The Eiger Obsession: Facing the Mountain that Killed My Father

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Mar 6, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 352 pages
9 Reviews
In the 1960s an American named John Harlin II changed the face of Alpine climbing. Gutsy and gorgeous -- he was known as "the blond god" -- Harlin successfully summitted some of the most treacherous mountains in Europe. But it was the north face of the Eiger that became Harlin's obsession. Living with his wife and two children in Leysin, Switzerland, he spent countless hours planning to climb, waiting to climb, and attempting to climb the massive vertical face. It was the Eiger direct -- the direttissima -- with which John Harlin was particularly obsessed. He wanted to be the first to complete it, and everyone in the Alpine world knew it.

John Harlin III was nine years old when his father made another attempt on a direct ascent of the notorious Eiger. Harlin had put together a terrific team, and, despite unending storms, he was poised for the summit dash. It was the moment he had long waited for. When Harlin's rope broke, 2,000 feet from the summit, he plummeted 4,000 feet to his death. In the shadow of tragedy, young John Harlin III came of age possessed with the very same passion for risk that drove his father. But he had also promised his mother, a beautiful and brilliant young widow, that he would not be an Alpine climber.

Harlin moved from Europe to America, and, with an insatiable sense of wanderlust, he reveled in downhill skiing and rock-climbing. For years he successfully denied the clarion call of the mountain that killed his father. But in 2005, John Harlin could resist no longer. With his nine-year-old daughter, Siena -- his very age at the time of his father's death -- and with an IMAX Theatre filmmaking crew watching, Harlin set off to slay the Eiger. This is an unforgettable story about fathers and sons, climbers and mountains, and dreamers who dare to challenge the earth.
  

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Review: The Eiger Obsession: Facing the Mountain That Killed My Father

User Review  - Joe Brunory - Goodreads

Switzerland's Alps are an amazing backdrop to this, my introduction into stories of serious mountaineering, it's history and challenges. A truly inviting look into something I knew nothing about but plan to discover now. Read full review

Review: The Eiger Obsession: Facing the Mountain That Killed My Father

User Review  - Dale - Goodreads

Insight into mountain climbing's physical and mental challenges. At times I could picture myself with the author on the mountain waiting for the right time to climb or risking a rock on the head in ... Read full review

Contents

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About the author (2007)

John Harlin III is editor of the American Alpine Journal and contributing editor for Backpacker. A former cohost of PBS's Anyplace Wild, Harlin is a frequent contributor to numerous publications, including Outside magazine. He lives in Hood River, Oregon, and Oaxaca, Mexico, with his wife, Adele Hammond, and their daughter, Siena.

Bibliographic information