Kilian Jornet : "Four years, the summits of my life and a dream."
2012: CROSS MONT BLANC
Mont Blanc, France. 4.810 m
Mont Blanc from east to west with skis A combination of extreme skiing, alpinism and huge traverses over the eight summits of the massifs of Mont Blanc.> View more
Connecting the two Meccas of alpinism
Courmayeur and Chamonix
by means of some of the most amazing routes in the Alps.
2013: EUROPEAN SUMMITS
Mont Blanc, France. 4.810 m
A mythical summit at the roots of alpinism as well as this project. Chamonix-Mont Blanc-Chamonix. To break the record: 05:10:44 h> View more
2013: EUROPEAN SUMMITS
The Matterhorn, Italy 4.478 m
The perfect mountain.
A symbol of the impossible.
To break the record: 3:14:44 h.
2013: EUROPEAN SUMMITS
Mount Elbrus, Russia. 5.642 m
The ceiling of Russia. A place to discover and adapt ourselves to conditions of extreme cold. To break the ascent record: 3:23:27 h.
2014: AMERICAN SUMMITS
Aconcagua, Argentina. 6.959 m
The highest change in altitude in South America and the great summit of the Americas. The Argentine giant is one of the largest peaks in the world and already has a very impressive record time. To break the record: 05:57 h
2014: AMERICAN SUMMITS
Mount McKinley, United States. 6.186 m
Denali is a symbol of exploration and adventure and we'll be delving into the icy lands of Alaska to climb its frozen walls.
2015: COMPLETING THE DREAM AT THE TOP OF THE WORLD
Mount Everest, 8.848 m
A traverse of challenges and excitement to complete the dream. The attempt to break the ascent and descent record on the world's highest mountain. A journey full of hope with an ambitious and very special goal. To break the record: 20:24 h
Kilian Jornet : "Cada reto es un sueño cumplido."
This is clearly a sports project. Even so, the records should only be important while we run; once we have reached the bottom they must disappear. That’s why the project not only aims to break a few records and climb summits quickly with very little gear. It also aims to transmit values.
In this open project I am going to be surrounded by friends and relatives who will accompany me along the way. We’re not looking for the best mountaineers, the fastest or the best organised. They’ll be friends, training and adventure companions, who will share every experience with me.
You don’t need a lot of material means to do things that you find fulfilling. The simpler and more personal it is the greater the value we transmit. We will try to lay ourselves bare before nature, with just the essential gear, in order to feel face to face with the mountain, without intermediaries.
I want to show that we are a part of this world, neither less nor more important, but complementary. We will be the most silent on the mountain, so that our steps are not noticed and we will endeavour to be as environmentally friendly and economical as possible.
In the end we comprehend that the records are not the dream but the tracks that take you to the summit, and that failure is not not being able to make it the top of the mountain or getting there a few minutes later but not being able to take this road.
We are not runners, nor mountain climbers, nor skiers, not even sportsmen. We are people
June 16th, 2012It’s May 16th on the calendar and according to my watch it’s one in the morning. Today we are going to try to complete a route that will take us across the Mont Blanc range from east to west with skis, from Champex to Contamines. It is the first time it is being attempted. From Contamines, we started out running towards Tré la Tête, with Nico Mermoud and Anna Frost, who came to accompany us on this first part of the crossing. One hour later we reached the glacier, and were already with our skis on.
June 17th, 2012We started out again at 5 in the morning advancing at great speed along the glacier and ascending towards Col Des droites. When we arrived we could see the last obstacle of the crossing, the Aguille de Argentiere which was there right in front of us. We began opening a track along the ridge from Courtes, with some frozen stretches which we passed with the ice axe. The NNE des Courtes was in fantastic condition with snow all the way along.
COURMAYEUR – CHAMONIX CROSSING TIMES
Courmayeur-Val Veni: 40'
Val Veni - Ref Monzino: 1hr 30-50'
Monzino-Eccles: 3hrs 30-2hrs
Eccles-Mont Blanc: 6hrs 17-2hrs 47 (5’ stop summit)
Mont Blanc - Gouter: 6hrs 50 -27'
Gouter-Houches: 8hrs 15 -1hr 25
Houches-Chamonix: 8hrs 42’57’’ - 27'
Mathéo and I synchronised our watches, switched on the stopwatch and gave each other five for luck before starting to run. It was 4:50 am, and it wasn’t cold in the church square in Chamonix. We were in shorts and thermal T-shirts, but nerves and excitement probably did not let us think about anything other than the challenge ahead. Mont Blanc, as majestic as ever, was just waking up and, from the square, we could spot the headlamps of those who had spent the night at the mountain refuge and were now preparing to reach the summit.
