Kirkpatrick Solo on the Eiger North Face

by Jack Geldard – Editor – UKC Andy Kirkpatrick is currently soloing the Harlin Route on the north face of the Eiger, Switzerland. He is updating his blog every evening from his mobile phone, you can view it Andy is carrying a video camera on his ascent and will be filming himself. Also in Switzerland with Andy is Alastair Lee (posing productions), to capture the ascent on film. The Harlin route was first climbed by a large party that included John Elvis Harlin II and Dougal Haston. Harlin was tragically killed on the route and Haston teamed up with a German party who were following the same line and summited successfully. They named the climb in honour of their fallen friend. The Harlin route is graded ED3/4 and is 1800m in length. It takes a very direct line up the north face, starting to the left of the famous 1938 route and meeting with that route at the top of the second ice field. The Harlin route then follows a very direct line up the centre of the upper face to the right of the 1938 exit chimneys, summiting near the Japanese Directissima. Andy, who was bivying below the face last night has posted: "Just about to have some food but already my mugs broken with the cold,and my jet boil stove overflowed onto my sleeping bag. Suppose it´sbeen a while. Hopefully I´ll remember how to do this sort of thingquickly." Thanks to Tim Butcher for the photograph.