/ Eiger north face

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221110 - on 09 Feb 2013
hi all,

I suppose the title will have already grabbed your attention, but im planning on making the youngest summit on the Eiger north face on the 1938 route, either the end of this year or the end of next, im currently 20 and for my age i have a pretty massive amount of alpine and ice climbing and just general mountaineering, what i would like is a partner of similar age and ability to train with on a regular basis to make this attemt, i understand it is a monumental task to undertake, but also it would be a incredible achievment, im incredibly commited to the things i do and im not one of those hero types, everything is by the book with me so to speak.

If i do not feel up for the attemt this year i will still be most likely doing a trip to the swiss alps or chamonix for something a little less daring but equal as great achievment.

Cheers for reading

Kyle
a lakeland climber on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to kyle_p:

Unfortunately, you are 4 years too late! I've heard of a 16yr old doing it. Still looks like a good objective to get on your CV whatever.

ALC
221110 - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber:

Dam ive never heard of a 16yr old doing it, thats incredible! well still im going to do it because its still a great achievment
Albert Tatlock - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to kyle_p:

Sorry to disappoint, but sure a 17 year old has climbed the 38 rte many years ago.

Still would be a good achievement at 20.
221110 - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Albert Tatlock:

Again thats incredible to do it at those ages, must have been some pretty determained people, but still a remarkable bit of architecture to climb.
jimtitt - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to kyle_p:

Ueli Steck climbed the Heckmair (38 route)when he was 18.
221110 - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to jimtitt:

Ive found it really difficult to find substantial media coverage on it really cause like with the majority of climbers including myself, its for their own benifit and not for fame, not ripping into ueli steck tho cause that man deserves the coverage he is a machine for the stuff he does.
Albert Tatlock - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to kyle_p:

Unborn children have even done the 38 route,how young is that.
jon on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Albert Tatlock:

... and had routes named after them!
I like climbing - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to kyle_p:
My mate did it when he was 19 but have fun.
Frank4short - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to jon: Perhaps it's just the naivety of youth, though in my opinion the OP comes across as pretty arrogant to automatically assume he'll be the youngest the climb the 38 route at 20, which might even be 21 by his account. After all most of the highest peaks have been climbed by much younger climbers. I'd also add some of my mates climbed not insignificant routes in the Alps on their second alpine seasons aged just 19, without the OP's "massive alpine experience". So to think some talented Irish amateurs can do this, then to assume as a 20 year old brit you'll be first is a little gobsmacking. Especially when you see some of the things the hyper talented locals are doing in alpine areas. Mind in saying maybe the OP needs to spend a little more time with the locals in these areas to really see how much experience he does, or perhaps, does not have.
I like climbing - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to I like climbing:
I think one of the guys with them was 16 at the time
Albert Tatlock - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Frank4short:


Frankie,as the song goes "Just relax " let the kid try,we have all been that naive arrogant young person at some stage.
David Rose - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to kyle_p: When Chris Bonington and Ian Clough made the first British ascent more than 50 years ago, they met a couple of 17 year old Swiss lads who had almost no experience and rudimentary equipment. They got up safely.
GridNorth - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Albert Tatlock: The North Face of the Eiger is not the place to discover that you are out of your depth.
Bradders - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to kyle_p:
this thread amuses me, i looked at the exact samething a couple of years ago, found out it had been climbed by a 16 year old and decided i do climbing for enjoyment anyway. Im now looking at a possible unclimbed route in the alps, its the sort of climbing i enjoy anyway. I dont climb to beat records, but my own enjoyment. I am going to be watching conditions on the north face, hopefully to attempt it this autumn.

All the best
Bradders
jon on 10 Feb 2013

Well that's well and truly pissed on Kyle's chips. Kyle, think about the Harlin - I'm sure you'd be the youngest on that.
Spiderling on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to kyle_p: surely with your massive alpine experience, you would have plenty of climbing partners. I would also advise before you take on mountains such as the Eiger, you do a bit of historic research. Not to be rude but the Bonington story is so famous I am shocked you have not glanced through it. I was just 20 when I took on the Eiger and I too thought I was very experienced. Like driving I guess, we all look back and realise were over confident and were not experienced at all. We live and learn Kyle. On a separate note, if you are intending on going for a record of any kind. Make sure you keep it quiet for as long as possible and have date set. Have a look at capt Scott, Sir Ranulph Fiennes stories for examples of why. A good climber in my opinion is a discreet one. Climbing is for oneself and not for show I believe. Good luck and don't do anything too much out of your depth.
Bruce Hooker - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Albert Tatlock:

> let the kid try...

