Over at Suunto, we make our products to stand the test of time – but even we can’t demonstrate that as well as Walter Hassler, from Tirol, Austria. The retiree has taken his Suunto X6 on every single bike, ski tour, and hike since he got it thirteen years ago – and it’s still ticking, all the way up to two million height meters (now, more.) We stopped by for a visit to see what we could learn about him – and his thirst for adventure.
As a young man my goal was getting faster and faster
Now I am just happy to keep doing what I am doing. I grew up with nine siblings in the beautiful valley of Zillertal. Sports has always been important for us – I played soccer, biked, went swimming or skiing with my brothers and sisters. Now it’s mostly mountain biking and ski touring. On good days I am still able to achieve the same results (time) as 13 years ago when I first got my Suunto watch.
12 ski/bike tours a month are the minimum
If the weather is nice I sometimes do up to 15 tours a month in summer.
I don’t get on my bike (or my skis) for less than 1,000 height meters
This is how I end up doing between 15,000 and 20,000 height meters a month on average. Whenever I am on my bike I am clocking between 2.5-3 hours minimum. The longest tours I am doing are up to 6 hours though. Of course I feel bad for my wife, leaving her alone for a couple hours every other day!
On October 24th, 2009 I put 1 million height meters on to my Suunto
When I downloaded the data 4 days later I already had 1,007,000 height meters on it. I wanted to put 2 million height meters on, and then stop – at least that´s what I said. When I downloaded the data it was already 2,007,000 height meters, so I just have to keep going, I guess.
2 million height meters are actually 2,000 kilometers
That´s just crazy, isn´t it? It took me only 5 years to do my first million height meters, so maybe if stay healthy I can get up to three million.
Bad weather has never been an excuse for me
On one tour I was looking at my cell phone, then lightening struck so close to me that it actually knocked the phone out of my hand.
I mostly exercise by myself
Because I love getting on my bike right in front of my house. Waiting around for others to finish work, lunch or just better conditions isn´t for me. If I do go with a buddy, they usually are 20-30 years younger than me so they can keep up.
I just turned 70
But I think I´ll still be on my bike 20 years from now.