The greatest contribution that The Eiger Sanction lends to a fuller perspective of mountaineering literature is transparency to the questions of “why write about mountains,” and “what’s to be gained by writing about mountains?” In their simplest, most one-dimensional forms, mountains represent settings. It is to this basic degree that Trevanian uses the Eiger in his novel. Clearly, Trevanian saw more potential in his mountain than just a stage; I predict that he was drawn to the topic of mountaineering based on a perceived guarantee of adventure, masculinity, and overcoming odds that high altitude mountain climbing provides. Unfortunately, under such a pretense, the spy-action-orgy-thriller plot diminishes the mountain into little more than a tawdry background. I felt shorthanded by the use of the Eiger as a prop to increase the stakes of an irrelevant storyline. It perversely reminds me of the current trend in cinema to make up for hollow plots with extra dimensions. Despite my evident reproach for the simplistic role of the mountain in this adventure novel, I am enjoying reading it in the mindset of a self-satisfied armchair-enthusiast. It has not transcended beyond its pages for me, and therefore offers a fresh approach to climbing literary mountains that flourishes in the shallows of entertainment.