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Dani Arnold sets speed record for Alps ascent

Written by Fiona

August 16 2018

Swiss mountaineer and alpinist Dani Arnold has set a new speed record for an ascent of the north face of Grandes Jorasses,  a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif, on the boundary of France and Italy. He completed the 4,208m Walker Spur via the Cassin route in just two hours and four minutes.

Dani, 34, adds the Grandes Jorasse to another record on big north faces of the Alps, the Matterhorn, which he completed in 1 hr 46 mins. Another record climb by the late Ueli Steck’s Eiger of north face in a time of 2 hours 22 minutes remains unbroken.

Dani has more incredible fastest ascents to his name, including the Heckmair route on the North Face of Eiger (2 hr 28 min) and the Crack Baby route in Switzerland (27 min 13 secs).

He also holds the very first winter ascent of Torre Egger in Patagonia in 2010 alongside fellow alpinists, Thomas Senf and Stephan Siergrist. Arnold also made the first free solo speed ascent of the icefall Beta Block Super (1 hour 3 min) in Kandersteg, Switzerland, notably the scariest ascent of his alpine career to-date.

Dani Arnold. Credit: Staycoolandbegood

Dani reacts to speed record

TheGrand Jorasses north face record comes after three summer seasons of focusing on the project. In 2016 and 2017, weather conditions made any attempt impossible. On July 27, 2018, Dani took advantage of a good weather window to set the new record.

Dani, who is a sponsored by Mammut, told the brand: “I am feeling unbelievably happy and very proud of my achievement.

“Looking back, waiting such a long time for the right moment really paid off, despite the fact that this was quite a struggle for me – as patience certainly isn’t my strongest skill.

“However, everything needs to be right: Little details, such as whether I should climb two metres more to the right or to the left, sound ridiculous when you’re talking about a 1,200 metre face, but in the end, these details make the difference.”

New MSR ambassador

The news of his latest speed record came as Dani has also been welcomed into an elite team of ambassadors for the brand MSR (Mountain Safety Research).

Sarah Courtney, water and snow category manager at MSR, said: “Having exceptional athletes like Dani join the MSR team helps us achieve our goal of making the best gear on the planet by testing these products in the harshest, most extreme environments.

“We are extremely excited to have him join the MSR family and we congratulate him on his recent accomplishment.”

Dani’s bid to inspire

In addition to his personal mountaineering missions, Dani is also a mountain expedition guide. He has been guiding trips since 2009 and has found satisfaction in helping others summit their dream peaks.

Dani also hosts lectures and presentations discussing his expeditions and climbs on a range of topics including motivation, preparation tips and telling exciting stories.

He hopes to inspire people by giving them anecdotal and visual glimpses of the beautiful landscapes he experiences, and how the personal and physical challenges he overcomes strengthen his skill set.

Adding to the list of his accomplishments, Dani achieved the first ascent of Exile on Main Street via a new route up Gross Grunhom with partner Ruoss, and in 2015, Dani and his partner, Lama, managed a first ascent of the Birds of Prey route, the direct line up the east face of the Moose’s Tooth in Alaska.

Find out more about Dani Arnold.

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