Showing posts with label Kilian Jornet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kilian Jornet. Show all posts

Himalaya Spring 2017: Kilian Jornet Reveals Plans, Sherpa Injured on the Everest

It has been a very busy couple of days since I last shared any updates from the Himalaya. The spring climbing season is proceeding pretty much according to plan, with teams now settled in their respective base camps across the region and now diligently working away at becoming acclimatized. This particularly true on Everest, where the squads are stretched out from BC to Camp 2, and everywhere in between. This is all part of the process of course, and later in the week I'll provide a more detailed update on where some of the bigger teams currently stand, but in the meantime we have some other news that is of particular interest.

I know a lot of people have been waiting to hear what Kilian Jornet is up to this spring. We know that he intends to go for a speed record on Everest, and that due to permit issues on the North Side he was forced to move his expedition up from late summer as he had originally planned. But other than that, we haven't heard a lot of details. Over the weekend, that changed some.

In an email sent out to members of the media yesterday, the Spanish mountain runner indicated that he would first travel to Cho Oyu with partner Emelie Forsberg where the pair will attempt a summit on that 8201 meter (26,906 ft) mountain. This will serve as acclimatization and training for Kilian, who now intends to head to the North Side of Everest in mid-May to attempt his speed record. The benefits of doing it from that side of the mountain being smaller crowds and a more direct route that doesn't include the Khumbu Icefall.

Jornet just left for Kathmandu yesterday after competing in one last race before setting out to the Himalaya. He and Forsberg will likely spend a few days in the Nepali capital before heading out to the mountains.


Meanwhile, The Himalayan Times is reporting that Sherpas working on the South Side of Everest have now fixed the ropes all the way up to the South Col. That means teams are now free to goal high as Camp 4 once their bodies are prepared to handle the altitude. It also means that everything is on schedule to complete rope fixing up to the summit ahead of the final push that will begin in a few weeks time.

The Times is also indicating the a Sherpa was injured in an avalanche on the South Side as well. Climbing guide Furba Rita Sherpa was struck by ice when a serac collapsed near Camp 1 as he and several other porters were making their way up to C2 to drop gear and supplies. He reportedly suffered a broken hand and multiple injuries to his head and wrists as well. Fortunately, others were there to immediately lend a hand and Furba was quickly evacuated back to Kathmandu for treatment. He is reportedly doing well and already recovering nicely. 

That's it for today. More detailed info to come once I've caught my breath from returning from Oregon. 

Himalaya Spring 2017: Kilian Jornet Returns to Attempt Everest Speed Record

This past fall, Spanish mountain runner Kilian Jornet traveled to the North Side of Everest to attempt to set a new speed record on that mountain. Those efforts were thwarted early on due to horrible weather conditions, and Jornet pulled the plug on that attempt, vowing to return at a later date. Now, we know when he'll be back and what his plans are for the year ahead.

According to reports, Jornet will now travel to the Himalaya this spring where he will move ahead with plans to climb and descend the world's highest peak in under 24 hours. Apparently he was having difficulty obtaining permits to return in the fall, so has elected to give it a go during the busy spring season instead. How this will impact his approach to the climb remains to be seen.

During the autumn Himalayan climbing season, Everest is all but abandoned making it much easier for Jornet to use his now-famous fast and light style. But during the pre-monsoon season, he'll have to contend with other climbers that will be along the route too. Presumably he'll be making his record-setting attempt from the North Side in Tibet once again, as the crowds are usually much lighter from that side of the hill. He will acclimatize in Nepal before hand however before heading to the mountain.

Everest is the final stage of Jornet's Summits of My Life project, which has seen him set speed records on peaks all over the world, including Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, and Denali. He hopes to complete that pursuit by adding one more record to his resume.

In addition to tackling Everest in the spring, Jornet has also signed up to compete in a host of ultra events, including the Mont Blanc Marathon in June, the HardRock in Colorado in July, and Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc in September, amongst others.

