"Now Leo and Erich were introduced to the Concerto of the Eiger Stonefall. The score is richly orchestrated. There are small stones with a high whistling note like flutes and fiddles. The medium-sized lumps hum fairly fiercely and yet their note can be quite a high one---like the 'cellos. There are no double-basses, but other notes, a kind of howling, rather like an aeroplane before it lifts into the air after its full-powered dash from rest. The whole symphony sometimes unites in a kind of cacophonous organ-voluntary. The percussion is naturally strongly in evidence, from the side-drums, with their hammered staccato, to the dull thud of the bass-drum. And the cymbals are there too, not sounding metallic, but clashing away shamelessly at top volume; in fact the whole concerto is certainly not at chamber-strength, but crashes and bangs so that not a word could be understood if anyone had any desire to utter one. It stinks of sulphur and shattered stone. And then, when some wilful stone has beaten the drum one last time after the conductor has registered his final beat, an uncanny silence sets in..."

From THE WHITE SPIDER, by Heinrich Harrer, one of the first four men to successfully ascend the Eiger Nordwand (North Face), July 21-24, 1938.

"What lured him on was, of course, the great adventure, the eternal longing of every truly creative man to push on into unexplored country, to discover something entirely new---if only about himself. In that lies the detonating spark, the secret source of strength, which enables men to achieve the extraordinary."


Sign in to comment