North Face of the Eiger: Who's done it?

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BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 8, 2013 - 01:24pm PT
My whole universe changed after I stumbled onto a copy of The White Spider in the library at age 14.

I had the chance to do it at 23 but it never stopped storming and I never saw the face above the 2nd icefield. The face was running with waterfalls and from this little shepherd's hut at the base I could hear rockfall echoing out from the concave face. One of my biggest regrets, but man, that is one ugly looking wall.

Here is where I hung out for ten days waiting for a break in the weather that never came:

Johnny K.

climber
Dec 8, 2013 - 01:29pm PT
Didnt Werner winter solo it in one pitch with a 4,000M static rope and 3 cams? The Eiger north face is one of a kind.
10b4me

Ice climber
Bishop/Flagstaff
Dec 8, 2013 - 01:54pm PT
Might want to ask Jeff Lowe.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 8, 2013 - 01:56pm PT
Surely somebody here has done it....
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 8, 2013 - 02:32pm PT
Funny story:

I couldn't get anyone from Chamonix to go with me so I took my gear to solo it. I was climbing at a high level that year, but maybe it is a blessing that I could never get on it.

So...I hitched from Chamonix to Brig, where you go through a train tunnel through the Bernese Alps and pop out on the other side. I didn't make it there in one day and ended up sneaking into a vineyard along the Rhone River.

I was sleeping between the rows, and these beautiful grapes were hanging right there above my head. I had to sample them, and ate a few. They were as hard as rocks and nothing like the store bought grapes I was used to.

I made it through the tunnel to Interlaken the next evening (passing up an offer to spend the night at this beautiful American girl's father's chalet). I spent the next night in a pouring rain next to a haystack outside of Grindelwald.

I make my way up to Kleine Scheidegg the next day and come down with uncontrollable squirts from eating the grapes. Every toilet in Switzerland required payment, and I had little money. So I spent the next couple of days sneaking a poop in the local's gardens.

I get home and find out that my girlfriend had been cheating me the whole time.

If I had it to do over again, I would have not eaten the grapes, nailed the girl savagely, and hung out until the weather broke.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Dec 8, 2013 - 03:08pm PT
Base

...good story...

Here's a chronology of Eiger ascents from the start in 1858 until 1999. It's scanned from Daniel Anker's excellent book "Eiger. The Vertical Arena". An Irishman was first...


I don't know how many Supertopians are mentioned.
steveA

Trad climber
Wolfeboro, NH
Dec 8, 2013 - 04:19pm PT
I know Rick Sylvester did it with John Bouchard BITD.

R.S. post here on occasion.

I know a few others, but they never post on S.T.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Dec 8, 2013 - 04:27pm PT

Jello
steve shea

climber
Dec 8, 2013 - 04:45pm PT
Went three times in the 70's. First time with Tobin Sorensen. We did not get off the ground due to the Foehn. Tobin climbed it later that fall with Alex McIntyre I think. Second time got to the Wet Cave and got wet, big storm. Third time in autumn '78 we had success. With Larry Bruce. We started at noon day one, bivied at the Swallow's Nest then Brittle Ledge night two and finished at noon day three. About 22 hrs total climbing time lots of bivy time with very short days in Nov. Awesome, awesome climb! I agree with Bruce Kay about the history and the similarity to the CDN Rockies. As a matter of fact Larry and I were in the Rockies that summer and almost bought it in a climax avalanche on the GCC North face Of Mt Kitchener. the whole lower apron pulled out down to black ice. It was a lousy season. We planned our trip to the Eiger right after that as a consolation prize. Got lucky on the route but not so on the descent. An absolute epic with two others in tow. A long story. I would post pix but I am in the same boat as Steve with lots of dusty 35mm slides from my days in the Alps.

Not many Americans had done it in the 70's. Harlin, Sylvester, JB, Bob Wade, Ron Matous, Mike Munger, Tobin and Larry and me is all I know of. All pre Gortex.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 8, 2013 - 05:12pm PT
I talked to John Bouchard about it a couple of years later when he brought the first American paragliding canopies to Bishop. We flew all day every day for a week or so. I really enjoyed my time with him.

