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18 four-thousanders in 9 hours: Record hunt on the Spaghetti Tour 

"Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we fail"

32 kilometers, a total of 4,300 meters of vert and 18 peaks above the 4,000 elevation – the so-called Spaghetti Tour is legendary and is among the most beautiful alpine tours in the Alps. 18 proud four-thousanders are lined up, one after the other, among them the highest peak in Switzerland, the Dufourspitze (4,634 meters). This classic route starts at the Monte Rosa Hut in Zermatt, runs along the border between Italy and Switzerland, and ends at the Little Matterhorn’s summit station. 

 

This is precisely the route selected in July 2022 by DYNAFIT athlete Andy Steindl, 33, and alpinist Martin Anthamatten, 38, for a record-breaking endeavor: What experienced mountaineers normally do in 3-5 days, these two Swiss alpinists wanted to do it in less than 9 hours all in one push without support. That would break the current speed record of 9 hours and 18 minutes. In the end, just 10 minutes stood between them and a record time.  

18 summits, nine hours, and two friends of the extreme

The Spaghetti Tour owes its name to the Italian huts that offer alpinists along the route lodging and meals. To stop in for a bite to eat, however, was not on the schedule for Andy Steindl and Martin Anthamatten on July 12, 2022. 18 four-thousanders in 9 hours was the time both friends set as their limit to undercut the record time of French alpinist Benjamin Védrines.  

 

The starting gun for their record attempt went off on July 12 at 3 a.m.: From the Monte Rosa Hut (2,882 meters), Andy and Martin started the tour with the first summit – the Nordend (4,608 meters). The unfavorable weather and snow conditions, however, soon proved to be their biggest challenge on the way to the record. Very little snow, icy passages, and very high daytime temperatures demanded everything the two athletes had. 

 

In the end, Andy and Martin reached the finish – the Little Matterhorn in Zermatt (3,817 meters) – after 9 hours and 28 minutes. That meant they missed Védrines’ record by a mere 10 minutes.

 

After being first disappointed, Andy was able to not just see it as a failed record attempt but more of an outstanding performance and a unique adventure that he was able to experience with a good friend: 

“Of course, our goal was to break the record on the Spaghetti Tour. We were aware it was going to be difficult as a time, to undercut the time of a solo alpinist. Nevertheless, we were disappointed at first that we missed our goal by just 10 minutes. In the meantime, I am simply grateful and happy about this unbelievable day. We gave it our all and, in the end, all that counts is the experience itself, the adventure, and the fact that we finished healthy.” 

Familiar route for records

Back in 2015, Andy Steindl along with Swiss extreme alpinist Ueli Steck already set a high bar for the Spaghetti Tour. At that time, they conquered the 18 summits on the Spaghetti Tour in 14 hours and 35 minutes – a record! This time was broken five years later by Bernese alpinists Adrian Zurbrügg and Nicolas Hojac. The current record on this classic route is held by Benjamin Védrines at 9 hours, 18 minutes.

About Andy Steindl – peak bagger and record chaser

Andy Steindl was born at the foot of the Matterhorn. At 14, he stood on the summit of his first 4000er together with his mountain guide father. That awoke his passion for the Alps as well as the drive for altitude and speed. The certified mountain guide and ski instructor was a member of the Swiss National Ski Mountaineering Team until winter 2018. Since 2019, the 33-year-old regularly dares new projects on high-alpine terrain as an official DYNAFIT athlete, living up to the motto #SPEEDUP. 

 

Andy Steindl’s knack for record times hasn’t only been proved on the Spaghetti Tour. The Zermatt native succeeded at a speed record on Mont Blanc in 2019. Together with the Italian Francois Cazzanelli, Steindl climbed the highest mountain in the Alps along the Peutérey Intégral ridge and then returned to the valley in record time. For those 4,300 meters of vertical and 45 kilometers along the longest Alpine ridge, the two mountain guides needed just 15 hours, 55 minutes. One of the biggest achievements by the Swiss native aside from the record on the Matterhorn – by the way, his hometown mountain that he’s already climbed nearly 100 times: In less than four hours (3:59:57), Steindl on Aug. 27, 2018, ran from Church Square in Zermatt up the Matterhorn’s 2,861 meters of vert and 22.8 kilometers and then back. 

“For projects such as a record attempt on the Spaghetti Tour, I must be able to rely totally on my equipment. Anything else simply demands unnecessary time and energy. On tours on high-alpine terrain, for example, I always have the Transalper Gore-Tex Jacket from DYNAFIT along. It is 100% waterproof, extremely light, and breathable. Meaning I am ideally equipped not only in heavy rain but also in changing temperatures and on high-intensity climbs.”  

#SPEEDUP

DYNAFIT supports this exceptional athlete in his projects and equips him with the right gear for extreme challenges in the mountains: To that end, it comes down to lightness, top function, and performance above all else.  

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