The Eiger is one of the world’s great mountains. Clint Eastwood even made a movie about it back in 1975. Far as I know, it’s the only mountain that ever co-starred in a mainstream movie. Watch the trailer and I think you’ll agree that the mountain has clearly held up much better than the movie.
I had a girlfriend back then who loved Clint Eastwood, so we had to see all his films. Had he knocked on her door and said, “Let’s go. Right now. You and me”, she would have forgotten I existed and run away with him. Much like Jamie would do today if George Clooney knocked on our door. I don’t think she’d even take the time to write me a good-bye note.But back to the movie. Clint played a James Bond wannabe. He’s given an assignment to kill another unknown enemy spy, and the film’s plot revolves around Clint’s attempts to figure out who the spy is and dispatch him before the spy can kill him.
And while he’s figuring it out, he climbs the Eiger. Presumably because it provides more action than hanging around the ski lodge drinking hot toddys and eating fondue.
Mountain climbers consider the Eiger to be a bit of a challenge. The first ascent of the west flank didn’t happen until 1858. The north face, long considered one of the world’s most challenging and dangerous ascents, wasn’t climbed until 1938. At least sixty-four climbers have died attempting to climb the north face, earning the Eiger the German nickname Mordwand, which means “murderous wall”.
Kleine Scheidegg (where our buddy Ray used to work at the Hotel Scheidegg) sits at the base of the Eiger’s north face, and our hotel in Wengen, a few miles away, also has a great view of the mountain.