What I hear is that these days it isn't good to do during the summer. As the face has dried out, the rockfall is really bad. Most people do it in the winter or late spring.

I always wondered exactly how hard it is. Nobody has ever given me the pitch by pitch beta.
steve shea

climber
Dec 8, 2013 - 05:18pm PT
Yes, what were we thinking? I had had some good cold seasons there and just hit too warm that year. Poor judgement made us go on the route but good judgement saved our sorry asses. The isotherme was so high that we could hear water running at midnight and we were sweating like stuffed pigs. We bailed. Not a half hour after we had rapped the schrund the whole thing came down. But for the grace of God... Lessons learned in the Alps saved us.

The icefields do make weather. Very perplexing place. The only place I have ever been in a raging storm while my aneroid alt/bar read high pressure. But I love the Rockies. Larry used to call them the "poor man's Alps" because you could drive there and the beer was strong and cheap.

We used garbage bags and tape to get up the lower wet sections on the Eiger. Poor man's gortex.
steve shea

climber
Dec 8, 2013 - 05:27pm PT
Base if all the classic sections were in, the rock is 5.9 and the ice 4/5ish. We had great conditions but for one section. The Ice Hose was not there. So Larry went left on to 5.10ish face climbing. Fortunately the Ice Bulge was in fantastic condition at the top of the Ramp. Overhung to start, just awesome with 5000' at your heels. What makes it interesting is the pro was terrible. We took our standard alpine rack. Eight screws or so, 6 pins some soft iron and a good selection of nuts. We took two cams, new to me, and used one once on the Traverse of the Gods.
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Dec 8, 2013 - 06:04pm PT
Never tried it.
My buddy Kevin wanted me to join him in the Alps in 1983 but I declined because of having to start working after a 15 month break.
He managed to do load of climbs including a 2 week period where he did the Eigerwand, Croz Spur in horribly iced up conditions, and soloed the N Face of the Matterhorn. His Eiger partner was a Scot who was on his first Alpine climb. Kevin's comment: "He slowed us down. We should have been able to do it in 12 hours instead of 18"
Kevin said the Croz was the diciest climb he had ever done, more intense than Gimme Shelter, GCC on Kitchener in winter, North Face of Goodsir. It was the 1/2 thick ice with no gear or belays that had him concerned.
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Dec 8, 2013 - 08:01pm PT
Went to Grindelwald in the spring of '90 and hiked around at the base. I was in good shape, but that was about it. Wayyy too scary looking and sounding with all the crap falling off.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA/Boulder, CO
Dec 9, 2013 - 12:30pm PT
Was there in 1986 with my friend who, the day before, became the first American cyclist to win a major European stage race(Tour de Suisse). The conditions were ugly with lots of crap coming down. Definitely not in shape and neither was I.

Alan Bradley climbed it with Mark Twight in the 80's. I believe Bridwell did it in the early 90's.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 9, 2013 - 12:35pm PT
Sewellymon, Roskelly didn't do it with Marts. Can't help you beyond that. I could say more
but I'm already on probation with the Thread Drift Police.
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Dec 9, 2013 - 12:35pm PT
Steve Shea,

I was just going to say, " I think my friend Larry Bruce climbed the north wall".
Didn't know it was with you though, small world.

Arne
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Dec 9, 2013 - 12:45pm PT
Steve...that's some "taco cred" IMHO...ha ha.

