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Eiger West face + touring conditions

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Slightly old news now, and has been posted eldewhere, but seeing a general lack of Euro-stoke I thought I would post this here... Last week we had a hot tip off at the weekend from friends who had climbed the North face that the West face of the Eiger was in very snowy condition, so a crack team was hastily assembled to go and ski this legendary summit.
Weighing in at 5.2 on the Toponeige scale, and with 1600m vertical of serious alpine terrain, with 1200m at 40º or more and 4/500m of steady 45º high up this is not a descent to take lightly (not to mention the mid-height serac).

Grindlewald grund train station:
P1000721.jpg


On the train up to Kleine Sheidegg
P1000725.jpg


Eiger North face looking moody:
P1000726.jpg


The team contemplating the West face, upper half hidden by the clouds:
P1000728.jpg


Ross & Cedric at the 5 star bivvy spot:
P1000734.jpg


Sunset on the Jungfrau:
P1000739.jpg


Antigravity chough:
P1000741.jpg


7.30 am, time to climb... only 1600m to go:
P1000742.jpg


A bit of rock climbing for a wake-up call:
P1000743.jpg


A few hundred metres of skinning up the lower apron, then skis on pack, crampons on, and time to start boot-packing:
P1000744.jpg


Cedric approaching the ice runnels that allow you to stay well left (though not completely out of the line of fire of the serac):
P1000747.jpg


Starting up the upper face:
P1000750.jpg


Looking down from approx 3600m on the West face, Eigergletscher station visible 1300m below:
P1000752.jpg

A quick peek down the North face - very good conditions on the classic '38 route currently:
P1000754.jpg

The team on the summit:
P1000756.jpg

French pair coming off the North face:
P1000761.jpg


Dave puts in the first couple of turns down a slightly firm West ridge - 4m wide, 1600m of north face on the right, 1600m of West face below, so slightly 'airy'!:
P1000762.jpg


John - first turns on the West ridge:
P1000764.jpg

Spot the skier (yes he is in there - dead centre) - Dave ripping the upper face:
P1000767.jpg

Jim high on the upper face:
P1000768.jpg

Ross:
P1000771.jpg

Ross & Cedric below the serac - 100m of mixed conditions - chopped up powder, sluff balls, spring snow & the odd runnel... just where you don't want to be hanging around!

P1000774.jpg

Good spring snow right through the lower slabs - just enough there to get through with skis on...
P1000775.jpg

And ski to within 50m of the Eigergletscher station:
P1000776.jpg


One for the laydees! - The cream of the crop of Chamonix steep skiers flex their pecs in the afternoon sun:
P1000777.jpg

The West face. The line skied started from the summit down the West ridge (left hand skyline), then skiers left through the rock bands of the upper face to join the wide slopes above the serac:
P1000779.jpg

Culture shock - one minute you are in the high mountains, the next sitting on a train full of Japanese tourists!
P1000780.jpg

Legendary summit + great line + good snow + crack team = awesome day out!

 

Meanwhile good touring conditions continue in the Western Alps, with good conditions & people aplenty in the Haute Tarentaise, Haute Maurienne & Gran Paradiso areas, and good first-hand reports coming in from the bernese Oberland & Grand Combin... The season ain;t over yet, despite the 'dry' winter!

post #2 of 14

Great trip report -- would love to see larger photos!


 

post #3 of 14

That is a lot of serious mountaineering and then skiing...awesome and intimidating..

post #4 of 14

Wow. Really amazing trip. Any more photos of the climb?

 

This looks a lot like the area where I saw a tv show about two guys who go out then get stranded. Only one makes it back after the chopper comes eventually.  I could be totally off though.

post #5 of 14

Tightens the old....

Tx for the Eiger buzz/

post #6 of 14

 

Quote:
Slightly old news now, and has been posted eldewhere, but seeing a general lack of Euro-stoke I thought I would post this here...

I luv Euro-stoke!

Thanks,

JF

post #7 of 14

Nice TR!  Thanks for sharing it here.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

Wow. Really amazing trip. Any more photos of the climb?

 

This looks a lot like the area where I saw a tv show about two guys who go out then get stranded. Only one makes it back after the chopper comes eventually.  I could be totally off though.



You talking about the Eiger Sanction?

post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

Nice TR!  Thanks for sharing it here.
 


 

 

Quote:

This looks a lot like the area where I saw a tv show about two guys who go out then get stranded. Only one makes it back after the chopper comes eventually.  I could be totally off though.


 

 


 

You talking about the Eiger Sanction?

(Note to other's self: Now that we've solved the infernal M C Escher quote nesting problem, we're left with  big blanks. Annoying)

 

No, I'm talking about a reality show - reenactment type thing, and an incident that happened not that long ago. Two guys went out for a climb, weather came in, they got stranded. It was bad. It might have been "I  Shouldn't Be Alive", but if not, that type of thing.

 

 

post #9 of 14

Amazing report!  Loved the pictures.  That is just a spectacularly beautiful area.

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

Cheers for the positive vibes folks.  ->  jeff2010 - will try & post some bigger pics when I have some spare time...

post #11 of 14

 Sick pics... anyway to make them bigger though?

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Going to be really short of time the next couple of weeks so may not have time to individually post bigger pics here - the pics are on my blog here: http://offpisteskiing.blogspot.com/2011/04/eiger-west-face.html

... if you click on each pic you will get a bigger version (still not massive but ~ twice the size currently on here...).

 

Was hoping for some more steep action in May but work seems to be getting in the way of the fun stuff again... :-(

post #13 of 14
Great blog. And great stoke.
post #14 of 14
Wow!
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