Eiger Westflanke

Posted by on Mar 19, 2012 in Snowboard

Having the massif Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau in my backyard, those peaks always appealed to me in a very fascinating and reverent way. Excessively so since I became aware that it is possible to ride down the most mystic one – the Eiger with its 3970m – over its 40° – 45° steep Westflanke. I have been dreaming about riding the Eiger Westflanke for more than two years now. Conditions, be it environmental or personal, never allowed an attempt so far. Past weekend conditions seemed to be fairly good, having the last snow fall three days in the past combined with perfect sunny conditions. Together with my former school mate and passionate mountaineer Alex I made my way up to Kleine Scheidegg on Saturday eve in order to crash in the dormitory hostel Grindelwaldblick. At 3.30am the alarm rang for the second time. A half an hour later we were on our way escorted by a strong shining moon and calm silence. Hiking the first part of the Westflanke with headlamps was indeed quite special – at least for myself being not that used to this alpine mountaineer exposure. As soon dawn has broken my personal comfort level rose dramatically and we made our way up until around 200 meters below the hanging glacier. Having some doubts about my physical condition as well as the very strong winds on the top of the Eiger, we jointly decided to interrupt our project and ride back to our starting point at Kleine Scheidegg – more than 1000 vertical meters ahead. The snow was mostly perfect and we enjoyed some sweet slashes here and there along the way. Looking back at this reconnaissance session I gained a lot of respect towards mountaineers and alpine mountaineering in general and I am very happy I gained experience on what I am dealing with the next time I try to conquer and ride the whole Westflanke. Ill be back next winter…

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