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Leigh Ortenburger Collection

Leigh Ortenburger was an American mountaineer and photographer. He wrote the classic mountaineering guidebook, A Climber's Guide to the Teton Range. Before his death in the Oakland Hills fire of 1991 he had nearly finished a manuscript on the early exploration of the Teton Range, including the controversy on the first ascent of the Grand Teton. He had also been working on a photo essay about the Cordillera Blanca in Peru, following his ten mountaineering trips to the range.

Born in 1929, Ortenburger grew up in Norman, Oklahoma, and later mastered darkroom technique in the photo lab at the University of Oklahoma while earning a degree in mathematics. He began climbing during trips to Colorado and the Tetons. Ortenburger climbed and photographed formore than forty years in the world’s greatest mountain ranges.

This collection is a gift of Carolyn Ortenburger and Teresa Ortenburger, 2005. Accession 2005-282.

Leigh Ortenburger in the Thin, Cold Air book and exhibit

The exhibition focuses on Ortenburger's black-and-white photographs of the Cordillera Blanca range in Peru. Manuscripts, correspondence, and mountaineering memorabilia are also on display.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Stanford University Libraries has published Leigh Ortenburger in the Thin, Cold Air, a book of photographs and tributes (20 pages, 8 x 10 in., 15 photographs printed in tritone). It features a removable panoramic view of the upper Quebrada Alpamayo, reproduced in tritone fromeight 4x5 negatives, and opens to 62 x93⁄16 ins. Tributes by Carolyn Ortenburger, Steve Roper, Nick Clinch, Renny Jackson, and Glen Denny are included as well.