Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Earth Welcomes Us Home

In the chapter titled The First Ascent of the Face, Harrer not only describes the ascent and the summit, but also details the feeling of coming down off the face. The way that he spoke about the return to civilization was more powerful than the way that he spoke of the danger and struggle on the North Face itself. Harrer says, "Everyone was showering invitations on us, simply everyone, just because they were human beings and we had come back safely to humanity. Yes we had made an excursion into another world and we had come back, but we had brought the joy of life and of humanity back with us." (pg 134)

I find it extremely interesting that Harrer chooses to describe the North Face of the Eiger as "another world."This description ties in very well to the way that we have been debating the place of morality on the mountain. If this is another world, then there is another type of morality, and the rules of civilization that must be followed at sea level do not apply. Harrer writes as if the Eiger is not part of the Earth: 
"We had learned on the North Face of the Eiger that men are good and the earth on which we were born is good. And now that the earth was welcoming us home..." (pg 134)
Harrer treats the Eiger as if it is some heavenly or otherworldly place. He places a high status upon this mountain and speaks of it in a very spiritual way. This spirituality has been a somewhat common theme in many of the other works we have read, especially Touching My Father's Soul

1 comment:

  1. I was also enthralled by the way he presented coming home after a climb. It made me think of another answer to "why climb", namely to appreciate civilization more. By escaping civilization Harrer was able to learn more about people, and actually see them in a better light. Sometimes you need a change in pace, in scenery, to realize what matters to you, and even though it's a cliche, a struggle for life really does bring people closer together.