/ Eiger Climbing Video!
Ever since reading Heinrich Harrer's inspiring and classic mountaineering book “The White Spider” many years ago, it has been an ambition of mine to climb the infamous Eiger in Grindelwald, Switzerland. However being a climber of rather modest abilities, the classic traverse ascending via the superbly exposed Mittellegi Ridge and descending by the South Ridge was the most realistic option for me! So with my 2 partners in crime, an attempt was made last month and the following is a short HD film of our 2 day adventure:
So has anyone else climbed this superb route and have any tales of derring-do or an epic to share? Had a nightmare descending the tottering, loose South West flank? An encounter with a pushy guide? Or did your tour go like clockwork…
Anyway all constructive feedback or comments welcome and hopefully it will inspire a few folks to climb this superb route and visit this amazing area! :-)
Good film, well produced & edited.
Was the soundtrack supposed to be mixed with the original audio? I thought I heard a voice when you reached the summit but not sure.
Is there a Part II for the descent?
Great video,Annoying music. Well done looks tremendous
Makes me want to invest in a GoPro:-)
Cheers guys for the positive feedback much appreciated!
Nick make sure you go to the Oberland one day. However unless you want to take out a second mortgage, make sure you wild camp and do not take the mountain railways as it is eye-wateringly expensive... ;-)
Cracking video - well done!! :-)
Go for it guys as it is a tour you will remember for a lifetime and a day! :-)
> Was the soundtrack supposed to be mixed with the original audio? I thought I heard a voice when you reached the summit but not sure.
Yep there are small snippets of talking, wind, my heavy breathing as I was not very well acclimatised etc deliberately included. The voice you heard on the summit was yours truly being ironic and saying "top of the world"!
> Is there a Part II for the descent?
Alas no part II as we were running late and the film cameras were put away. This is because although the South Ridge at AD is good value as a route in itself the Mittellegi is far more exposed and photogenic!
That's a great film Dave. I don't normally like headcam stuff (wobbly views of feet hands axes make me feel nauseous and I turn it off!) but you managed to keep you head remarkably steady especially on the nice summit ridge bit. Didn't you film after the top? It'd be good to see some of the descent as well - especially as folks are always asking about it.
Well done indeed!
Nice work, up to your usual very high standards. The whole thing looked amazing!
Well done and thank you, cheered up a wet afternoon
Nice one bruvva! Loved the sunset shot from the hut. Maybe one-day I'll get to follow in your foot-steps?
> That's a great film Dave. I don't normally like headcam stuff (wobbly views of feet hands axes make me feel nauseous and I turn it off!) but you managed to keep you head remarkably steady especially on the nice summit ridge bit. Didn't you film after the top? It'd be good to see some of the descent as well - especially as folks are always asking about it.
Thanks jon much appreciated! I guess you've done this tour once or twice over the years?! Anyway the film was a mixture of camcorder and headcam as I totally agree, headcam footage by itself can be pretty unwatchable...
By the time we reached the summit we were running a bit late so I packed away the filming cameras. Although the South Ridge + traverse of the Eigerjoch's is a good outing by itself the Mittellegi is much more spectacularly exposed and photogenic. We did not see any parties descending the SW flank I cannot imagine why... ;-)
Anyway running late back later!
Or did your tour go like clockwork…
On this occasion yes! Very nice film - I did it a long time ago and it was nice to be reminded of what a great route it is. The new hut looks nice. The old one was much small with and "interesting" loo cantilevered over the Grindlewald face.
> Or did your tour go like clockwork…
Actually, not quite. We got lost for 30 mins in the maze of tunnels that link the Eismeer station to the glacier. And then found the light switch and the correct route...
Many thanks for your kind comments and ironically it is also my 50th coming up in the next week and the route was also a pressie to myself. Glad the film bought back some great memories! :-)
No, just the once and we went down the SW flank which was fine - depends on conditions I think - it was dry for us and we just walked down it. I was surprised to see quite a few very determined looking folk coming up it carrying monstrous sacs - they weren't base jumpers, though I'd imagine that's the way base jumpers/wingsuit flyers get to the mushroom take off point nowadays.
