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Europe, Switzerland, Eiger, North Face, Japanese Summer Direttissima

Eiger, North Face, Japanese Summer Direttissima. Five Japanese men, Takio and Yasuo Kato, Satoru Nigishi, Amano Hirofumi and Susumu Kubo and one woman, Michiko Imai, climbed a third route on the north face of the Eiger, a second direttissima, which can be done in the summer since little of it is subject to rockfall. They used 250 bolts, 200 rock pitons and 8000 feet of fixed rope. The route started up the standard route to above the Difficult Crack and then kept right of it, passing the Spider at least 150 yards away. From July 15 to 30 they worked on the lower part of the wall, placing a well-stocked camp below the Difficult Crack. The next camp was right below the Rote Fluh; this 600-foot vertical cliff took them a week of artificial climbing, 150 bolts, 20 pitons and 650 feet of fixed rope. A second big camp was stocked on the right side of the Second Icefield, nearly the only place where there was a threat of rockfall. They then attacked the 2000-foot summit wall. The first part was UIAA IV. Then the rest was mostly V or VI and A2 or A3. Part way up this last section, at the center Band they had another camp. Two more camps were placed below and above a bulge they called the Sphinx. For the last three days of the climb, the weather turned bad. Finally, on the 16th consecutive day on the wall, they reached the stormy summit, on August 15 at nine P.M., for a final bivouac.