Matterhorn Speed Record Set

Dani Arnold set a new speed record on the Matterhorn on Wednesday, climbing the North Face in 1 hour and 46 minutes.


It breaks Ueli Steck’s previous record of 1:56 on the 4,478-meter peak, set in 2009. Both climbers ascended what is known as the Schmid Route, climbing free-solo. For perspective, average roped climbers take anywhere from 10-20 hours to finish the route.

Arnold blasts up the Matterhorn; photos by Christian Gisi

Arnold, a 30-year-old Mammut-sponsored climber from Switzerland, has made a name for himself for his extraordinary achievements in mixed and ice climbing. He also set a speed record for climbing the north face of the Eiger in 2011, charging up the mountain in 2:28.

Arnold, just a tiny spec of red on the North Face of the Matterhorn

A speed record of the Matterhorn represents a pinnacle in mountaineering. The peak, on the boarder of Switzerland and Italy, was first climbed in 1865. This year, 2015, represents the 150th anniversary of the first ascent.

Matterhorn Record

For his record, Arnold set off at the bergschrund at 3,400 meters at 8:34 a.m. The conditions were “actually really good, even if not optimal,” he said.

“In many places I was climbing on glare ice, and on rock further up. This is where you would ideally find snow,” he reported.

The Swiss mountain guide is known for his speed at climbing mountains. When he set a record on the Eiger in 2011, which is still unbroken today, he was largely unknown outside the climbing scene.

Sean McCoy

Editorial Director Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in GearJunkie's Denver office, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.