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!

Kilian Jornet – An Interview

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As another day draws to an end and the sun creeps behind the mountains, I catch up with Kilian Jornet outside his hotel on the outskirts of Canazei in the Dolomites. Looking fresh and relaxed he is on his iPhone, no doubt tweeting and replying to many of the messages he will have received congratulating him on another stunning win in the ISF Skyrunning Dolomites Skyrace. Just forty-eight hours earlier he had also won the Dolomites Vertical Kilometer.

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Kilian needs no introduction. He is without doubt the leading example of everything that is great about our sport, not only on the trails, but also off them. He is the superstar of the sport. Always in the limelight, always in demand, I have been fortunate to see both sides in close quarters for some time now. It’s not just racing! Kilian has so many demands placed upon him, that it is miraculous that he can perform at the consistently high level that he does.

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After our chat he must prepare for a long drive to Switzerland the following day for a four-hour meeting. Returning the same day to Canazei he will then leave for Verona, attend a meeting and then depart for the ISF Skyrunning Trans D’Havet ultra, he will attend three stores to do signings, photos and maybe go for a run. It is a hectic, full on, non-stop life. Despite all this, despite all the pressures placed upon him, I have never witnessed him say no to a photograph or an autograph. His dedication to the sport, his fans and al those around him is remarkable, so, when I ask to take up some of his valuable time for a chat it is always with a sense of guilt… I, just like you, want to hear what he has to say; I want his thoughts and his input. But at the same time, I also want to leave him, let him relax and just find some downtime away from the buzz that his ability as a runner attracts.

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So, when I chat, although I would love that full hour with him so that I can go deep, ask about his life, talk through his progression I don’t. I set myself a fifteen-minute deadline, conscious of the fact that when I ask in the future, I hope, Kilian will always say yes!

Racing at the Dolomites Skyrace just hours before he had a close race; just three seconds…. Not many people can push Kilian to the line like that!

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IC – Another great win Kilian and this time you had a real battle on your hands with your old adversary, Marco De Gasperi. You won by just three seconds, an incredible race!

KJ – Yes, a hard and incredible race. It’s always great to race Marco and today was very hard. During the race it’s hard and then it is beautiful afterwards. This is how we like it.

IC- Many people think that when they see a start list with your name on it, that you are automatically going to win. However, when we see Marco’s name, it’s great because we know he will push you along… Luis Alberto Hernando can do this too. Do you relish the opportunity to race these people so that you are pushed?

KJ – I think people think I am going to win but in my mind it is not like that. When I see Marco or Luis is in a race I think, this is going to be super hard. For sure, it is motivating. I relish competition. For the last three weeks I have done many races, for example the VK I have just done and the Skyrace when competition is tough that is what I like. I knew here at the Skyrace it would be tough against Marco. He likes short distances and I knew that he would go hard from the start. I needed to push myself. It may be easy from the outside to look in and think I am going to win but it is much harder than this.

IC – I agree, we all know your ability. Your skill in the mountains and your skill as a runner are without question. It is unfair to assume that you can race Ice Trail, the VK, The Skyrace and then go to Trans D’Havet and for us all to assume that you will win… when you approach a race like the Dolomites Skyrace and particularly this year with lots of snow, you must think that plays to your advantages, is that correct?

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KJ – I know this race. I know the route quite well. I have raced here twice before. The snow wasn’t great for racing this year. It was soft, so not ideal to race fast. The snow wasn’t an advantage this year, however, it was more of an advantage to know the route. When I started with Marco I pushed on the uphill, at the top I had 20 seconds so I thought, we will do the downhill together. The downhill you need the correct line, so it was important to get the best line and if you are in front or if you have someone in front it is easy to follow, so, it would have been impossible to drop Marco. I was sure we would finish together. For me, I thought Marco would be stronger uphill. I thought he would start fast. But when I was with him uphill, I knew it would be a race to the line.

IC – Now Emelie Forsberg keeps tweeting about sprint sessions and interval work. The last time I spoke to her, she told me that she was going to make you do some speed work! After that VK finish when you sprinted from third place to take the win and then in the Skyrace finish you won by three seconds, does that mean you are not telling us something?

