Eiger

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The Eiger is a mountain in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland. It is the easternmost peak of a ridge crest that extends across the Mönch to the Jungfrau at 4,158 m. The northern side of the mountain rises about 3,000 m (9,800 ft) above Grindelwald and other inhabited valleys of the Bernese Oberland, and the southern side faces the deeply glaciated region of the Jungfrau-Aletsch, covered by some of the largest glaciers in the Alps. The first ascent of the Eiger was made by Swiss guides Christian Almer and Peter Bohren and Irishman Charles Barrington, who climbed the west flank on August 11, 1858. The north face, 1,800 m (5,900 ft), was first climbed in 1938 by an Austrian-German expedition and is one of the six great north faces of the Alps. The expedition was constantly threatened by snow avalanches and climbed as quickly as possible between the falls. On the third day a storm broke and the cold was intense. The four men were caught in an avalanche as they climbed "the Spider," the snow-filled cracks radiating from an ice-field on the upper face, but all possessed sufficient strength to resist being swept off the face. The members successfully reached the summit at four o'clock in the afternoon. They were so exhausted that they only just had the strength to descend by the normal route through a raging blizzard. Since 1935, at least sixty-four climbers have died attempting the north face, earning it the German nickname Mordwand, literally "death wall". From Kleine Scheidegg a railway tunnel runs inside the Eiger and two internal stations provide easy access to viewing-windows in the mountainside. This railway, the Jungfraubahn rack railway, terminates in the Jungfraujoch, between the Mönch and the Jungfrau, at the highest railway station in Europe. The Eiger is mentioned in records dating back to the 13th century but there is no clear indication of how exactly the peak gained its name. In July 2006, a piece of the Eiger amounting to approximately 700,000 cubic metres of rock, fell from the east face. As it had been noticeably cleaving for several weeks and fell into an uninhabited area, there were no injuries and no buildings were hit. On 13 February, 2008, Ueli Steck breaks his own record, soloing the face in 2 hours, 47 minutes and 33 seconds. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]







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