The White Spider: The Story of the North Face of the Eiger Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Heinrich Harrer
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. In 1950, where did North Face climbers Hamel and Seiler escape to after a blizzard?

2. How tall was the icy gully that Buhl climbed the day after climbing the Spider?

3. Where did the French party join up with Buhl and his group on the 1952 climb?

4. Where did Allmen call to Toni Kurz and his party from?

5. Where did Harrer escape to?

Short Essay Questions

1. What unusual attempt to climb the North Face did Fuchs and Monney consider but then reject?

2. Describe Maix and Harrer's collaboration.

3. Describe the first climb up the Eiger.

4. What were Otto and Sepp Maag doing when they first encountered Buhl and Jöchler in July 1952?

5. What did the climbers do on their last night on the mountain before reaching the summit?

6. Describe the end of Sedlmayer and Mehringer's attempt to climb the North Face.

7. What are the hazards on the North Face when the ice is melted?

8. Why did Heckmair and Vörg turn back from their climb on July 21?

9. When Australian and Swiss teams both climbed the North Face at approximately the same time, how far apart did they reach the summit?

10. Describe the reaction to Harrer telling a doctor in Lhasa that he was among the first party to climb the North Face.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Harrer sees taming the North Slope as expanding the domain of humanity. Discuss this aspect of the book.

1) Is humanity's intellectual and physical domain expanded by the successful attempts to climb the North Face? How does this expand human accomplishment?

2) How does Harrer ultimately feel about the affect of humans climbing the North Face? Once the North Face has been repeatedly climbed, has something been lost as well as gained?

3) Is the expansion of the human domain inherently good? Is it inevitable? How does the North Face fit into the bigger picture of human accomplishment?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss nationalism, rivalry, and prejudice in Harrer's book.

1) What is Harrer's viewpoint on international cooperation and on different nationalities in the book?

2) What role do national rivalries play in the race to climb the North Face and in the following attempts?

3) What is Harrer's opinion about Italian climbers, and how does it inform his presentation of Corti's ill-fated climb? Can Harrer's presentation be relied on? What other biases does he seem to hold?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the point of view of Harrer's THE WHITE SPIDER.

1) How does Harrer portray climbers and events that he knows of through research, compared to those that he knows personally?

2) How does the shift in point of view to Harrer's personal account of his experiences affect the book?

3) When does Harrer use personal narration, aside from the account of his own climb of the North Face? How do these personal interjections affect the book?

(see the answer keys)

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