Danger in the Alps: Huge Rockfalls on the Eiger and the Matterhorn

Alpinist Robert Jasper reported today that a large rockfall cascaded down the North Face of Eiger. According to Jasper, the historic Ghilini-Piola Direttissima route, and possibly also the new Renaissance route, have been affected.

On the Ghilini-Piola Direttissima, first climbed in 1983 by Rene Ghilini and Michel Piola (6b, A4, 1,400m), a huge rock pillar collapsed at pitch 22. It smashed the entire wall section below, according to Jasper. He did not report any injuries.

The affected part on Eiger's north face due to huge rockfall.

The section of the Eiger’s North Face affected by rockfall. Photo: Robert Jasper


As we reported last week, Peter von Kaenel and Silvan Schupbach opened the 30-pitch, 1,220m Renaissance route just last month. They placed no bolts and only left behind eight pitons. This route follows the steep Rote Fluh, near the Ghilini-Piola Direttissima and the Czech Pillar.

rockfall on the Eiger.

Today’s rockfall on the Eiger.


Rockfall on the Matterhorn too

Yesterday, Sept. 10, 2023, there was also a big rockfall in plain view on the Matterhorn’s South Face, according to Italy’s Newsbiella. Local sources confirmed that no one was on that part of the face at noon when it occurred.

The south face of Matterhorn.

The South Face of the Matterhorn. Photo: Summitpost


The normal route was unaffected. A further rockfall occurred on the Swiss side of Matterhorn, around the Zmutt ridge. Because of the high temperatures and the instability, all guides decided against climbing the mountain with clients, even via the normal route.

As Newsbiella points it out, these rock slides are not surprising, since the temperature has not dipped below freezing even on the summits for many days.

Here is the video on the rockfall on the Matterhorn, recorded by Luciano Canova.

Kris Annapurna

KrisAnnapurna is a writer with ExplorersWeb.

Kris has been writing about history and tales in alpinism, news, mountaineering, and news updates in the Himalaya, Karakoram, etc., for the past year with ExplorersWeb. Prior to that, Kris worked as a real estate agent, interpreter, and translator in criminal law. Now based in Madrid, Spain, she was born and raised in Hungary.