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Champion mountain and ultrarunner Kilian Jornet has put off his record attempt in climbing Mount Everest to a later date due to poor weather conditions. The 28-year-old Spanish runner was acclimatizing in Tibet in hopes of ascending Mount Everest in record time to complete his Summits of my Life challenge.
“During the first few weeks we were acclimatizing well and the conditions were good,” says Jornet on his blog. “However, when we were getting ready to prepare the attempt the weather began to change. There were some heavy snow storms and a large accumulation of snow. As a result, although we were in good physical shape, there was a high risk of avalanches and in the absence of good safety conditions it was impossible to climb.”
The accomplished mountain runner was planning to do the climb without supplemental oxygen and without ropes. His reasoning for a lighter load was to limit weight when attempting the ascent. The time Jornet had in mind to complete the ascent and descent is unclear.
Jornet’s plan was to climb Mount Everest on the north face at some point in September, which is considered a less common time of year to attempt the ascent. The climb is the final chapter of Jornet’s Summits of my Life journey, which involves climbing and setting speed records on mountains around the world. He began the challenges in 2012.
“There’s a sense of frustration because we’re well acclimatized and we feel good but it would have exposed us to too much risk,” Jornet continues. “Nevertheless, we’re happy because it’s been a very positive experience in which we’ve learnt a lot. Being alone on Everest is incredible as there was no one else there. Now we’ll go home to recover and plan the future. I think that if we come back there are some things we would change but it’s been a great experience and a good lesson for next time.”
Previously, Jornet has set fastest-known times (FKT) on Mount Kilimanjaro and Mont Blanc among others. The long-distance runner is also a ski mountaineer making him a good candidate for mountain attempts. He has won the Western States 100 Endurance Run, the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc and other high-profile running events.