Ice Machine: Dani Arnold Climbs 1115-Foot Ice Route in 27 Minutes (Video + Photos)

4/4/14 - It would take most climbers a full day to climb 1115 feet of vertical ice. On Crack Baby (IV WI 6), Dani Arnold did it in just 27 minutes and 13 seconds. The Swiss alpinist and mountain guide set the speed record for the route, located on the Breitwangflue wall in Kandersteg, Switzerland, during a free solo on March 9, 2014.

Arnold didn’t consider soloing the route itself a challenge. The difficulty was in doing it fast. He focused his training on getting comfortable on the ice.

“I started in the fall with dry tooling,” said Arnold. “Then I tried to be on the ice as often as I could, and climb as many meters as possible. It was very important that I climbed on the ice really often the weeks before the record. I spent the days before on the ice, to keep the feeling of safety, to be really, really used to different ice and to the movements in the ice.”

Arnold says there were only two things going through his mind during the route: "As safe as possible and as fast as possible." When he topped out, the timer read 27 minutes and 13 seconds. That's 41 feet of ice, every minute, for 27 minutes.

“I was just happy to sit there and have a rest,” Arnold said.

Fair enough.

Arnold has been racking up major alpine achievements as of late. Last year Arnold put up one of the hardest recent new routes in Alaska on the Moose’s Tooth with David Lama. In 2011, he set the speed record for the North Face of the Eiger, having soloed it in just 2 hours and 28 minutes. Up next: a summer expedition in Pakistan with Thomas and Alex Huber.

Check out the photos below. Click for full size.


photo: | Thomas Senf


photo: | Thomas Senf


photo: | Thomas Senf


photo: | Thomas Senf


photo: | Thomas Senf


photo: | Thomas Senf


photo: | Thomas Senf


Previous Comments

Ice climbing amounts to climbing 5.8 all day

_____________ - 04/13/2014 8:50:24

Ice climbing amouNts to climbing 5.8 all day. Easy for anyone to learn how to do, kinda like snowboarding. Cool, but brings to mind those daredevils who climb big man made structures 1000s feet high

Yomomma - 04/13/2014 8:38:54

Folks, this is all about the talent, ability and performance. He probably did not win anything, than the glory... OK... However, at the moment he is the only proven guy who could take the lifesaver vaccine to your snake-bited kid up on the top, in half an hour. So, is there any further Qs? ;-)

grevesz - 04/11/2014 2:08:14

Lol... sport climbing? Good one!

Luke Stang - 04/07/2014 6:35:15

Just looking at the pics make me dizzy! Must have nerves of steel. Me, no thanks, I'll stick to chuffing up 5.12+/5.13- sport climbs in warmer weather :^) Kudos!

Chuff tastic! - 04/07/2014 11:17:41

Wallrat - your ceiling is my floor.

Solo Bliss - 04/07/2014 9:21:53

You get the satisfaction of a job well done and memories that will last a lifetime. Free soloing on ice is, at times, more comfortable than on rock, more secure. That being said, ice IS more prone to catastrophic failure and is more unpredictable.

kevin - 04/05/2014 10:17:00

I just have one question: So if you get the fastest time on that route, awesome as it is, what do you win? And if you fuck up and fall.........................TELL HIM WHAT HE'S WON! A frikking body bag.

Wallrat - 04/05/2014 5:50:50

i just don get it. Free soloing on rock, ....almost ok, on ice?? hell no!

Patrick - 04/05/2014 1:59:53