World Record: 13,572 Meters of Vertical Descent
26 September 2013
13,572 vertical meters of descending on singletracks in just one day, 14 different descents and a riding time of more than 13 hours: Former professional mountain bike racer and SCOTT Swisspower team manager Thomas Frischknecht and tour guide Thomas Giger have set a new world record in Davos Klosters this past Monday. Never before has anyone ridden that many different descents in one day.
This record-breaking tour was pushing the very limit of what can be done on a mountain bike. Frischknecht and Giger set off before sunrise on top of Davos` Jakobshorn (2590m), and they arrived at the little village of Küblis just after it had gotten dark.
“I am still a mountain biker with heart and soul. The ride today was just breath-taking, almost an overdose of superb alpine mountain biking. And it is a very special feeling having mastered a project that no one has ever tried before,” triple world champion Frischknecht commented after the adventure, adding that this day was a highlight of his life as a mountain biker.
The "Bahnentour Davos Klosters" served as the basic framework for the record ride, as this mountain bike tour already offers 10000 vertical meters of descending on a single day by making good use of the various cable cars, gondolas and chairlifts in the region. While many riders fail to complete the entire loop and end up doing far less descents, Thomas Giger, the inventor of the Bahnentour soon realized that the limit of what could be done had not been reached yet. "Davos Klosters has way more singletrack descents than I could integrate into the original Bahnentour. I knew I could set a new world record up here, and it did not take much to convince Thomas Frischknecht to join me on that record attempt,” Giger explained. Rather than setting a new world record, he was looking for the unique experience of going to the very limits of what is possible. "The first descent in the early morning and the final descent from the top of the Weissfluh were so impressive that I will remember this particular day for the rest of my life."
During their record-breaking ride, neither Frischknecht nor Giger were slowed down by any mechanical issues, which is all the more remarkable as the chosen route is extremely demanding regarding the necessary riding skills and the terrain. Both riders were on SCOTT’s brand-new Genius LT for this ride, breaking the world record aboard a bicycle that had only been presented to the public a short while ago.
Frischknecht and Giger started their record ride on top of the Jakobshorn above Davos and managed to integrate an additional three descents into the standard route. As all cable cars and chairlifts quit operating in the late afternoon, the two riders were flown to the top of the Weissfluh with a helicopter to tackle the last descent to Küblis as dusk was falling. At their arrival, they had logged 13572 vertical meters of descending and an overall distance of 125 kilometers. Almost all of the ascents were handled by Davos Kloster’s cable cars and chairlifts, but 830 vertical meters of ascending still had to be done by their own effort.