April 4, 2014 posted by

1,000′ of Vertical in 27 Minutes!

1,000′ of Vertical in 27 Minutes!

This week’s Psyche is nuts. So much so that Planet Mountain, a web site solely devoted to athletic exploits in the mountains, had this to say about it.

We heard the news immediately after the ascent but, to tell the truth, we didn’t know how to publish it. On 9 March 2014 Dani Arnold from Switzerland climbed – without ropes and in less than half an hour – Crack Baby, the astounding line up pure ice that drops down the Breitwangflue high above Kandersteg, first ascended back in 1993 by Xavier Bongard and Michael Gruber and now one of the most famous and sought after ice climbs in the world. To be precise, the time needed for the solo was 27 minutes and 13 seconds. We could have simply published the news, added the photos and video and moved on. But we failed to do so. Because we didn’t know, and perhaps even now still don’t know, what this solo race up these 340m really means.

The level of shock they propose is unprecedented, at least to me, as they don’t seem to know much about him, and even less about what to say about this climb.  He certainly isn’t a household name in climbing and, even if he was, the ascent is so beyond what anyone’s done it’s hard to imagine. The article continues…

In the meantime we asked ourselves who Arnold is. And we tried to find the various pieces of the puzzle. So here they are, strewn across the table if you wish, all mixed up. And if you try and put them together perhaps they’ll create a picture that is both beautiful and fascinating. But also damn dangerous and at the limit of what is feasible and conceivable.

We should know him. After all, he smashed Ulei Steck’s record on the Eiger, among other things.  Probably best known as David Lama’s partner,  even that should have us take notice, as Lama has been blowing the climbing world away himself for the last few years. A bit more on his CV…

Arnold is a mountain guide by profession. A classic guide, someone who more often then not is out in the mountains with a client, and that’s why one doesn’t hear about him all too often. And he’s also a man of little words, one of those types who prefer to let their climbs speak for themselves. Like his speed record up the Eiger. And also like his first winter ascent of Torre Egger in Patagonia, or last year’s first ascent of a difficult mixed route up Mooses Tooth in Alaska together with David Lama. In short, a pretty impressive curriculum that gets bigger every year.

The vids a little short, we’d like to see more, but the article is well worth reading. The feat itself is off the charts. Get after it this weekend. And don’t die!

Photo by © | Thomas Senf

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