The Eiger

March 20, 2013

The Eiger (3,970 m (13,025 ft)) is a mountain in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland. The first ascent was made by Swiss guides Christian Almer and Peter Bohren and Irishman Charles Barrington who climbed the west flank in 1858. The north face remained unclimbed until 1938 when it was tackled by a German-Austrian group. Since 1935, at least sixty-four climbers have died attempting the north face giving it the nickname “Murderous Wall”.

This north face is one of the six great north faces of the Alps. At 2,866 meters inside the mountain lies the Eigermordwand railway station. The station is connected to the north face by a tunnel opening at the face, which has sometimes been used to rescue climbers.

The portion of the upper face is called “The White Spider,” as snow-filled cracks radiating from an ice-field resemble the legs of a spider. Heinrich Harrer, a member first successful climb, wrote ‘The White Spider: The classic Account of the Ascent of the Eiger.’ During the ascent, the team were caught in an avalanche as they climbed the Spider but all had enough strength to resist being swept off the face.

Swiss alpnist Ueli Steck climbed the north face in a time of 2 hours and 50 minutes meaning he climbed an average of 34 vertical feet per minute up steep dangerous terrain to a summit that is 13,000 feet above sea level…

the eiger train