Eiger

Featured photo of Eiger

Eiger, whose name means Ogre, is appropriately named for the severity of its towering north face. This mountain is the farthest east on the same crest that holds Jungfrau and Mönch. Of the three mountains, Eiger is the most spectacular. The first ascent of the Eiger was made by Swiss guides Christian Almer and Peter Bohren with Irishman Charles Barrington who climbed the west flank on August 11, 1858.

The Eiger North Face towers over 5,000 feet. Several climbers have been killed on this face, including the two Germans who first tried ascending it in 1935. In the 1930's, the mountain became famous for its escalating death tolls, and was referred to by such names as "The White Spider", "The White Cobra", "Murder Wall", "Eiger Mordwand", and others. There are several routes to the summit of the Eiger, but all are very serious, even those which do not ascend via the North Wall. A railway and high elevation hotel shortens the approach, but the climb to the summit is no less severe.

In 1936, another tragedy arose when an Austro-German group perished on the face. Hinterstoisser, Kurz, Angerer and Rainer all died on the face in adverse conditions. The lack of a fixed rope, laid at the Hinterstoisser traverse led to the party being trapped on the face, having to try a direct and difficult descent.

The first successful ascent of the Eiger North Face was by a mixed Austrian German group in 1938 sustaining no fatalities. The group consisted of Andreas Heckmair (Germany), Ludwig Voerg (Germany), Fritz Kasparek (Austria) and Heinrich Harrer (Austria). Three years earlier, in 1935, the Germans, Karl Mehringer and Max Sedlmeyer froze to death at what is now known as 'Death Bivouac' ("Todesbiwak"), a position above the Flatiron ("Bügeleisen").

The White Spider is not a name for the face, merely an icefield of the face that lies near the top of the route and is reached via the Traverse of the Gods. It is so called as the snow filled cracks radiating from this icefield resemble the sinuous legs of a spider.

Due to the reduced amount of rockfall and ice fall in winter, in recent years ascents of the Eiger North Face are often being tried in stable good weather periods, but in winter conditions. In contrast ascents via the Eiger west flank (normal route) or the Mittelegi ridge (east ridge) are usually done in the summer as both of these routes are very delicate in icy conditions.

Elevation (feet): 13,025
Elevation (meters): 3,970
Continent: Europe
Country: Switzerland
Range/Region: Berner Oberland
Latitude: 46.577595
Longitude: 8.005171
Difficulty: Technical Climb
Best months for climbing: Jul, Aug, Sep
Year first climbed: 1858
First successful climber(s): Charles Barrington, Christian Almer, Peter Bohren
Nearest major airport: Bern, Switzerland
Convenient Center: Grindelwald, Switzerland

Trip Reports

NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name

There are 28 trip reports for Eiger.

Select any entry from the list below:

