Kilian Jornet Everest Speed Records – Questions Raised? And a response!

When Kilian Jornet doubled up on Everest in one week, the world looked on in wonder. Everest was the culmination of his ‘Summits of My Life Project’ and while he had some serious challenges on the Matterhorn, Denali, Aconcagua and so on, Everest was a whole new ball game.

In 2016 he didn’t summit due to bad weather and then in 2017 he seized the opportunity after a troublesome first ascent, he went again just days later.

I never questioned Kilian’s ascents.

I know the man, have spent time with him and he is 100% integrity. I have no question. So, am I impartial? I guess no.

I received an email in August from Dan Howitt who sent out documents to the media (pdf here) and he raised questions over Kilian’s Everest attempts. I discussed this doc with Kilian, looked at the evidence and while some valid points were made, I had no doubts over what Kilian had achieved.

Now, on everst1953.co.uk an article has appeared HERE. This article is as it says at the top, Submitted article by a person who wishes to be anonymous

UPDATE December 15th – The above article has been removed from everest1953 after the  web owner/ website moderator received threatening emails. This is completely unacceptable and is not in the spirit of any sport. It is important to allow free speech and allow people a voice. If that voice is correct or wrong is for us as individuals to decide. This article provided an opinion and below, Kilian has responded.

What is interesting, is that any journalist should ask questions. So I asked a question on the ‘anonymous’ journalist… to clarify the everest1953 site owner and I assume moderator, Colin Wallace, introduces the article, ‘Kilian Jornet Everest Speed Climbs’ in the ‘News’ as below:

I think it is good that questions are asked and raised over any record, FKT, or whatever it may be. But I also think that responses are required to provide perspective.

Like I said previously, I am a little biased, I have no question on Kilian’s claims. I emailed him, and in response he has provided the following (below) which will also be released via his agents, Lymbus.

In addition, Kilian has agreed to a full and in-depth interview this coming Friday December 15th and we will discuss the claims, Everest and all the details. This will be released on Talk Ultra podcast the same day.

KILIAN JORNET has responded accordingly with a PDF document

GPS track:

I was using Suunto Ambit Peak, to be sure that it recorded a maximum of hours (in altitude – cold, batteries last much less- some using garmin couls only recorded 4h! ) I was using mode GPS OK – It takes between 80-100h normally, so the gps it may records every 10’’:

1st Ascent: Everest Base Camp -Summit 26h31’ – ABC 36h

http://www.movescount.com/moves/move159990476 It is recorded all the uphill to summit and downhill to 8300m where battery die. Is a track for all the way. In the profile of altitude around 8600m you can see it is a straight 200m jump in altitude, maybe pressure decrease from day to night, and then continue climbing up 300 more meters.

2nd Ascent: ABC-Summit 17h – ABC -28h

http://www.movescount.com/moves/move159990614 I don’t know why it only recorded the downhill, but you can see from point 8750m and all the part in the downhill where I get lost in the N face and back to normal route. I did change watch from recording activity to navigation ( you can see where I get lost in the night so I use that mode to find way back safe) maybe that has something to do with the stop recording ascent and only the downhill.

Photos/ video:

Photos and film have non been public to have exclusive material for a coming film. Seb Montaz was filming with a drone from North col, so reaching an altitude of 7300m. I had a GoPro and filmed some parts during the day, and both sunsets (1st ascent before 2nd steep at 8600 and 2nd ascent at the beginning of summit pyramid at 8750). On the 1st summit I have filmed on the top (possible to see the flags just behind me on the dark. In 2nd summit I did not film on top, I was more concerned on safety and go down fast as weather was really bad, but I took 2 pictures of my watch so you can see where with the camera gps.

Here just some *screen shots from 2nd ascent between 8700m and 8790 at sunset and a bit higher at beginning of the night. All the GoPro shots are gps and time positioned so we can see the exact place they were shoot ( summit and all the other positions and hours).

*images withheld but available in due course (they have been retained to be exclusive for the film).

Witnesses:

1st ascent: On the way up I pass the Russian (7 summit club), Indian (Transcend), British and polish climber expedition going to or installing Camp 3, they prepare for sleeping and I continue up after a 10’ pause in a rock. On the summit I saw lights both on north side and south side coming up, north were higher. On the way down I pass some expeditions (Indian I think were the 1st ones) on the beginning of summit pyramid (after 3rd steep-8750) at around 1:30 – 2AM. It was some fresh snow there in the pyramid and to the summit so they saw my fresh snow tracks all the way to summit. Then I cross most part of the people (Russians, Polish, British…) were climbing 2nd steep when I was going down. In the climb I opened track on some snow so they could follow my tracks to the summit, as it was not strong wind this day. Sherpas from Indian expedition rapport at Base Camp sawing my fresh tracks to the summit, as I was alone to climb the night and they were the 1st to go up, in the final pyramid they could see my only tracks to the top.

2nd ascent: Going up I cross a climber ******** (name withheld but available)  and the Japanese expedition going down before camp 3 (8.350). Around 2nd steep at the afternoon I cross ******* and *********expedition going down (they film me). The last ones I cross was the Russian expedition just some meters higher (between 2nd and 3rd step). During the night it was strong wind and some snow fall, not any lights both on north or south on higher parts. On the way down I did not pass anybody since it was bad weather and much snow on the mountain and all expeditions was down to ABC.

Timmings:

I decided timings strategy based on my 15/06 training up to 8400m: http://www.movescount.com/ moves/move159296004 Going up from ABC (6300) to 8400 in 6h. And thinking on being on the summit around 3 PM (to use the warmest part of the day on the upper part, and since I wanted to try to minimize to meet lot of people on the higher part and the steeps ). On 1st attempt I was stomach sick so I slowed down a lot after 7800m, and became much late in the top, I was not planning night but since I feel good on not having edema and was not cold I never thought I was risking my life. On the 2nd attempt I was climbing better but fresh snow and bad weather (forecast was not accurate and became bad weather) and also I was more tired from previous days, it ended with summiting just after sunset.

Sat phone / fixed ropes and style:

I didn’t want to carry sat phone or radio, It was a choice of style for me. Climbing alone and with not any link to the base camp or “home” to be the sole on taking decisions up there, it was a matter of style.
For the fixed ropes, I don’t say I did an Alpine style climb since it is ropes in the route, but I choose to don’t use them to progress or safety. I was climbing without any harness or carabiner, I did climb the 1st and 2nd ladder on the sides, I took the 3rd one since the only creak to climb this part is behind (need to remove) the ladder. The 3rd step I climbed some meters to the left on a snow and ice slope, and go down the normal gully.

If it is a lack of images or communication from the expedition it was a matter of choice of style. I could had organized a big expedition, with sherpas on the route to have some assistance (safety and food, clothes) and some cameras with O2 waiting on some points and summit to have nice images. I could had a sat phone call from summit to “announce”. But the major goal of the expedition was far from that. It was for me to see if I was able to climb Everest with no external support (camps, porters, deposits, communication in the mountain…) and by myself (one push, no jumaring…) And to be able to climb as we do in close ranges (Alps, Colorado) in Himalayas, so low

budget (our expenses were 15.000e x person, all included) and doing activity in short time there and doing different ascents during this period. I had not problem to admit when I don’t summit, in Cho Oyu a 2 weeks before I just say I climb to the summit plateau, with no visibility I can not confirm if I actually reach the higher point or I just stand by some sides, In Everest is pretty easy to know if you reach the summit since is a small place at the end of the ridge.