At 21 he's hardly a kid! Many people are peaking, in both senses of the word, at that age.... From then on it's often downhill.
blackcat - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Spiderling: Totally agree with you,if you have a project like that it should be fully rsearched,ive read everything i can find on the eiger and have no intension of climbing the full thing,but would love to go onto the lower part of it for the experience,and to the guy whos planning the attempt dont forget joe simpson attempted it six times i beleive,and beaten back by bad weather every time.good luck
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climber_medic - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to 221110: Good luck with your efforts whatever you do. Do listen to the armchair commandos that frequent this site and crack on mate!! :-)
Only a hill - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to 221110:
I think a lot of the responses on this thread have been pretty harsh and, dare I say it, typical of UKC at its worst. Climbing requires enthusiasm and there's no quicker way of killing enthusiasm than telling someone they are stupid.

Let people dream! He would have found out sooner or later that his attempt wouldn't break any records, so why be so withering in your condemnation of youthful enthusiasm? I very much doubt anyone nowadays would seriously consider the north face of the Eiger without putting in the necessary preparation and getting the necessary experience.
Kevin Woods - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Only a hill:
> (In reply to 221110)
> I think a lot of the responses on this thread have been pretty harsh and, dare I say it, typical of UKC at its worst. Climbing requires enthusiasm and there's no quicker way of killing enthusiasm than telling someone they are stupid.
>
> Let people dream!

This.

It's a constant course of amazement (for me) that such a great forum also has it's share of numpties.

Sorry I can't put it as well as Up a hill.
Goucho on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Only a hill: I don't think the criticism's were about his ambitions to climb the Eiger NF, it was more about his motivations of wanting to be the 'youngest'.

Therefore, is his motivation the route itself, or any possible fame and publicity associated with his accent?

As someone with a reasonable amount of experience of climbing on the Eiger NF, I can say quite confidently, that if it's the latter, then he may well get it, but for all the 'wrong' reasons - e'g, Claudio Corti!
Only a hill - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Goucho:
> (In reply to Only a hill) I don't think the criticism's were about his ambitions to climb the Eiger NF, it was more about his motivations of wanting to be the 'youngest'.
>
> Therefore, is his motivation the route itself, or any possible fame and publicity associated with his accent?

I don't know what his motivations are, and I suspect neither does anyone else. I can't see any direct evidence that he's in it just for the fame. It's so easy to misjudge the tone of forum posts if it's someone you don't know.

For all we know he might be truly passionate about the route, and the potential of being the youngest may simply have been incidental...
GridNorth - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Only a hill: Maybe but I have far more respect for people who just get on and do it and don't announce to all and sundry that they are about to. Not sure if it's symptom of youth today and our celebrity culture or modern communications. I've been on it three times. The second time nearly killed me and seriously injured my partner who gave up climbing straight after. My third and successful attempt was relatively straightforward.

To the OP: I wish you luck but do not underestimate it.
Goucho on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Only a hill: The opening sentence of the OP's post.

"I suppose the title will have already grabbed your attention, but im planning on making the youngest summit on the Eiger north face on the 1938 route,"

Of course if his opening sentence had been....

.... "I suppose the title will have already grabbed your attention, but im planning on climbing the Eiger north face on the 1938 route,"...

then maybe there wouldn't have been any questions regarding his motivation.

Just a thought.
Goucho on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to GridNorth: To be honest, I can't see why anyone would want to.

Two attempts for me, both in summer, years ago - I gather it's just climbed in Winter conditions nowadays - with my high point being the Brittle Ledges. Both resulted in typical epic storm lashed, waterfalled, avalanched and stone bombarded retreats (the 2nd resulting in 2 nights stuck at Death Bivi) and almost killed me too.

It is awesome, dramatic, unique and morbidly fascinating.

It is also the most disgustingly unpleasant, horrible piece of rotting loose 'death on a stick' choss on the face of the earth, with crap climbing, following a line which wanders around like a pissed student on freshers week, and is ideally suited to either masochists or cavers.

I would sooner perform root canal surgery on myself, without anaesthetic, using a black and decker drill, than ever step foot on it again.

I even refuse to go skiing at Wengen, because the sod is always in your face :-)
jon on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Goucho:
> It is also the most disgustingly unpleasant, horrible piece of rotting loose 'death on a stick' choss on the face of the earth, with crap climbing, following a line which wanders around like a pissed student on freshers week, and is ideally suited to either masochists or cavers.
>
> I would sooner perform root canal surgery on myself, without anaesthetic, using a black and decker drill, than ever step foot on it again.

Wrong thread Gouch - that's Stoney...
paul-1970 - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to 221110:
I once heard Martin Moran lecture on some of his climbs in the Alps. Notably he didn't mention the NF of the Eiger until the Q&A at the end when someone else raised the subject. I got the impression that as far as he was concerned, there was much better, harder and more enjoyable climbing to be had all over the Alps away from the Eiger.

