/ NEW ARTICLE: North Face of the Eiger - 1938 Route & Free Topo

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UKC Articles - on 20 Apr 2011
Rob Greenwood cooking up a storm on the Death Bivvy, Eiger North Face, 4 kbIn this article with full colour topo, UKC Chief Editor Jack Geldard takes us up the North Face of the Eiger.

With kit lists, tactics and route info, plus history, videos and useful links - this is your one stop Eiger shop.

For armchair climbers and would-be ascensionists alike, this article has everything you need to catapult you from the office straight to Death Bivvy. Good luck!

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=3652

jon on 20 Apr 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

Hey Jack, thanks for the topo. Neatly filed away for my re-incarnation as a super alpinist.
Mick Ward - on 20 Apr 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

Lovely article - and congratulations on your ascent. The Ueli Steck video looks terrifying; thank God he knows what he's doing.

I'm sure it will be possible to easily identify UKCers this summer, clutching their full colour Eigerwand topos, while furiously debating the respective merits of Flying Buttress Direct and Three Pebble Slab!

Mick

Gus Mayor - on 20 Apr 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

Wait a minute, if i read this will I lose the on-sight?
Tom Knowles - on 20 Apr 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

The Steck footage is incredible, mainly because of the consistent movement over difficult ground. Sure, that level of difficulty has been soloed before, but not without double-checking and weighting the placements. I'd guess that his speed record won't be broken for a very, very long time.
The EpiCentre - on 20 Apr 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

Epicentre Athlete Paddy Cave climbed the 1938 route last week. Photos and report on our blog.

http://www.theepicentre.co.uk/blog

Follow Paddy on facebook at:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Mountain-Circles/189325167779118

Chris the Tall - on 20 Apr 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:
Albert Mummery wrote

"It has frequently been noticed that all mountains appear doomed to pass through the three stages: An inaccessible peak - The most difficult ascent in the Alps - An easy day for a lady."

Is there now a fourth stage - Subject of a Rockfax Mini Guide !
Gob_Stopper on 20 Apr 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: Strange how in the video he goes from using quarks, and then suddenly by the summit he has nomics :D Must be footage from separate ascents.
In reply to UKC Articles: Jack, thanks for the Scottish grading. I now know categorically that it is too hard for me, rather than just suspecting so! :-)
In reply to TobyA: And what's with the cotton undies Jack? Just think how much faster you would have been with some performance pants on! ;-)

Were the Germans ok? You're description of them is a bit worrying.
ClimberEd - on 20 Apr 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

Really interesting article - thanks guys.

Puts things into perspective, most other accounts I have read make it out a full couple of grades easier.
Wee Davie - on 20 Apr 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

Great article.
BALD EAGLE - on 20 Apr 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

Great article and congrats to both of you guys!
MikeTS - on 20 Apr 2011
In reply to Tom Knowles:
> (In reply to UKC Articles)
>
> The Steck footage is incredible, mainly because of the consistent movement over difficult ground. Sure, that level of difficulty has been soloed before, but not without double-checking and weighting the placements. I'd guess that his speed record won't be broken for a very, very long time.

Yeah that terrified me. He was at times pulling on only axe without seeming to check the placement. And he appeared to be relying on being able to recover - with a 1000 metres of air below!

matt perks - on 20 Apr 2011
In reply to TobyA:
> Just think how much faster you would have been with some performance pants on! ;-)
>
> Or no pants...

stevebarratt - on 21 Apr 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

Very useful article, cheers jack. Couple of questions:

Did the difficult crack have a couple of bolts near its base? (petzl hangers) or is this further to the right?

Did the quartz crack pitch end with the traverse to the corti bivi?

What conditions did you encounter on the exit chimneys?

Cheers!


Loughan - on 21 Apr 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: With the lack of a camera in the kit list we can only presume there was a photographer working twice as hard to get the shots.

BTW, great article. Where's next?
hubereini - on 21 Apr 2011
In reply to TobyA: if it was them (http://wuidebuam.blogspot.com/ read their blog earlier and they mention to have encountered brits rob and jeff) they met, then one ended up in hospital with the fingers a bit frozen but otherwise ok...
Chris the Tall - on 21 Apr 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:
I'm not in any way a climate change sceptic, but is the face significantly more dangerous in summer now than 75 years ago ? Have the icefields retreated that much ? Or is it just that modern gear allows people to operate in much colder conditions, whilst better knowledge and understanding of the route makes 2 day ascents more viable (at least to those at the top end - still very impressive) and so increase the chances of getting a good weather window.
James Rushforth - on 21 Apr 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: Congrats to you both, nice article.
Robert Durran - on 21 Apr 2011
In reply to Gob_Stopper:
> (In reply to UKC Articles) Strange how in the video he goes from using quarks, and then suddenly by the summit he has nomics :D Must be footage from separate ascents.

And the bit where he gains a big hanging arete is not (I am pretty sure) even on the 1938 route- looks like it might be on the Scottish Pillar. It makes me wonder where the close up of the mixed corner was actually filmed! This part is clearly nowhere near as steep as it first made to appear; it looks like he is pulling up on tenuous hooks, but then it becomes clear he is pretty much in balance.

I take my hat off to him if the actual ascent was done truly alone (like his solo of the Colton/Mcintyre) without a helicopter in attendance, but I would expect it to be acknowledged if the footage is staged afterwards. I am taking nothing away from his achievement, but, having felt slightly sick on first viewing the video, I now feel rather disappointed.

Only a hill - on 21 Apr 2011
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to UKC Articles)
> I'm not in any way a climate change sceptic, but is the face significantly more dangerous in summer now than 75 years ago ? Have the icefields retreated that much ? Or is it just that modern gear allows people to operate in much colder conditions, whilst better knowledge and understanding of the route makes 2 day ascents more viable (at least to those at the top end - still very impressive) and so increase the chances of getting a good weather window.

I think both of these are the case. From what I've read, I gather some summers now see the icefields vanish completely--which is a far cry from average conditions in the 1930s. However, modern equipment and knowledge of the route also make winter ascents much easier.
Scarab - on 21 Apr 2011
Am I the only one who now finds the 1938 ascent to not only be impressive but actually shocking. Scottish 6 and pitch after another...


Thanks very useful to things in perspective!1
In reply to Scarab:
> Am I the only one who now finds the 1938 ascent to not only be impressive but actually shocking. Scottish 6 and pitch after another...
>
>
> Thanks very useful to things in perspective!1

It was done in full summer conditions, so presumably there was a lot less ice climbing involved?

I was wonder what grade the Hinterstoisser would be without the fixed gear?

Chris
Red Rover - on 22 Apr 2011
In reply to Scarab: I dont know much about alpinism but any route put up back then that is stil a test piece now must say alot about the first asencionists.
Exile - on 23 Apr 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

Great article.

Sorry to be a spod but I'd be interested in what your hydration strategy was?
TRip - on 23 Apr 2011
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> (In reply to Scarab)
> [...]
>
> It was done in full summer conditions, so presumably there was a lot less ice climbing involved?
>
> I was wonder what grade the Hinterstoisser would be without the fixed gear?

In Patey's article - a short walk with Whillans - he suggests it would have UK rock grade of Severe. How true this is I do not know.

ads.ukclimbing.com
Scarab - on 24 Apr 2011

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