Switzerland – The Eiger Northwall

Sometimes a place can lodge itself into your mind. For me that was  the Northwall of the Eiger in Switzerland. I had read books about climbing the Eiger like “The White Spider” and “Eiger Obsession” and since then I wanted to visit this mountain and see for myself this amazing wall of rock.

So this year I took the opportunity when I was in Germany to make my way to Grindelwald to gaze at the Eiger. I only had 3 days there and I was graced with very changeable weather. On my first day it rained and only due to my super human effort to get out of bed early on that day I managed to glimpse the top of the Eiger in the morning light before the clouds rolled in.

The weather forecast for the second day promised for clouds clearing in the afternoon. So reason enough to take a cable car up the First mountain, climb Faulhorn (2686m) and carry on to the Busalp where they make yummy goat cheese. The views across Bachsee to Wetterhorn, Schreckhorn and Finteraarhorn should have been amazing alas it started to snow on me.

Luckily on my third day it was really clear and I took the famous cable car up to Kleine Scheidegg and the Jungfraujoch (3454m). From here I walked to the Mönchsjoch Hütte, really wishing for me skis to go Ski touring from here which looked very tempting.

The Jungfraujoch itself is a bit of a zoom being easily accessible and thousands of people each day visit. Tacky displays in an underground observatory are supposedly there to entertain people when the weather is foul. It soon got on my nerves and I took the train down, getting out at the Eiger Glacier station because here the Eigertrail starts. A great trail passing directly under the Eiger Northwall. Wow! I was quite moved when I finally go to stand under the wall where so many climbing dramas have enfolded.  Luck with the weather meant I great good views and also time to lie in the grass for a while and gaze up the wall before continuing to Alpiglen where a nice beer waited for me.