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The epic battle on the North Face
- ISBN: 978-1-912560-59-2180 pages
- Peter Gillman and Dougal Haston
- Publication date
- 23 Jan 2020
The North Face of the Eiger was long notorious as the most dangerous climb in the Swiss Alps, one that had claimed the lives of numerous mountaineers. In February 1966, two teams – one German, the other British–American – aimed to climb it by a new direct route. Astonishingly, the two teams knew almost nothing about each other’s attempt until both arrived at the foot of the face. The race was on.
John Harlin led the four-man British–American team and intended to make an Alpine-style dash for the summit as soon as weather conditions allowed. The Germans, with an eight-man team, planned a relentless Himalayan-style ascent, whatever the weather.
The authors were key participants as the dramatic events unfolded. Award-winning writer Peter Gillman, then twenty-three, was reporting for the Telegraph, talking to the climbers by radio and watching their monumental struggles from telescopes at the Kleine Scheidegg hotel. Renowned Scottish climber Dougal Haston was a member of Harlin’s team, forging the way up crucial pitches on the storm-battered mountain. Chris Bonington began as official photographer but then played a vital role in the ascent.
Eiger Direct, first published in 1966, is a story of risk and resilience as the climbers face storms, frostbite and tragedy in their quest to reach the summit.
This edition features a new introduction by Peter Gillman.
Also available as an ebook:
Peter Gillman is an award-winning author and journalist. He was born in London in 1942 and edited Isis while at Oxford. He joined the Weekend Telegraph as a feature writer in 1965 and, a climber himself, covered the 1966 Eiger Direct for the Telegraph group, which sponsored the British–American team. He later spent twelve years as a feature writer and investigative reporter at the Sunday Times. He has written numerous books, including The Wildest Dream, a biography of George Mallory co-authored with his wife Leni, which won the Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature in 2000. His writing has appeared throughout the national and specialist press, and he has won a record seven awards from the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild, some jointly with Leni, including one for their book Extreme Eiger, first published in 2015. He was elected chair of the OWPG in 2016. He also works as a trainer in journalism and writing and has presented workshops at the annual Byline journalism festival.
Dougal Haston was born in Currie, near Edinburgh, in 1940. He was one of Britain's leading mountaineers and a compelling figure in climbing history. After landmark winter ascents in Scotland, he made attempts on the original 1938 route on the North Face of the Eiger in 1960 and 1962, finally succeeding with Rusty Baillie in 1963, so making the second British ascent. He first climbed with John Harlin in 1964. Following the Eiger Direct in 1966, Haston achieved international fame through ascents of Annapurna in 1970 and Everest in 1975, when he and Doug Scott became the first two British climbers to reach the summit. Away from climbing, he was a controversial figure known for his rock-and-roll lifestyle. He was director of the International School of Mountaineering in Leysin, Switzerland from 1967 until his death in 1977 in an avalanche while skiing. The day before his death he had finished writing a novel, Calculated Risk, which now appears like a death foretold. It was published in 1979.
- Title: Eiger Direct
- Subtitle: The epic battle on the North Face
- Author: Peter Gillman and Dougal Haston
- Imprint: Vertebrate Publishing
- ISBN: 978-1-912560-59-2
- Rights: World
- Publication date: 23 January 2020
- Edition: New
- Size: 254mm x 156mm
- Extent: 120 pages
- Cover: Paperback
- Weight: 300g
- Retail price: £12.99
Also available as an ebook:
- Imprint: Vertebrate Digital
- ISBN: 978-1-912560-58-5
- Publication Date: 23 January 2020
- Price: £4.99