- Kilian Jornet claims to have raced up the world’s highest mountain in 17 hours just five days after summiting in 26 hours
A Spanish climber and long-distance runner claims to have raced up Mount Everest twice in one week without using supplemental oxygen or fixed ropes, opening up what he calls “a new realm of possibilities in alpinism”.
Kilian Jornet, a 29-year-old mountaineer from Catalonia, says he reached the 8,848-metre (29,029ft) summit of the world’s highest mountain at 9pm local time on Saturday after a 17-hour ascent.
The time, which has yet to be officially confirmed, is just 15 minutes off the record set by the Italian climber Hans Kammerlander, who climbed Everest in 16 hours and 45 minutes in 1996.
Five days earlier, Jornet claimed to have scaled Everest in 26 hours. He had been planning to set a round-trip record but was forced to slow his pace after coming down with stomach cramps and vomiting.
In tweets and a blogpost on Sunday , Jornet said it was “cool to summit Everest twice in one season” without using oxygen.
Read Also: Four found dead in tent at highest camp on Mount Everest
“Today I felt good, although it was really windy so it was hard to move fast,” he said. “I think summiting Everest twice in one week without oxygen opens up a new realm of possibilities in alpinism and I’m really happy to have done it.”
|The China Tibet Mountaineering Association, which validates all summits on Everest’s north side, has yet to confirm Jornet’s feat.|
“The climb to the summit was slow but continuous,” read a statement. “The wind was the main obstacle Jornet had to overcome, on an extremely windy Himalayan day. Weather conditions improved throughout the night in the latter part of the route and he returned to advanced base camp 29 hours 30 minutes after leaving.”
Agence France-Presse reported that the China Tibet Mountaineering Association, which validates all Everest summits on the north side of the mountain, had yet to confirm Jornet’s feat.
Ten people have died attempting to climb Everest this season. A record 509 permits have been issued to foreign climbers.
Jornet, who was accompanied on his Everest expedition by Sébastien Montaz-Rosset, a mountain guide and cameraman, is on a quest to set new records for the fastest ascents of some of the world’s best-known mountains.
His Summits of My Life project has already seen him scale Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn in Europe , Denali in North America and Aconcagua in South America.
Jornet, who describes himself as a “semi-nomadic” mountain lover, said he saw competing as a way to meet friends and better himself.
“But, above all, I conceive sport as a way to discover landscapes both inside and outside you,” he said on his website. “I love silence and solitude, but communication, listening, reading, writing and travelling also appeal to me … My life is spent pursuing and fighting for my dreams.”
In 1986 two Swiss climbers, Jean Troillet and Erhard Loretan, ascended and descended Everest in less than two days without oxygen and ropes.