Friday, 3 May 2013

The north face of Eiger

     Eiger peak in Alps, Switzerland, is not very high by Karakorum or Himalayan standards. At 3,970 meters it would seem like a dwarf against K2 or Nanga Parbat. But it is called Eiger for a reason. Eiger is the German word for ogre or evil monster. Its iconic north face is around 1800 meters of snow filled cracks and precarious limestone. Since 1935, sixty-four climbers have died attempting to ascent this north wall. It is said that the climb is not impossibly difficult, but it needs a profound commitment. Once you embark on it, you need to keep going.

     I first read about it a few years ago and since then its images and legend have captivated my imagination. To me, tackling the deeper questions regarding existence, consciousness, universe and life are like scaling the north face of Eiger. Not many would consider it relevant to our mundane life. Some would give it a thought and then will move on. A lot would rely on ready-made answers available around us through our culture or religion. The ascension is riddled with pitfalls but once you start thinking about this kind of stuff, there is no turning back.
Image courtesy: Wikipedia

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