(Laughs)

KJ – I am improving in my sprint for sure. I am not a sprinter, in SkiMo I am a bad sprinter, but yes, I always have a little speed for the last meters. It is something I never train so I need to work on this, it’s good for me to train and work on this. Sometimes when you follow someone it’s better… last week we tried to catch Chamois, it was impossible but good for sprint training.

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IC – Well it has worked! I mentioned the VK. The VK here is a tough course, very steep. I actually went up myself, boy it was tough and steep. Watching you three race up, I am guessing you placed yourself in third so that you could surprise the others. Did you have a race plan to use this tactic?

KJ – It’s a very particular VK, I have raced here three times before and I never felt good. So I was a little afraid, not afraid, I mean not confident. For all three races, (VK, Sky and Ultra) the VK is the race I was less confident about. It is a specialist race and it suited runners like Urban Zemmer. I was thinking before the start that I needed to relax and then when I saw that I was in good shape I tried to follow Urban, he is the best at this discipline. I was following and in the steep parts he was super strong, it was really difficult to be in touch with him. When it was less steep I could run and I felt better. It was okay. I needed to make sure I didn’t loose time or contact. When I saw the finish, I thought it was perfect for the sprint.

IC – It was an impressive sprint. I watched a clip on YouTube, you put your poles together, you went down the outside and then that final 50m is a wall. You have to grit your teeth and get up as quick as possible. Now one thing that many were interested in, is the fact that you used poles. Not something that you use a lot, the VK here is so steep that it would be foolish not to use them. What advantages do they bring?

KJ- I don’t use poles often for running but in SkiMo I use them everyday! I am extremely used to them. For years I used them everyday for 6-7 months. It is a particular exercise that you need to work on. On a VK like this it is like having four legs because you have the arms and upper body and you can really push. So when it is really steep it makes a big difference.

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IC – Canazei is over and in 5-6 days you will race at Trans D’Havet*, it is the third event in the European Skyrunning Championships, you will be up against Luis Alberto Hernando, he will be arriving at that race fresh. You have lots of racing in your body, how do you think this race will be go?

KJ – It will be a great fight, I haven’t seen the list of other racers but I am sure it will be quality. I am in good shape. I am strong. Mont Blanc Marathon a few weeks ago was a fast race, Ice Trail Tarentaise was like a long training session and then the two races here makes it hard but I am good. I hope I can keep this shape for one week and then I will rest. Yes, it will be hard, Luis is strong this season and of course he hasn’t raced recently, he is focused on Trans D’Havet it is going to be hard but the hardest part of the race is the 0100am start… that is horrible.

(Laughter)

*Kilian and Luis Alberto raced head-to-head at Trans D’Havet and both crossed the line together in what will be seen as a defining moment of the sport, read my race report HERE

IC – You flippantly talk about races such as Mont Blanc and Ice Trail. Particularly Ice Trail, you said it was easy but everybody else thought it was super tough… you are here now for the VK and Sky but you have missed your Chamonix-Mont Blanc-Chamonix record… super impressive! A fantastic achievement, many look and find it difficult to comprehend how someone under human power can do something like this. What is it in the Summits project that has illuminated the fire within you to push to new depths?

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KJ – Summits it is about pushing in the mountains. It is about being light. It is more than records, a record is nice but it is about being light and moving fast. How light can I be in the mountains? If you are light you need to be fast to be safe. Mont Blanc took a lot of time. We had too much snow early season, I attempted  ‘CMBC’ after Mont Blanc Marathon but it wasn’t the correct time. The snow wasn’t correct. The week before my attempt I was in the mountains everyday to form an opinion on when was the best time and when the best day would be. It was all about timing. It is not like a race. Here you need to be in the mountains, to understand. Every mountain is different; you need to understand how it works how it breathes. I had perfect conditions for my attempt and the perfect day. I was with Mateo Jacquemoud for all the uphill and most of the downhill so it was just pushing, pushing each other. (Note – Mateo fell on the downhill and insisted that Kilian carry on)

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IC – You mentioned a couple of great points. The one I concentrate on most is the need of understanding the mountain. It is very easy for people to follow Talk Ultra, websites or blogs and look at what you do and think, Chamonix-Mont Blanc-Chamonix, I can do that! But it is a real risk, a real understanding of the mountain is required, you make it look easy, I know that it is not. Do you feel you have a responsibility to those who follow you?

