Dani Arnold climbs the Cassin route up Grandes Jorasses in 2 hours and 4 minutes
News has just come in about the record-breaking speed ascent of the Cassin route up Grandes Jorasses, carried out on 27 July 2018 by Dani Arnold who climbed the 1200 meters away in just 2 hours and 4 minutes. The 34 year old Swiss mountaineer, who in the past has blazed his way up the North Faces of the Eiger and the Matterhorn, repeated the historic route first ascended from 4 to 6 August 1938 by Riccardo Cassin, Luigi 'Gino' Esposito and Ugo Tizzoni along the Walker Spur Walker, after having climbed it three times previously in preparation for his speed ascent.
Published below is the full the text Arnold posted on his website. It goes without saying that ascents of this sort, practically without gear and without the slightest margin of error, require an acute awareness of the risks involved and are reserved for a select few.
GRANDES JORASSES in 2:04 by Dani Arnold
I’ve achieved my very big dream of making fast solo ascents up the three big north faces in the Alps. The goal was lingering in my mind for years. Every mountaineer is fascinated by the three big faces and knows the "last great problems of the Alps".
Everything started with the North Face of the Eiger and the circle now closes with the completion of the Grandes Jorasses project.
To be honest the preparation, training and mental challenge were not too big for the Eiger and Matterhorn. Sure, they weren’t easy, but somehow I just did them.
Things were a bit different with the Grandes Jorasses. Certainly also because the starting point is Chamonix in France, and therefore a bit further away. It's harder to gauge what conditions are like. Furthermore, best conditions only present themselves in the height of summer. In some years the mountain never comes into good condition. I got really close to trying the face last year, but something didn’t feel right and in the end I never went. This explains why my desire was even greater to try it this summer. I also have to say that I needed that time: over the years my technique and tactics have improved significantly.
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!
Of course, this is associated with huge dangers, I don’t want to downplay this and I was 100 percent aware of this predicament. I trained seriously and with utmost caution for the ascent. Only like this was it possible to set this new record. The record is of course very important now. For me though it’s secondary. I enjoyed climbing the route and not for a second did I ever feel unsafe. Days like there occur very rarely, I’m aware of this. That's why I’m so happy for having pulled off this project. It’s always worth fighting for your dreams, never giving up and always stay focused.