THE best video.......
> Actually, not quite. We got lost for 30 mins in the maze of tunnels that link the Eismeer station to the glacier. And then found the light switch and the correct route...
<laughs> Yep MG it is very easy to get lost in those pitch black Eismeer tunnels!
> No, just the once and we went down the SW flank which was fine - depends on conditions I think - it was dry for us and we just walked down it.
Out of interest how long ago was your descent down the SW flank? We spoke to a lot of guides in the hut 3 weeks ago all descended via the South Ridge. None of them wanted to go near the SW flank as apparently it is a tottering, loose pile of sh*t*! :-)
Great video and soundtrack, very jelous and hope to get out there some time soon.
August 1994. As I said, it was completely dry - as was the Mitellegi itself - the summit snow ridge had shrunk away and we just walked up the easy unexposed hollow between the remains of it and the top of the rocks of the S face (actually much to my relief, I confess!) I don't think we put crampons on all day.
I honestly didn't feel that the SW flank was that loose - I can think of things that are far looser. It must be said that we'd been climbing just behind a local guide from Interlaken who told us to simply follow him down and keep close - clearly he didn't want us too far behind him in case we knocked stones down. There were big new stanchions painted orange for parts of it. As far as I remember we only ever used them as the occasional belay and not for abseils, though I'm sure in warm wet snowy conditions they'd come in really handy for abseils. My diary records that from the summit to the station took 3 hours, though it felt quicker than that (amazing how time flies when you're enjoying yourself...!)
> THE best video.......
Cheers Andy :-)
> Great video and soundtrack, very jelous and hope to get out there some time soon.
Many thanks wobl! Let us know when you head out and make your North Face movie... ;-)
> August 1994. As I said, it was completely dry - as was the Mitellegi itself - the summit snow ridge had shrunk away and we just walked up the easy unexposed hollow between the remains of it and the top of the rocks of the S face (actually much to my relief, I confess!) I don't think we put crampons on all day.
> I honestly didn't feel that the SW flank was that loose - I can think of things that are far looser.
Wow I wonder if the SW flank has deteriorated much in the last 20 years or so? The newest Alpine Club guidebook warns people from using it and all the guides in the Mittellegihütte we spoke too would not go anywhere near it! And the SW flank used to be the voie normale! :-)
> Nice one bruvva! Loved the sunset shot from the hut. Maybe one-day I'll get to follow in your foot-steps?
Cheers dude muchly appreciated and who knows? I hope you get to visit the Oberland one day as it is an amazing place to climb, walk and also spend far too much money!
Brilliant and inspiring. Thank you.
Your best yet Dave! Im pleased I left you guys to it ;)
Nice one, a reminder to me of a great experience two years ago.
I liked the proportion of time you gave to the day you arrived at the hut, getting there in the afternoon and enjoying the surroundings was a big part of the overall experience.
I'm wondering if you've got a second instalment i.e. the descent of the south ridge, which as you know is a great experience and not all downhill.
Cheers for sharing it.
> Brilliant and inspiring. Thank you.
Cheers Steve much appreciated!
> Your best yet Dave! Im pleased I left you guys to it ;)
Many thanks! I cannot imagine why but a few folks have asked to see a bit more of "Lucy Quickdraws", so I guess she will have to have starring role to keep her public happy sometime soon... ;-)
> Nice one, a reminder to me of a great experience two years ago.
> I liked the proportion of time you gave to the day you arrived at the hut, getting there in the afternoon and enjoying the surroundings was a big part of the overall experience.
Thanks Alan just getting to the Mittellegihütte is quite an adventure in itself and the views are just sensational!
