Climbing TV: The Eiger: Wall of Death, Andy K and Leo

After this weekends' Great Climb, when Dave MacLeod and Tim Emmett successfully climbed a new route on Sron Uladail (you can watch the whole show on the BBC iPlayer until September 4th), there are two more climbing events on the TV this week, and the release of a climbing film later in September.

First sight of the North Face of the Eiger, 116 kb
First sight of the North Face of the Eiger
© David Gladwin

On Wednesday 1st September at 9pm, BBC 4 are showing Eiger Wall of Death an hour long biography of the North Face of the Eiger produced by Indus Films.

The producers apologise in advance to climbers for the sensationalist name, saying that it wasn't their first choice but reflects the opinions of the press that built up the Eiger's grim reputation and that the film is more respectful than sensational. Considering that over 70 climbers have died attempting the Mordwand some may excuse the grim title of the film.

Toni Kurz (left) and Anderl Hinsterstoißer, seen here in the Bavarian Alps.
© AS Verlag, Zürich

The film is presented by Kenton Cool and Neil Brodie, and features Andy Cave and Sir Chris Bonington. Eiger Wall of Death documents the history of the Nordwand and gives an insight into the minds of the climbers who have been involved in climbing the vertical mile of shattered limestone and ice above the rolling meadows of the Kleine Scheidegg.

The salvage team were met by the terrible sight of the ice-covered corpse of Toni Kurz., 62 kb
The salvage team were met by the terrible sight of the ice-covered corpse of Toni Kurz.
© AS Verlag, Zürich

Also involved is UK contributor, Rainer Rettner author of Eiger – Triumphe und Tragödien 1932-1938 (see UKC review and a UKC interview with Rainer here, including a brief history of the Nordwand). Rainer was described by Luca Signorelli at UKC as, 'today's greatest writer of mountain history'.

Eiger Wall of Death also features rich archive footage and stunning cinematography and sounds like it will be worth watching.

You can watch it tomorrow on BBC 4 at 9.00pm and it will be repeated on Thursday (2nd Sept) at 2.40am and Sunday (5th Sept) at 12.25am

More details at the BBC4 website

Leo and The Wildest Dream

If you were listening to BBC Radio 4 this morning, Leo Houlding was interviewed about the film The Wildest Dream, the docudrama about George Mallory and Andrew "Sandy" Irvine's attempt on Everest in 1924. The film is released nationally on 24th September. Leo plays Sandy Irvine and Conrad Anker, George Mallory. The film is narrated by Liam Neeson and also stars Ralph Fiennes, the late Natasha Richardson, Hugh Dancy and Alan Rickman.

More details at

We will have more about Leo Houlding this week at

Karen Darke and Andy Kirkpatrick on The Michael Ball Show

On a lighter note, Karen Darke and partner, Andy Kirkpatrick are on the ITV1 Michael Ball Show at 3 pm on Thurs 2nd September. The Michael Ball Show is described as "a topical mix of entertainment, discussion and showbiz glamour".

Karen and Andy have a 7 minute spot, they were supposed to discuss their South Pole expedition and Andy's latest tour but ended up talking about Karen's accident and crossing the ice cap. (Karen fell climbing and is paralysed from chest down -

Andy told us, 'The show was very very strange, and I was on my best behaviour.  Only naughty thing I did was when asked if I'd like to join them for lunch (even though it was filmed at 8pm) of Chicken Satay, I said 'I don't like chicken and I don't like peanuts.' The whole experience - along with Cosmo woman of the year awards last year - made me think how being a celeb' must be one of the worst jobs anyone could ever wish for."'

I'm not sure who Michael Ball is but you can join his fan club here

You can catch Andy Kirkpatrick, stand-up Mountaineer, October through to February, all over the UK in his series of lectures entitled, Off The Wall. Full details at

Karen Darke (R), winner of 'Ultimate Fearless Female', at the Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women Of The Year Award 2009
© Ian Gavan/Getty Images Europe

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