While Harrer’s book covers several interesting individual narratives, its main focus is on the mountain of Eiger itself (or to be more accurate, one face of Eiger), so my response will also be more widely applied to his treatment of the mountain rather than the climbers. We’ve come to understand several different geographical locations in this course so far, but this text shows how fundamentally different alpinism is in the Alps compared to places like the Himalayas or Alaska. The idea that climbers are struggling, and in many cases dying, on a mountain that contains railroad tracks seems unthinkable to me after getting used to Everest and Denali, which could only be reached by extended preliminary hikes. The encroachment of civilization onto (and into) the face of Eiger seemed to drive an unexpected disconnect between the concepts of wilderness and adventure that we haven’t seen so far. Of course, you don’t have to be way out in the remote wilderness to have an adventure, but realized that the precedent of earlier texts had somehow lulled me into that belief. The settled surroundings of Eiger also affected the public nature of these climbs, with onlookers following the progress of each expedition from afar. I can only imagine that it would apply extra pressure to the climbers to know that there are interested spectators watching constantly from below, scrutinizing their every decision and move. The public nature of these climbs seemed to set them apart from others we’ve seen in interesting ways that I’m sure we’ll talk about today.