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This is the story of climbing the North Face of the Eiger and the resuce of those who failed to make it to the top I m not a climber but find climbing stories interesting I did find myself wondering what s the point of climbing this unsafe face, not only risking the lives of the climbers but of those to have to come to the rescue of those climbers when they get in trouble It was interesting on reading about the interaction between with the professional and non professional but very competent rescue teams We see the interference of government bureaucracies and those trying to gets those off the face who should have never tried in the first place I found it an interesting read, both of the drama of the climbs, the rescue and the technical aspects of the rescue and the hardships to the rescuers. 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 , feet, is the Jungfrau Next is the M nch at , feet But it is the smallest, the Eiger, rising , 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 , nearlyyears before the well known Mount Everest tragedy, two teams of confident climbers set out to summit the north wall of Eiger Mountain Not long into their journey, onlookers could tell the four men were headed for disaster Soon rescue teams from all over Europe raced toward 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 Good solid read I did not want to put it down It s fairly short, and the story moves along briskly.The book is definitely focused on the human element of this event than the technical climbing side of it One of the only drawbacks is that so many characters get introduced, but Olsen does a good job of highlighting their contributions and their moments The whole aspect of people spontaneously forming their own rescue teams, the Grindelwald rescue leader who came up with his own inventions and lost an eye in the process , the four climbers who went up, and so many others Olsen doesn t pass judgment on anyone, but shows them as they are Some of the small moments like one climber retrieving a note left for one of the fallen climbers, congratulating him on climbing the Eiger are ones that will stay with you.There is some information on the technical side such as why the Eiger is so much difficult than other climbs but you don t have to be a climber to understand it. The first time I heard of the eiger, I was watching a movie because I like Clint Eastwood Then years later, after my first visit to the rocky mountains in colorado, I was telling a friend how amazed I was by the size and rugged beauty of that range She was not inpressed When I asked her why, she said I have seen the Alps I have seen the Eiger So it is with flatlanders, we see photos and read stories and wonder what makes a person throw a few things in a bag to climb a mountain This story of one climb becomes the story of a rescue, a fascinating system of unionized mountain guides, and a truly horrible piece of rock. Awesomely entertaining book, made even thrilling knowing about The Eiger s North Face before reading Mr Olsen does an amazing job with the rhythm writing style of this book By the end, one feels they know the many characters so well From novice to expert climbers will love this true account of 1957 tragedy The book keeps you guessing exactly what happened until the end READ IT you ll not be disappointed. Over the years I have read many books on mountain climbing and I have a number of them in my library I have never aspired to climb but find excitement in reading accounts about those that do The author is a skilled writer who uses the climbing terminology without stopping to define it He presupposes that the reader is familiar with it I like that. The events in this book were brought to life by Jack Olsen s wonderful ability to take the reader along with the story And what a story In my estimation to climb a mountain like the Eiger is to jump out of a plane without a parachute But the climbers don t think like that The climbers tackle this mountain very seriously, with great preparation and some very real dread I was taken up to the summit and brought down and still can t get the events out of my mind Kudos Mr Olsen. I enjoy reading about mountaineering, and this was an incident I didn t know anything about I knew the reputation of the Eiger, and, of course, being a Clint Eastwood fan, I ve seen the movie several times This book is not the basis of that movie, so don t confuse the two It s very readable, and held my interest from start to finish, although it s sometimes like a Russian novel, with all the names of the many individuals involved getting confused in my mind, but that aside, if you re interested in true mountaineering stories, I recommend this book. This isn t really my usual cup of tea, but I was snookered in by the good price and all the good reviews And I m so glad I was Olsen is a mesmerizing writer Think Night of the Grizzlies He doesn t sermonize, spend too much time with lawyers, or bore the reader with side issues He sticks strictly with the action, from beginning to end. I m a fan of outdoor survival books This is one of my favorites Probably a well known event in the late 1950 s, almost forgotten now I m sure was a slow healing scar on the European mountain climbing and Alpine community Very well told, an engrossing read.