Eiger North Face 'Impossible'...

Swiss guides are warning that increases in temperature coupled with a lack of winter snow a rendering the classic North Face of the Eiger unclimbable.

Posted: 13 May 2004
by Jon

Swiss guides are warning that the classic Eiger Nordwand may soon be 'impossible' due to warmer conditions.

According to a story on the Telegraph web site, the combination of last year's hot summer, which caused problems all over the Alps, and a lack of snow over the winter means that the permafrost which binds the mountain together is melting leading to increased danger of rockfall on the already lethal face and melting the ice fields that form a crucial part of the route.

The Telegraph quotes a local guide from Interlaken as sayin: "We are telling people, 'Don't go on the North Face'. It is too dangerous. The mountain is falling down. These days I am often woken in the night by a sound like thunder. " A spokesman for the Swiss Alpine Club is also quoted as advising people not to attempt the North Face.

The situation on the Eiger is being duplicated elsewhere in the Alps. Last summer guides in Chamonix actually declared Mont Blanc 'closed' before the end of the normal season as the lack of snow cover and rockfall in the area led to increased danger for climbers. Meanwhile, a massive rockfall on the Matterhorn left tens of climbers stranded on the Hörnli Ridge normal route.

For the full Telegraph story, see here. And yes, we know it's a little old, but we thought it was worth a mention.

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