Barcelona to Zurich last Tuesday:


I've looked down the NF from the train tunnel...in late September after a bit of a snowstorm. Kinda cured me from thinkin' too hard about it...
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA/Boulder, CO
Dec 9, 2013 - 12:50pm PT
Roskelley did it with Chris Kopczynski.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Dec 9, 2013 - 12:53pm PT
Post title should be changed to 'Anyone know anyone that's climbed the Eiger?'
WBraun

climber
Dec 9, 2013 - 12:54pm PT
Keith Lober did it ....
snakefoot

climber
cali
Dec 9, 2013 - 01:01pm PT
how about who knows anyone that has fallen off the nordwand? I fell off the mushroom in 2011, thank heavens my wingsuit saved me (ha). as i looked at the routes from above and flying by, thinking to myself....this rock is choss and I'm glad i will never try to climb this wall
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Dec 9, 2013 - 01:12pm PT
Hilden..Would that have been Hampsten..?
steveA

Trad climber
Wolfeboro, NH
Dec 9, 2013 - 01:17pm PT
John Bouchard has done it twice, once with Rick Sylvester and a fast time with Mark Richey.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA/Boulder, CO
Dec 9, 2013 - 01:19pm PT
Rottingjohnny:

yes, it was. We were living in Switzerland(Yverdon-les-Bains) at the time. Andy was riding with Bernard Hinault and Greg LeMond on La Vie Claire. I was struggling mightily just to survive the 5-6 hour training rides.
tonym

climber
Oklahoma
Dec 9, 2013 - 01:22pm PT
One of my goals...

~TM
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Dec 9, 2013 - 01:29pm PT
Eric Perlman climbed it in the 1980's, and wrote an article about it (together with climbs of the other North Faces mentioned by Rebuffat) in, of all places, a Sports illustrated swimsuit edition.

The article was easy to overlook. . .

John
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA/Boulder, CO
Dec 9, 2013 - 01:38pm PT
I think Perlman did it with Bradley and Twight.
dave729

Trad climber
Western America
Dec 9, 2013 - 01:40pm PT
Choss I tell you!
Although it is world class -you'll die fer sure- choss.
And no...
Never.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Dec 9, 2013 - 01:41pm PT
bhilden...Lucky you...great time to be in the American cycling scene while getting to see the eiger...That was right before gap-tooth Bob lived here..Did some running , pedaling with the maniac and got some hand-me down 7-11 clothing...Thread drift.. oops..
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA/Boulder, CO
Dec 9, 2013 - 01:52pm PT
Thread drift on:
Rottingjohnny,

I emceed a fundraiser with Bob a few weeks ago. He is doing well splitting his time between Durango and the Bay Area. Still riding his bike.

Thread drift off:

Did Lober do the Eiger with Harry Kent? Not Sure.
steve shea

climber
Dec 9, 2013 - 02:00pm PT
Snakefoot, we found part of a body in the ramp icefield. The upper torso an an arm. After we got down we visited the keepers of all things Eiger, the Von Allmen family. We reported the body. Interesting that there were still missing climbers on that wall at the time. We found out our body was that of a Swiss Air Rescue pilot who rotored in to the wall by the Ramp icefields. He was attempting an evac of two Austrians caught out out in a big storm. We found scrape marks, paint, rivets and pieces of alu in area. I cant believe he did not fall off. The ramp icefield is super steep. The Austrians died. The Eiger is long 6000' high X 13,000'+ on the '38 route. Lots of time to get in trouble if the weather comes in.

I think Harry did do it with Lober.

In retrospect, and being a student of european alpine history, I can say that the climb gave every experience I could have wanted. I'm glad there was no climate change. The alps were the alps in those days. 70's
snakefoot

climber
cali
Dec 9, 2013 - 02:05pm PT
^^^Wild. heard ivo talking about the winter is the time to do it when we were hiking the west ridge to get to the exit...
jopay

climber
so.il
Dec 9, 2013 - 02:15pm PT
Early in my climbing, I too read White Spider,also Wall Of Death and have always been fascinated with the Eiger, such a history with so much drama played out on that face. I have a VHS of Eric Jones soloing it, and I wonder if anyone knows how old he was at the time.
knucko

climber
Dec 9, 2013 - 02:20pm PT
My buddy Tony did it a few years ago. He had never been to Europe before the trip nor since then either.

Flew over, jumped on a train, met two friends and climbed the Eiger. Took a train back to the airport and flew home. Roundtrip I believe was 6 days!

