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THE EIGER Dougal Haston 1974 1st UK ed Hardcover DJ Fine
By Haston, Dougal
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Detailed Product Description
London, Cassell, 1974, 1st edition. 170 pp, 27 b/w photos, route diagram, index. Original green cloth hardcover with gold lettering on spine and dust jacket. Fine. 

Accounts of the many Eiger North Face expeditions: British, American, German, Swiss and Japanese from 1966-1974. This was the period of many dramatic North Face epics. [Neate H51.] One of the harder to find Eiger titles.
  
Dougal Haston was a colorful character who is now considered one of the greatest British climbers of 20th century.

In 1970, Dougal Haston, with Don Whillans, was the first to climb the south face of Annapurna on an expedition led by Chris Bonington, and in 1975, with Doug Scott, was the first to climb Mount Everest by the South West face, also on an expedition led by Bonington.

Haston made the first ascent of the Eiger Nordwand by the Direttissima, or most direct route in 1966 with Jorg Lehne, Gunther Strobel, Roland Votteler and Siegefried Hupfauer. American John Harlin was killed when a rope snapped (the ropes being used were chosen by Harlin although Haston had requested them be thicker) and the Route was subsequently named after Harlin.

Later, Haston became director of the International School of Mountaineering at Leysin, where he was killed by an avalanche while skiing alone on the North-East face of La Riondaz to the Col Luisset. Sadly, it seems that he had been choked by his own scarf. He is buried at Leysin as is John Harlin.

The Eiger, (3970 m or 13025') whose name means The 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 Monch. Of the three mountains, The Eiger is the most spectacular. Its fearsome north wall towers over 5,000 feet.

Many climbers have been killed on the North Face or Nordwand. In the 1930's, the Eiger's North Face  became famous for its escalating death tolls, and was referred to in print by such names as The White Spider, The White Cobra, Murder Wall (Mordwand), and others. There are several routes to the summit of Eiger, but all are very serious, even those which do not ascend via the North Wall.

A railway and high elevation hotel (3478 m) shortens the approach, but the climb to the summit is no less severe. The first ascent was by a mixed Austrian German group in 1938 sustaining no fatalities. The group consisted of Anderl Heckmair, Ludwig Vorg, Fritz Kasparek and Heinrich Harrer. In 1935, the Germans, Karl Mehringer and Max Sedlmeyer froze to death at what is now known as 'The Death Bivouac,' a position above the Flatiron.

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

The White Spider is a part 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 snowfield resemble the sinuous legs of a spider. Heinrich Harrer's narrative of the first ascent is also called The White Spider, and is one of the great classics of mountaineering literature.


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