Rab athlete summits every 4,000-metre plus peak in the Alps in a single season

Dutch mountain guide Roeland van Oss climbed 82 mountains in 78 days, cycling between each one

Rab Roeland's alps climb
(Image credit: Rab)

There are 82 peaks in the Alps that stand more than 4,000 metres above sea level, and Dutch mountain guide and Rab (opens in new tab) athlete Roeland van Oss (opens in new tab) has climbed to the summit of every single one in one season, cycling his bike between the mountains.

Rab alp climb

(Image credit: Rab)

Roeland began his Climbing4Climate (opens in new tab) project in May 2022, by scaling Piz Bernina, a 4,048-metre mountain on the border of Switzerland and Italy, and the highest peak in Bernina Range. 

In Valais, unstable weather and unforeseen storms seriously jeapodised Roeland plans, but he still knocked off 33 peaks in the first 23 days.

Rab alps climb

(Image credit: Rab)

Between day 37 and 51, in the mountains around Chamonix, Roeland climbed all the big 4,000 metre peaks around Mont Blanc, including Aiguille Verte, Diable Ridge, Grandes Jorasses, the 4,000 metre peaks on the Brouillard and Peuterey ridge, and Mont Blanc itself.

Moving on to 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.

Rab Alp climb

(Image credit: Rab)

Roeland's extraordinary endeavour was sponsored by Rab (opens in new tab), who make some of the best outdoor gear on the market, including excellent winter jackets (opens in new tab)  (like the Infinity Microlight (opens in new tab)) and superb sleeping bags (opens in new tab) (such as the Neutrino 400 (opens in new tab) and the  Solar Ultra 2 (opens in new tab)).

Roeland chose to make his adventure complete self-powered, using his bike to travel between the mountains, keeping CO2 emissions to a minimum. The aim of his mission was to raise awareness for climate change and inspire others to take individual action to achieve change for the better.

During his epic odyssey, Roeland was confronted with challenges including huge crevasses, rock falls, and difficult rocky approaches exacerbated by high temperatures.

Rab alp climb

(Image credit: Rab)

“The summer of 2022 was not a brilliant one to have a project like this,” says Roeland. “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.”

In total, Roeland cycled over 1,300km, hiked more than 600km, and ascended upwards of 100,000 vertical metres. He is the first Dutch person and the fourth climber ever to achieve this performance.

Pat Kinsella
Editor T3 Outdoors

Pat Kinsella has been chasing adventures and writing about the outdoors for two decades. In pursuit of stories he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked across the Norwegian Alps, run ultras across the roof of Mauritius and through the hills of the Himalayas, and set short-lived speed records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s nine Great Walks. A former editor of several Australian magazines he’s a longtime contributor to publications including Sidetracked, Outdoor, National Geographic Traveller, Trail Running, The Great Outdoors, Outdoor Fitness and Adventure Travel, and a regular writer for Lonely Planet (for whom he compiled, edited and co-wrote the Atlas of Adventure, a guide to outdoor pursuits around the globe). He’s authored guides to exploring the coastline and countryside of Devon and Dorset, and recently wrote a book about pub walks (opens in new tab). Follow Pat's adventures on Strava (opens in new tab).