********** names withheld but available

Catch up with Talk Ultra Podcast HERE on Dec 15th and listen to Kilian in his own words.

Matterhorn Ultraks 2017 Preview – Migu Run Skyrunner World Series

The stunning Matterhorn provides the backdrop for Switzerland’s Matterhorn Ultraks race, the next race in the 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner World Series – a 48km race with 3600m of positive and negative gain. A magical race, now in its 5th edition that provides a circular journey that starts and concludes in the picture postcard mountain town of Zermatt.

Eight out of eleven Sky Classic races have been completed and Matterhorn Ultraks counts for a 20% bonus on points, so, it is all to fight for.

Wild expansive space, high mountains and the 3100m Gornergrat provides the high point of the race where the ever present lone peak of the Matterhorn shadows the race and runners with it’s majestic beauty.

Zermatt, located 1600m above altitude provides the focal point for this high altitude race, a beautiful place steeped in history. It’s a logical start and finishing place for such an iconic race.

Renowned for its tough opening kilometres, the Matterhorn Ultraks immediately heads to the sky via Sunnegga at 2260m all the way to the high point Gornergrat at 3130m. It’s a brutal 14km to open any race and as such, those opening km’s can be decisive in who crosses the finish line first.

Aritz Egea has been on fire in 2017 and he is looking to better his 3rd place of 2015. He needs the points but it has been a long season.

Marco De Gasperi pioneered those early Skyrunning days with Giacometti in the early 90’s and he is still running head-to-head with the best in the world and matching them, he was recently pipped to the top-slot at Dolomites SkyRace and Comapedrosa.

2015 champion and designer of the course, Martin Anthamatten will be fired up for victory, especially after his recent success at the Red Bull 3000m vertical race – he is in great shape and knows the course like the back of his hand.

Jon Albon, Skyrunner World Series Extreme champion in 2016 and recent winner of the Tromso SkyRace is toeing the line here isn Switzerland. He is incredible talent but this race may well lack technicality for Albon to excel, he will be in the mix for sure, but the top-slot maybe a tough call?

 Aurelien Dunard-Pallaz had an incredible race at Ultraskymarathon Madeira – he lead the race from the front only to be passed in the latter stages by Albon. He also had a great run at High Trail Vanoise giving Luis Alberto Hernando a push all the way to the line. He has come of age in the Skyrunning Series this year and we may well see the Frenchman achieve another podium place in Switzerland.

Equally, Pere Aurell has stepped up to the plate in 2017 kicking off the season with a strong run at Yading SkyRace in China and then an excellent run at the Royal Gran Paradiso. Aurell has raced a great deal in 2017 and he may well be feeling some fatigue but he is strong and motivated.

Andre Jonsson just keeps racing and racing. He has had a gap from racing recently and we may well therefore Jonsson fresh for the Ultraks race. He is always in the mix and earlier this year he had some excellent top placings, the best coming at the Royal Gran Paradiso just 1-week after a great run at High Trail Vanoise.

Hassan Ait Chaou has always run well in Zermatt, particularly last-year when he pushed for the podium. This year his form seems a little below his 2016 levels but on this course I wouldn’t rule him out of something special on the day.

Murray Strain may well be a surprise package in the race and he will almost certainly not be on the radar of the top runners going valuable points – don’t be surprised if he makes the podium!

As always, the depth of talent in Zermatt is deep, surprises can come from anywhere, two names worth keeping an eye on are Benat Marmissolle and Marc Casal Mir.

Can anyone beat Kilian Jornet’s 2013 time of 4:43:05?

The ladies race will be an interesting one with Megan Kimmel, Stevie Kremer and Elisa Desco not racing – all ladies who have excelled in past edition, Kremer still holds the course record 5:18:43 set in 2014.

However, Ragna Debats is on fire in 2017 with a string of top results, the most recent coming in Tromso when she was just a few minutes behind Maite Maiora. Debats recovers well and I am sure she will be the lady to beat in Zermatt, the course will suit her, her run ability matches her technical and climbing ability.

Rising star Sheila Alves will have other ideas… her podium at Zegama-Aizkorri and recent victory at Comapedrosa has left her wanting more and she will almost certainly be Debats biggest rival.

Paloma Lobera and Michaela Mertova are podium contenders and then it is wide open. The potential threat from Megan Kimmel, Laura Sola, Aziber Ibarbia, Maria Zorroza and Ekaterina Mityaeva has disappeared in the last week due to injury or sickness.

The ladies race is wide open!

The 2017 edition of the race has had a slight course change adding an additional kilometre to the race, so, finish times will need to take this into consideration, particularly with course records.

The race starts 0730 on Saturday August 26th.

The Sky Classic ranking?

Five results out of eleven are counted for the final titles and end of season bonus prize for the Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series category.

Ultra Tour de Monte Rosa 2015 #UTMR gets underway

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All images ©LloydBelcherVisuals – no reproduction, sharing or distribution

Inaugural stage of the Ultra Tour de Monte Rosa.

Cervinia, Val d’Aosta 20 August 2015

119 runners from 17 countries started the inaugural Ultra Tour de Monte Rosa (UTMR), a 106km trail race in three-stages, from Cervinia (Italy) to Grächen (Switzerland).

Lizzy Hawker, five-times Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) winner and UTMR Race Director, launched her zero-edition three-stage trail race in the shadow of Cervino.

“These mountains have held my curiosity and passion since I was a child. I realised that these are the trails that I wanted to share with other runners. It is something special to create a race here,” said Hawker.

31% of the participants are women at UTMR, which is unusually high for a long distance trail race.

“It’s great to have increasing numbers of women entering into this sport,” said Hawker.

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“There were so many happy people out there”, said Anna Troup, from the flatlands of London.

The race was started by Hervé Barmasse, Alpine Mountain Guide Instructor and Tourism Ambassador for Val D’Aosta.

“It’s very exciting to have a new trail running concept starting in Cervinia on the region’s premier hiking trails.”

Stage one saw a close competition between Matthias Ihler from Germany who pipped Austrian Martin Gansterer by less than a minute. The first female runner Katie Roby came in ranked seventh overall and takes a 14 minute advantage into day two over Krissy Moehl (US).

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The second stage begins tomorrow morning at 6am and will be started by the oldest Mountain Guide in Gressoney. The second stage runs from Staffal to Macugnaga, a 36.5km route with a positive elevation of 2673m. It crosses the Col de Turlo, an ancient road, rebuilt by prisoners of war in World War II.

A 150km single-stage edition of the race is planned for August 2016. UTMR Leaders after Day 1

TOP 5 MEN

Matthias Ihler (DEU) 03:30:04

Martin Gansterer (AUT) 03:30:29

José Luis Arnal (ESP) 03:39:55

Andrea Zangarini (ITA) 03:43:15

Adam Stirk (GBR) 03:52:34

TOP 5 WOMEN

Katie Roby (GBR) 04:07:51

Krissy Moehl (USA) 04:22:55

Jennifer Bradley (GBR) 04:37:11

Denise Janin (ITA) 04:37:39

Elisabeth Blanc (FRA) 04:39:29

All images ©LloydBelcherVisuals – no reproduction, sharing or distribution

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Follow the UTMR on Facebook HERE

Bruno Brunod – Meeting a Skyrunning Legend

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I left Val d’Isere yesterday in the shadow of the stunning Grand Motte. An exciting weekend of racing over, VK on Friday and Ultra on Sunday. This weekend I am in the Dolomites for the Dolomites VK and the legendary Dolomites SkyRace. With several days to kill but plenty of work to do, it was decided we would transit via Cervinia and the Matterhorn. After all it’s the home of Skyrunning.

