The Butcher : The Ascent of Yerupaja by John Sack
New York : Rinehart & Co. 1952. First Edition. Hardcover. 213 pages ; 21 cm. Price clipped dust jacket. Very good copy with original dust jacket, unmarked pages and square binding.
Seven Boys and a Brute of a Mountain in Peru
by John Sack
THEY were not supermen; they were college boys — five from Harvard, two from Stanford. Yet, unexpectedly, they lived one of the most breath-taking adventure stories of recent times.
It started as a romantic lark—it nearly ended in death. The mountain is officially known as Mt. Yerupaja, the highest unclimbed peak in the New World. Unofficially, it is known as THE BUTCHER. The name may have referred to its shape, like a butcher's cleaver, four miles edge-up. "But," declares the author, "it took on a second, more terrible meaning before the summer was over."
The summer was 1950. A veteran mountaineer had warned the boys that there was a twenty-five percent chance they'd all be killed if they climbed Yeru-paja. The President of the American Alpine Club called any attempt "fantastic." Yet, in true college-boy fashion, they gayly flew to Lima, unkinked their one-hundred-and-twenty-foot ropes in the Grand Hotel Bolivar, then by truck, mule and foot stomped through one hundred and fifty miles of Indian villages to their goal — the top of Peru's UNCONQUERABLE.
The rest is historic in the annals of mountain-climbing. The face of THE BUTCHER was steeper than a ski jump. Some of its ridges were wind-blown sharper than a razor. What started as great fun suddenly became great adventure — an adventure that almost cost two lives.
The story of this climb, reported in this book with on-the-spot immediacy, is one of the great real-life dramas of mountain-climbing literature.
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