5 - 6
FATMAP difficulty grade
A truly awe inspiring ski descent on one of the most famous mountains in the Alps, this is a dream ski line reserved only for those with high level ski mountaineering skills. The line faces plum West so in order to find it both climbable and skiable, aim to do this route in springtime and climb it in the early morning (when the snow is firm) and then ski it around lunchtime when the sun has softened the snow.
Wait until there has been a prolonged period of good weather to create a spring snow cycle before attempting this route. Start at the Eigergletscher station and head East up low angled terrain to a series of slabs.
Climbing these will involve scrambling with your skis on your back, but the prevailing conditions will dictate how dry and tricky the scrambling is. Once above the slabs skin up some relatively mellow terrain to reach a broad gully beneath a huge serac.
Put your skis on your back and begin bootpacking up the gully, moving as quickly as possible.
The serac is massive and active - there is no way of avoiding the risk involved in passing under it but you can at least minimise the risk by bootpacking as fast as your legs and lungs will allow until you're out of the firing line, which you will be when you begin traversing out left to circumnavigate around the serac. Climb up past the serac and begin drifting out left, heading up steep snow towards the Eiger's West ridge.
Upon reaching the ridge, peer over onto the huge and legendary Eiger North face before continuing up the ridge all the way to the summit. Descend the same way back down to the Eigergletscher station.
Try to time your descent so that the snow is just beginning to soften as you set off.
The sheer size of the terrain means that you are almost certain not to find perfect snow all the way down, but provided that the steepest and most exposed sections are soft and skiable, you have got the timing about right. The first few turns off the summit are exceptionally exposed, and virtually all of the terrain you'll cover is serious and steep.
Upon reaching the Eigergletscher station, award yourself a well deserved pat on the back and take the train down to Grindelwald.