Tony is a regular ole' family man that when he gets time to go do something, he makes the most of it. His first trip to the Valley he did the Rostrum, and I believe it was the second trip when he did NIAD. 17 hours with 4 hour wait near the King Swing for a helicopter rescue above them.
steve shea

climber
Dec 9, 2013 - 02:21pm PT
jopay, we worked on that film a bit. During my second go, with D. Jackson, they were in the Alpiglen making the film and needed some load help. I think Eric was 40 or so.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA/Boulder, CO
Dec 9, 2013 - 04:26pm PT
This thread has given me a bit of impetus to find the compression bolt I found at the foot of the face. If I can find it I will post a pic.

We know what Steve found on the face:-( Anybody else have any interesting relics from the Eiger?
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Dec 9, 2013 - 04:45pm PT
Anybody else have any interesting relics from the Eiger?

That question brings to mind "A Short Walk With Whillans" from One Man's Mountains by Tom Patey. When Patey calls out to Whillans "Look! Here's a boot," Whillans replies "See if there's a foot in it." Patey: "I pciked it up; I put it down!"

This is from memory, so please forgive my paraphrasing.

John
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Dec 9, 2013 - 06:08pm PT
Dave Pagel
Chris Jones

Social climber
Glen Ellen, CA
Dec 9, 2013 - 06:49pm PT
The Eiger put the fear of god in us during the 1960s. How I wish I could say that I had climbed it, or even climbed on it, or even gotten up close to the damn thing.
In 1969 Mick Burke spotted me as a likely warm body, and suggested we team up for the Eiger. He would, of course, have been an excellent partner, having climbed the north face of the Matterhorn in winter, and attempted Cerro Torre among other exploits. As a professional climber, his motivation for picking the Eiger had much to do with building up his resume. We were variously hanging out in Chamonix, where the weather was generally atrocious, and Leysin, where we could pick up a couple of dollars guiding for Harlin's International School of Mountaineering. Harlin, a former US Air Force pilot, would call up the Geneva airport to get the latest weather information; he was way ahead of others I knew in this important regard. This Eiger business was a bit scary, and so it was with some relief that the weather window never seemed to open up. Mick wasn't too phased. We then opted for the Brandler-Hasse on the Cima Grande. Not so good for the resume, but we had a great time. The Eiger would have been in a totally different league.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 9, 2013 - 06:53pm PT
The Eiger would have been in a totally different league.

Ha! With all due respect the Eiger would have been a punter's warmup for North Twin.
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
Dec 9, 2013 - 06:54pm PT
Amazing stories gentlemen. Proud work on that Ascent Steve. Great story Chris. Have any of you seen the foreign film North Face. Quite well done. Amazing cinematography and a good story from an iconic period. Its the Kurtz story and its well put together.

GhoulweJ

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
Dec 9, 2013 - 06:56pm PT
I'm gonna.
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
Dec 9, 2013 - 07:07pm PT
[Click to View YouTube Video]

Wow....the full length film is actually on you tube if you look it up. Yall gotta see this thing. The wall footage is full on sweaty palm and the acting is very stylish.
squishy

Mountain climber
Dec 9, 2013 - 07:25pm PT
I was there in 2011, attempted the monch and wetter, failed, but it was such a beautiful place..

klk

Trad climber
cali
Dec 9, 2013 - 08:12pm PT
I am still in awe of the challenge it presented to anyone armed only with hemp, wool, tricouni nails and without helmets

and that's why it didn't get done until heckmair led it in 12 pts.
Mark Rodell

Trad climber
Bangkok
Dec 9, 2013 - 08:35pm PT
Lou Renner. He had some great tales about climbing in the Alps. He is a great partner and guide.
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
Dec 9, 2013 - 09:04pm PT
Charlie Fowler soloed the face.
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Dec 10, 2013 - 01:02am PT
Peter Arbic.
I think PA did the 2nd ascent of the North Face go Alberta with Tim Auger as well.
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Dec 10, 2013 - 10:33am PT
Lewis and Swenson did the 2rd ascent of N Face Alberta. Barry Blanchard and Greg Cronn did the 3rd. Ward Robinson and Dan Guthrie did maybe the 4th.
PA climbed it with Tim Auger who was in his late 40's at the time I think.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 10, 2013 - 10:35am PT
Ueli Steck soloed it in what? 2 1/2 hours?

