The ice-capped, wind swept Eiger defied expert mountain rescuers yesterday (Monday) in their eleventh hour bid to rescue the three climbers trapped on its northern face.
Reels 1 and 2
Shots were made flying over and around the Eiger ina "Super Piper", up to 12000 feet.
Several times stormy winds and bad weather conditions madethe airplane loose 1000 feet of altitude.
Thus the four mountaineers, lost in the north slope of the Eiger, can not be seen exactly.
Shots of the rescue-party on the peak of Eiger, getting ready to climb downhill. Later the attempt to reach the four lost alpinists was partially successful. Two of them could be found.
Additional shots made on Kleine Scheidegg (facing the north slope of Eiger) will be dispatched as soon as they arrive at Zurich Airport.
Press cuttings with pictures and explanations of the itinerary of the mountaineers are sent directly from Berne
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The ice-capped, wind swept Eiger defied expert mountain rescuers yesterday (Monday) in their eleventh hour bid to rescue the three climbers trapped on its northern face.
The only survivor of the party of four who started the ascent ten days ago, 29-year-old Italian, Claudio Corti, was brought safely to Interlaken yesterday.
The body of his compatriot, Stefano Longhi, 44, was seen hanging from a ledge on the North Wall of the 13, 030 feet mountain, yesterday, and all hope of the other two, Germans, Guenther Nothdurft, 27, and Goetz Meier was abandoned.
Even the final stages of Corti's rescue was frought with hazards. Fierce blizzards forced the rescue party to halt for the night and shelter in bivouac tents during their descent of the south-west ridge.
The rescue operations were carried out by some of Europe's finest climbers. It was Germany's Aldred Hellparth who finally reached Corti on a ledge overlooking a dizzy drop. Lowered on a special steel cable he hoisted the Italian on his back, up to the peak and comparitive safety.
Corti told his rescuers that Longhi had to be left behind on the original ascent, not because of unjury, but because he was too exhausted to continue. About 300 feet higher up, Corti himself fell and was injured. The two Germans left him all their bivouacking equipment and climbed straight up towards the summit.
They had not been seen since.