KJ – I saw Alex Honnold do soloing in Yosemite, I saw Ueli Steck doing the north face of the Eiger, and it is not because of this that I would do an attempt. It is inspiring but it is important not to follow. We can all have our goals, our own summits, but of course when we do these things, we have a responsibility. Chamonix is accessible, many people climb every year, and I am not dangerous but every year people die. That is because of rock falls, avalanches etc… you need to know the mountain, you need to know yourself and you need to know your limits. We take risks when we go, of course, but we accept those risks based on our ability.

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IC – It is about your personal summits and about you understanding what risks you can take, about how light, how fast you can go?

KJ – Yes, it is about knowing each persons capacity and knowing the conditions, the mountain conditions change daily. Maybe one day you have the capacity and conditions but the next day it changes. I know people who climb a mountain and then they say it was easy… It is not like that! Today they climbed but another day maybe more wet, cold, snowing and everything changes; it is no longer the same mountain. Nobody is stronger than the mountain. You need to understand that, you need to take time, spend time in the mountains and understand them.

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IC – The Matterhorn will be your next summit?

KJ – After Trans D’Havet I will take a break. I plan to stay more than one month without a race to recover and then prepare for the Matterhorn. 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.

IC – And the process? Will it be going on the mountain everyday, working routes and understanding how the mountain adapts to the weather?

KJ – Yes I will be in Cervinia (Italian side of the Matterhorn) with my van and I will stay for at least a month. I know many guides in the area and I also know that it has too much snow at the moment but during this time I will go up and down, up and down etc… I need to know everything. I think Bruno climbed thirty times before the record attempt; so, I need to go up 10-15 times at least.

IC – And your attempt, will that come before or after the ISF Skyrunning Matterhorn Ultraks?

KJ – It depends on the weather? I planned Mont Blanc for May but snow made it impossible… I actually did it in June! I have planned the Matterhorn for late August or early September, however, the mountain will decide.

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

IC – Kilian, thank you so much for your time. I wish you all the very best for the coming months.

KJ – Thank you so much Ian, see you at the Matterhorn!

©copyright .iancorless.com.P1080586You can listen to this interview on Episode 40 of TALK ULTRA – HERE 

WANT TO WIN A SIGNED BOOK BY KILIAN JORNET?

PLEASE GO HERE AND ADD YOUR ANSWER TO THE QUESTION.

LINKS:

  • Dolomites Vertical Kilometer HERE
  • Dolomites Vertical Kilometer IMAGES HERE
  • Dolomites Skyrace HERE
  • Dolomites Skyrace IMAGES HERE
  • Trans D’Havet HERE
  • Trans D’Havet IMAGES HERE
  • Kilian Jornet HERE
  • Summits of my Life HERE
  • Salomon Running HERE

Kilian & Mathéo attempt Chamonix-Mont Blanc-Chamonix

Image James Stewart - Kilian and Mathéo depart Chamonix 04:46am Thurs 11th July

Image James Stewart – Kilian and Mathéo depart Chamonix 04:46am Thurs 11th July

Kilian Jornet and Matheo Jacquemoud will attempt to take the record for the fastest return ascent of the Mont Blanc on foot.

The current record is an incredible 5h11m, set by the Swiss Pierre-André Gobet, on 21 July 1990.

Departure is at 04:30 from the main Church in the centre of Chamonix 1042m.

The two athletes shall follow the road to the entrance of the Mont Blanc Tunnel, then take a right onto the track that leads to the Grands Mulet refuge.

From there, they will ascend through the Petit Plateau and the Grand Plateau, then onto the Bosses Ridge, past the Vallot refuge, followed by a final push to the summit of Mont Blanc 4810m.

On reaching the summit, Jornet and Jacquemoud are half way there. The dangerous, high speed descent, by the same route, should see them back in Chamonix, at the Church, for about 09:30am, to claim a new record time.

Be there, to witness something special.

Taken from: http://www.chamonix.net

Kilian’s Quest S4 Ell – Time to Move On

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“It’s important not to get stuck in a routine and evolve as an athlete”

Kilian Jornet

He is still so young but we feel that he has been around for so long…. without doubt, in my opinion, he is without doubt one of the greatest athletes of all time and he still has so many years ahead of him. What he can achieve is beyond parallel. What he has already achieved is beyond parallel.

It may be time to move on, but it’s only time to move on from Kilian’s Quest.

