PHOTOS/VIDEO: Eiger Speed Record - Dani Arnoldby Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC Apr/2011
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Arnold, who lives in the Swiss town of Bürglen, has been climbing since he was 14 years old. The young mountain guide has previously made a speed solo of the 36 pitch West Ridge of Salbit in one and a half hours, as well as climbing hard routes from Scotland to Patagonia.
Last year he made a very significant first winter ascent of Torre Egger in Patagonia, partnered by professional alpinist Stephan Siegrist. This February on a quick trip to Scotland, Dani Arnold onsighted the now neo-classic hard route The Secret on Ben Nevis.
The previous Eiger North Face record, held by Ueli Steck, was 2 hours and 47 minutes. Arnold has knocked 19 minutes off that already unbelievable time. A slight difference in approach is that Steck climbed the route entirely free where as Arnold made use of the fixed ropes on the Hinterstoisser Traverse. Steck's ascent was also within the official season for a 'winter' ascent.
Arnold started the climb on April 20th at 09.05 am at the summer start on the first ledge at the base of the wall. He passed several teams on his speed climb and reached the summit at 11.33 am.
Recent conditions and weather on the Eiger have been exceptionally good, with a large boot track up the classic 1938 Heckmair Route and multiple teams on the face at any one time.
Dani Arnold is sponsored by Mammut