Eiger North Face: Kevin attempts to set new solo speed record October 22 2011

News Brief: On October 9th 2011 Kevin Passmore attempted to set a new free-solo speed ascent of the Eiger North Face(Nordwand). Although unsuccessful, this was a very promising attempt. Starting from the town of Grindelwald, Passmore ascended to the Nordwand through heavy snow with improving skies. Passmore described conditions as wet and cold starting out. Kevin Reports: 'Some of the early challenges included circumventing flocks of small horned Eiger demons: they approached me and kept repeating 'Bahh... Bahh' perhaps warning me away from the fearsome wall. I was able to overcome a number of electric fences which perhaps may put up shocking resistance to the typical traveler. Intimidating Eiger cows blocked my path whilst continuously ringing their bells- much like a rattlesnake shaking its tail and blocking the trail. Approaching the Eiger, I trancended from mud to boot deep snow, and eventually to wading through snow exceeding waist deep in reaching the face.   Upon approaching the wall, clouds lifted, and skies cleared bringing the full beauty of the mountain into view. From high above, continuous sluffs of snow poured down the face and spin drift lightly blew off of the upper ridges tumbling down with a light breeze.   In the shadow of the mountain I began to climb upon icy, snowy, and somewhat loose ledges. After a period of climbing, the summit still shown seemingly within reach. It is uncertain how high I ascended up the wall, but after a period of climbing I felt that perhaps today was not meant to be my day. Having spent less than the current record of 2'28” on the wall, I descended and walked away empty handed. Its certainly possible that had I continued I would have reached the summit to set the new record... we'll never know. Kevin may be next in line to join the ranks of famed Nordwand Alpinists including the likes of: Uli Steck, Rheinhold Messner, and Dr. Jonathan Hemlock.