Andreas Steindl, a 22-year-old mountain guide in Zermatt, Switzerland, broke the record for speed climbing The Matterhorn from Zermatt via the classic Hornli Ridge to the 14,692-foot (4,478-meters) summit on August 23.
Starting at the Zollhaus in Zermatt at 4:05 in the morning, Stiendl ran the first section in running shoes and with trekking poles, passing Schawrzsee and the Hornli Hut, where over 90 other climbers had started climbing in the early morning hours.
On the upper technical climbing section of the route, Stiendl wore boots, crampons, and a helmet and carried an ice axe. As he passed the other climbers, he told the Zermatt newspaper, "The guests cheered me on and wished me luck."
Most climbers ascend The Matterhorn by taking a cable car to Schawrzsee and then hiking two more hours to the hut. The next day, starting about 4 a.m., they spend another eight or so hours climbing to the summit and then the rest of the day descending.
After a mere 2 hours and 57 minutes, just a smidgen under three hours, Andreas stood on The Matterhorn's summit after gaining 9,560 feet of elevation. He broke the 2007 record set by fellow guides Simon Anthamatten, Ernest Farquet, Marcel Marti and Florent Troillet.
Steindl's racing ascent comes on the heels of Dani Arnold's stunning ascent of the 5,250-foot-high North Face of The Eiger in only 2 hours and 27 minutes last April--that's climbing 35.7 feet per minute on loose and dangerous terrain.
Now that is speed climbing!
Photograph above: Andreas Steindl poses below the Hornli Ridge and The Matterhorn. Photograph courtesy Zermatt Tourismus
Read more about The Matterhorn and Speed Climbing:
The Matterhorn: Switzerland's Most Famous Mountain
Speed Climbing: Climb Faster Climb More
Speed Climbing El Capitan's Nose Route