"Life is brought down to the basics: if you are warm, regular, healthy, not thirsty or hungry, then you are not on a mountain... Climbing at altitude is like hitting your head against a brick wall - it's great when you stop."

Chris Darwin

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Eiger Obsession

There seems to be quite a few movies and books popping out in last two years covering the historic, and in many cases tragic, events on the north face of Eiger.

I've mentioned The Alps: Climb of Your Life already earlier. Now I finally got around ordering North Face as it became available in Blu-ray. When searching the net to find out where to order it, I also tumbled on The Beckoning Silence , based on a book by Joe Simpson (yes, the very same one who Touched the Void). Both movies deal with the same tragic event on 1936 when Adreas Hinterstoisser and Toni Kurz, who joined forces with Austrian party of Willy Angerer and Edi Rainer while on the face, were trying to put up a highly coveted first ascent. They failed and the entire party was killed at different times during their retreat attemp. Nordwand (aka The North Face) is a drama movie based on true story but with some fictional elements injected into it, while Beckoning the Silence appears to be documentary.

The same event, together with many other early attemps, the first ascent, and the ascents that followed are all described in "The White Spider" by Heinrich Harrer, himself a member of the first ascent party (and later famous for Hollywood movie "Seven Years in Tibet"), considered a classic piece of mountaineering literature.

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