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Kilian Jornet begins Mount Everest expedition (updated)

One of the best ultrarunners in the world begins his attempt at ascending and descending Mount Everest

Kilian Jornet

Updates at the bottom of this page.

Renowned ultrarunner Kilian Jornet has begun his ascent of Mount Everest.

The 29-year-old Spaniard started the trek on Saturday in what he calls the final chapter of the “Summits of My Life,” a project in which Jornet tackles some of the world’s toughest climbs in an attempt to set records. For Everest, Jornet is not carrying bottled oxygen and is not using fixed ropes while in the Himalayas.

“I feel very good physically and I seem to have done a good job of acclimatizing myself,” Jornet said before the trek began. “We hope the weather holds out and that we can complete the challenge which is the last of the Summits of My Life project. It will be a long, hard day on the mountain but it will also no doubt be a wonderful experience!”


According to his blog, the Everest attempt began on Saturday at 10 p.m. local time from Rongbuk Monastery. Per the Summits of My Life blog, the route involves climbing approximately 1,400m to the advanced base camp. The summit of the route stands at 8,848m. The post goes on to note that “no one has attempted this particular challenge” making his expected finishing time unclear.

Cameraman Seb Montaz is the lone member of Jornet’s support team on this particular attempt.

The latest news as of May 21 noon EDT: “Seb Montaz is back at Advanced Base Camp (6,500m) as planned. He was with Kilian at around 7,500 metres as Kilian was continuing his ascent. Seb reports that Kilian was in good shape and weather conditions seemed good. He is now waiting for Kilian to return to Advanced Base Camp. We will post an update as soon as there is more news!”

Jornet is one of the most successful trail and mountain runners of all-time having won the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, Grand Raid, the Western States Endurance Run and the Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run. Jornet was scheduled to attempt the Everest climb in 2016 but abandoned the plan due to poor weather.

Summits of My Life is providing the latest updates from the expedition.

UPDATE (May 22 9 a.m. EDT): Kilian Jornet has summited Everest in 26 hours.

From his blog: “At 12:15 a.m. local time of May 22 he is back in the Advanced Base Camp (6,500m) where he confirmed summiting Everest at midnight, 26 hours after beginning the ascent.

Thirty-eight hours after starting the tentative, he has arrived to the Advanced Base Camp of Everest, he explained: “Until I reached 7,700m I felt good and was going according to my planning, but there I started to feel stomach ache, I guess due to an stomach virus. From there I have moved slowly and stopping every few steps to recover. However, I made it to the summit at midnight.”

Due to this indisposition, Kilian Jornet choses to conclude the attempt, and stay in the Advanced Base Camp and not returning to Rongbuk as planned.”