I for one am excited about what the future holds for a true ambassador for ALL sports. Bravo Kilian and bravo Salomon for helping him on his journey.

Filming one again by the boys at The African Attachment. Top work fellas!

Salomon Sense Ultra

The long awaited ‘Sense Ultra‘ has arrived. THANK YOU Santa……

As many of you will know, the ‘Sense‘ has become the shoe of choice for those who are wanting to run on trail with a minimalist and responsive shoe. However, we can’t all be as efficient as Kilian Jornet or Andy Symonds.

The Sense Ultra offers a little more but holds true to all the elements that have made the ‘sense’ so popular.

The Salomon S-LAB Sense Ultra Racing is one of the lightest trail shoes ever made. It is heavier than the Sense but has added strengthening of the sole for longer and harder races.

It has the new lacing system: Quicklace this reduces the weight of Sense.
Dynamic Traction:  allows the Salomon S lab Sense  optimum grip in all conditions. It wasdeveloped by Solomon with the greatest athletes without any compromise. It has different grip and texture which has been designed to optimize grip when it is necessary.
EndoFit: has an inner liner to the shoe designed for positioning the foot optimally.
Drop: a low 4mm drop to provide a natural contact and feel with the ground.
OS TENDON: Thanks to this system inserted in the sole of the S lab intermediare sense, there is a natural flow with excellent energy return.
Profeet Film: is a protection film that will protect your foot area from angular or sharp objects that are on the trail. The Sense offers maximum protection despite its lightness.
Weight: 240g in 8.5 U.S.

When you lift up the box you think wait a minute… they forgot the shoes! Not so. These ‘runners’ are super light.

The lacing system as with all Salomon in reassuring and holds the foot firm.

The addition of the internal ‘Endofit’ makes the shoe more comfortable than you would ever imagine. They can be a little tight to get on at first and you may initially think; uh oh, wrong size. But once your foot is it is snug and supremely comfortable. The most comfortable shoe I have ever worn.

I am not a small guy and the therefore I always felt the original ‘Sense‘ was maybe just a little too minimal for me… certainly on longer runs! not so with the ‘Ultra’. The additional cushioning is immediately apparent.

The sole has grip but nothing like the ‘SLab Softground‘ or ‘Speedcross‘. The shoe is therefore certainly more suited to road and hard pack (or rocky) trail. If your running in soft ground they perform perfectly but if you are a great deal of mud the added grip of the Soft Ground or Speedcross may be a better choice.

In use they are a dream to wear. On the roads they are light, responsive and provide that feel that I have had with traditional racing flats. The bonus with the ‘Sense Ultra’ is the hold of the foot. The speed lacing and Endofit provide supreme comfort. On the trails this becomes even more apparent as the foot moves from left to right with changes in terrain.

It’s early days in testing but this shoe will not be of my feet for a while… they are so comfortable I would even be tempted to use them as slippers.

Now then, I need to go run…..

As a foot note, (no pun intended) Spring/ Summer 2013 will see a new Sense model – ‘Mantra

I saw this shoe earlier this year at Cavalls del Vent. A couple of the Salomon runners tested the shoe (Emelie Forsberg and Philipp Reiter) By all accounts a great edition to the range but too early to provide some detailed feedback.

The Mantra will be an everyday trainer in the same mold as the Sense and Sense Ultra. It’s a door-to-trail hybrid. With it’s 16mm heel and 10mm front (6mm drop as opposed to 4mm) and 260 grams weight, it looks to be a featherweight trainer without requiring the user to go to a 4mm drop shoe. Salomon has been heavily delving into exactly how different heel-to-toe drops effect actual stride speed which has resulted in their “Natural Motion Construction.”  A lower heel drop supports a mid-foot or forefoot strike that in turn better enables muscles, instead of joints, to absorb shock. Ultimately, their argument is this builds greater balance and overall running efficiency. More to follow….

Sense Mantra

Sense Mantra

Kilian will not race Western States

Press Release

It is with great sadness that we have learnt the death of Stéphane Brosse, in the middle of his challenge, ‘the grande traversée’ that he was sharing with Kilian.
Both loved the mountains, and knew each other for a long time sharing the same respect for one another.
‘La grande traversée’ was a project they had set up together, a challenge up to their passion and talent.
It is on the last part, just before going downhill, that the ridge they were on collapsed, taking stéphane within this spilling.
Kilian remained helpless whilst waiting for the rescue team.
All our thoughts go to Stéphane’s family in those difficult times.
We wish a lot of strength to Kilian to overcome this tragedy.
As Kilian wishes to stay with Stéphane’s family to support them, he will not be present at the Western State 100.

