American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Europe, Switzerland, Alps, Eiger

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1938

Eiger. As for the past few years, many attempts were made to climb the N. face of the Eiger, and as has been usual, the name, Eigerwand, as the head of a dispatch has meant a tale of disaster, injury and death. A number of parties appeared on the scene to try their luck, national jealousies apparently playing an important part. Two Italian “guides” climbed a part of the wall, and traversed as far as the Mitteleggi Hut from which they had to be rescued. Two German boys attempted to climb the section of the wall up which lies the route successfully completed by Herr Lauper a few years ago. After several days’ climbing they managed to reach the Mitteleggi ridge, from which they were finally rescued after one had died of exposure. They had foolishly left a rucksack containing their food and tentsack at the foot of the climb. Another German party in attempting the climb found and recovered the body of one of the men lost last year. It is encouraging to note that even the German press is turning against these senseless exhibitions of heroics. We are led to wonder, however, whether the cost of last year’s rescue parties, RM. 5500 or slightly under $2000, had anything to do with this reversal of attitude.

In pleasing contrast to the sorry tale of the attempts on the N. face is the account of the successful climb at the first attempt of the S. E. face of the Eiger on August 11 th-12th by O. Eidenschink and E. Moeller, when they negotiated this forbidding face by straightforward climbing, and were forced to take two days for the climb only by the lateness of their start.

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