Sadly not as by the time we reached the summit we were running a bit late so I packed away the film cameras. Although the South Ridge + traverse of the Eigerjochs is a mighty fine outing by itself the Mittellegi is much more spectacularly exposed and photogenic! :-)
We descended from the Eigerjochs and stayed at the Monchjoch hut overnight, as 2 of us has already been up the Monch a few days earlier for a quick outing + acclimatisation foray. However our Spanish amigo El David had a quick solo up the Monch voie normale the following day, whilst the Pom and I took the first train down for a relaxing day in the sun to quaff cheeseburgers and beer. Happy daze! :-)
just getting to the Mittellegihütte is quite an adventure in itself
Excellent video and inspirational.
> just getting to the Mittellegihütte is quite an adventure in itself
> For sure! Also re-assured by the lovely guardienne (Corinne - I don't think she's there any more?) who watches everyone through binoculars as they approach the hut and can tell how they'll go on the route itself (based on which she gives you your starting time, a bit like getting your position on the grid for a grand prix
Excellent stuff I guess my 2 buddys and I were towards the back of the grid in that case! There was an old boy who was the warden when we were there a few weeks back who was a bit of a character and an absolute diamond! :-)
> Excellent video and inspirational.
Cheers dude! :-)
Cheers lummox really appreciate your appreciation! :-)
love this, it's only seeing this I can see the scale of what I've read about, thanks very much
> love this, it's only seeing this I can see the scale of what I've read about, thanks very much
Cheers stu many thanks. The Eiger is pretty gobsmacking when seen close up and the Mittellegi ascent/South Ridge descent was a superb 2 day tour and comes highly recommended! :-)
Nice one Torchy glad you found the video useful and hope you get on the Mittellegi and South Ridges in the future as it is a tour you will not forget! :-)
Wow amazing video! Thanks for sharing!
Agree it looks fantastic...
> Agree it looks fantastic...
Hey Gav and WW many thanks for your kind words, muchly appreciated! :-)
Cheers gavmac glad you enjoyed it!
thanks for the heads up for the vid, sorry its took too long to get back baldy! I enjoyed it very much, so much so it has made our top 3 list of possibles to aspire to next year. Keep up the good work with your filming, many folk here enjoy your work. Think back to the snakes and ladders thread, what was the other welsh quarry adventure? The underground one? Need a wet weather plan in the glovebox ready to go and this looked interesting....
You could always do the Mitelleggi integrale, starting from Grindelwald and overnighting at the hut on the way up - only have to pay for the train for the way down then.....
Hi Tim many thanks. Don't let the cost of train put you off as it's a very nice journey and it is only money after all. Alternatively, as Chris mentions, you can save a one way fare (about £60) and go for the "full fat version" and do the Mittellegi Integrale instead all the way from Grindelwald! :-)
> I enjoyed it very much, so much so it has made our top 3 list of possibles to aspire to next year. Keep up the good work with your filming, many folk here enjoy your work. Think back to the snakes and ladders thread, what was the other welsh quarry adventure? The underground one? Need a wet weather plan in the glovebox ready to go and this looked interesting....
Nice one Wilkie the Bernese Oberland is an amazing, albeit expensive place and well worth a visit, so hope you get on the Mittellegi next year!
Anyway the underground Welsh mine adventure is the "Croesor-Rhosydd Through Trip" and a great wet weather option suitable for any competent team well-versed in self-rescue techiques. I found the following link very useful so hope this helps! :-)
Thanks for the link dave, found a good pdf and a youtube vid of the through trip. emailed to my mate so he can start to feel scared before we even do it! Would be interested in anyone who's done the trip, certainly a step up from smakes and ladders but what an adventure it'd be
>but nothing worth worrying about.
Famous last words if ever there was any :-)
The only thing that seems vague is the way out. I imagine we'll be taking along a rope just in case and a shunt in case we have to turn back.
