Anderl Heckmair


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Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 14, 2012 - 01:07am PT
The man was always humble as a guide and as the main force behind the Eiger North face first ascent. Alpinist 40 has this picture of the alpinist in his youth, after the climb. For all the bullshit of the times these guys were real athletes:

Credit: F. Kronhoffer

▀ ╬ ě T ă H

Boulder climber
Oct 14, 2012 - 01:50am PT
To live to 98 says something about him too. The BBC's Eiger documentary serves as introduction.

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Oct 14, 2012 - 05:27am PT
Dang, dood was buffed! Looks like he had a pair of Chouinard stand-up shorts also, before Chouinard was even climbing! lol Prollie where Yvonne got the idea for them (from that pic)!

edit: Wow, the Eiger looks so bitchin in that vid!

Sport climber
Oct 14, 2012 - 05:33am PT
I have always appreciated Heckmair's attitude to climbing:
"I consider mountain climbing an absolutely egocentric activity; I could therefore never understand why one would want to set up rules for it. "In the mountains, freedom rules" is an old poacher's saying. Whether and how I use artificial means is my business. To climb in the cleanest and smoothest way possible - that was my desire. How others climb is their business, and nobody else has the right to interfere. Most people abide by rules because they want to be accepted. I was only truly content when I succeeded in completing a climb the way I had envisioned it. Naturally, there is satisfaction when a climb is acclaimed by the experts, but basically, this was not as important to me as the recognition by my friends."

Excellent video.

A couple of books about the history of Eiger climbing:

Daniel Anker's "Eiger. The Vertical Arena"

Rainer Rettner's "Eiger. Triumphe und Trag÷dien 1932-1936"

Social climber
Oct 14, 2012 - 09:18pm PT
I'm not trying to hi-jack Jim's original threme, but the best known book on the Eiger is "The White Spider" by Heinrich Harrer.
Like Heckmair, HH lived into his 90s, and made it to 93. There were pretty long odds against either of them even reaching 30!

About 10 years ago I was at the Banff Film Festival, and HH was one of the guest speakers. A small part of his presentation was about the FA of the north face, which had taken place 60+ years earlier. The original photos had been made into slides, and it was amazing to look at them while he described the ascent. "Here ve do der Hinterstoisser", "Dis is der Death Bivouac", etc. He was there. He did it. It still gives me goose-bumps.

Mountain climber
Oct 14, 2012 - 09:57pm PT
Harrer also came through Vancouver about 20 years ago; I was honoured to meet him there. Very nice guy, quite modest. Seven Years in Tibet was a good read, too.

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Oct 14, 2012 - 10:35pm PT
Heckmair looks like he's at the tail end of a speed binge.

Oct 15, 2012 - 03:24pm PT
Excellent Heckmair quote Marlow. Thanks
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jun 1, 2014 - 12:02pm PT
Anchorite Bump...
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