On July 12, 2022, the two Swiss alpinists Nicolas Hojac and Adrian Zurbrügg climbed the Swiss Skyline Route of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau in the Bernese Oberland in a new best time of 13 hours and 8 minutes. The two Bernese beat Ueli Steck's fastest time so far by 3 hours and 2 minutes.
Nicolas Hojac and Adrian Zurbrugg started on Tuesday, July 12, 2022 on a special mission - a record attempt in what is probably the most famous mountain range in Switzerland. The previous record holder was Ueli Steck. At 01:00 a.m. the two of them set off from Grindelwald Grund to see the skyline of the world-famous triumvirate Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau to complete in record time.
The planned route differs from Ueli Steck's route in one passage. During its ascent in 2016, this bypassed one of the most difficult points on the east ridge of the Jungfrau. Hojac and Zurbrügg set themselves the goal of setting the new record on the direct line and thus not skipping the more difficult section on the Jungfrau east ridge over the Mathildespitz, but climbing it.
Weeks of planning paid off
After weeks of planning and preparation, the ideal conditions presented themselves in mid-July 2022. “We wanted to climb the tour as quickly and safely as possible. We had to rely on optimal conditions for this,” the two explained. The lack of snow in the winter and the exceptionally hot days in June made planning the project more difficult, since conditions prevailed that are usually more likely to be found in late summer.
For a successful implementation of the project, they depended on the fact that there would not be too much bare ice on the route. More belays would be necessary on the bare ice, which would cost the two alpinists significantly more time. "We knew that we could climb through the bare ice faster without belaying - but we weren't willing to take that risk." explains Nico Hojac. However, the weather conditions made for favorable conditions that made the time-consuming belaying unnecessary.
On to the new record
The record attempt could be started. While other climbers need four to five days for this tour, Ueli Steck's best time of 16 hours and 10 minutes should now be beaten. By sunrise, the two alpinists were already on the summit of the Eiger and had covered almost 3 meters in altitude. The record hunt went according to plan, even if the lack of sleep and the exertion of the last few hours made itself felt towards the end of the tour. The experienced alpinists had to focus all the more to climb safely.
At 14:08 p.m. the alpinists reached the postbus station in Stechelberg – the destination of the tour. It took them 13 hours, 8 minutes and 49 seconds to cover the 30,46 kilometers and climbed 4 meters in the process. The new time is 780 hours and 3 minutes faster than the original record Ueli Steck. "Climbing the route during this time makes us very proud," report Hojac and Zurbrügg, overjoyed.
But they are also aware that an even faster time might be possible, since Ueli Steck hadn't exhausted his previous record either. For Hojac However, it is not primarily about the comparison with others: «What appeals to me most is the personal challenge. It's about learning new things and growing through these projects."
That might interest you
- 20 peaks in half a day: Nicolas Hojac and Adrian Zurbrügg break record
- Nanga Parbat in 20 hours | Franz Cazzanelli breaks a record on the 8m peak
- Gianluca Vighetti: 9a at the age of twelve - is it a world record?
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Credits: Cover picture Mammut Sports Group AG/ Carlos Blanchard, Text Mammut Sports Group AG