Walking the north face of the Eiger

At 1,800m, the Eiger north face is one the highest north faces in the Alps – to be the first to conquer it was the cherished dream of many mountaineers throughout Europe. After numerous attempts, a rope team of four made it up the northern flank to the summit for the first time in 1938. In contrast to the first rope teams, who took several days to make it to the top, the current record is 2 hours and 22 minutes (achieved by the late extreme mountaineer Ueli Steck on 16 November 2015). The Eiger trail at the foot of the north face will quite certainly evoke some of that mountaineering feeling.

The Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau (the Ogre, Monk and Maiden) – the world famous trio of mountain peaks – is the impressive backdrop to the Jungfrau region and has attracted tourists and mountaineers to the Bernese Oberland since pioneering days. The Jungfrau Railway is no less impressive, while the northern flank of the Eiger, with its vertical drop of more than 1600 metres, has always attracted the world's best climbers.

Those with the courage and the desire to get just that little bit closer to the breathtaking Eiger North Face and tackle a superlative high alpine adventure can take the Jungfrau Railway to the station at Eigergletscher and set out on the Eiger Trail. Shortly after starting on this route, you'll find yourself right in front of the famous rock face itself, and above you to the right you'll notice the metal ladders that climbers to the Eiger-Rotstock Via Ferrata use to gain access. From here on, the trail runs for an hour along the foot of the Eiger North Face, sparkling with a beautiful view over the Wetterhorn and the Grosse Scheidegg.

Difficult sections are secured with ropes. If you have brought your binoculars, you'll be able to see the climbers up against the rock face. The train station sells postcards that show all the routes up this mountain. Towards the end of the tour the trail zigzags boldly down to Alpiglen train station.


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