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The Eiger project: Climbers bivouac overnight

The four climbers at the heart of a Swiss television live broadcast are making good progress in their televised ascent of the North Face of the Eiger and are now spending the night in a bivouac. The conquest is to continue Friday.

This content was published on September 9, 1999 - 17:13

The four climbers at the heart of a Swiss television live broadcast are making good progress in their televised ascent of the North Face of the Eiger and are now spending the night in a bivouac.

Mountaineers Hansruedi Gertsch, Evelyne Binsack, Stephan Siegrist and Ralf Dujmovits began their ascent Thursday at 9 a.m. local time (0700 GMT) at the foot of the mountain near the resort of Grindelwald, in the Bernese Oberland.

The mountain guides 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.

Swiss Sports Minister Adolf Ogi expressed his support for the broadcast, saying it gave television viewers the opportunity of learning more about what rock climbing is all about.

The live broadcast is expected to last 30 hours and will continue Friday, when the climbers plan to reach the top of the mountain.

The live attempt is being broadcast by Switzerland's official broadcaster SFDRS. The climbers plan to spend the night in a bivouac on the mountain face.

Officials said preparations last year, when plans were wiped out by persistent bad weather in late summer, showed that the live broadcast could be made safely. The final decision to go ahead was taken Wednesday.

From staff and wire reports.

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