The White Spider has ratings and reviews. Raghu said: I have admired Heinrich Harrer ever since I came across his book ‘Seven Years in Tibet’ m. The ultimate classic mountaineering literature, The White Spider, follows Heinrich Harrer and team of three up the notorious North Face of the Eiger, leading to. Heinrich Harrer, author of Seven Years in Tibet’ and one of the twentieth century’s greatest mountaineers, was part of the team that finally conquered th.

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But anyone who is fascinated by Eiger would find it quite gripping and informative. The wall is completely exposed as it stood and so spectators and journalists could watch every attempt on the Face through telescopes in the train station or even in the comfort of their hotels. Along the way they crossed paths with the German pair of Heckmair and Vogg, and the two teams decided to join forces as one rope.

Also, the fact that he did not recant his condemnation of Claudio Corti in the revised editioneven though Corti had been vindicated, seems at odds with his supposed emphasis upon sportsmanship, honesty, and fair play. Books by Heinrich Harrer. All sorts of security measures and new equipment hatrer come on the market since Harrer’s successful climb, but in spite of these new advantages, “the North Wall of the Eiger remains one of the most perilous in the Alps.

After his successful summit of the mountain, Heinrich Harrer received many letters from mountain climbers, which he sifted through with climber and author Kurt Maix to become the contents of The White Spider. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. The book is actually an account of the drama, excitement and tragedies of the ascent of Eiger North Face in history – particularly from up to It is the story of four friends: Harrer also describes the harger of and when the behavior of a couple of climbers – Italian and British – came under intense scrutiny for the deaths of their companions on the mountain.

The White Spider – Heinrich Harrer

Notably, the public and press frenzy, the uncanny proximity of civilization and Eiger enabling sensation seekers to stalk climbers movements, severely critical judgments sizing up Eiger candidates as deranged men, the temporary ban on Eiger, the modesty and low profile maintained by mountaineers and Harrer’s passionate discourse on why mountaineers do what they do.

He was attempting to climb the face with an older climber, another Italian. Despite a later-added postscript addressing this, it does feel a bit bitter and draws attention to the harree keenness to make sweeping statements about different European nationalities in the immediately post-WWII historical context. Although physically exhausted by the time they reach that point, climbers must navigate the steep ice-field to reach the peak’s summit.


For several hours Soider tried desperately to cross the slab, but each time he slid down and had to use the rope to get back. Want to Read saving….

Well researched, beautifully described though a number of slightly strange choices of phrase, due probably to the Austrian author not writing in his As far as an objective assessment of this book is concerned, I’d recommend it heartily – Harrer speaks from a position of great expertise, having been involved in the first successful conquest of the North Face of the Eiger.

Garrer guide climbed onto the shoulders of another guide and was able to touch Kurz’s crampons with his ice axe. The best book on the realities of climbing that I have read. Perhaps, given the zeitgeist of the nineteen fifties, one shouldn’t be too surprised at the amount of prejudice expressed regarding nationality and zpider. Still, to me it seems completely irresponsible, both in terms of the climber’s own safety, and the impact spoder is likely to have on other climbers’ perception of risk.

Harrer had a remarkable life.

The White Spider – Heinrich Harrer – Alpkit

It would not carry his weight, but it would serve to pull up a new rope from his rescuers below. But heindich descriptions of these climbs — what it’s like to stand on an ice face 3, feet above a chasm in an avalanche heirnich very illuminating. Surely, some of them must have been climbing for the glory. Feb 20, Carol Masciola rated it really liked it. The Eiger has some unique qualities. This book is absolutely everything it’s billed to be.

The White Spider: The Classic Account of the Ascent of the Eiger

In fact, even though he makes no attempt to hide his disdain for the throngs of “armchair” mountaineers who collect at the Kleine Scheidegg to watch the acrobatics on the wall – and sometimes the wall spitting people off – he still makes me want to be there But much of the rest of the I really did want to enjoy this, I gave this a go after reading Joe Simpson’s “Beckoning Silence” since he had been so inspired by this book in his childhood.

Aside from spending ‘Seven Years in Tibet’ which I read about 30 years ago and becoming close friends with the Dalai Lama, he was a member of the first party to climb the North Face of the Eiger, was selected to represent Austria in the Winter Olympics only to be withdrawn because being a helnrich instructor deemed him to be professional and was twice Austrian golf champion.

In terms of content, the mountain and its awesome natural feature are established as protagonists from the very beginning, in an appropriate context of the Golden Age of Climbing in the Alps. This astonishing book wuite the saga of yeinrich many who failed and the few who succeeded. He found it just as fascinating as I did. The Sacred British Tradition of mountaineering was being challenged by the Germans and Austrians along with the greats of Italy and France through the new postwar spirit of Continental Alpinism.


Elsewhere, the life-and-death struggles on the mountain were deplored. He says that it gave him nightmares, and that it should have put him off mountaineering forever. I read this with growing unease and incredulity, which prompted me to research outside of the work; I found out that Harrer’s maligning of Corti’s character did the Italian great harm, and he spent the rest of his life under an unwarranted cloud of suspicion. The majority of readers are familiar with his name from the international bestseller Seven Years in Tibetin which he describes with much gusto his escape to and long refuge in the Forbidden Kingdom – harrwr that forever altered the course of events for both the Austrian ex-POW and the Dalai Lama.

Mountaineers sought new challenges: The Alpine Journal called the Eiger “an obsession for the mentally deranged”and the Swiss authorities closed the Eiger for a time in When he came to, he finally found a sideways opening out of his ice prison.

The White Spider

It is after all one of the classics of mountaineering literature in terms of achievements. The chapter whife the climb itself was shorter than I was expecting. I loved building my knowledge on mountaineering. After years of preparation, he managed to escape to Tibet, where after many adventures he reached Lhasa and became a trusted teacher of the young Dalai Lama. His would-be rescuers heard him plead for help through most of the night before he wite. The writing style is antiquated and the translation needs tightening a whhite, but this actually helps give you a good picture of the time.

We had learned on the North Fae of the Eiger that men are good, and the earth on which we were born is good.

But it should also be read by anyone contemplating a trip to Grindelwald in Switzerland, especially if you are planning to take the train from Kleine Sc I first read this book as a high school kid a very long time ago, and have reread it once or twice since. For me, the maps showing the route on the North face in great detail along with Harrer’s narrative made it all come alive. Undeterred or unperturbed by these events, Harrer and his Austrian partner Kasparek showed up in the summer of and one day started up the face.

Undeterred, I still want to climb a mountain. The movie was fictionalized, but very compelling. Last edited or checked June 6,