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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Himalaya Spring 2017: Kilian Preparing For Another Go at Everest?

Once again, I know we've been posting a lot of news from the Himalaya lately, and already have one article about ongoing expeditions there from earlier today, but considering the general interest in this story, I thought it was worth giving it its own post.

Yesterday it was widely reported that Spanish mountain runner Kilian Jornet has set a new speed record on Everest. While that record comes with a number of qualifiers, there is no doubt that Kilian's 26 hour ascent is an impressive feat to be sure. Especially when you consider that he began having stomach issues at around 7700 meters (25,262 ft), but pressed on anyway. But, it seems Jornet might not be down with the mountain just yet, despite having already put on such an amazing performance.

On his descent, Kilian still suffered from his bout with the stomach illness, so rather than going all the way back to Base Camp, he stopped in Advanced Base Camp for some much deserved rest. While there, he ran into Adrian Ballinger, who reported on the encounter on his Facebook page. This is what Adrian had to say.
"#pro - if you don't follow @kilianjornet, stop reading this caption and go follow him. I'm lucky to be surrounded by some amazing athletes on a daily basis. But Kilian...wow. Today he made a 26-hour push from Base Camp to the summit of #Everest, without supplemental oxygen. This is superhuman. But three things make it even wilder. First, he suffered gastro distress throughout the summit push but somehow suffered through and still stood on top. Second, he thinks he can do it faster and hopes to recover in time to make another attempt before this season ends. Third, after 30+ hours awake and enduring real suffering, he still graciously signed autographs in ABC before sleeping or eating. I am so blown away, humbled and inspired for my attempt. Congratulations Kilian! #everestnofilter #everest201"
In other words, it looks like Kilian is already thinking about making another run at the summit and improving on his time. But, he's not thinking about coming back in the fall or returning for Spring 2018, but will instead try to recover now, and if the weather window is good, make another attempt at the speed record in the next few days. If that happens, it would be even more remarkable than his first summit.

Before he can do this, he'll first need to rest and fight off the gastro distress he's been dealing with. With high winds on the mountain today, he wouldn't be able to go up anyway, and with massive summit pushes now underway, it would probably be best for the endurance runner to wait for the crowds to clear out. That would make Friday or Saturday a perfect time for another push, provided he's feeling up to it. Will it happen? We'll just have to wait around to find out.

Stay tuned!

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