Driving up through the valley leading to the impressive and dominating mountain, Marino (ISF President) pulls over to the right of the road and stops abruptly. “I think Bruno is working here?”

Bruno Brunod (along with Meraldi and of course Giacometti) is a legend in Skyrunning. He was and is the pioneer of the sport that Marino Giacometti created way back in the late 80’s and early 90’s. A builder by trade, Bruno moved away from running for 7 years but he is now back and in recent years he has run the Tor des Geants twice and returns again this year!

Monte Rosa, Aconcagua, Monte Elbert, Kilimanjaro and of course the Matterhorn. Bruno’s history in the sport has been a direct influence on the career on Kilian Jornet. In real terms, Bruno was instrumental in Kilian’s successful Matterhorn record in 2013. Bruno predicted (down to the minute) that Kilian would run 2 hours and 52 minutes. As we all know, Kilian hit the mark on the head (read my in-depth interview with Kilian HERE).

View Skyrunning records HERE

I have met Bruno before, but it was more in passing.

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Bruno and Marino embrace each other as brothers, old friends, partners in crime; a mutual appreciation for what both have achieved in life.

“I am just going to go for a run,” says Bruno.

The two chat and I seize an opportunity to finally capture a couple of impromptu portraits. Bruno is a simple man and some would say shy, certainly when a camera is concerned.

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It’s a case of seizing a moment but seizing a moment in a natural environment. In a ‘safe zone’ so to speak.

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Having started work at 0700, grafting on a mountain house for 12 hours, Bruno will now head off on to the trails for a 90 minute run.

Tor des Giants is not far away!

And with a ‘Ciao!’ he is gone.

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Episode 43 – Kilian Jornet, Anton Krupicka, Joe Grant, Jez Bragg, Rory Bosio, Nuria Picas and Jo Meek

TU43

EPISODE 43

Sept 6th

Episode 43 of Talk Ultra and on this weeks show we have an extended and in-depth interview with Kilian Jornet about his Matterhorn Summit record. We have a selection of audio from the TNFUTMB – Rory Bosio, Anton Krupicka, Joe Grant, Nuria Picas and Jez Bragg. We speak to Jo Meek who placed 2nd lady at MDS and what the future holds for her. We have Talk Training, the News a blog, smiles and miles with Emelie Forsberg and of course, Mr Speedgoat.

NEWS

UTMB

  1. Xavier Thevenard (ASICS/France) – 20:34:57 New course record; Old course record: Kilian Jornet – 20:36:43 – 2011
  2. Miguel Heras (Salomon/Spain) – 20:54:08
  3. Javier Dominguez (Spain-Basque) – 21:17:38
  4. Timothy Olson (The North Face/USA) – 21:38:23
  5. Mike Foote (The North Face/USA) – 21:53:19
  6. Julien Chorier (Salomon/France) – 22:08:11
  7. Bertrand Collomb-Patton (France) – 23:14:16
  8. Arnaud Lejeune (Hoka One One/France) – 23:18:05
  9. John Tidd (Spain) – 23:18:27
  1. Jez Bragg (The North Face/United Kingdom) – 23:50:01

AUDIO with Jez Bragg and Anton Krupicka/ Joe Grant

  1. Rory Bosio (The North Face/USA) – 22:37:26 New course record; Old course record: Krissy Moehl – 24:56:01 – 2009
  2. Núria Picas (Buff/Spain-Catalana) – 24:32:20
  3. Emma Roca (Hoka One One/Spain-Catalana) – 24:48:14
  4. Katia Fori (Technica/Italy) – 27:48:45
  5. Silvia Trigueros (Spain) – 28:13:12
  6. Gill Fowler (La Sportiva/Australia) – 28:50:30
  7. Maria Semerjian (France) – 29:34:30
  8. Manuela Vilaseca (Brazil) – 30:17:02
  9. Juliette Blanchet (France/Raidlight) – 30:24:08
  10. Audrey Meyer (France) – 30:50:47

AUDIO with Rory Bosio and Nuria Picas

CCC

RESULTS
1 – Jordi BES
2 – Sébastien CAMUS
3 – Daniel GARCIA GOMEZ

WOMEN RESULTS
1 – Caroline CHAVEROT
2 – Mercedes ARCOS ZAFRA
3 – Delphine AVENIER

TDS

RESULTS
1 – Arnaud JULIA BONMATI
2 – Antoine GUILLON
3 – Mattia RONCORONI

WOMEN RESULTS
1 – Nathalie MAUCLAIR
2 – Claire PRICE
3 – Lisa BORZANI

Ring of Fire thanks to sam Robson for the info

1st Richard Ashton (no. 04) 22hrs 56 min

2nd Gavin Felton (no. 30) 23 hrs 30 min

3rd Christoph Pistek (no. 81) 23hrs 41 min

4th James Ashworth (no. 06) 24 hrs 22 min

5th Richard Heath (no. 44) 24 hrs 25 min6th

Michelle Bowen (no. 10) 25 hrs 33 min

UTWT News so the UTWT was announced.

  1. January 18th Vibram Hing Kong 100
  2. March 1st The North Face Transgrancanaria
  3. March 15th Vibram Tarawera 100km
  4. April 4th to 14th Marathon des Sables
  5. April 25th Ultra Trail Mt Fuji
  6. June 27th The North Face Lavaredo Trail
  7. June 29th Western States
  8. August 29th The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc

The UTWT will propose an international competitive circuit in partnership with the International Trail Running Association. The events should already be open to the widest public and will offer ‘everyone’ a unique chance, throughout each year, to participate. Question: How does that relate to Western States with limited capacity and demand far outweighing places available? Also, Marathon des Sables… UK entrants for example are on a three year waiting list.

In each race points are awarded to every runner and therefore at the end of the year, a male and female UTWT world champion will be announced. To attract elite athletes, certain events will have Ultra Trail Series status and these will offer more important weighting in the ranking. (I assume this will be for races like Western States?)

Runners will be presented with a Passport. This can be ordered online before the end of the year, it was not made clear if these passports need to be paid for? When you complete a race, you are awarded a visa, this is added to your passport and shows your completion.

The minimum race distance will be 100km, races must have had two previous editions to qualify and already have 500 minimum participants (again, Western States has less than 400). A minimum of twenty countries will be represented and be emblematic venues.

So, how do you become World Champ?

All finishers in every race will be awarded points according to his performance. These points will be added to the International ranking and updated after each race. This ranking will be available on line at the UTWT website. The circuit will be an International competitive circuit in partnership with the ITRA (International Trail Running Association).

As mentioned, a limited number of races will be called Ultra Trail Series and you may only use two best performances from these races in building up points for the world title. In total, three races score, so, you could have two UTS races and one other.

A world champion lady and male will be announced each year.

