Austrian explorer and writer Heinrich Harrer.

Heinrich Harrer

(1912 - 2006)

Having been on the Austrian ski team in the 1936 Olympics, Heinrich Harrer was among the four-man crew that first ascended the north face of the Eiger peak in the Bernese Alps in 1938, the same year he enlisted in the SS. Before he could begin an expedition to climb Nanga Parbat in the Himalayas, he was arrested at the outbreak of World War II by Allied forces and imprisoned. He eventually escaped, and with a companion he reached Lhasa in 1946, later becoming a tutor to the teenage Dalai Lama. Harrer was the author of the best-selling books Seven Years in Tibet, published in 1952, and The White Spider: The History of the Eiger’s North Face, published in 1958, which chronicled some of his mountain-climbing exploits.

Issues Contributed