GENEVA: A Spanish climber on Wednesday set a new record for the fastest ascent and descent of the Matterhorn, with a back-to-back time of just two hours 52 minutes.

Swiss newspaper Le Matin reported that Kilian Jornet Burgada had shaved 22 minutes off the previous record set in 1995 by Italian Bruno Brunod.

Jornet left the village church in Cervinia, which lies at an altitude of 2,050 metres (6,726 feet), at 3:00 pm (1300 GMT) Wednesday. He took two hours to scale the 4,478-metre (14,692-foot) Matterhorn peak, and less than an hour to return to his point of departure, arriving at 5:52 pm (1552 GMT).

The 26-year-old Catalan is a multiple world and European champion in the tough disciplines of ski mountaineering and mountain running.–AFP