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Dani Arnold Breaks Ueli Steck’s Speed Record on the Matterhorn

Swiss mountaineer, Dani Arnold, set a new speed record on the Matterhorn North Face with a time of 1 hour 46 minutes—breaking Ueli Steck’s 2009 record by 10 minutes.

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Swiss mountaineer Dani Arnold now holds speed records on Eiger North Face and Matterhorn North Face. Photo: Christian Gisi / Rainer Eder.
Swiss mountaineer Dani Arnold now holds speed records on Eiger North Face and Matterhorn North Face. Photo: Christian Gisi / Rainer Eder.

Swiss mountaineer, Dani Arnold, set a new speed record on the Matterhorn North Face with a time of 1 hour 46 minutes—breaking Ueli Steck’s 2009 record by 10 minutes.

Arnold, 31, from Uri, Switzerland, cruised the classic Schmid Route (WI4+, M5, 1100m) on April 22—climbed by the Schmid brothers Franz and Toni in 1931 on the first ascent of the the north face. In 1865, Edward Whymper made the first ascent of the iconic peak.

The north face of the Matterhorn ranks alongside the Eiger and Grand Jorasse as one of the six great north walls of the Alps.

Despite a record-breaking time, Arnold claims that he “wasn’t super fast.”

In comparison, the climb normally takes eight to ten hours for the average, fit climber.

“I didn’t feel well at all initially,” Arnold told Mammut, his sponsor, later that evening. “I almost felt sick and thought about giving up.”

Arnold also mentions that conditions were good, but not perfect. The upper section of the route had little snow and he was forced to climb on ice and blank rock.

Arnold states: “It’s probably possible to be faster.”

This isn’t the first time that Arnold has bested an Ueli Steck speed record. In 2011, he climbed the Eiger North Face in 2 hours and 28 minutes—nearly 20 minutes faster than Steck.