READ MORE HERE

Wasatch this weekend… plus will Nick have his ‘Slam’ confirmed. Oh dear, Steve Baugh, why didn’t you just phone him… $80! Posted on the Grand Slam website at the end of August!

The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning™ Committee and the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run Committee do not endorse, recognize, or ratify anyone or their times involved in the so-called “unofficial” grand slam of ultrarunning. Likewise we do not support, encourage, or sustain anyone involved in this pursuit.

We continue to recognize, applaud, and award the runners who are legitimately registered in and officially complete The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning™.

We also remind all who are observing or otherwise involved that the term “Grand Slam of Ultrarunning™” is a trademark of The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning™ entity, and only those who are official entrants and finishers of The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning™ are entitled to use the term “Grand Slam of Ultrarunning™” in whatever form (including in any form that might cause trademark confusion) in connection with their running endeavors.

BLOGS

Stoke the Fire by Joe Grant at Alpine-works.com

I would tell them inspire instead of trying to win races. Don’t even worry if you finish first or 100th. It doesn’t make any difference because there’s going to be another race later. If you win, everybody forgets it in a few days anyway, and if you lose, nobody remembers, but the inspiration you give will last forever because you’ll get other people to run well. We try too hard to run well and be logical. And I think it’s much better if you go out and make it so everybody gets to the first mile very fast and they’re wildly afraid because the logic has been thrown to the dust. Gerry Lindgren (advice to distance runners)

INTERVIEW with Jo Meek

TALK TRAINING – Marc Laithwaite

MAIN INTERVIEW

This week’s interview is with Kilian Jornet about his incredible Matterhorn Summit record breaking run. I have to say that I feel very honored that Kilian provided so much of his free time to discuss this in such great depth. It’s a fascinating interview.

MELTZER MOMENT – Good, Bad and Ugly

SMILESandMILES with Emelie Forsberg – smilesandmiles@yahoo.com

RACES

Australia

New South Wales

Altra Centennial Park Ultra100km | 100 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Altra Centennial Park Ultra 50km | 50 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Queensland

Glasshouse 100 km | 100 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Glasshouse 100 Mile | 100 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

Austria

“GRAWE” 50km Lauf | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

“NKE Austria” 100km Lauf | 100 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

Belgium

Ecotrail de Bruxelles – 80 km | 81 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

Canada

Alberta

Lost Soul 100 Km Ultra | 100 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Lost Soul 100 Mile Ultra | 100 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

Lost Soul 50 Km Ultra | 50 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Ontario

Haliburton Forest Trail 100 Mile Race | 100 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

Haliburton Forest Trail 50 km Race | 50 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Haliburton Forest Trail 50 Mile Race | 50 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

Quebec

The North Face Ultra-Trail Harricana de Charlevoix (UTHC) – 65 km | 65 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

France

Bas-Rhin

Grand Trail du HK ” The Magic Trail” | 52 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Haute-Garonne

Trail des Olympiades du Canton d’Aurignac – 60 km | 60 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Isère

Ultra Trail du Vercors | 80 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Lot

Figeac – St-Cirq-Lapopie – Conques : du 20 au 24 septembre 2013 | 208 kilometers | September 20, 2013 | website

Pas-de-Calais

Trail de la côte d’Opale – 62 km | 62 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Saône-et-Loire

Com Com Trail 68km | 68 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Savoie

Ecotrail – trail long | 50 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Vendée

Bol d’Air – 50 km | 50 kilometers | September 08, 2013 | website

Vosges

L’infernal Trail des Vosges – 160 km | 158 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

L’infernal Trail des Vosges – 72 km | 72 kilometers | September 08, 2013 | website

Georgia (საქართველო)

Kazbegi Mountain Ultramarathon | 53 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Germany

Baden-Württemberg

Stromberg Extrem 54,4 KM | 54 kilometers | September 08, 2013 | website

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon September | 108 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

North Rhine-Westphalia

P-Weg Ultramarathon | 67 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Rhineland-Palatinate

Dorint-RUN50 | 50 kilometers | September 20, 2013 | website

India

Khardung La Challenge | 72 kilometers | September 08, 2013 | website

Indonesia

Indo Ultra | 130 miles | September 15, 2013 | website

Italy

Aosta Valley

Tor des Géants | 330 kilometers | September 08, 2013 | website

Veneto

Troi dei Cimbri | 53 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Malaysia

Most Beautiful Thing Ultra Trail Marathon – 100K | 100 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

Most Beautiful Thing Ultra Trail Marathon – 50K | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

Poland

7 Valleys Run Ultramarathon of the Festival | 100 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Switzerland

Valais

Trail des Dents-du-Midi | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

United Kingdom

England

Bullock Smithy | 56 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

XNRG Toad Challenge 2013 | 90 miles | September 20, 2013 | website

Scotland

River Ayr Way Challenge | 44 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

USA

California

Diablo Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Endure the Bear 100 Miler | 100 miles | September 06, 2013 | website

Endure the Bear 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Headlands Hundred | 100 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Headlands Hundred 50 Mile Endurance Run | 50 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Ragnar Relay Napa Valley | 186 miles | September 20, 2013 | website

Colorado

Flaming Foilage Relay | 160 miles | September 13, 2013 | website

Ragnar Relay Colorado | 200 miles | September 06, 2013 | website

Rocky Mountain National Park Traverse | 39 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile Ultra Marathon | 100 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Run Rabbit Run 50 Mile Ultra Marathon | 50 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Illinois

Evergreen Lake Ultra – 43 Miles | 43 miles | September 15, 2013 | website

Kansas

Hawk 50 | 50 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Hawk Hundred 100 mile Trail Run | 100 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Hawk Hundred 50 mile Trail Run | 50 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Maryland

BRRC Gunpowder Keg Ultra 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

Michigan

Freak 50K | 50 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Hallucination 100 Mile | 100 miles | September 06, 2013 | website

LSD 100K | 100 kilometers | September 06, 2013 | website

Peace, Love & 50 mile | 50 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

Minnesota

Superior Sawtooth 100 Mile | 100 miles | September 06, 2013 | website

Superior Trail 50 Mile | 50 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

Nebraska

Bohemian Alps 50 Kilometer Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

New Hampshire

Pisgah Mountain 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Ohio

Youngstown Ultra Trail Classic 50K | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

Oklahoma

Do-Wacka-Do 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Oregon

McKenzie River Trail Run | 50 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Pennsylvania

Pine Creek Challenge 100K | 100 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Pine Creek Challenge 100M | 100 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

South Carolina

Long Cane 50K Ultra Trail Run | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

Long Cane 55M Ultra Trail Run | 55 miles | September 15, 2013 | website

Tennessee

Bartlett Parks Ultras 40M | 40 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Bartlett Parks Ultras 50K | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

Bartlett Parks Ultras 50M | 50 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Utah

Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | September 06, 2013 | website

Virginia

Odyssey 40 Mile Trail Ultra | 40 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

The Blude Ridge Relay | 208 miles | September 06, 2013 | website

Washington

Plain 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Wisconsin

The North Face Endurance Challenge Madison 50 Km | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

The North Face Endurance Challenge Madison 50 Mile | 50 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

CLOSE

LINKS:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/talkultra/Episode_43_-_Jornet_Krupicka_Grant_Bragg_Bosio_Picas.mp3

Website – talkultra.com

Kilian Jornet – The Matterhorn Summit Interview

Kilian Jornet ©iancorless.com

Kilian Jornet ©iancorless.com

Kilian Jornet – The Matterhorn Interview

August 25th, Zermatt, Switzerland.

