Top Ten Switzerland Classic Adventures

Face the Eiger's North Face
By Mark Honan

When Clint Eastwood made Mount Eiger look brutal and terrifying in his 1975 movie The Eiger Sanction, he wasn't just playing Hollywood games with the truth. The sheer, vertical cliff of the north face of the Eiger is an enticing yet daunting challenge for any mountaineer. It's a stark, unyielding hunk of rock that lives up to its name (Eiger is German for "ogre"). Climbing expeditions can be organized from Grindelwald, a year-round sports center crouched beneath the north wall of this 13,202-foot monster. You'll need lots of mountaineering experience and a high level of fitness to take on this challenge, which in good weather takes at least eight hours for the ascent. If that's beyond your abilities, you can take the easy way out—a helicopter ride around this peak is great fun and far less strenuous.


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