Amazing.

Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Dec 10, 2013 - 10:43am PT
Even more amazing...he doesn't hold the record...
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Dec 10, 2013 - 11:23am PT
Bill Pilling. Can't remember who he did it with.
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Dec 10, 2013 - 11:23am PT
OK, I was wrong about PA's ascent of Alberta, apologies.
I'm pretty sure he climbed the Eiger though.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Dec 10, 2013 - 02:44pm PT

20. april 2011: Daniel Arnold (Switzerland) solos the North face in 2 hours 28 minutes, using the fixed ropes on the Hinterstoisser Traverse. Arnold was 19 minutes faster than Ueli Steck in 2008, but Steck climbed the route entirely without aid and, unlike Arnold, completed the route in the official winter season.

[Click to View YouTube Video]
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 10, 2013 - 08:06pm PT
The word I hear, and I might have mentioned it before, is that it isn't typically climbed in the summer anymore. The icefields are now tiny and the rockfall is too bad. Late spring or even in winter is the time.

So it requires a fair amount of modern mixed climbing skill.

I tell ya, being young with a pack bristling with ice tools is a babe magnet, especially when you tell them you are on your way to solo the Eiger.

It also helps hitching rides.
Allen Hill

Social climber
CO.
Dec 10, 2013 - 09:33pm PT
Dave Davis

Social climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 11, 2013 - 12:38am PT
Steve Swenson and Todd Bibler did it sometime back in the eighties.
jopay

climber
so.il
Dec 11, 2013 - 07:19am PT
Great thread, thanks Steve for the info about Eric Jones, he seemed like someone you would instantly want to share a rope with. So with all this experience commenting on the Eiger, I've always wanted to know what in North America would be similar, or what alpine routes would be a good primer.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Dec 11, 2013 - 09:21am PT
One of my Survival Instructor school buddies pulled it off with no trouble at all!
I guess he was there with the right partner on the right day.
steve shea

climber
Dec 11, 2013 - 11:24am PT
Allen Hill cool photo, it really shows the concave nature of the wall.

Seems like many only think of the Eiger in the context of the '38 route. To be expected.

There are many climbs much much more difficult on the NF. As difficult as you could want. The main factors about the Eiger is it's nothern most location in the Bernese Oberland and its size. Big! And its geology. Not very firm rock. Being that size and alpine in nature you climb through different life zones and weather. There can be sacrete or no snow at the base and full on winter conditions at the same time. Look at Hill's photo.

The thing about the '38 route is its iconic reputation and history. Not difficulty. It was done in 1938 for gods sake. What would you expect for difficulty. Bitd you either wanted to do it or not even consider it. It was a daunting prospect and as Chris said very scary. Like get your affairs in order scary. Well with time, that aspect has mellowed. Now it gets done sub three hours.

There are many much more difficult Routes in the Mt Blanc on better rock. But none with the history of the Eiger save the Jorasses. So for many of my alpine expat (Chamonix) buddies it was an alpine right of passage, a final exam as Tom Sciolino calls it. Not for difficulty but just to be there, for the experience.

To me, for those reasons I think the ultimate route given the time and the epic struggle and the difficulty is the Harlin Route. That and the '38 is the Eiger. For me.