©copyright .iancorless.com.P1080830

Translations

Czech HERE, Italian HERE, Spanish HERE, French HERE

It’s the day after the Matterhorn Ultraks and just four days after Kilian Jornet’s successful attempt on the Matterhorn Summit record attempt from Cervinia. It has been quite a few days for this iconic mountain and although Kilian has excelled on both occasions, we all know, the mountain is still the boss.

Kilian arrives with Emelie Forsberg looking relaxed and fresh after a late breakfast. I congratulate him (and Emelie) once again on topping the podium at the Skyrunning Matterhorn Ultraks race and ask him how he feels, ‘I am a little tired but feel good. I was certainly tired in the race but I didn’t push too hard. I just did what I needed to do to win the race’.

Our conversation turns the TNF UTMB and we discuss how the race will unfold for the men and women. Kilian and Emelie are animated at the prospect of Julien Chorier, Miguel Heras, Anton Krupicka and the other contenders going head-to-head. Emelie gets excited at the thought of Nuria Picas in the ladies race, it’s her first 100-mile race and of course Emelie knows the Catalan well. We could talk all day but eventually I settle down with Kilian in a quiet corner and we discuss the Matterhorn.

IC: It’s the day after the Matterhorn Ultraks, firstly Kilian, congratulations on your win! Another great race with Luis Alberto Hernando but maybe what is more impressive is that it comes just a couple of days after your Matterhorn Summits. How are you feeling?

KJ: I feel good. It was a super good race with a great atmosphere. To run with Luis Alberto Hernando was super nice. I was very tired before the race, particularly the day before. I used a strategy for the race to take it easy and take the win in the last kilometers. Yes, I think I was much more tired than in other races this year.

IC: We spoke in the Dolomites and we discussed then that your next Summit would be the Matterhorn. You travelled to Cervinia and you lived here for weeks to train. You had the utmost respect for Bruno’s record of 3:14:44. The Matterhorn is a dangerous mountain. You said you needed to learn the mountain, to understand every step. I think in that time you went up and down the mountain multiple times. Just before your attempt you said that the record was in your grasp… what is it like to look at something that is perceived as being an iconic record, a record from 1995, you said in a quote that it was a record you had dreamt of. Something from childhood that you wished you could achieve. It is a massive undertaking. For you it is more than a record, it’s your life.

KJ: I remember it well; I was 13 years old. I entered into a mountaineering center; I was talking to Jordi, the trainer. I said at the time that the record was impossible. I spoke to Jordi recently and he reminded me that I was dreaming about the Matterhorn all those years back and about the record. I thought it was the ultimate expression of our sport. It’s a beautiful summit. It has a logical line. It is a hard record, it is push running and climbing, so, it was in mind for many years… more than Mont Blanc and all the other records. About five years ago when I started to think about Summits of my Life, the Matterhorn was my goal. The other summits were really preparation for the Matterhorn and Bruno’s record. For me, it was the most difficult record in Skyrunning and mountain running. For example, Pikes Peak is not Skyrunning. I was really afraid, not of the mountain as I was climbing a lot but of the time. I summited the Matterhorn nine times before the ascent. The first time you climb you become aware of what is possible. You go up and down and say, wow, this is the time I need to beat. After going up and down nine times I think okay, I know the mountain, I am not going to fall, I know this mountain well. I was aware of where I could go hard and where I needed to go easy. However, the morning of the attempt I was nervous. I thought to myself, will I do this record or will I do four hours?

IC: A few people asked why you made the attempt at 3pm; it seems quite logical that the Matterhorn is a busy mountain so I assume the mountain would have been less busy?

KJ: Yes for sure. It is a busy mountain when conditions are good. When I climbed nine times I saw hardly anyone, just two or three teams. I was alone. The week of the attempt we had good days with warm and dry conditions and everyone was on the mountain. Over one hundred teams! So, I was talking with all the guides and the helpers. We asked the question, what do we do? So many people on the mountain and it would have been impossible. My first idea was to start between 7-8am but it would have been crazy to pass people. We decided to start later. It was the perfect decision. It was warm at the summit and I wore just a t-shirt and nobody was in the way. Everyone was going down or in the hut. I just had the safety guides to help. It was perfect!

Kilian Jornet-iancorless.com ©sebmontaz all rights reserved

Kilian Jornet-iancorless.com ©sebmontaz all rights reserved

IC: In the build up to the record, you actually met up with Bruno Brunod. Did he go on the mountain with you or did you just talk about your attempt?

KJ: Bruno said he never climbed the Matterhorn after his attempt. We met in Cervinia and discussed his record. What conditions he had, how he prepared, how he was mentally and then we discussed the rope, the short cuts and how he made time. It is funny, Bruno stopped running in 2003 but last year he started running again and he is now preparing Tor des Geants. He never ran long distances; he was afraid. I said, c’mon man, you are strong, and you can do well in these races.

IC: So, Bruno has gone from no running to doing one of the longest races on the calendar, I guess when you are Bruno Brunod you don’t do things by half. When you go on the mountain to learn and understand, what process does that involve? Do you have several options to attempt the summit and therefore you try them or do you have a defined route and then you put that route in your mind so that you know every step. You know you can push in one place and you won’t slip in another place?

KJ: It’s one route. The Lion Ridge is the classic route and the fastest. It is the historical route and the same as Bruno used and those before him. You work out the differences but it is a thin ridge, you have several places that you can pass but yes, it is about planning. It is about knowing where to put your feet, knowing where to push and when not. I think you need to understand the mountain. You have parts in the west and north face and they are thin in the ridge and you can have ice. If you go in the morning you will have ice. If you go after 10am then this will be water so you can go there. You need to spend time to understand how it works, to understand the mountain and its life. Always in the north face it was icy, so I was aware I needed more care. On the west side I could push harder as the rock was warm and the rubber of my shoes would have better grip. It is important to spend time and understand that exactly. For example, if it is cold or windy, my shoes don’t grip the same as a warm day. I need to know this so I know exactly where to go. It is super important to understand the mountain and how the weather conditions are.

IC: On the face of it, people look at you and think you are very relaxed and casual. I know, I have seen you work and I have seen you study a mountain, you know the history, you go into in depth research to make sure these attempts are correct and that you know what you are doing. It is obviously very important. You have mentioned a simple thing like shoe rubber. Did you have special shoes?

KJ: Yes I tried different rubbers. I always used the Salomon Sense but I had different soles, different grades of rubber. For the attempt I used a softer rubber for grip. In the snow any shoe glides. You just need the technique of a flat foot and the ability to push.

IC: What is great about these attempts in comparison to Bruno, for example, in 1995 I guess Bruno stood in the square in Cervinia and just a few people were around probably having a beer, but Marino Giacometti and Lauri Van Houten were instrumental in Bruno’s attempt. They helped finance it, they arranged the safety, they arranged a helicopter and of course they got involved in your attempt. Fortunately for us we had the opportunity to have Seb Montaz follow the process, for those who know Seb, he is like your self a master of his craft. We have had some great glimpses of your summit; short videos are already on YouTube. Clips of you running a ridge jumping a crevice, or sliding down snow. It brings what you do into perspective. We can talk about you going up and down the Matterhorn but it’s easy to think, ok! But we may not have an idea of the difficulty or danger. These videos convey this. It is an important aspect. Is it a way to record you achievement but is it also a way to attract people to the mountains and also let people understand the beauty and danger?

