Jornet Speed-Climbs Everest, Twice In One Week

Without oxygen or fixed ropes, Kilian Jornet summited Mount Everest. This time only five days following his last summit.

Kilian Jornet Everest summit twice without oxygen
Photo courtesy: Kilian Jornet

On May 27, Kilian Jornet reached the top of the world’s tallest mountain, only 17 hours after taking off from advanced base camp. The ascent comes on the heels of his most recent attempt to set a fastest known time for summiting Everest on May 22.

Stomach bugs thwarted his speed on the May 22 ascent, and on May 27 he summited nine hours faster. From advanced base camp (6,500 m) he climbed the 2,348 meters to the top of Everest via the traditional route up the north side of the mountain.

Jornet’s previous climb departed from a lower altitude at Rongbuk Monastery (5,100 meters) and took him 26 hours to complete.

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To climb Everest without oxygen is an accomplishment fewer than 200 people have experienced. And it normally takes three to four days, involving a grueling step-by-step battle with multiple overnights rests.

To do so twice in the same week is nearly unbelievable. Jornet’s two summits push the boundaries of human abilities and high-altitude mountaineering.

Kilian Jornet Everest summit twice without oxygen
Photo via Wikimedia / Rdevany

Faster Time, Not Fastest

The renowned 29-year-old Spanish endurance athlete set off for Everest in an attempt to set a speed record, or fastest known time (FKT). He holds records on a number of prominent peaks and sought to claim the FKT of Everest without oxygen.

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According to Explorersweb and Everest1953, Austrian climber Christian Stangl summited Everest from advanced base camp in 2006 without oxygen in 16 hours and 42 minutes.

The official Guinness World Record FKT of Everest (without supplemental oxygen) belongs to Italian climber Hans Kammerlander. He made the climb in 16 hours 45 minutes. This puts Jornet’s ascent just shy of both records.

Records aside, his ascent remains groundbreaking in the realm of human possibilities. Per his blog, he reflected:

I’m so happy to have made the summit again! Today I felt good although it was really windy so it was hard to move fast. 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”

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Midwest born, Nate Mitka started with Gearjunkie after a short stint as “intern”. An advocate of all outdoor activities he’s developed some habits, like running without headphones, eating raw vegetables, and fixing the chain on his ratty old bike.

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