Kilian Jornet finishes the year as he started with another successful Summits of My Life. This time: Aconcagua.
After several days and weeks adjusting to the altitude, an initial attempt on December 19th was stopped due to 90km/h winds after Kilian reached 6500m. Showing incredible powers of recovery, Kilian refocused and on December 20th said:
“I consider this failed attempt like a big training in altitude.”
Emelie Forsberg also attempted a summit attempt on the same day, like Kilian, Emelie was forced to stop due to the severity of the wind.
What followed for Kilian and SoML team was a waiting game and the hope a weather window would allow a new attempt.
“When things do not go as expected, you go fast back at the start point and you try it again soon.”
On December 23rd a weather window arrived, Kilian departed on Aconcagua 2.
Meanwhile, back at camp Emelie Forsberg confirmed that she would not attempt a second time.
“When I could not find the pleasure in pushing myself hard towards a good time up and down to the summit, and my mind was not prepared for a 20 + day I decided not to try again. The mountain will be there for a long time.. To be motivated and inspired is more important. Anyway, today I cheer on Kilian! Gooooo!”
– Emelie Forsberg
News came in approximately 3:30-4:00 hours after the start that the Catalan had reached Plaza de Mulas at 4300m. Apparently he was feeling well and conditions were excellent.
Based on his start and elapsed time, this would have suggested that Kilian had time in hand to break Carlos Sa’s official time of 15:42. However, it was not yet possible to know if the record of 3:40 from Plaza de Mulas to the summit set by Brunod, Plessier and Meraldi has been broken (This record was not broken). It is also worth noting the unofficial record by Jorge Egocheaga who claimed a time of 13:46:19 in 2006.
KILIAN MADE IT!
After 12h:49 min of effort Kilian achieved in his second attempt the fastest time running up and down (4000m+/-) Aconcagua (alt 6.962). Congrats Kilian!!
You can hear the first words form Kilian HERE ©salomon ©salomonrunning
READ ABOUT THE ACONCAGUA SUMMIT ON THE ‘SOML’ BLOG
(EL ACONCAGUA, NUEVO RÉCORD DE KILIAN JORNET EN EL PROYECTO SUMMITS OF MY LIFE) HERE
and in ENGLISH HERE
All information and images ©summitsofmylife
In 2000 Brunod,Plessier and Meraldi climbed from Plaza de Mulas in 3-hours 40-minutes to the summit and Carlos Sa did 15:42 from National Park Horcones. Two records, I wondered which Kilian would go for?
“I will go from the entrance and I will try to achieve both records. Also, Emelie Forsberg will try a female record too,” Replied Kilian to my question. “Aconcagua is easier than the Matterhorn. It’s rocky but not steep. Altitude is the big issue. You can get sick and have problems so the challenge is different. Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the western and southern hemisphere at just under 7000m.”
The first attempt to reach the summit of Aconcagua by a European was made in 1883 by a party led by the German geologist and explorer Paul Güssfeldt. Bribing porters with the story of treasure on the mountain, he approached the mountain via the Rio Volcan, making two attempts on the peak by the north-west ridge and reaching an altitude of 6,500 metres (21,300 ft). The route that he prospected is now the normal route up the mountain.
The first recorded ascent was in 1897 by a British expedition led by Edward FitzGerald. The summit was reached by the Swiss guide Matthias Zurbriggen on January 14 and by two other expedition members a few days later.
The youngest person to reach the summit of Aconcagua was Tyler Armstrong of California. He was nine years old when he reached the summit on December 24, 2013. The oldest person to climb it was Scott Lewis, who reached the summit on November 26, 2007 when he was 87 years old.
Read up on my pre Aconcagua post HERE
Summits of my Life HERE
Kilian Jornet HERE
My interviews with Kilian:
The Human Carabiner – HERE
The Matterhorn Summit – HERE
You can also listen to Kilian Jornet on Talk Ultra podcast HERE