The Eiger Myth

«If the wall can be done, then we will do it – or stay there!” This assertion by Edi Rainer and Willy Angerer proved tragically true for them both – they stayed there. The first attempt on the Eiger North Face in 1936 went down in history as the most infamous drama surrounding the North Face and those who tried to conquer it.

Together with their German companions Andreas Hinterstoisser and Toni Kurz, the two Austrians perished in this wall notorious for its rockfalls and suddenly deteriorating weather. The gruesome image of Toni Kurz dangling in the rope went around the world.

The myth surrounding the Eiger North Face has its initial roots in the 1930s, a decade in which nine alpinists were killed in various attempts leading up to the successful first ascent in July 1938. From 1935 onwards, the climbing elite regarded the North Face as “the last problem in the Western Alps”.