The Salomon Team

Anna Frost (Frosty) writes an excellent blog post here of her last time with Kilian and Stephane as they embarked on this tragic journey.

Summits – insight

This is great little insight into Kilian’s next project by the man behind the camera, Seb Montaz.

Seb is without doubt one of the best cinematographers out there. He has worked closely with Kilian over the years and between them they are the perfect combination. Kilian performs the magic with his feet, Seb performs the magic with his eyes. Together it is a stunning combination.

Seb Montaz – Summits

Summits of my Life – Kilian Jornet

Summits of my life – Kilian Jornet has a new project.

Tune in to a LIVE BROADCAST 1800hrs CET HERE

Kilian’s Quest will be no longer and the new project?

It will start this year, 2012 and commence to 2015. It’s a new departure that will see Kilian attempt to improve the record ascent and descent of some of the most iconic, high and complicated world’s mountains.

His adventure will start with Crossing Mont Blanc. The first one will be on skis going from Champex to Contamines taking in some of the major peaks of the massif and of course, those peaks will be followed with some crazy descents. Apparently he will be undertaking this trip with two companions. His second Mont Blanc crossing will be from Courmayer to the summit of Mont Blanc.

This will be the challenge for 2012 and one assumes that he will then concentrate on his running and skiing for the remainder of the year before his plans continue in 2013.

2013 will see attempts on key European Summits. He will start in Russia and Mt Elbrus. Following this he will go to the Cervino and then finally he will go to Mont Blanc and attempt the record set in 1990 for the PA Goblet. Arguably the Cervino will be the toughest challenge, Bruno Brunod still holds the time of just under 3hrs 15m for this tough and technical mountain.

In 2014 he will go to America and attempt two high peaks, one in the North and one in the South. In the north he will attempt McKinley and in the south he will attempt Aconcagua in South America.

The culmination of this ambitious project will be in 2015.

As you can imagine, if you are going to finish a project like this, you may as well finish on a high! Yes, the highest point – Everest. Kilian plans to go up and down 8488 meters as quickly as possible.

This project confirms that Kilian is like a river. Ever moving, ever bending and flexible to changes. He is possibly one of the most gifted athletes ever. A natural runner, skier, cyclist and so on…

He loves a challenge and this new project takes him to a whole new level of personal development. He is still so young that one but can’t help wonder what incredible achievements he make in his lifetime.

Kilian will not undertake these challenges alone and will have a pool of resources available to him. He will also call on several people to help facilitate, one of whom will be his sister. Other names are to be confirmed.

Check out the website HERE

From Kilian’s website, updated 29/05/2012 17:58pm:

Good evening!

Today I am here to put forward a new project I have had in mind for some time. When I was a child, I had a photo of Cervino on my bedroom wall, I read Mesner’s books and I used to flick through my parents’ photos searching for mountains to dream about. This project has its roots in that time but it has been dormant until today.

Summits of my Life is a 4-year project, in which we intend to run the length of the world’s greatest mountain ranges, trying to climb and descend some of the most spectacular mountains in the world as quickly as possible.

By no means does this project mean that I am leaving Trail Running or mountain skiing behind. On the contrary, given my passion for mountains, I want to pioneer the most alpinist part of my being and I believe I am now ready to attempt this.

The project will start off this summer with two itineraries at the birthplace of Alpinism, where the very first climbers began to dream of reaching summits. Both will be in the Mont Blanc mountain range. The first will be on skis from Champex to Contamines, reaching some of the most important summits and doing some of the most spectacular descents. Stephane and Mateo will ski alongside me. The second will be from Courmayeur to Chamonix reaching the summit of Mont Blanc, ascending the Italian southern face and descending the northern face.

In 2013 I’m going to attempt to break ascent and descent records of the most important summits in Europe, beginning with the highest, Mount Elbrus, in Russia. The next one, Mount Cervino, is possibly the most difficult to break, with an impressive time of 3h14m achieved by Bruno Brunod. At a technical level and in terms of risk taking, this mountain will definitely be the toughest. The last attempt in 2013 will be to do Chamonix-Mont Blanc-Chamonix, for which P.A.Goblet’s record has held since 1990.

