One of the expeditions to Everest that we’ll be watching very closely this year is Kilian Jornet’s attempt to set a new speed record on Everest. As an amazing mountain runner, Kilian has already set records for fast ascents of Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, Denali, and Aconcagua, but now he’s taking his considerable skills to the Himalaya where he hopes to go to the summit of the tallest mountain on the planet in record time.
Recently the Spaniard sat down with Men’s Journal to talk about his upcoming adventure. In that interview, Kilian talked about what he learned last year on Everest when the April 25 earthquake hit Nepal, bringing an abrupt end to the climbing seasons. He also talks about his biggest concerns for his upcoming return to the mountain, the gear he’ll take with him on the summit attempt, and more.
Probably of the most interest to readers is Kilian’s game plan for the upcoming expedition. He’ll be climbing from the North Side of the mountain in Tibet, and hopes to ascend via either the Horbein or Norton couloir depending on conditions. He’ll scout out the route ahead of time, and spend some time acclimatizing before making the attempt, with altitude and safety being amongst his biggest concerns. As you would expect, he’ll be going as fast and light as possible, and make the ascent without bottled oxygen.
As of this writing, Kilian has not left for the Himalaya yet, so it is unclear when he’ll set out for Everest. Speculation has him traveling to Tibet this spring to attempt his climb, but in the Men’s Journal interview Jornet says that he will be going at the end of the summer, which would indicate he’s planning a fall attempt on the speed record. According to his social media, the ultrarunner is still in Europe, but he still has plenty of time to set out for the mountain and get ready for a late season summit attempt. We’ll just have to keep an eye on his plans to see what happens. A lot of people have been waiting for Kilian to take a shot at the Big Hill, and hopefully we’ll see him go for it soon.