His reply to the question of his thoughts on climbing the NF? "I'm glad I've climbed it so now I don't have to do it again..."
GridNorth - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Goucho: Agreed, the Walker is a far superior climb but for us it was the "cudos" that only the Eiger had.
Nath93 - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Goucho: If I could like UKC comments, i'd like this one.
blurty - on 10 Feb 2013
>
> I even refuse to go skiing at Wengen, because the sod is always in your face :-)

Superb!

Never been on the North face myself, no-where near able enough.

I've looked across from the ridges to either side & though what a gruesome shit-hole of a place it was though, & I'm a caver!
Rampikino - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to 221110:

I think the reports of it being chossy climbing only seem to create a greater fascination! Bizarre.

Would love to do it one day.
beregeil - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to 221110:

a young german climber, michi wohlleben(age 22/23?) climbed it multiple times and was 15/16 during his first ascent! :O sick tho's youngsters
efrance24234 - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to 221110: troll?
ericinbristol - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Goucho:
> following a line which wanders around like a pissed student on freshers week

Excellent
StuartCJones - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to 221110:

I'm a bit old (29) but if you can't find a partner, give me a shout.
Orgsm on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to 221110:

I don't think it's been done in roller skates yet , so you could try that. Of course if you're not massively experienced at skating.....
Franco Cookson on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Frank4short: What a nasty reply to someone you know nothing about.

To the op: Good luck if that's what you're really psyched for. If I were you though, I'd try and find my own little adventure, most probably on something few other people had been on.

Wear a helmet.
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smithaldo - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to 221110: I dont think you'd actually be the youngest Brit to do it as I am pretty sure someone rather famous but incognito did it when he was 17/18.
Pero - on 11 Feb 2013
It's not clear why anyone would take this post seriously! It's got to be a wind-up.
Lantys Tarn - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Pero:

agreed!
David Rose - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to 221110: Why not try it in winklepickers?
jon on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to davidoldfart:

David, would someone who wears the crotch of his trousers around his knees really know what winklepickers are?
ScottyG - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to 221110: Where are you based in the UK Kyle?
unclesamsauntibess - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to 221110: troll. or death awaits.
GridNorth - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to unclesamsauntibess: I think we need to get some context into this discussion. In good conditions, not normally found in summer these days, it can be relatively straightforward for a well equipped, fit and competent party. The trouble is it's long, very long and if the weather changes there is little doubt in my mind that it's more of a potential killer than most other comparable routes that I can think of. Quite frankly it's a pile of tottering crap only held together by frozen ice. Too much ice/verglas and sections can be almost impossible, too little ice and it all falls on you. It can change very quickly. On one of our attempts the forecast was brilliant but the forecast was to some extent wrong. We were told that the whole area was basked in glorious sunshine but in the cwm shape of the face the ice melted and the stones fell like rain while the snow swirled around us in high winds and lightening struck our gear. It is the most intimidating place that I have ever climbed in and there is no doubt that this and it's history prays on you.
Goucho on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to GridNorth: I can sum up how I felt on both my attempts in one word......

....Hunted.
Simon4 - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Goucho:

> I would sooner perform root canal surgery on myself, without anaesthetic, using a black and decker drill, than ever step foot on it again.

I have only ever looked at it, never having been good enough to consider it, but it never looked remotely appealing anyway (unlike say the N Face of the Matterhorn, which was a possibility when I was going well, and does look beautiful in the right conditions).

It just looks menacing, to apply the pathetic fallacy, it looks evil. Intentionally malevolent, the mountain actually is out to get you. There is nothing remotely attractive about it, just a huge dark grey mass of wickedness and malice.

It is hard to see that many people would want to climb it at all if it were not for its notoriety and history, and an awful lot of those that do seem to regard it as a very demanding and dangerous chore to be got out of the way as quickly as is remotely safe to do so.

Goucho on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Simon4: Yes it is all of those things, and it's a route which for many (including myself) is something you feel you have to do to 'get it out of the way' so you can get on with the rest of your climbing - a sort of masochistic, self flagellation 'rite of passage' :-)

Mind you, I know some that have pissed up it and wondered what all the fuss was about!!!

I think that could be because they never read The White Spider when they were an impressionable young teenager beforehand :-)
abseil on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to davidoldfart:
> (In reply to 221110) Why not try it in winklepickers?

Now you've really reminded me of the classic Al Harris comment that he could wear winklepickers and follow anything Pete Crew led. Still makes me laugh. What a character...

PS Anyone interested can read the classic article by Jim Perrin about Al here:

http://tobyharris.com/Design/docs/AlHarris/AlObitCRAGS33.pdf
stroppygob - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to 221110: It hasn't been done naked yet!! Your chance for your 15 minutes lies there.

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