Step By Step

The Nordkette Traverse with Remco Grass

Feature type Video

Published Aug 09, 2022

Photographer Alex Fuchs

Remco Graas grew up in the Netherlands, below sea level and far away from the mountains. Growing up his family would holidays in the Alps, but those hikes on dusty hot trails without entertainment didn’t resonate with him.

On his final family trip to the Alps though, everything changed. Suddenly he enjoyed the mountains. He soon found inspiration in the great alpinists like Ueli Steck, and realised that with more training he could travel lighter and go faster. As he spent more and more time in the mountains, he began to find his rhythm, moving easily through the terrain, stripping his equipment down the to the minimum.

Step by step the mountains became the central pillar of his life and the idea of climbing all 4000’ers in the Alps grew in his head. In 2017 he moved to Innsbruck so he could immerse himself in his passion for mountains. In his daily routine, he would look up at the Nordkette ridgeline and the desire to traverse it grew and grew.

Traversing the whole ridge on a single nice Sunday? Sounds like a fun day out, he thought and at 2:00 a.m. Remco leaves the house. The city is alive, as he ascends, the bars are still open and he hears the music of the parties in the city below him. His party, however, is planned with Mother Nature. As he ascends higher and higher, the sounds of the city fade and the sun starts to rise as he approaches the first peak of the day, Brandjochkreuz.

During the day he scales scenic trails, rugged cirques, via ferratas, meets tourists and animals — always following the ridgeline. After 33 kilometres, 19 peaks and 3,800 vertical meters, Remco reaches the valley floor. As he steps onto the bus he looks back at the ridgeline and smiles. Step by step Remco made the mountains his own. Step by step, that is his approach to life.

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