Switzerland's Daniel Arnold became the fastest man to climb the north face of the Matterhorn in the Alps, breaking the speed record on 22 April.

Arnold reached the summit of the Swiss mountain, which is 4,478m, in a time of 1 hour, 46 minutes and outperformed compatriot Ueli Steck's record set in 2009 by ten minutes.

The 31-year-old hiked to the entry of the Schmid route at 3,400m above sea level and attacked the Matterhorn north face at Bergschrund. The lower part of the face was covered with snow and he gained height quickly.

But at the end of the snow field, the climb became more challenging. In the middle part of the face, the rock was only partly covered with snow and Arnold traversed over the rocks to the right.

Arnold followed the route far to the right up to Zmuttgrat and then climbed towards the summit on the left side.

Arnold, who undercut Ueli Steck's record in the Eiger North Face in April 2011, passed the cross on the Italian summit of the Matterhorn and went on to reach the summit and set the new speed record.

"It's more or less four years after the Eiger record and yes to be here now on the Matterhorn on this year which, with the anniversary of the Matterhorn, it seems to be a perfect year and I'm really happy to be here and yes, cool," said Arnold.

"At the start I wasn't so lucky because it was really hard to get in my pace, but afterwards higher up I find the rhythm and then I felt more comfortable so I think the upper part I'm quite happy about the speed and the time."

The town of Zermatt is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first ascent of the Matterhorn. On 14 July 1865, the English party of Edward Whymper and friends were the first to reach the summit of the Matterhorn. The difficult north face was first climbed by Swiss brothers Franz and Toni Schmid on 31 July and 1 August 1931.