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 many nights did Pierre Julien and Maurice Coutin spend on the mountain during their 1952 climb?

2. What phrase do newspapers use to describe the rush of climbers heading for the North Face?

3. How many parties left the Eiger without an attempt to climb the North Face in 1937, due to bad weather?

4. On Rebitsch and Vörg's return to the base of the North Face later in the month, what do they decide to do?

5. What year was the Eiger's North Face still climbed?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happened to Bartolo Sandri and Mario Menti, who attempted to climb the North Face early in the summer of 1938?

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

3. Was there rivalry between the parties attempting to climb the North Face in 1937?

4. When Allmen checked on the mountaineers he knew were climbing toward him, what did he find?

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

6. How did the author characterize past writing about the Eiger?

7. What did Kurz have to do to try to reach the rescuers?

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

9. What did the author mean by "Come back safe, my friends"?

10. What research did Harrer do for his book?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss conflict in Harrer's book.

1) In what ways is there conflict between man and nature in the book? How does the Eiger function as an antagonist?

2) In what ways is there conflict between man and himself in the book? How does Harrer struggle with himself? What internal conflict is there in other climbers in the book?

3) In what ways is there conflict between man and man in the book? What personal and national conflicts, enmities, and rivalries are associated with mountain climbing?

Essay Topic 2

Extreme mountain climbing pushes the limits of human ability. Discuss this aspect of climbing in Harrer's book.

1) What drives human being to push the limits of human ability, according to Harrer? Is this a worthwhile pursuit?

2) How do the limits of human accomplishment change over time? Does climbing the North Face become less of an accomplishment in any way over time?

3) What does it mean to say that a task is impossible? How does the impossible become achievable?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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