It is extremely early to begin reporting on the Fall 2016 climbing season in the Himalaya, but of course everyone is eager to hear news of the progress of Kilian Jornet as he prepares to make an attempt at the speed record on Mt. Everest. We won’t have long to wait to get updates however, as the Spanish ultra-runner has already departed for Kathmandu and is now putting the finishing touches on his preparation there.
Kilian has gone to the Himalaya early in order to avoid any other teams who potentially could be on the mountain. He’ll be making his speed attempt from the North Side in Tibet, although exactly which route he’ll use remains to be seen. Some of the preliminary work of the trip will be to scout the trails and determine which one will best suit his needs. He’ll also wrap up his acclimatization efforts and keep an eye on the weather for the best summit days too.
Although of that is still a few weeks off however, as Jornet only left for Nepal late last week. He’ll spend some time getting organized and rested before making the journey to Tibet and Everest itself, where he’ll then get comfortable in Base Camp before the real work begins. I would expect that we’ll begin seeing more updates later in the week as he starts the process of getting accustomed to the high altitude.
Prior to setting out for the Himalaya the endurance athlete was focused on acclimatizing in the Alps. The video below gives you an idea of how that training went and the efforts that were made to prepare for Everest prior to leaving. As you would expect, Kilian used Mont Blanc as his training ground, although it is less than half the height of Everest.
It will be interesting to see how Jornet does in his quest for yet another speed record. He has yet to climb above 8000 meters (26,246 ft) in his career, and what that will be like for him will be crucial. We’ll keep a close eye on his progress and post updates regularly in the days ahead. This expedition will truly be exciting to follow.