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Kilian Jornet to return to Mount Everest this fall

Some say that Jornet's planned return to Everest is proof that he was not successful, as he claimed in 2017

Rumours of Kilian Jornet’s planned return to Mount Everest this fall have been swirling since an August 31 report in the Himalayan Times, but the normally voluble Spanish mountain runner is being uncharacteristically quiet about his plans. Jornet reportedly summitted Everest twice, without oxygen, over a five-day period in May, 2017, but some experts have asserted that his claims have are unverifiable, and conclude that his plans for this year are an admission of his previous failure.

RELATED: Kilian Jornet’s two Everest summits disputed in new book

Kilian Jornet
Kilian Jornet still using one pole with one working shoulder while racing Hardrock 100 in 2017. Photo: Philipp Reiter.

Jornet will compete in the Annapurna 100 in Nepal, which starts on October 25 and is the final race in the Golden Trail World Series. According to the Himalayan Times report, he plans to climb Everest from the Nepal side on a single permit “after leading a three-member team on Mt Lhotse in the autumn season.”

Jornet has twice been named Adventurer of the Year by National Geographic. He has scored multiple wins at some of the world’s most prestigious ultra-trail races (Hardrock 100, Western States Endurance Run, Ultra Trail de Mont-Blanc), and he holds multiple course records and FKT’s (fastest known times) including speed ascent records on Mont-Blanc, Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, Denali and the Matterhorn. But his claim to have summitted Everest twice in one week in May, 2017 without using bottled oxygen or fixed ropes is very much in dispute.

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With my trail running season almost finished (waiting for the @goldentrailseries final in Nepal) is time to analyze how it has been working this year’s change of training methodology after 10 similar years! . Since when I started racing in trail running as a complement for my ski mountaineering seasons my training and racing orientation were based more on quantity and diversification than quality. The main goal was to do complete seasons with good results in different kind of competitions, from skimo championships and cup and long distance skimo races in winter and vertical kilomenter's, skyraces, short and long distance trail and ultratrail races in summer. My racing shedule has been between 25 to 50 races per year, with no particular focus in any of the races, and the training was mostly high volume of mountain running (mid and technical terrain) with no intensity (I was using races for that). The race strategy was trying to get the best position, and if possible, to destroy myself the least to be able to race again the next week. This year I wanted to reduce the volume of races (less traveling and resting) to be able to train more / better and try to give the best in the races I was competing, changing quantity to quality. . I read some of the "classical" road running training sessions and programming and I talked with @jl74210 , who has a great experience in both road and mountain running training, to introduce some flat running sessions on my training shedule. It was interesting thet even if I drop my average elevation gain per week and add many flat kilometers the uphill performance have been improving also. If you want to get some more insight about my training during this spring and summer I have written down at https://mtnath.com/training-and-racing-summer-2019 . @salomonrunning #Training #Timetoplay

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The latest salvo to Jornet’s reputation appears in Adharanand Finn’s The Rise of the Ultrarunner: a Journey to the Edge of Human Endurance, which includes a detailed analysis by American mountain runner Dan Howitt of Jornet’s 2017 summit attempts, based on the available information. Finn is a UK-based journalist and the author of Running with the Kenyans and The Way of the Runner.

Howitt asserts that there are no photographs, video footage, GPS data or satellite smartphone communication from the summit and no witnesses to Jornet reaching the summit on May 22, 2017 at 12:00 a.m. (midnight) and again on May 27 at 9:30 p.m., as he claims in his book Summits of My Life. This is in spite of his having all the necessary technology for documenting such claims, not to mention that Jornet has always extensively documented his climbs with photos, video and verifiable GPS data.

Photo: Instagram

RELATED: What you can learn from Kilian Jornet’s 2019 training log

Howitt alerted us to the Himalayan Times report, and Jornet’s plans were tacitly confirmed today in an email from his publicist, Laura Font Sentís of the Barcelona-based Lymbus agency, who wrote that “Kilian will spend some time in the Himalayas with his family and he will take advantage to explore the terrain. If he does any relevant activity he will communicate after he has completed it.”