We took a few wrong turns on the way out, most people seem to, but you get there in the end if you follow the draft
Hey Wilkie, Croesor Rhosydd is a top wet-weather alternative so go for it! The feedback I had from a couple of cavers prior to doing the route was it was safe as any excess rain water drains out via the huge adits. For the exit I would recommend getting the full tick and leaving via the Rhosydd adit, rather than the huge Twll as it looked rather loose and disgusting. The Rhosydd adit was only about an extra 20 minutes walk from the obvious Twll anyway. I found the following pdf very useful if you have not seen it:
Cheers Mark yep in places that summit ridge is thinner than an anorexic after-eight mint! Not too mention the giddyfying views down the North Face... ;-)
Just wanted to thank you both for your help with the advice / links for the Croesor / Rhosydd through trip. We've ticked it already! We had mon & tues free this week and headed down to Wales for 2 days of climbing and wasn't expecting to do this underground adventure at all. With the guides printed off just in case though, we decided to go for it due to the terrible M6 traffic losing us an hour or two and the rain and wind putting paid to any climbing plans.
We were at the entrance to Croesor for 14.00 and after a quick brew and food, we entered 30 mins later. At the top of the ceramic pipe section where the first abb is we turned off our lights 'for a laugh'. the darkness was absolute and I haven't experienced anything as black before. It reinforced what we were about to undertake. The first 2 abbs into the massive chamber were fine, well equiped and all rub points really well protected but the chamber itself was very scarey, our lights couldn't possibly light up the whole area but you can sense how big it is and the fallen rock that covered the base made it a nervious and frightening place to be. The zip slide over the lake was a blast and the suspension bridge cruely sat 6 inches below the surface due to the rain, wet and cold feet it was then! The bridge of death was tricky as we didn't have a pully and had to click-clack our way over with 2 cows tails on the steel wire <and another on the safety> The canoe came to us slowly after pulling the cord, it's ghostly shape appeared. Dave abbed straight into his helmsmans seat and I followed him down. It was riding high and despite previous users using rocks as ballast we decided to have our packs in the centre area to spread weight even more. We crossed without incident and quickly shunted the rope climb into the next section. We followed the guides we had and after much exploring, eventually agreed the tiny squeeze into the next section was the right way to go. The polish on the rock gave it away really but it isn't obvious at first. It seemed strange to get a glimpse of daylight and yet turn from it and head even further underground but we really wanted to find Adit 9. We did, hidden away amongst the rusting machinery of the bygone industry. Its a tiny pin prick of light and it never seems to get closer but eventually we emerged at 18.00. 3 1/2 hours for the trip and an hour of daylight left, I quickly got the map & compass sorted and we romped it for the path which we hit perfectly where intended and strolled back to the car in Croesor wet, filthy but very happy!
I don't want to promote this trip as IMO it is a dangerous and committing undertaking. An accident down there would have consiquences not worth thinking about. BUT, having said that, If you are a competent climber, can climb ropes with a mechanical aid and you work well with your partner, the trip through is worth considering as a wet day adventure. We had no special equip other than plenty of slings and screwgates, a shunt and several prussicks. Helmet is vital and so too are 2 headtorches each. We took a 50m rope just in case but it wasn't needed. We found it hot down there and needed to strip off a bit but did have hats, gloves and spare socks with us. We had the trusty jetboil too, you cant beat a hot drink.
It really was a brilliant day and we found our climbing skills crossed over to the underground world well. A great tick, thank you guys! :-)
<tuesday was bright and mild and Gambit climb and walking off via crib goch was great. A wonderful couple of days>
Glad i just saw this. Lovely video.
> Just wanted to thank you both for your help with the advice / links for the Croesor / Rhosydd through trip. We've ticked it already!
Hey Wilkie top effort and well done you. It sounds like you had a most excellent couple of days! Had the blue cord on the pulley system for the canoe been replaced? It was prety knackered when we did it a year ago... :-)
> Glad i just saw this. Lovely video.
Cheers Choss muchly appreciated! :-)
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