KJ: It is the second for sure. It is not about my achievement. When I stop it will be in my mind. It is more a learning process. It enables the people to join us in the mountain and it enables everyone to understand. It’s beautiful, it is nice but it is also very difficult. It takes preparation, we do take some risks but the videos help motivate and inform. The way I go the mountain is possible but you need to learn. For me, my summit was the Matterhorn; I understood my capacity, my ability and my technical skill. I accept the risk. For everyone else it may be here or close to the home. We want to show and share that you can be light in the mountains and hopefully more people will understand. I go naked to the mountain.

Kilian Jornet ©laurivanhouten_ISF

Kilian Jornet ©laurivanhouten_ISF

IC: The actual record. You started 3pm from Cervinia. You are in Salomon Sense, shorts, T-shirt and a jacket around your waist. You look like you are going for a run… of course that is what you are doing! You start and in the early stages it is easy and then it becomes tricky, technical, you have ropes, ridges, faces to ascend and so on, how do you process the attempt in your mind. Did you have specific targets, so, did you know what time you wanted to be at a certain place or do you go on feel? I know in the early stages you only had about 3 minutes on Bruno’s record, it was maybe a little too hot but once past a certain point you really opened up time. Of course on the descent you came down super quick. You did 2:52:02 instead of 3:14:44. I believe Bruno predicted 2:52! Were you surprised?

KJ: I was really surprised. When Bruno said 2:52 I said, no way.  I was thinking, I might break the record by 2-3 minutes maximum. Maybe 3:10 would be a good time? During my practice runs I never ran fast because in the hard parts you don’t want to go hard. It’s like a lottery and taking numbers… you leave taking numbers for race day! The only time I went faster was the second day when I trained. I thought, wow, maybe I can beat Bruno’s time. If I am close to Bruno’s time then I can go faster. I spoke to Seb Montaz on the morning of the attempt, he said if you are at the summit within 2 hours it will be so good, you will have time for the downhill. I said, yeah I will be so very happy. When I started the summit attempt it was the afternoon so this was good at the top because it was warm, however, it was warm in the valley too. I don’t like warm. I started with a good pace but it was hard to find the strength. I saw lots of people and friends. Bruno was shouting at me, ski friends shouted, guides from Cervinia, Nuria Picas was there and so on… they gave me energy. I said to myself, I must keep going, I must push. I had Bruno’s time in my mind but I had no prediction of what I could do.

Kilian Jornet-iancorless.com ©sebmontaz all rights reserved

Kilian Jornet-iancorless.com ©sebmontaz all rights reserved

I was close to Bruno’s time until the Leone Col then the ridge starts and then I came into my own. It is where I love to run. It’s technical, you need to climb and you need to push. It is exposed. I love to be exposed on the mountain. From here I was not moving fast but fluid. This is the way to move in this terrain, if you go fast and you go more than you can you will have an accident. Moving fluid allows me to move quickly. I started to gain time all the way up to the summit. I looked at my watch and I saw I was almost 12 minutes in front of Bruno’s time, I said to myself, wow, this is incredible. It is possible! Okay, I said, I can do it. I was happy but I could not disconnect. It is a long down hill to Cervinia; I needed to be sure of every step. The boss of the guides in Cervinia said to me at the summit, you can do it! I started down in deep concentration. I was enjoying it so much; I love to run the technical sections. You don’t push with your legs; you push with your mind. Where to put your feet, where to put your hands, when to glide, when to go faster, when to stop, this is what I love, I was enjoying it so much. When the most technical part stopped, I realized I was almost 20 minutes in front of Bruno; so, the last part was just pushing to the finish.

Kilian Jornet-iancorless.com ©sebmontaz all rights reserved

Kilian Jornet-iancorless.com ©sebmontaz all rights reserved

IC: Myself and many other people were very worried about the Matterhorn. We respected the mountain and we anticipated that you would push; pushing brings danger, so when you got to the summit and you knew you were ahead of Bruno’s time did that mean that the descent was easier, you took less risks than if the time had been very close.

KJ: Yes of course. If I had been at the summit in 2:10 I wouldn’t have come down at the speed I did. I would have taken more risks. I also think that this doesn’t work! Many people who saw me said that I was going down very fast, they said I looked really fluid and that I wasn’t taking risks yet I was very fast. I think this is the way to go down the mountain. If you take risks the body position is different, you can’t glide as well and so on. You lean back and this slows you. If you feel confident, you can go fast. I think maybe I could have gained 6-7 seconds by taking risks. It’s nothing! These 6 or 7 seconds may have been my life… I knew the route very well and I had no need to take additional risks. I just wanted to be confident. My mother was on the mountain and she had bad memories of when she climbed the Matterhorn for the first time but if you climb again and again, you know it’s risky but it isn’t necessary to take risks, it is about being confident.

Kilian Jornet ©laurivanhouten_ISF

Kilian Jornet ©laurivanhouten_ISF

IC: When you arrived in Cervinia, it was like the end of a race. It was incredible. The barriers were out. It was almost like the race finish here in Zermatt. Did this surprise you?

KJ: Yes, I was completely surprised. I was in Cervinia for three weeks sleeping in my van in preparation for the attempt. I was surprised by the reception by everyone. For example, the first day I climbed the Matterhorn I was with Emelie. We climbed with running shoes and when we reached the top, the mountain guides said, ‘wow, you are going with run shoes. Congratulations. Do you want to try the Matterhorn record, can we help you? Tell us the day, we want to help you’. There is not another place that is like this, we usually get the response of, ‘What are you doing here in run shoes, this is ridiculous’. Not in Cervinia, they wanted to help us right from the start. Every time I climbed it was so open, the support was great. I was always asked, ‘tell us what day you go and we will help. We want to be on the mountain to help and support you’. It was the same for the hotels in Cervinia, they offered me showers or they said if I needed anything such as Internet that I could use the Wi-Fi. It was an incredible ambience. People were happy that I was in Cervinia to do the record and they got behind me. I think this was the most beautiful part of the record. I went just with my van, I was alone to climb but everyone was supporting the team and myself. It was so easy then to do the record. The day before my attempt, I made a call to the mountain rescue and said, ‘Tomorrow I go’. He replied, ‘Okay, how many people do you need? We will put people in the mountains for safety in case you have a mistake’. He called the mountain guides and they said, okay, we will put people here and here. The guides had finished work at midday on Wednesday and then they returned to the mountain to support me. It is unique. The reception was so fantastic.

Great video here on YouTube ©Martin Mikloš

IC: It was incredible the level of support you got. Knowing you, you would have quite happily got out of your van, started in the square and returned with no fuss. Marino Giacometti made a very good point, these record attempts do need to be verified, it does need an element of proof that you do go to the top and do come back down. Of course we are not questioning your honesty. But for future records a structure needs to be in place. I guess if we set a standard for the future it can only be a good thing. Does that mean for future attempts such as Elbrus in Russia, will you start to incorporate this system.

