FATMAP difficulty grade
Of all the routes on the Eiger the Mittelegi Ridge is possibly the best of the more accessible lines, for several reasons.
Beginning with Jungfraujoch railway, steeped in history, as far as Eismeer, this hut approach is a mountaineering route in itself.
The route starts from a spectacularly positioned hut, lashed by cables to the ridge, with precipitous drops on both sides.
From the hut itself the Eiger appears as a fairy tale spiky summit, unlike the blunt and rounded form it takes from the classical views of the N Face.
The Mittelegi ridge itself is fantastically exposed and is most logically done as a traverse, finishing by the S Ridge, where the rock is excellent.
From Eismeer station you must descend concrete steps in the dark to emerge onto the Challi Glacier.
This will require a headtorch and often crampons, as there is commonly water ice frozen onto the steps.
In snowy conditions you can down climb, but as likely you may need to do a short rappel onto the glacier below.
Take a gently rising line on relatively easy glacier until a broad couloir is seen below the Grosse Turm.
Start up this, quickly exiting onto the rocks on the R.
There is a couple of short pitches with moves of UIAA 4 on the first one and several bolts.
Next take a fairly horizontal ledge along the shale-y rock.
There is a short downclimb or rappel near another couloir further on, then an indistinct rising traverse to the hut.
When the rock is free of snow it may be preferable to take a much longer section on the glacier, then climb directly up underneath the hut.
This is the more traditional approach and is protected by iron stanchions.
Once at the hut, take in the magnificent panorama and then get an early night!