The Swiss professional mountaineer Dani Arnold sets a new record time on the north face of the Grandes Jorasses. The 34-year-old climbs the Xerox Walker (4208 Meter) in the Mont Blanc massif at the end of July via the Cassin route in 2: 04 hours. He holds the speed record on two of the three legendary north faces of the Alps.
The project Grandes Jorasses North Face has already been working on Dani for the third consecutive summer. In the years 2016 and 2017 the weather had made a try impossible. On the 27. Juli 2018 finally got it all together. Dani was able to use an optimal weather window and set a new record time in good conditions. The world-class mountaineer overcame the 1200 m high north face over the Cassin route in sensational 2: 04 hours and was overwhelmed:
"Patience is not my strength. But everything had to be right for the record. "- Dani Arnold
"I am incredibly happy and very proud of my performance. In retrospect, it has been worthwhile to wait for the right time - even though this was difficult for me, because patience is not my strength. But everything has to be right: The small details, such as whether I should climb two meters further to the right or left, make the difference in a 1200 meter high wall at the end. "
Three times before the record climbed on trial
Dani had meticulously prepared for the attempt. He has already climbed the very steep north face over the Walker pillar (Cassin route) three times - the last time two weeks before the actual record attempt. For the Swiss to tackle the speed-climb, the weather and the conditions had to play their part, which only occurs on the granite ridge between French Haute-Savoie and the Italian Aosta Valley on a few days a year.
Not too dry, not too wet
The rock may not or only slightly iced for a successful speed free solo ascent, but if it is too dry, there is a risk of falling rocks. "The Cassin route to the walker pillar is about 80 percent rock, which is more difficult terrain than ice in a speed walk. The most challenging part was the steep and technically complex Rébuffat crack, as it was wet there due to meltwater, "Dani continues. With the speed record on the north face of Grandes Jorasses and the fastest time on the north face of the Matterhorn, Dani currently holds the records for two out of three major north faces in the Alps.
Video about the speed-walk on the Grand Jorasses North Face
Dani Arnold in an interview with LACRUX about the ascent
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Credits: picture and text Mammut Sports Group AG