KJ: Yes, I know I need someone to do the chrono and I am aware I need someone at the summit. For Mont Blanc, I had people from the Tourist Office to confirm my attempt and I had guides at the summit. I also have the gps files on my Suunto. At the Matterhorn it wasn’t an issue, we had everyone in place and it was almost taken out of my hands. For example, Marino Giacometti did the chrono in Cervinia but the guides etc. were fully behind the attempt and they verified the route. My chrono was radioed to all the guides on the mountain so my progress could be monitored. It is important to be true. It is just like doping control… it is about integrity, my intentions are 100%, it is important to do a record in the correct way. I am aware that many ‘FKT’s have no control, I personally believe in the people but when you see the world and see the problems, I am aware of the issues of how people can not be honest.

IC: What was great about this attempt, because you had a team of people up the mountain, we had time checks back that meant that we could Tweet and Facebook times to the world. This was so exciting. Social media became alive following you. I think we stopped so many people from working. They wanted to follow. It is interesting from my perspective because it is what I do, but I guess the concept of someone running up and down a mountain and that message being sent around the world, some may think, why is that interesting? But it is so exciting; the updates had people glued to your progress. Can you relate to it or do you just think about the mountain?

Video courtesy of Seb Montaz ©sebmontaz

KJ: When I am on the mountain. I am 100% focused. I need to be in my moment and think about where I put my feet, how fast do I go. If my mind wanders I will loose time or maybe my life, so I was super focused on moving as quickly as possible. It is just the mountain and I. The social media and the photography I leave to others. For example, Seb was in the helicopter but I never saw or heard it even though he was so close. This is because I needed to be 100% committed. I think this is nice. In racing I think for the last three years I have managed my effort and therefore I don’t need to focus as much but this was completely different. It was like the first time I raced ten years ago when I was super focused. It is a super nice feeling.

IC: Certainly social media has made what you are doing so accessible which is great for us but it is also great for you and everyone else involved. I guess now your energy focuses on Russia and Mt Elbrus?

KJ: Yes, I need to relax a little first…

IC: You said that to me last time, when I interviewed you in the Dolomites. You told me you wouldn’t race for a month and then you went to Sierre-Zinal.

KJ: Ah yes, I was close to Sierre-Zinal, it was just the other side of the Matterhorn, so it was good training. Plus it was the 40th edition. Now I take a couple of weeks with no racing but I will train a lot, I love that; I need to do it to be alive. I will train but not race until UROC in the US. I will focus on Elbrus for the next few weeks; I want to go to Russia before UROC, maybe the 15th September. I will plan around that date and train at altitude.

IC: So does that mean you will do the Elbrus summit before UROC?

KJ: Yes, I think so. After UROC I have Skyrunner World Series, Limone Extreme and the then Diagonale des Fous, so, after this I want a break.

IC: You say a break, does that mean ski mountaineering?

KJ: It means one week of no training and then I will be in the mountains for November and December but I won’t race.

IC: Okay, we will follow you and see if you do race… Kilian it has been fantastic for you to give me so much time to talk about the Matterhorn. It’s great to get such an insight. Finally, when are we going to see the full edited Seb Montaz movie of this year or the recent summit?

KJ: We are working on it and of course we will work more after Elbrus. November and December will see much of the work being done in edit, so we hope before the end of the year. Maybe late December?

IC: Perfect. Thank you so much for your time.

Kilian Jornet-iancorless.com ©sebmontaz all rights reserved

Kilian Jornet-iancorless.com ©sebmontaz all rights reserved

The Matterhorn – A history and perspective

“It is a technical mountain. Bruno Brunod has a record of 3:14:44. It is a technical route that is not difficult BUT if I fall, I will die! I need to know the route very well, I need to spend time on the mountain, and I need to learn every step.” Kilian Jornet, July 2013.

Monte Cervino (Italian) or Mont Cervin (French) or Just the Matterhorn is a mountain on the border between Switzerland and Italy. At 4,478 meters (14,690 ft) high, it one of the highest peaks in the Alps. It consists of four steep faces, striking above the glaciers that surround it. Overlooking the town of Zermatt it is an iconic mountain and possibly ‘the’ most photographed mountain in the world. It is a mountain that dreams are mad of. Kilian Jornet is no different, “I have been dreaming about this record since I was 15”.

Ironically, the Matterhorn was one of the last great Alpine peaks to be climbed and the first ascent by Edward Whymper in 1865 brought an end to the ‘Golden age of alpinism (The period between Alfred Wills ascent of the Wetterhorn in 1854 and Whymper’s ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865, this period saw many peaks in the Alps have first ascents)

Since 1865 to 1995 it has been described as one of the deadliest peaks in the Alps, over five hundred lives have been lost in this 130yr period. I guess the first ascent in 1865 showed us the danger potential when four climbers fell to their deaths on the descent.

The Matterhorn has two distinct summit, both situated on a 100-metre-long rocky ridge: the Swiss summit with a height of 4,477.5 meters (14,690 ft) on the east and the Italian summit with a height of 4,476.4 meters (14,686 ft) on the west. Their names originated from the first ascents, not for geographic reasons, as both are located on the border. Each summer a large number of mountaineers try to climb the Matterhorn via the northeast Hörnli ridge, the most popular route to the summit.

Small patches of snow and ice cling to the faces of the Matterhorn, but the faces are steep and regular avalanches occur. Snow hurtles down the four sides and accumulates on the glaciers at the base of each face.

Four main ridges separate the four faces of the Matterhorn and therefore it offers four distinct routes.  The least difficult technical climb and by far the most popular is the Hörnli Ridge, which lies between the east, and north faces and it faces the town of Zermatt. The Zmutt Ridge (west), between the north and west faces is, according to Collomb, “the classic route up the mountain, it’s the longest ridge and also the most disjointed.

The Lion Ridge, lying between the south and west face is the Italian normal route.  It is the shortest route on the mountain and has fixed ropes in place but many think it to be a far superior climb, particularly when compared to Hörnli Ridge. Furggen Ridge is the final offering, it is the hardest offering and in good conditions is not too difficult, and it does however have a reputation.

©copyright .iancorless.com.P1000082J.J and J.P Maquignaz made the first ascent of the Italian ridge as it is climbed today in 1867 but Kilian Jornet had his eyes on Bruno Brunod’s record set in 1995 when he did Breuil-Cervinia to the Matterhorn summit and back in an astonishing time of 3:14:44. In addition, Bruno also has the record for climbing the Matterhorn, again from Breuil-Cervinia just to the summit in a time of 2:10.

Back in 1995, Skyrunning president, Marino Giacometti and Executive Director, Lauri Van Houten were not only present but also helped finance Bruno’s attempt. Lauri still says how the thought of it, “brings shivers down my back”.  Lauri and Marino both acknowledge the danger and undertaking that Kilian had given himself. “I remember standing in the square in Cervinia and about 3 hours 10 min had elapsed. There was a real buzz and noise and then somebody shouted, he’s coming! We all ignored it; we thought it couldn’t be possible… but minutes later Bruno appeared. It was a magical moment, one I will never forget”, says Lauri.

Bruno is very much considered the father of Skyrunning. His exploits, to this day seem to go beyond human limit. Without doubt, Kilian Jornet is in the same mold and in real terms, Bruno has lead the way for what Kilian now wants to achieve with his Summits project. Kilian’s final Summit will be Everest. Bruno himself attempted Everest; he however gave up when at a height of 8.200mt (26,900 feet) due to very hard weather conditions.

