There must be something in the water this year. We just saw the news about a first ascent of the gnarly North Ridge of Karakoram Giant Latok 1. Now, famous alpinist Dani Arnold smashed the speed record of the Grandes Jorasses, a massive peak just outside Chamonix, France. And by smashed, we mean he climbed the 1200-meter route in 2 hours and 4 minutes. Alone. Without ropes or gear other than an ultralight ice axe. This climb marks the completion of his project to make fast solo ascents up the three major North Faces of the Alps: the Matterhorn, the Eiger, and the Grande Jorasses.
Arnold shared some insight into his climb: “The fact that it worked out now makes me feel deeply satisfied and happy, of course. And in particular the fact that things turned out exactly as I’d imagined and wished them to be, makes me particularly proud. That means: everything is reduced to a minimum. While for the Eiger I carried a 50-meter rope, on the Matterhorn it was only about five meters long. And now? I took with me no rope, no harness and not a single carabiner on this 1200 m high face!”