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. How far did the first party to attempt to climb the North Face go on their second day?

2. How high is the Eiger?

3. Where did Rebitch and Vörg reach on their second day?

4. Where did Rebitch and Vörg end their third day?

5. Where did Otto and Sepp Maag join up with Buhl and his partner?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the White Spider.

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

3. On his ascent up the North Face, what did Harrer remember seeing while he was climbing a peak as a child?

4. Describe the first climb up the Eiger.

5. What metaphor did the author use to describe the societal function of mountain climbing?

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

7. What did Rebitsch and Vörg do, after a harrowing climb on the mountain, when they learned that Gollackner had died on the mountain?

8. What blocked the descent from Buhl and Jöchler's bivouac spot below the Rote Fluh?

9. Who were the climbers forced out of Switzerland in 1937?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Harrer sees extreme climbing as being a challenge for both the mental and physical aspects of mankind. Discuss the relationship of the mental and physical in Harrer's book.

1) How does Harrer defend extreme climbing from critics who call it suicidally dangerous, and how strong are his arguments that extreme climbing requires extreme mental balance?

2) What is the relationship of the mental and physical aspects of climbing, and what are examples from the book of both mental and physical accomplishments?

3) How does technology and equipment affect the mental and physical challenges of climbing?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss danger and courage in Harrer's book.

1) What is Harrer's attitude toward danger? How does he feel about courage?

2) What outweighs the inherent danger of extreme mountain climbing for the climbers who attempt the North Face? In what ways are they courageous, and in what ways are they foolhardy?

3) What are the dangers of the North Face, and can they be mitigated by those who attempt the climb? How does the risk become worthwhile, and under what conditions?

(see the answer keys)

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