Remco Graas loves to be active in the mountains. The bigger the goal, the better. From his workplace he has a direct view of the Innsbruck skyline, the Nordkette. This is how the idea of ​​crossing the entire skyline in one day came about.

A contribution from Black Diamond

Remco Graas grew up in the Netherlands, far away from all the mountains that he now has on his doorstep. 

During his childhood, Remco spent almost every holiday with his family in the Alps. At the time, however, he wasn't exactly enthusiastic about all the hikes they went on every day. Already at the beginning of the holiday he was looking forward to finally coming home again, where he could swim in the pool in peace or just play with his Game Boy. 

Film: Step by Step - The Nordkette crossing by Remco Graas

Fascination mountains

However, on one of his last family hiking trips in the Alps, his attitude towards the mountains changed completely unexpectedly. Something suddenly clicked in his head. He began to see the mountains with completely different eyes. 

From then on, however, family trips no longer took him into the mountains. So he began to take part in summer camps in the Alps on his own. At first, Remco was more interested in classic mountain tours and usually went with a large backpack and heavy mountain boots. 

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Discovered his love for the mountains on a hiking trip with his family: Remco Graas. Picture Alex Fox

Lighter, faster, further

Later, however, he was inspired by the great alpinists such as Ueli Steck. He realized that with more training and lighter gear, he could progress much faster. The more time Remco spent in the mountains, the faster and more agile he moved off-road. 

Gradually, the mountains became the focus of his life, so one day the idea of ​​climbing all 4000m peaks in the Alps matured. Today Remco is pretty close to his goal, he almost made it. For the remaining peaks, however, he wants to take his time in order to enjoy each and every one of them to the fullest. 

In order to be able to pursue his passion for the mountains even more intensively, Remco made the decision in 2017 to move the center of his life to Innsbruck. He started working at Black Diamond Equipment and from then on dedicated himself to his great passion, the mountains. 

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Remco Graas high above his adopted home of Innsbruck. Picture Alex Fox

Nordkette crossing: 19 peaks in one day

Every day when Remco rides his bike to the Black Diamond office, he looks up at the striking Nordkette. 

Then, one morning, he wondered if he could climb the entire 19-peak ridge in a single day. From then on, this idea would not let him go. 

"I wondered if it was possible to cross the entire ridge of the Nordkette with its 19 peaks in one day."

Remco Graas

Then one day it was time. It's Saturday night, 2:00 am and Remco is on his way to his great adventure. The city is still awake, the bars are open and people are partying in the streets. 

Today, however, his party is taking place somewhere else, in the great outdoors. Remco cycles up to the edge of the forest, hides his bike behind a tree and takes the first step in his long journey. 

«On the first summit, the first rays of sun are finally shining on my face.»

Remco Graas

It's still dark, on the way to the Brandjochkreuz Remco is already dreaming of the sight of the sunrise over the city. Step by step he leaves the noise of nightlife behind. When he reaches the first summit of the day, the first rays of sun finally shine on his face. 

His route takes him over scenically spectacular paths, rugged cirques and via ferratas; along the ridge he encounters tourists and animals. 

My girlfriend is probably drinking coffee on our balcony right now, he thinks while enjoying the view over the city. It's just cool to have mountains like that right behind the house. 

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Nordkette crossing: That's 19 peaks, 33 kilometers, 3800 meters in altitude. Picture Alex Fox

After 19 peaks, 33 kilometers and 3800 meters in altitude, Remco reaches the valley in the late evening. He gets on the bus, turns around and looks back with a smile at the Nordkette, which he was able to cross in just one day. 

Step by step, Remco conquered the mountains. Step by step, that is also his attitude towards life.

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Credits: Cover Photo Alex Fuchs/Black Diamond

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