Spanish ultra-runner Kilian Jornet made history on May 27th after summiting Everest without suplemental oxygen, for the second time in less than a week.
His first attempt on May 22nd was impaired by a stomach bug and it took him 26h to reach the summit (8848m) from the Rombuk monastery (5,100m). Using the traditional route like Kilian, teams would normally take three to four days to complete the ascent. To add to the challenge, Kilian also decided to go without fixed ropes or oxygen.
After recovering in Advanced base camp, and probably feeling he could do better, Jornet decided to try a second time on May 27th. No one was quite sure he had left for his second attempt and rumours went flying for a few hours until the official news broke that he had just made the summit again.
Jornet reached the summit via the North Face of Everest on 27th May at 9pm (+5.45GMT), 17h after leaving. He did not beat the current official world record for fastest known time (FKT), set by the Italian Hans Kammerlander in 16h 45m.
Kilian reflected on the ascent:
“I’m so happy to have made the summit again! Today I felt good although it was really windy so it was hard to move fast. I think summiting Everest twice in one week without oxygen opens up a new realm of possibilities in alpinism and I’m really happy to have done it”
Even if not setting a new record, the performance of Kilian Jornet, summiting twice in such a short period, without oxygen and fixed ropes, is an impressive feat from one of the strongest athlete of his generation.