Bruno’s passion and time is now focused on his construction company, however, just recently he joined Kilian on the Matterhorn as he prepared for his Matterhorn attempt. Two masters together discussing the mountain. Without doubt, Bruno played a big part in the successful attempt by Kilian and ironically he predicted a time of 2:52:00. Maybe Bruno knows Kilian better than Kilian?

Bruno’s records:

  • Matterhorn uphill and downhill from Cervinia in 3:14
  • Monte Rosa uphill and downhill from Gressoney in 4:45
  • Aconcagua uphill and downhill in 5:57
  • Kilimanjaro uphill on the Marangu Route in 5:38
  • Mount Elbert uphill in 1:54
  • Three times winner of the Becca di Nona SkyRace (2002 – 2003 – 2004)

See ISF recognised records at skyrunning.com

The Matterhorn ©iancorless.com all rights reserved

The Matterhorn ©iancorless.com all rights reserved

READ THE KILIAN JORNET INTERVIEW, pre MATTERHORN HERE

CREDITS:

Firstly, a big thank you to Kilian Jornet, for his time, his patience and his inspiration.

Interview conducted by Ian Corless ©iancorless.com no reproduction or quoting without prior permission, all rights reserved.

Images provided by: iancorless.com, Lauri van Houten (ISF) or Seb Montaz – all protected under © copyright. No reproduction without permission.

Video ©sebmontaz

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10200896714474535

Kilian Jornet breaks the unbreakable

Today, Kilian Jornet made history!

In 1995, Bruno Brunod set a record for the Matterhorn, a time of 3:14. A record many said was impossible to break, even Kilian himself.

However, on AAugust 21st 2013 Kilian Jornet set a new mark of 2:52:02.

Without doubt Kilian is the most incredible and rounded athlete of our time.

We salute you Kilian!

Image copyright Kilian Jornet/ Seb Montaz

20130821-184830.jpg

The Matterhorn – Kilian Jornet

Image taken by Kilian Jornet, Friday Aug 2nd w/ Emelie Forsberg at the summit of the Matterhorn copyright: Kilian Jornet

Image taken by Kilian Jornet, Friday Aug 2nd w/ Emelie Forsberg at the summit of the Matterhorn copyright: Kilian Jornet

“It is a technical mountain. Bruno Brunod has a record of 3:14. It is a technical route that is not difficult BUT if I fall, I will die! I need to know the route very well, I need to spend time on the mountain, and I need to learn every step.” Kilian Jornet, July 2013.

Monte Cervino (Italian) or Mont Cervin (French) or Just the Matterhorn is a mountain on the border between Switzerland and Italy. At 4,478 meters (14,690 ft) high, it one of the highest peaks in the Alps. It consists of four steep faces, striking above the glaciers that surround it. Overlooking the town of Zermatt it is an iconic mountain and possibly ‘the’ most photographed mountain in the world. It is a mountain that dreams are made of. Kilian Jornet is no different, “I have been dreaming about this record since I was 15”.

Ironically, the Matterhorn was one of the last great Alpine peaks to be climbed and the first ascent by Edward Whymper in 1865 brought an end to the ‘Golden age of alpinism (The period between Alfred Wills ascent of the Wetterhorn in 1854 and Whymper’s ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865, this period saw many peaks in the Alps have first ascents)

Since 1865 to 1995 it has been described as one of the deadliest peaks in the Alps, over five hundred lives have been lost in this 130yr period. I guess the first ascent in 1865 showed us the danger potential when four climbers fell to their deaths on the descent.

The Matterhorn has two distinct summit, both situated on a 100-metre-long rocky ridge: the Swiss summit with a height of 4,477.5 meters (14,690 ft) on the east and the Italian summit with a height of 4,476.4 meters (14,686 ft) on the west. Their names originated from the first ascents, not for geographic reasons, as both are located on the border. Each summer a large number of mountaineers try to climb the Matterhorn via the northeast Hörnli ridge, the most popular route to the summit.

Small patches of snow and ice cling to the faces of the Matterhorn, but the faces are steep and regular avalanches occur. Snow hurtles down the four sides and accumulates on the glaciers at the base of each face.

Four main ridges separate the four faces of the Matterhorn and therefore it offers four distinct routes.  The least difficult technical climb and by far the most popular is the Hörnli Ridge, which lies between the east, and north faces and it faces the town of Zermatt. The Zmutt Ridge (west), between the north and west faces is, according to Collomb, “the classic route up the mountain, it’s the longest ridge and also the most disjointed.”

The Lion Ridge, lying between the south and west face is the Italian normal route.  It is the shortest route on the mountain and has fixed ropes in place but many think it to be a far superior climb, particularly when compared to Hörnli Ridge. Furggen Ridge is the final offering, it is the hardest offering and in good conditions is not too difficult, however, it has a reputation.

J.J and J.P Maquignaz made the first ascent of the Italian ridge as it is climbed today in 1867 but Kilian Jornet has his eyes on Bruno Brunod’s record set in 1995 when he did Breuil-Cervinia to the Matterhorn summit and back in an astonishing time of 3:14:44. In addition, Bruno also has the record for climbing the Matterhorn, again from Breuil-Cervinia in a time of 2:10.

Back in 1995, Skyrunning president, Marino Giacometti and Executive Director, Lauri Van Houten were not only present but also helped finance Bruno’s attempt. Lauri still says how the thought of it, “brings shivers down my back”.  Lauri and Marino both acknowledge the danger and undertaking that Kilian has given him self. “I remember standing in the square in Cervinia and about 3 hours ten had elapsed. There was a real buzz and noise and then somebody shouted, he’s coming! We all ignored it; we thought it couldn’t be possible… but minutes later Bruno appeared. It was a magical moment, one I will never forget”, says Lauri.

Bruno is very much considered the father of Skyrunning. His exploits, to this day seem to go beyond human limit. Without doubt, Kilian Jornet is in the same mold and in real terms, Bruno has lead the way for what Kilian now wants to achieve with his Summits project.

Bruno attempted Everest (the final summit for Kilian) he however gave up when at a height of 8.200 mt (26,900 feet) due to very hard weather conditions.

Bruno’s passion and time is now focused on his construction company, however, just recently he joined Kilian on the Matterhorn as he prepared for his Matterhorn attempt, I wonder, will we see a comeback!

Bruno’s records:

  • Matterhorn uphill and downhill from Cervinia in 3:14
  • Monte Rosa uphill and downhill from Gressoney in 4:45
  • Aconcagua uphill and downhill in 5:57
  • Kilimanjaro uphill on the Marangu Rout in 5:38
  • Monte Elbert uphill in 1:54
  • Three times winner of the Becca di Nona skyrace (2002 – 2003 – 2004)

August 21st 2013 at 1500 hours from the church in Cervinia, Kilian Jornet will depart on what I, and many others consider to be his ultimate challenge. The history books will show if his attempt was successful, ultimately though we want Kilian home safe. It’s about being on the edge and deciding what ‘your’ summit is, at this current moment, Kilian’s summit is Breuil-Cervinia to the Matterhorn summit and back in less than 3:14:44.

God speed Kilian!