Also lets not forget Layton Kor as part of that Harlin Route epic. Did'nt he jug the German lines to the summit?
Alan Rubin

climber
Amherst,MA.
Dec 11, 2013 - 11:37am PT
Steve, No, I don't recall ever hearing that Kor jugged the German lines to the summit. My recollection is that he was below where the fixed line cut on Harlin, so only those above the break--Haston and some of the Germans went on to the top. I don't think the lines ever were restrung afterwards.My understanding is that, not surprisingly, Harlin's death effected Kor very deeply, to the extent that it played a significant role in his turning away from climbing and towards religion. It doesn't appear that the other members of the team were similarly effected as all continued climbing afterwards.
steve shea

climber
Dec 11, 2013 - 12:11pm PT
Thanks, Al. I've always considered Kor part of that route.
Al_Smith

climber
San Francisco, CA
Dec 11, 2013 - 12:12pm PT
The history I've seen reflects that the broken line did in fact keep Kor from reaching the summit. The names of the climbers reaching the summit via the Direttissima during the FA are below:

Direct ‘Harlin Route’: Dougal Haston, Jörg Lehne, Günther Strobel, Roland Votteler and Siegfried Hupfauer, 1965

His obit from the Guardian has a pic of Kor on the Eiger (one that I've not seen elsewhere and I'm sort of an Eiger history fanatic.) Link below:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/10198246/Layton-Kor.html

I hiked along the base of the Nordwand in 2009. The entire place - while majestically beautiful - also instilled a sense of fear in me, despite the fact that I was in no real danger (aside from rock fall.) Spooky man!

And looking down brittle verglas covered ledges from the train window most certainly put to rest any dreams I might have secretly harbored to one day get on the route (or anything like it...) Think I'll be sticking with the warm bomber granite of Yosemite, thanks very much!
Al_Smith

climber
San Francisco, CA
Dec 11, 2013 - 12:16pm PT

Peter Gillman's account of the Direttissima FA (w/ pics):

http://www.alpinejournal.org.uk/Contents/Contents_1966_files/AJ%201966%20256-260%20Gillman%20Eiger.pdf

For those interested in Eiger History, you should definitely read 'Eiger Obsession' it's pretty damn engaging (as is The Beckoning Silence.) I'd also mention The White Spider, but like, who hasn't read it???

Alan Rubin

climber
Amherst,MA.
Dec 11, 2013 - 12:30pm PT
Steve, He surely was part of it--lead some of the hardest, probably the hardest--rock pitches, just didn't happen to get to the summit.

My Eiger experience was also looking out the gallery window during a train ride through it---enough for me!!!
Al_Smith

climber
San Francisco, CA
Dec 11, 2013 - 12:41pm PT

Unless I'm mistaken, Kor led all four pitches of A3 found on the route, including the crux traverse of the Central Pillar that opened up access to the Spider. The German team had attempted a chimney on the Pillar's right side, failed in this effort, and ended up jugging to the top of the pillar on the rope fixed by Kor.

steve shea

climber
Dec 11, 2013 - 01:32pm PT
I know that Kor was included for his aid and wall experience. He climbed some big junk routes in Glenwood Canyon, Co. early on. He also did a winter ascent of the Diamond with Wayne Goss.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Dec 11, 2013 - 01:53pm PT
Dougal Haston's comment on Kor's contributions on the Harlin Route was to the effect that Kor called it merely A3, but any European would have needed bolts -- and called it A4.

John
Allen Hill

Social climber
CO.
Dec 11, 2013 - 10:59pm PT
Evel

Trad climber
Nedsterdam CO
Dec 11, 2013 - 11:28pm PT
Well or course Layton did the rad pitches. I dreamed about the Directissima for years. Hiked up to the base ready for action and promptly hiked back down to the bar!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 12, 2013 - 12:48am PT
So I'm curious to know who continues to pay for and string ropes on the Hinterstoisser.
Is it the local Chamber of Commerce or the bartenders' union? And why do all these young
guns still need them? The ropes, that is.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA/Boulder, CO
Dec 12, 2013 - 01:48am PT
It was a who's who Anglo team on the first ascent of the Harlin Direct. Let's not forget Chris Bonnington who was initially along on the project to provide daily reports to newspapers. He got drafted into doing some load carrying and ultimately ended up leading an ice pitch he called his hardest ever lead on ice.
Berner

