Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains
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Originally published in 1990 by the American publishers, Lyons and Burford, a collection of writings on mountaineering and the culture of climbing. It includes first-hand accounts of expeditions made by the author, who also wrote INTO THE WILD and INTO THIN AIR.
encounter on the route he intended to try. Adrian, however, was not about to be dissuaded by such niggling. Nor, upon arriving in Alaska, was he to be dissuaded when, in the course of registering for his climb, a mild-mannered ranger named Ralph Moore suggested that it was suicidal to attempt McKinley without a tent, or a shovel to dig snow caves, or a stove, all of which Adrian lacked. Without the latter to melt snow, Moore queried, just what did Adrian intend to drink during the three weeks it
mining and ranching towns, and the lower reaches of its slope descend right to the periphery of greater Phoenix and the city's two million inhabitants. But because the lay of the Mogollon region is so severe, many of its ten-million-plus acres retain an aura of terra incognita and shelter a thriving population of black bears, bald and golden eagles, mountain lions, deer, and bighorn sheep. Fourteen or fifteen noteworthy canyons-sporting names like Salome Jug, Hell's Gate, Dry Beaver, Devil's
Windpipe-corrugate the Rim's precipitous face, and, aside from visits by the odd rancher or prospector, have remained unexplored for centuries. The charms of the Mogollon Rim were obscure enough that the Forest Service planned to offer the canyons up for commercial development in 1984; thankfully, this idea was nixed when a wilderness coalition, of which Fisher was a part, publicized the area and won protected status for it in Congress. This was a relief to Fisher, because to hear him talk, the
Nordwand can be attributed directly to the foehn; in The Eiger Sanction it is a foehn that almost does Eastwood in. It was all I could do to handle the foehn on the trail through the cow pastures. I shuddered to think what it would be like to be hit by one up on the Nordwand. The wind filled my eyes with grit and blew me off my feet over and over again. Several times I simply had to get down on my knees and wait for lulls between gusts. When I finally lurched through the door of the Bahnhof at
margin for error that climbers now commonly begin their ascents with the understanding that if things go wrong, the bond between ropemates-a bond that was until recently held to be sacrosanct-may be discarded in favor of a policy of every man for himself. AUTHOR'S NOTE: The original version of this piece, published in Outside Magazine, was co-written with Greg Child. The present direction of high-altitude mountaineering was set, it is generally agreed, in the summer of 1975, when Reinhold