Climbers make steady progress toward summit of North Face

The four climbers taking part in Swiss television’s live broadcast are making good progress and are expected to reach the summit of the North Face in a few hours from now.

This content was published on September 10, 1999 - 12:10

After spending a night on a ridge of the Eiger, the four climbers taking part in Swiss television’s live broadcast are making good progress on the second day of the ascent of the North Face.

The mountaineers Hansruedi Gertsch, Evelyne Binsack, Stephan Siegrist and Ralf Dujmovits were back on the wall at 6 a.m. and hope to reach the summit at about 4 p.m.

Weather conditions are ideal and the two teams are climbing steadily across snow and ice fields, following the classic Heckmair route to the top.

Summing up their experiences of the first day, all four climbers said they were really happy with how things had gone in this project.

Binsack said she had hurt her elbow a bit but noted Friday that it was not incapacitating her. Dujmovits said his back hurt slightly from a previous scrape on another mountain.

The climbers -- three from Switzerland and one from Germany -- are carrying 5-kilogram (11-pound) transmitters in their backpacks to transmit pictures, and they also provide their own commentary.

Fixed cameras have been placed at intervals on the 1,800-meter (5,905-foot) rock face.

On Thursday, Swiss Sports Minister Adolf Ogi joined journalists at Grindelwald, the resort situated at the foot of the Eiger, and expressed his support for the broadcast. He said it gave television viewers the opportunity of learning more about what rock climbing is all about.

Overall, the two-day live broadcast is expected to last 30 hours and is a project of Switzerland's official broadcaster SFDRS.

From staff and wire reports.

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