Habeler climbs the North Face of the Eiger at 74


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Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 7, 2017 - 06:52pm PT

Eat yer hearts out oldster's! Donini ain't the only one who's mojo's still workin'.


A long way from where I started
Apr 7, 2017 - 07:14pm PT
I've heard that George Lowe -- no alpine slouch himself -- has a story about keeping up with Peter Habeler

Social climber
Choss Creek, ID
Apr 7, 2017 - 07:16pm PT
rgold! I wish I could say I was inspired by his feat.


I still have too many Eiger stories in my mind, even though I have never dared any side of the mountain.

My Fav story from a Tom Patey & Don Whillams attempt & retreat.

A Short Walk With Whillans by Tom Patey
Eiger North Face

There is something about Don’s proverbial bluntness that arouses one’s admiration. Of such stuff are generals made. We had a short discussion about bivouacking, but eventually I had to agree with his arguments and occupy the outer berth. It would be less likely to induce claustrophobia, or so I gathered. 

“I’ll have one of your cigarettes,” said Don. “I’ve only brought Gauloises.” This was a statement of fact, not a question.

Then later in this classic story:

“I’m going down,” he said. “That’s what’s going on.”

“Wait a minute! Let’s discuss the whole situation calmly.” I stretched out one hand to flick the ash off my cigarette. Then a most unusual thing happened. There was a higher pitched “WROUFF” than usual and the end of my cigarette disappeared! It was the sort of subtle touch that Hollywood film directors dream about.

“I see what you mean,” I said. “I’m going down too.”

For this whole “must read” story go to the archives of Rock & Ice: http://rockandice.com/articles/people/article/687-a-short-walk-with-whillans?showall=1

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Apr 7, 2017 - 07:34pm PT
Good news.

We at SuperTopo are a good demographic for it.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 7, 2017 - 07:58pm PT
Bravo Maestro Habeler!
Very well done and you are an inspiration, sir.

Social climber
Wise Acres
Apr 7, 2017 - 08:50pm PT

At 32 and again at 74, WOW, WOW, WOW!

the last bivy
Apr 7, 2017 - 08:52pm PT
right ON! Habeler is on my fantasy list of " With whom I would like to share a beer or two and a long conversation" (Messner is already checked off)
Much inspiration to stay off the couch.

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
Apr 7, 2017 - 08:53pm PT
Allez Peter!
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Apr 7, 2017 - 09:57pm PT
Handsome devil too.

norm larson

wilson, wyoming
Apr 8, 2017 - 05:08am PT
Very inspiring. By all accounts a great guy,and someone with whom it would be a pleasure to share a rope with. Right on Peter!

Social climber
great white north
Apr 8, 2017 - 06:36am PT
Good to see that as Mr Habler has aged he is not so obsessed with on camera image, witness the shots of his helmet askance during his recent lap with Mr Lama. Contrast that to reports from Mr Scott of an ascent of the Salathe in 72 when he insisted on licking his palms to ensure "his hair was perfect".

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Apr 8, 2017 - 06:55am PT

Now let's see if his old competitor Reinhold Messner can still get it up!! Errr I mean still get up it....


Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 8, 2017 - 07:19am PT

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Apr 8, 2017 - 07:29am PT

T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Apr 8, 2017 - 08:01am PT

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Apr 8, 2017 - 06:30pm PT
Damn, I'd like to be able to do that, look like that, AND have my house paid off by the age of 74!

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 8, 2017 - 09:23pm PT
Habeler Interview 2008:

Habeler in 2013:


Trad climber
Upland, CA
Apr 9, 2017 - 05:13pm PT
It's so nice to see stories like this. Inspirational!

Apr 9, 2017 - 05:24pm PT
Definitely superman .....

right here, right now
Apr 9, 2017 - 08:31pm PT
Thanks Rich, for linking those Habeler interviews.

The guy brims with emotional intelligence.
It appears he's made no Faustian bargains with his life, remained true to himself, and continued to be productive on his own terms.

Impressive and encouraging. I gather he has a bulletproof immune system.

65 trips to the Himalaya!
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