Himalaya Spring 2017: Kilian Jornet Summits Everest without Oxygen and in Alpine Style

Kilian Jornet Mt Everest climber

There has been a lot of news coming out of the Himalaya this past weekend, and it’ll likely take a few days to get caught up on everything that his happening. That said, I thought that this story definitely deserved its own post, especially since I know so many people have been following the expedition.

Kilian Jornet has closed out his Summits of My Life project in epic style by climbing Mt. Everest from the North Side in alpine style and without the use of supplemental oxygen or fixed ropes. The Spanish mountain runner set out from the Rombuk monastery at 10:00 PM local time on May 20, at an altitude of 5100 meters (16,732 ft) and reached the top of Everest (8848 m/29,029 ft) at 12:15 AM on May 22, taking roughly 26 hours to complete the ascent in a single push. He then descended safely back to ABC for a total roundtrip time of approximately 38 hours.

Kilian says that he was moving well for most of the climb but once he hit 7700 meters (25,262 ft) he began to have stomach problems, which slowed him down some. Still, he was able to continue upwards to reach the summit nonetheless and set an impressive time in doing so. Most climbers who will be following in his footsteps on the next summit push, will likely take 3-4 days to complete the same route.

Following his success on the mountain, Kilian is claiming another FKT (fastest known time) on for the climb. It would be pointed out however that Hans Kammerlander made the ascent without bottled oxygen from Base Camp in 16 hours and 45 minutes back in 1996. Presumably he did it using fixed ropes however, so there may be some room for interpretation of the true “FKT.”

This brings an end to Jornet’s Summits of My Life challenge, which over the past couple of years saw him setting new speed records on Kilimanjaro, Denali, Aconcagua, Mont Blanc, and the Matterhorn. During that time, he has proven himself to be one of the most adept mountain runners – and now climbers – of all time and he likely has another project already in the works. But for now, he’s going to savor his accomplishments on Everest and enjoy a bit of rest and relaxation.

Congrats to Kilian on finishing this epic quest. It has been a joy to follow along and we can’t wait to see what you’ll do next.

Kraig Becker