Mountain climber
Switzerland
Dec 27, 2013 - 03:43pm PT

bump - todays avalanche
snakefoot

climber
cali
Dec 27, 2013 - 05:18pm PT
^^^^nice...

standing on the mushroom looking east--ish
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA/Boulder, CO
Mar 18, 2014 - 06:05pm PT
Interesting trip report from an ascent last weekend:

http://thrillseekersanonymous.com/2014/03/18/eiger-sanctions/
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Mar 18, 2014 - 06:33pm PT
^^^
It was a sketchfest and this is where we followed in the footsteps of the great Gaston Rebuffat and likewise accepted a rope from the Austrian team ahead of us rather than wasting time and emotional strength.

That sucks the life out of the summit.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA/Boulder, CO
Mar 18, 2014 - 06:57pm PT
Who hasn't accepted a rope from above or done less than their fair share of leading to reach a desired summit? I applaud these folks for being honest about their ascent.

It you want to get technical about who did what on the Eiger, Anderl Heckmair did 90+% of the leading, and falling for that matter, on the first ascent, but climbing history recognizes all four participants in that epic struggle.
thrillseekerz

climber
Mar 22, 2014 - 03:02pm PT
That sucks the life out of the summit.

What does that even mean?
Andy KP

climber
Mar 22, 2014 - 06:42pm PT
Little video here from our attempt at the Russian Direct which shows some different angles on the face (A5!) https://vimeo.com/78893262
Braunini

Big Wall climber
cupertino
Mar 22, 2014 - 07:18pm PT
I free soloed it in 1962 with one axe, which was fashioned from the rear leaf spring of a Renault and the handle of an Austrian framing hammer. I have not done it since then, but would like to try it again barefoot. The Hinterstoisser is entirely too easy wearing crampons.

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Apr 4, 2014 - 03:19pm PT

Eiger Solo - Eric Jones
[Click to View YouTube Video]
Shortly after having successfully soloed the Eiger North Face, Leo Dickinson insisted on showing Eric the North Face from a helicopter. "Did I really come up that?" Eric asked in disbelief, adding, "If I'd seen it all from here, I don't think I'd have bothered!" "Perhaps you can now appreciate what it was like for me, watching you all the way up. So how does it feel?" asked Leo. Eric replied,"I had a few frights, but that was all to be expected." "And inwardly?"' "Contentment, satisfaction and relief." "And what now?" Leo asked. "I'd like a cup of tea."

Sanskara

climber
Apr 4, 2014 - 04:24pm PT
Thanks Marlow
mark miller

Social climber
Reno
Apr 4, 2014 - 04:42pm PT
Here are my best attempts on the Eiger....
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Apr 4, 2014 - 05:53pm PT
Marlow-

Thanks for posting that video.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
May 16, 2014 - 02:43pm PT

Filming the Eigerwand by Leo Dickinson. Published in Mountain 13, 1971.
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Aug 12, 2014 - 01:22pm PT
A link to a bit of surrogate travel on the 1938 Route...

Well worth a look for those interested.

Steve

http://www.project360.mammut.ch/de/
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Aug 12, 2014 - 04:39pm PT
That was pretty cool! I found the best perspective was often looking back
down. Those guys had pretty casual conditions! But I wouldn't have wanted
that camera on a pole on my back!

Thanks, Steve!
Lorenzo

Trad climber
Oregon
Aug 12, 2014 - 05:19pm PT
I know Rick Sylvester did it with John Bouchard BITD.


I always wondered exactly how hard it is. Nobody has ever given me the pitch by pitch beta.


Bouchard did an early ascent in a day.

Saw a slide show of it. Afterwards we took him to a pub in DC and he wrote out a topo on a napkin I still have somewhere.

His assessment... 5.7 . But you have to be willing to do that with crampons on.
John Duffield

Mountain climber
New York
Aug 12, 2014 - 05:55pm PT
We went skiing there, for the holidays, Christmas 1972.

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