Dani Arnold bags new speed record on Matterhorn

Posted: May 02, 2015 02:51 am EDT

 

(Newsdesk / Press Release by Hans Ambühl (Visual Impact) and Mammut)  

 

Swiss climber and speed specialist, Dani Arnold successfully climbed the Matterhorn north face in a new record time of 1 hour 46 minutes. He beats the existing speed record of Ueli Steck by 10 minutes. Dani realized his record on Wednesday, April 22nd.

 

While good alpinists need 8 – 10 hours to climb the 1100 meter (3600 feet) face, Dani Arnold only needed the time of an extended lunch break to climb the north face of the Matterhorn.

 

Dani Arnold climbed free solo (unroped, without a partner). He ascended the so-called Schmid-route, while in 2009 Ueli Steck climbed the Pitelka variation in the upper part.

 

The climb

 

Dani Arnold began his ascent of the 1100 meter high wall at the Bergschrund on Wednesday, April 22nd, at 8:34 AM. 1 hour and 46 minutes later, he pushed the stop watch on the summit. "I didn't feel well at all initially," Arnold commented on his shape that evening. "I almost felt sick and thought about giving up." 

 

However, he did continue, and finally found a good rhythm. "I wasn't super-fast. The only thing that counts is the rhythm," he says. 

 

Considering his time, that is a bit of an understatement – "normal" mountaineers take eight to ten hours for the route through the North Face. Understatement fits Arnold, who tackles even difficult projects with an amazing ease. 

 

When he undercut Ueli Steck's record in the Eiger North Face in 2011, 20 minutes faster than Steck, hardly anyone outside of the scene knew of him. It is a special confirmation for Arnold that he was able to underbid the best time for the Matterhorn North Face as well four years later nearly to the day. "This shows me that I have done many things right in the last few years. This is the most important thing for me about this result.”

 

Speed and solo ascents are a form of alpinism that the mountain guide from Urn has a special love for. He is known for having a lot of "steam" and mastering even difficult terrain with great confidence. Speed isn't the only thing Arnold is looking for. He considers himself an all-rounder and continually sets new targets for himself in the various alpinist areas. For example, he worked on various other projects this spring and did not specifically work towards a new record on the “Horu".

 

"I thought that I wasn't quite that fit after the many lectures this winter," he says. "The last tours went great, though." And so he suddenly set his sights on the North Face again. The conditions Arnold found on the wall were good, though not perfect. Particularly the upper part had little snow, and climbing on blank ice or rock was accordingly demanding. Arnold summarizes: "It's probably possible to be faster.”

 

Background information on Dani Arnold and the record in the Matterhorn North Face: 

 

Route:

 

Matterhorn North Face - Schmid-Route (TD/+, WI4+, M5) - 1100m, V – First ascent: Franz and Toni Schmid between 31 July and 1 August 1931. The Schmid brothers received the Olympic gold medal, the Prix olympique d’alpinisme, for this performance in 1932.

 

Dani Arnold:

 

He started using ice picks as a child, when he dreamed of great mountains and had made Stephan Siegrist his role model. Dani's first ice climbing attempts took place at the frozen brook near his parents' house – at night, without any experience, with old mountain picks. And without a rope and safety harness, of course. 

 

The mountain guide from Urn, now 31 years old, started properly climbing at the age of fourteen. A short while later, he first climbed the Eiger North Face as a teen with colleagues. Later, Dani Arnold completed a solo ascent of the 36 pitches of the legendary Urn Salbit West Ridge in an hour and a half. Together with Stephan Siegrist and Thomas Senf, he also completed the first winter ascent of the Torre Egger in Patagonia. 

 

Dani Arnold has been known to the wider public since his speed record on the Eiger North Face, where he outperformed Ueli Steck's time by nearly 20 minutes at 2 hours and 28 minutes. 

 

Links

 

Dani Arnold

 

Visual Impact

 

Mammut

 

#mountaineering

#daniearnold

#matterhornspeedrecord

 

 

 

Dani Arnold beats Ueli Steck's record by 10 minutes. (click image to expand)
courtesy visualimpact.ch / Christian Gisi, SOURCE
Dani Arnold began his ascent of the 1100 meter high wall at the Bergschrund on Wednesday, April 22nd, at 8:34 AM.
courtesy visualimpact.ch / Christian Gisi, SOURCE
Schmid-route (click image to expand)
courtesy visualimpact.ch / Rainer Eder, SOURCE
"I didn't feel well at all initially," Arnold commented on his shape that evening. "I almost felt sick and thought about giving up." (click to expand)
courtesy visualimpact.ch / Christian Gisi, SOURCE
When Dani Arnold undercut Ueli Steck's record in the Eiger North Face in 2011, 20 minutes faster than Steck, hardly anyone outside of the scene knew of him. (click image to expand)
courtesy visualimpact.ch / Christian Gisi, SOURCE
Dani Arnold: "This shows me that I have done many things right in the last few years. This is the most important thing for me about this result.” (click image to expand)
courtesy visualimpact.ch / Christian Gisi, SOURCE
The conditions Arnold found on the wall were good, though not perfect. Particularly the upper part had little snow, and climbing on blank ice or rock was accordingly demanding. (click to expand)
courtesy visualimpact.ch / Christian Gisi, SOURCE
Dani Arnold free climbed the Matterhorn solo (unroped, without a partner) in a new record time of 1 hour 46 minutes.
courtesy visualimpact.ch / Christian Gisi, SOURCE
VIDEO speedrecord Matterhorn 2015, Dani Arnold
courtesy Mammut, SOURCE