The White Spider has ratings and reviews. Raghu said: I have admired Heinrich Harrer ever since I came across his book ‘Seven Years in Tibet’ m. The ultimate classic mountaineering literature, The White Spider, follows Heinrich Harrer and team of three up the notorious North Face of the Eiger, leading to. Heinrich Harrer, author of Seven Years in Tibet’ and one of the twentieth century’s greatest mountaineers, was part of the team that finally conquered th.

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But much of the rest of the I really did want to enjoy this, I gave this a go after reading Joe Simpson’s “Beckoning Silence” since he had been so inspired by this book in his childhood. The adrenaline junkies of the mountaineering world had lost their interest in these endurance tests and wanted something dangerous and Eiger provided that, the chance of a maiden ascent on its north face. Realizing his predicament, the rescuers advised him to cut the rope to get rid of Hinterstoisser’s body.

The White Spider – Heinrich Harrer – Alpkit

The writing is extremely descriptive and captures the essence. Only the Eiger in the Bernese Alps in central Switzerland remained. Hitler was only too pleased to give them wbite triumphant reception. Frequently Harrer repeats and insists that he is merely providing an objective eye and is leaving personal feelings aside, reviewing only the facts, but I fail to see how this is the case in his hypocritical and paradoxical praising of certain ascents and condemnation of others.

I thus count it among the essential readings of the genre, though from a literary perspective it is just average.


It would not carry his weight, but it would serve to pull up a new rope from his rescuers below. I must say, however, that Harrer is oftentimes defensive, rarely attributing anything but the best of motives to the climbers.

The Alpine Journal called the Eiger “an obsession for the mentally deranged”and the Swiss authorities closed the Eiger for a time in Simpson’s book is more about the mystique of the mountain, what it feels like to have most of your friends die in mountaineering accidents, and what drives people to risk their lives for nothing more than the satisfaction of climbing a mountain.

Aug 17, Corrina rated it it was amazing.

The White Spider – Heinrich Harrer

The White Spider acts as a funnel, with rock and ice slides channelled through the ice field, putting the climbers in great danger while on the field. Similarly disappointingly, in the chapter of his own ascent he refers enormously to his climbing companions and their feats, especially Kasparek and Heckmair, but almost nothing of his own accomplishments.

In particular, direct routes up the mountain faces, rather than the ridges, became popular among the experts. While Seven Years in Whitd was crafted as a true adventure story, The White Spider is actually somewhat boring in comparison. The North Face of the Eiger, is still climbed only harreg true professionals. The writng style is that of 60 years ago and also I read the translation in English from the original in German.

Helicopter rescue is difficult but not impossible. Thoroughly recommend this book.

Heckmair nearly fell down the south side. This edition awaits discovery by Harrer’s new legion of readers. Surely, some of them must have been climbing for the glory.

A complete Eiger classic, possibly the definitive book to read about the North Face. Heinrich Harrer went on to India to plan an ascent of Nanga Parbat. They had hauled up their lines behind them, a necessity evidently to get across this particularly bad section. I read the extra chapters added after 5 years hoping for an apology from Harrer, but none was forthcoming. The north face of the Matterhorn was climbed inand that of the Grandes Jorasses in Aug 31, Hywel Owen rated it it was amazing.


Harrer’s account of the tragedy was the subject of considerable controversy and is no longer considered historically accurate. Harrer of course was in an enviable position to be able to do this, and his book is fascinating reading for a cozy armchair. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. The descriptions of the climbs and rescues were compelling, though things got a bit “listy” when the author was describing some of the later climbs.

The White Spider

The conquest of the “impossible” was in line with Party ideology. When the rescue team arrived early next morning, Kurz was still alive, but he could use only one hand.

Is the man who, at moments when his own life is in the balance, has not only to safeguard it but, at the same time, his friend’s- even to the extent of mutual self-sacrifice- to receive less recognition than a boxer n the heinriich, simply because the nature of what he is doing is not properly understood?

What there was however were wildly contradictory passages from Harrer, which seemed to excuse the actions of other climbers where he was scathing of Harger.