  • Log #20757 - by Andy Humphrey on Apr 27, 2007
    thirteen hours from klein Sch? Excellent weather and visability.
  • Log #19350 - by bart cockx on Nov 14, 2006
    Mitt ridge, climbed it in the very hot summer of 2003. Almost no snow encountered. We started with the first train to eismeer . Found the route to the hut muchmore strenous then the ridge itself! We...
  • Log #20445 - by Brian on Oct 22, 2006
    Attempted the Northeast Pillar Austrian Route but retreated due to waterfalls. Did the Mittellegi instead. Great route with great views. Took the South Ridge down in a white out.
  • Log #19372 - by Brian on Sep 27, 2006
    Attempted the Northeast Pillar, Austrian Route and made it up about 2000 feet before retreating due to impassable waterfalls. Climbed the Mittellegi route instead. Topped out on August 1st, Swiss...
  • Log #1907 - by D Smith on Oct 13, 2004
    Ascent Via the Mittelgi ridge on a sunny but cold day. Overnight in the Mittelegi hut which is in an amazing position on the ridge. Late start, fairly interesting climbing on sloping holdless rock,...
  • Log #1905 - by Fred Spicker on Oct 11, 2004
    Ascent: Mittellgigrat Descent: W. Flank The top part of the mountain was badly iced up - very challenging. Advice: Do not underestimate the W. Flank. The route is complicated and long with loose rock...
  • Log #1881 - by B Stump on Aug 16, 2004
    Went up to the Eiger summit by Ski, over the Eigergletscher. It is a rough trip, as the glacier is not easy to pass (crevasses!). But an extraordinarry ascennt, where you will be almost certain alone...
  • Log #1882 - by Neil on Sep 12, 2003
    Eiger via mitt ridge; descent via west flank. Norwand camp site was home for a few days, the owner a descent man, who himself summited the Eiger many years ago! We did a recce of West Falnk the...
  • Log #1883 - by aboga on Sep 01, 2003
    Climbed it with an old friend in perfect weather. The new hut is great and the keeper even better (helluva homemade soup in there). The route is absolutely covered in fixed line, offering some rather...
  • Log #1884 - by gary on Aug 12, 2003
    arrived on the 14th of may to light snow and rain. acclimatsed for 3 days + when up the joch by train to get a look at conditions (pretty sh*tty) lots of fresh and crap snow. we set a date for sun...
  • Log #1885 - by tim yao on Apr 20, 2003
    climbed the Mittellegigrat by myself because the mountain guide did not show up. Was an excellent adventure, got help from a German during descent, otherwise would not have been able to make it....
  • Log #1886 - by Gavin Catt on Apr 14, 2003
    I have not climbed for about four years but I will remember climbing the North Face of the Eiger forever. It was the best weather I had ever climbed in with clear skies, and what a view!!!!!
  • Log #1887 - by ROUTEN - EIGER on Oct 07, 2002
    EIGER & MONCH from WEST - - http://www3.utsidan.se/hansw/images/mlegik2.jpg EIGER from SE - - http://www3.utsidan.se/hansw/images/mlegik1.
  • Log #1889 - by Sanchez, Keegan ,Smith on June 13, 2002
    We wanted to do the North Face but Clint Eastwood was unavailable toguide us that day (thank god)so we took a good guide, Mr A Ciana who got us up top via the easy route which was still hard.
  • Log #1890 - by E. Harry Grubb and Rufus Duits on May 09, 2002
    From the Eismeer station we climbed to the Mittellegi Hut on the afternoon of 24th August 2001. Before dawn on 25th August we made our summit bid via the Mittellegi Ridge doing a running belay most...
  • Log #1891 - by Stamen Kasabov on Feb 15, 2002
    I wish to contact other climbers. The North face took us 4 days/3 night. Luckily the weather and the monster permitted it. It was a unique experience.
  • Log #1892 - by Joe Valcourt on Sep 02, 2001
    Eric Jones who solo climbed Eiger ,is the true hero this mountain knows well. Would climb Eiger with Eric and noone else. Where is Eric ? Take good care Joe .
  • Log #1893 - by Andrew Hames on Sep 01, 2001
    well, this was one of the koolest, maybe someday there'll be some room for the nord-wand (north face) until then remember... there are bold climbers, and there are old climbers...but there are no...
  • Log #1895 - by Rob Griffiths on Sep 18, 2000
    Decent of the South West face not frozen and very loose , route finding was trickey.
  • Log #1896 - by Dave Robinson on Sep 18, 2000
    Climbed from Monchjochhutte via The South Ridge with brother
  • Log #1897 - by Frank-Jos van Hest on Jan 09, 2000
    Pittige overschreiding door matig weer en lange duur. Vanaf de Mitellegihut naar de top 3 uur en daarna nog 3 uur naar de Mönchjochhut. Ik had een geweldige gids: Ralf Weber. Ingehuurd vanuit het...
  • Log #1898 - by Frank-Jos van Hest on Nov 29, 1999
    Behoorlijk pittige beklimming mede zwaar door het matige weer. De vaste touwen waren in een goede staat evenals de vaste zekeringspunten. De Mittelegihut was knus met een fantastisch uitzicht. Ook 's...
  • Log #1899 - by Alexandru Platon on Nov 07, 1999
    The Classic Route, in a team of two, with Andrei Beleaua (Romania). VENI, VIDI, VICI. Hope to do it again.
  • Log #1900 - by Chris Nygren on Oct 25, 1999
    For a climb that was only suppose to take us three days, it turned into 6. Being pinned down by a storm to two and a half of those did not help us out. Although we reached the summit late in the...
  • Log #1901 - by Gary Hare on Oct 18, 1999
    Best Climb I have ever done in my Life, Saturday dawned Bright and sunny but got caught in Thunderstorm latter on ( Gear buzzing very Loudly - tends to concentrate the mind)and forced to Bivvi on...
  • Log #1902 - by Hans Wennerström on July 16, 1999
    We stepped out on the glacier from the railway station Eismeer in rainy weather and arrived at the Mittellegi hut after travelling on wet and slippery rock. Coming morning the weather was good and we...
  • Log #1903 - by Michael Drachev on June 17, 1999
    Northern was one of the toughest climbs of my life-
  • Log #1904 - by Christopher Haddad on Mar 24, 1999
    April climb was along Mitt ridge, August was the infamous North Face. Both descents along Ridge. From the summit I saw Jungfrau in all of its worth. But however magnificent the views at the top, I...