Synopses & Reviews
In the heart of the Swiss Alps stand the three majestic peaks of the Bernese Oberland, Europe's most famous mountain range. The highest, at 13,638 feet, is the Jungfrau. Next is the Mönch, at 13,465 feet. But it is the smallest, the Eiger, rising 13,038 feet above sea level, that is by far the deadliest. Called a "living" mountain for its constantly changing conditions-unpredictable weather, disintegrating limestone surfaces, and continuously falling rock and ice-its mile-high north wall is perhaps the most dangerous climb in the world. And that may be just what beckons elite Alpinists to scale the treacherous peak against the odds.
In 1957, nearly forty years before the well-known Mount Everest tragedy, two teams of confident climbers set out to summit the north wall of the Eiger Mountain. Not long into their journey, onlookers could tell that the four men were headed for disaster. Soon rescue teams from all over Europe raced toward the Eiger-yet only one of the four climbers survived to face unfounded international accusations. In a story as fascinating as any novel, Jack Olsen creates a riveting account of daring adventure, heroic rescue, and one of the most baffling mysteries in the history of mountain climbing.
"To experience the Eiger one can climb the mountain, stand in the graveyard near the base of the North Wall, or read The Climb Up To Hell
. Jack Olsen's account of the ill-fated 1957 mountaineering expedition is a chronicle so graphic that it will cause a visceral response in those who read it." --Ruth Anne Kocour, author of Facing the Extreme
"This account of the most dramatic mountain rescue there has ever been is accurate enough to satisfy any mountaineer, and yet simple enough to enthrall anyone like myself who does most of his mountaineering from the bottom." --David Howarth, author of We Die Alone and D-Day: The Sixth of June, 1944
"Of all the stories of the Eiger there is only one tale which combines extreme foolhardiness, mystery and the unsurpassed courage of men of many different nations who tried . . . to save four lives. How well Olsen has succeeded." --Christopher Brasher, British journalist and Olympic Gold Medal Winner
"Olsen's interesting account reads like a novel." --Library Journal
"One of the best accounts of true high mountain adventure ever written." --Trevanian, bestselling author of The Eiger Sanction
"One of the most dramatic rescues in mountaineering history." --Jim Wickwire, Everest climber and coauthor of Addicted to Danger
First printed more than 30 years ago, this compelling account of one of history's most tragic mountaineering disasters relays how a summit attempt in 1957 turned deadly on the north face of the Eiger, the smallest yet most dangerous peak of the Bernese Oberland range in the Swiss Alps. of photos. Martin's Press.
About the Author
is a bestselling author who has written thirty books published in fifteen countries and eleven languages. He lives on an island in Washington's Puget Sound.