We are ascending well, within the estimated time. Upon arriving at the crack of Grands Mulet, we rope together for safety reasons as large amounts of snow have accumulated there this year. Halfway up, we spot Seb and Vivien, who have come to give us support and to film us. The sun is barely rising and the scenery is breathtaking. We are both using sticks to help us to climb and move faster. The marks we gouged into the ground a few days ago have lasted, and we follow them, so we can move fast and carry on with the ascent.
In the last stretch of the route, the headlamps we spotted from below become groups of people who are about to do the same as us: crown the summit of Mont Blanc. Once at the top, Mathéo and I stop for a few seconds, we both look at each other and feel the same: after many days of planning, preparation and enthusiasm, we have reached the halfway point of this adventure. We left Chamonix just 3h:30 ago. With no more time to think, we start to descend.
Mathéo and I slip and slide and manage to go down quickly. These are moments of pure bliss, laughing with Seb and Vivien who are filming us mounted on a pair of skis. Half way down the descent, we rope together again but still go down rather quickly, probably because we know all the details of this route as we have done it plenty of times before.When it seems that the challenge is at our fingertips, we make a bad move and, unfortunately, Mathéo falls down, pulled by the rope which holds us together. At first we panic, but soon we see he’s OK. Although he continues to run, a few minutes later I get a signal from him telling me we cannot finish our adventure together. It is a hard moment, very emotional but hard: we so wanted to do the climb together and it is always difficult to fulfil a dream on your own. But Mathéo asks me to finish for both of us. We hug each other and off I run. The descent is fast but Mathéo is no longer there. We cannot laugh together when we trip over the rope or urge each another on. I get to Chamonix at 9:22, just 4:57 minutes after I set out. Yes, I’ve broken the record but it’s left a bad taste in my mouth because Mathéo is not here and I know he would have liked us to stop the stopwatch together.
It feels strange to head for the mountains after a post-lunch nap. But that’s what we did on August 21st, when we decided to attempt the record on Mount Cervino. We set out at 3pm as there was a good chance of there being ice in the morning and this could have held me up as well as putting me at risk. Mount Cervino is a special and very distinctive mountain, and it is particularly crowded in August. By departing at 3pm, we avoided many of those who usually climb up in the morning, as there are roped sections where only one person can pass at a time.
The sky was very blue that day and there wasn’t a cloud to be seen. And there I was, just about to attempt one of the greatest challenges of my life. Italian Bruno Brunod, to my mind one of the greatest runners of all time and someone who has inspired me for years, held the existing record. Mount Cervino! What can I say about this magical mountain? As a child, I had had a poster of it on my bedroom wall and I had dreamed about it, but I had never imagined I would be here, admiring its beauty and ready for this challenge, some years later.
We had decided to attempt the record via the same route Bruno had followed in 1995, the classic route along the Lion Ridge. It is divided into three parts. The first stretch is mostly along mountain paths and as it was so similar to a trail running circuit I was able to run quickly, just like in any trail running race. The second stretch is more technical, and you have to be more careful as there is snow in places. Finally, the last 1,000m consists of 3rd and 4th grade climbing sections with fixed ropes, where, rather than traditional climbing, ascent is a matter of climbing up those ropes as fast as possible. I felt good during the climb. I had already climbed Mount Cervino on four previous occasions, like a hamster that’s repeating the same exercises on the training wheel over and over again, so as to memorize every detail, every path and step, all in preparation for the great day. When I was about to reach the top I realized my training had worked, as I had climbed much faster than the other occasions. At 16:56, almost two hours after leaving Cervinia, I reached the summit. I could only stay up there for a few seconds, but I felt overwhelmed with emotion.
The descent was also a multitude of emotions. There was no need for me to take any risks, and I could use the time gained during the ascent and take my time going down, enjoying every step, feeling every muscle in my body tensing, enjoying the day, the people I ran past and those cheering me on and encouraging me.
Shortly before reaching Cervinia, Bruno came up to me and ran alongside me until the end. He kept saying, "I told you so, Kilian, I told you so! 2'52! ". That’s because the night before, Bruno had assured me that I would do it in a time of 2'52. I had jokingly replied that it was impossible that he could know me so well. That last stretch was amazing. It was undoubtedly one of the most exciting moments I have ever experienced. I cannot express in words what it was like to run alongside my hero and share his kindness and humility.
I reached Cervinia 2'52 hours after setting out, just as Bruno had predicted. It turned out that he knew me better than I thought.
Kilian Jornet : "I want to share the values I have grown up with."
Kilian Jornet : "Seeking records doesn't make sense if it isn't in your company."
Kilian Jornet : "Someone once said that we are our dreams. If we don't dream we are no longer alive."