The White Spider: The Story of the North Face of the Eiger Test | Final 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. What nationality were Helmuth Drachsler and Walter Gstrein?

2. What did Derungs and Albrecht use instead of a bivouac bag on their ascent up the North Face?

3. Whose climb up the North Face was reclassified as a success between the original publication of the book and the addition of the appended section?

4. How many climbers successfully climbed the North Face in 1962?

5. What did Corti say happened to G√ľnther Nothdurft and Franz Mayer as they started out to climb the North Face?

Short Essay Questions

1. At the end of the chapter "The International Rescue Team," what does Harrer suggest might happen in the future regarding Nothdurft and Mayer?

2. What was the weather like during Erich Vanis, Hans Ratay, and Karl Lugmayer's first night on the mountain in 1952?

3. What is Harrer's attitude toward Italians?

4. What made the Difficult Crack and the Hinterstoisser Traverse easier to climb for Mayr than for early climbers?

5. What is the controversy about the photograph of the German climbers on the mountain?

6. Describe the attempt to climb the North Face by Brian Nally and Barry Brewster in 1962.

7. Why were Kurt Diemberger and Wolfgang Stephan criticized, and how does Harrer answer that criticism?

8. Why does Harrer include a route guide at the end of the book?

9. What does Harrer say about Corti's knowledge of the North Face of the Eiger?

10. Describe Erich Friedli, Jr. and Arnold Heinen's climb in 1963.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss teamwork and friendship in Harrer's book.

1) How is teamwork important to climbers? How do climbers help each other?

2) How is a solo climb different from a climb by a team or group up the North Face?

3) What is the role of friendship or camaraderie between climbers? How is Harrer's relationship with Fritz an important part of his portrayal of his own climb up the North Face? What other friendships are important in the book?

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

Death is an inevitable part of attempts to climb the North Face. Discuss death in Harrer's book.

1) How does Harrer justify the decision to participate in the potentially deadly attempts to climb the North Face? How does he view the risk of death inherent in climbing attempt?

2) How does Harrer view those who have died in attempts to climb the North Face? Does he in any way romanticize the dead or their deaths?

3) What is the role of skill and chance in death on the North Face? Is death something that can be avoided by preparedness and mental and physical acuity?

(see the answer keys)

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