Dutch mountain guide and Rab athlete Roeland van Oss has summited all 82 4,000 metre peaks in the Alps in a single push during one season.
He completed his Climbing4Climate project, which took him 78 days in total, in a self-powered style, only using his bike to move between the mountains and thus reducing CO2 emissions to a minimum. With that, Roeland aimed to raise awareness for climate change and inspire others to take individual action to achieve change for the better.
Starting in May 2022, Roeland chose Piz Bernina as his first Climbing4Climate summit. Shocked by the difficult conditions he was faced with – huge crevasses, rock fall, and challenging rocky approaches due to relatively high temperatures – as well as due to pushing too hard for the first day, the start of his project was anything but easy.
Roeland said: “The summer of 2022 was not a brilliant one to have a project like this, but it was a summer that sadly demonstrated perfectly what the big issue is: extremely hot and dry, during which many routes were closed due to rock and ice fall, with several major incidents in the mountains that could be directly related to climate change.”
Moving on to Valais, unstable weather and unforeseen storms further challenged Roeland’s plans, yet he was still able to complete 33 peaks in just the first 23 days of his project. Next were the mountains around Chamonix. From day 37 to 51, Roeland climbed all big 4,000 metre peaks around Mont Blanc, together with his 3rd and 4th climbing partner. Aiguille Verte, Diable Ridge, Grandes Jorasses, the 4,000 metre peaks on the Brouillard and Peuterey ridge, and Mont Blanc itself.
Continuing with the mountains around Grindelwald and Zermatt, Roeland finally completed his ambitious project by summiting the last two 4,000 metre peaks in the French Ecrins mountains on 12th August. All in all, Roeland biked more than 1,300 kilometres, walked more than 600 kilometres, and ascended more than 100,000 vertical metres. With that, he became the first Dutch person and the fourth climber ever to achieve this performance.
However, as Roeland said: “This was not why I set out to complete the challenge. We can have a big mouth about the climate, point our finger at someone else, look away…but the problem of climate change is there and only WE can change it. By climbing all 82x 4,000m peaks of the Alps, self-powered, I wanted to show that it is possible to do things differently. Try to be the example, in every little thing you do.”
Find more information on Roeland and his Climbing4Cilmate project here: