"A fascinating memoir... even poetic at times... told with a three-dimensionality." Colin Harrington, The Berkshire Eagle, 4/7/19

Crossing the Cordillera Negra, with the Cordillera Blanca behind me, Peru 1961

     "We finally reached a mountain pass, at about 14,000 feet, and could see snow-capped peaks in the distance across a deep valley. We got out of the Jeep to look around and breathe the thin air. The land was rock-strewn and barren of vegetation, like I imagined the surface of the moon might be. One of the students complained of chest pains from the altitude. But we were all relieved when they subsided as we descended into the valley below, the Callejon de Huaylas, toward our destination of Vicos, at about 10,000 feet.

   Callejon means “alley,” and it is just that, a passageway from south to north between the Cordillera Negra, or Black Mountain Range, to its west and the Cordillera Blanca, White Mountain Range, to its east. The latter, about 125 miles long, includes 33 glacial peaks over 18,000 feet high, crowned by Huascaran, at 22,200 feet the tallest mountain in the Earth’s tropical zone."