In 2014 we are going to cross the Atlantic to reach the two highest American summits: Mount Aconagua in South America with its nearly 7,000m altitude and famous winds and Mount McKinley or Denali in Alaska, a summit with especially tough weather conditions.

The target for 2015 will be to climb up and down Mount Everest as fast as possible

I am a competitor. I like to compete, to go beyond, to search for my limits. This is the reason why this project is based on striving to break records and to do fast ascents of those mountains that mean most to me. But records and times should only be important whilst running. Once back at the bottom, they should vanish. They serve to stimulate you, to find the limits inside yourself; they should be a mere intrinsic motivation. This is why this project is not only about breaking records or climbing up and down mountains fast and with little equipment. It is also about transmitting values. I don’t mean to say they are the right values, the ones to follow, but they are the ones I was given and those I want to pass on.

Violoncello player Lluís Claret once told me some words I will never forget. “The voice of many people is in your sound…Our sound, our voice, is also the testimony of those we have admired and loved, those who have influenced and taught us.” Mountains have taught me a great deal, I owe them who I am, and also those who showed me the way to know the mountains, those who took me there and those I took there. They all filled my life with certain values, and it wouldn’t make sense to break records without them.

The team taking part in this project is equally small. Apart from myself, there is Sebastien Montaz, who is going to shoot the films with little equipment, trying to find spectacular images. Here is a video he has prepared to show you the philosophy underlying the films he intends to shoot during this project.

Apart from Seb, there is the Lymbus team, led by Jordi, who will be in charge of all communication with the media and who will find the way to make this project possible.

In some mountains I will count on the help of good friends and renowned alpinists, Jordi Tosas and Jordi Corominas, whom I totally respect and trust. I thank them for their experienced guidance.

Likewise, and although this is an entirely personal venture, the brands which are supporting me know about the project and will be backing me in my challenge. On some occasions, and given the particular nature of the project, very special equipment will be required which we will work on together with these brands. I also thank them for their trust and support in this endeavour.

Given the magnitude of this project, we are looking for a main sponsor to help us guarantee that it will be carried out. Over the last months, efforts have been focused on technical aspects. As of now, an important challenge begins which is to find the resources to carry it out. But, as we always say, willingness can move mountains.

This is an open project because you never know what tomorrow might bring, let alone the next 4 years. Many friends, local guides, people from the different regions will give me a hand with the routes, logistics, training or cheering me on at each challenge. We won’t pick the best or fastest alpinists or managers. Instead, those who accompany us will be friends and those who have trained and shared adventures with me.

Simplicity is the other value I wish to put forward. There is no doubt that technique and technology aid man to reach far and run fast but what for? Walter Bonatti distinguished between “Man’s alpinism” and “Technique’ alpinism.” We’ll try to be as naked as possible in the presence of nature, with the least possible equipment so as to feel and face the mountain with no intermediaries. Great means are not necessary to do the things that fill one the most. The simpler the means, the more personal and greater the value we lay on them.

The idea I will try to convey throughout all this time is that we are part of this world, just one more part, no more or less important, just like any animal, stone or tree. We are all equally significant. “The Earth is not an inheritance from our ancestors, but a heritage for our children.” (Indian proverb). We’ll try to be as silent as possible in the mountains, so that our steps are hardly heard, and as ecological and economical as possible.

And finally, a sentence by the great writer Pablo Cohelo, “There is only one thing that stops dreams from coming true; the fear of failure.” I am aware this is a very ambitious and hard project. But one must be ambitious, know where the hazards are and risk failure. Without trying, dreams remain dreams, and we’ll never know who we really are. In the end, we’ll understand the dream is not about breaking records, but rather about the ways to reach the summit, and failure isn’t about not reaching the summit or stopping the chronometer a few minutes later, but about not being able to take this path.

To finish this presentation, I’d like to show you some images. There will be very few of us on the mountains during the ventures, but we’ll show you what the mountains and the people we meet teach us. So at the end of each season, in October-November, some short films (5-8 minutes long) will be displayed on our website. And during the autumn, a longer film will be produced summarizing the experiences of each season.

To start with, and as an image is worth a thousand words, here are some images that will show you better what I mean.