How many people have died climbing the Eiger mountain?
The Eiger is famous for its 5,900 ft north face of rock and ice – called Eigerwand or Nordwand – which is the biggest north face in the Alps.
This huge face towers over the resort of Kleine Scheidegg at on the homonymous pass connecting the two valleys.
The first ascent of the Eiger was made by Swiss guides Christian Almer and Peter Bohren (de) and Irishman Charles Barrington, who climbed the west flank on August 11, 1858.
Considered amongst the most challenging and dangerous ascents, the north face was first climbed in 1938 by an Austrian-German expedition.
But the Eiger has also become synonymous with tragedies involving climbers.
Since 1935, the mountain has claimed the lives of at least 64 climbers, earning it the German nickname Mordwand, or “murder(ous) wall”.
Although the summit of the Eiger can be reached by experienced climbers only, a railway tunnel runs inside the mountain – and people can enjoy the views from windows carved into the rock face.
Two internal stations are part of the Jungfrau Railway line, running from Kleine Scheidegg to the Jungfraujoch, between the Mönch and the Jungfrau, at the highest railway station in Europe. The two stations within the Eiger are Eigerwand (behind the north face) and Eismeer (behind the south face).
Eigerwand station has not been used since 2016.
Where is the Eiger mountain?
The Eiger towers over the small hamlet of Kleine Scheidegg in Bernese Alps.
The north face of the Eiger, a daunting 6,000ft wall of crumbling limestone, is considered Europe’s greatest challenge.
More than 700 climbers have reached the peak since the first successful ascent in 1938 and it was first conquered by a Briton in 1962.
The Eiger has long been the inspiration for films and books.
Although the summit was reached without much difficulty in 1858, the challenge to climb the perilous, vertical north face has inspired enthusiasts for decades.
Before it was successfully climbed, most of the attempts ended tragically.
The Bernese authorities even banned climbing it and threatened to fine any party that should attempt it again.
But a party of climbers from Austria and Germany successfully reached the summit in 1938 – by what is known as the “1938” or “Heckmair” route.
Climbers that attempted the north face could be easily watched through the telescopes from the Kleine Scheidegg, a pass between Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen, connected by rail.
After World War II, the north face was climbed twice in 1947, first by a party of two French guides, Louis Lachenal and Lionel Terray, then by a Swiss party consisting of H. Germann, with Hans and Karl Schlunegger.