75th Anniversary of the First Climb of the Eiger North Face

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the first ever ascent of the frightful and fearsome near vertical north face of Switzerland's Eiger.

The German-Austrian team of of Anderl Heckmair, Ludwig Vörg, Fritz Kasparek and Heinrich Harrer first reached the summit on July 24, 1938 in 65 hours, a feat which now takes the Swiss Daniel Arnold just 2 hours 28 minutes!


The dream of being the first to make the ascent had cost many lives, and even Hitler himself offered a prize for the first German to climb it.  But it was no doubt the actual challenge of this dangerous and unpredictable mountain, dubbed 'the Ogre' which drew mountaineers to try and conquer the wall.  Whilst the summit had actually been reached by an Irishman in 1858, it was the north wall and its challenges which were the magnet to climbers - it is steep, exposed to bad weather, almost always hidden in shadow, and presents alternating patches of rock and ice.  Anyone prepared to climb it also faces the risk of being hit by falling rocks!

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