their students and eventually two camps were placed high on the mountain. On July 14 and 15, two days of magnificent Andean sunshine, several teams of climbers and filmers pushed the last 1000 feet to Santa Rosa’s summit, 27 in all, some more than once. The following days were spent cleaning the mountain. All fixed lines, unused supplies and trash were removed. Unlike the goals of most mountaineering endeavors, our concern was with the educational experience derived from the expedition, the mountain and the interaction of the participants. The feeling of a 17-year-old Puerto Rican from Chicago standing on the glistening, wind-blown summit of Santa Rosa must be surely no less than that of another jubilantly treading the last few feet to the top of Fitz Roy.

Gary Ziegler

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