Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Kilian Jornet Sets New Speed Record on Aconcagua!

Photo Courtesy of Summits of My Life
If you follow my Twitter feed, this is probably old news to you by now, but I definitely wanted to share it here on the Adventure Blog as well. Yesterday, Spanish mountain runner Kilian Jornet set a new speed record on Aconcagua, smashing the previous time for the fastest ascent and return to Base Camp by more than two hours.

Setting out from the Horcones entrance to the Aconcagua National Park, Kilian ran to the summit of the mountain, located at 6962 meters (22,841 ft), and back again in the unbelievable time of just 12 hours and 49 minutes. He ran along the "normal" route to the top, covering some 59.85 km (37.1 miles), while gaining 3962 meters (12,998 ft) along the way. To put this in perspective, most climbing expeditions spend roughly 8-10 days on this same route, acclimatizing as they go. In Kilian's case, he acclimatized prior to the speed record attempt, and even went to the summit last week.

The previous record for the fastest time on Aconcagua was held by Jorge Egocheaga, how ran the same route a few years back, covering the distance in 15 hours, 5 minutes. Kilian bested that mark by 2 hours, 16 minutes in yet another demonstration of his incredible strength and endurance in the mountains. This was his second attempt at the record in less than a week. Last Friday, he set off along the same route, but turned back at 6500 meters (21,325 ft) due to very high winds.

This was the latest challenge in Jornet's Summits of My Life project. Previously, he has set speed records on Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mont Blanc, and Denali as well. Next up, he intends to head to Everest in the spring to see if he can set yet one more speed record on the biggest hill of them all.

Congratulations to Kilian on yet another amazing accomplishment. His efforts in the mountains continue to astound and amaze me. I am already looking forward to seeing what he can do in the Himalaya this coming spring.

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