This being Kilian, he also plans to attempt to set a new speed record for running a tough route through the Lake District in the U.K. as well. The path covers 119 km (73 miles) and feature 43 hills with a combined elevation gain of 8700 meters (28,543 ft). The current record for the route stands at 13 hours and 53 minutes and was set back in 1982. That makes it ripe for being beat.

Of course, Jornet is likely to show up in a few other events and projects as well. As usual, we'll be following his exploits closely. Especially as he prepares for Everest.

Video: Unbound with Alpinist Jordi Tosas

For more than 25 years, Jordi Tosas has been working as a mountaineering guide in the Alps and the Himalaya. Over that time, he has completed countless climbs and his love for outdoor adventure in all of its forms has continued to grow. A few years back, he was introduced to Kilian Jornet, the great mountain runner from Spain. That chance encounter has led Jordi to reexamine everything he knows about mountaineering and relearn and reinvent his approach to the mountains. In this video, we learn about Tosas and that process, which is continuing to evolve today.

Video: Kilian Jornet Takes on Seven Summits of Romsdalen

We haven't heard much from Spanish mountain runner Kilian Jornet since he returned from his speed attempt on Everest this past fall. But of course we all know he wasn't just standing still and resting on his laurels. In this video, we follow him as he attempts to complete the Seven Summits of Romsdalen in Norway in a single day. This tough 77 km (47.8 mile) route features 9000 meters (29,527 ft) of vertical gain and takes mere mortals like the rest of us the better part of a week to finish, particularly in the winter. Can Kilian conquer the course in record time? You'll have to watch the video below to see how he fares.

Video: Kilian Jornet's Everest Summit Dreams Live On

Yesterday the news broke that Kilian Jornet has abandoned his plans to make a speed attempt on Mt. Everest due to very poor weather conditions on the mountain. Deep snow made him cancel that attempt, but while his dream of a speed ascent may have been postponed, they are no over. Clearly he will return again in the future to have another go at the world's highest peak.

In this video we get a bit of a recap of what Kilian has been up to over the past couple of years. It is a review of his Summits of My Life project to date, with a bit of inspiration to help us all move forward. It is a nice tribute to one of the greatest mountain athletes on the planet today, and definitely worth a look for those who follow his exploits.

Himalaya Fall 2016: Kilian Jornet Cancels Everest Speed Attempt

One of the current Himalayan expeditions that we've been watching closely has come to an end before it ever even had a chance to really get started. It was announced earlier today that Spanish ultrarunner Kilian Jornet has pulled the plug on his attempt at a speed record on Everest due to poor weather on the North Side of the mountain.

In a quote that was sent out via a press release a few hours ago, Jornet says “During the first few weeks we were acclimatising well and the conditions were good. However, when we were getting ready to prepare the attempt the weather began to change. There were some heavy snow storms and a large accumulation of snow. As a result, although we were in good physical shape, there was a high risk of avalanches and in the absence of good safety conditions it was impossible to climb.”

Apparently, the expedition was actually nearing its conclusion when the decision was made to go home instead. There hasn't been a lot of news from Kilian or his team, but it seems acclimatization was going very well, and he was extremely happy with his progress. Unfortunately, heavy snow has been falling on the mountain over the past couple of weeks, and that was making the route much more dangerous. So much so that they made the wise choice of cancelling the summit attempt and going home instead.

Kilian says that he has learned a lot from the experience and will now return to Spain where he'll evaluate how this expedition went, and decide from there how to proceed. He has already indicated that next time around he'll do a few things differently both in preparation and acclimatization once on the mountain. He had spent three weeks training at 6500 meters (21,325 ft) which will give him a better understanding of the Everest environment the next time around.

Honestly, an attempt in the spring would probably provide more stable weather conditions, but Kilian would then have to contend with a lot more people on the mountain. For most of the time that he was there, he had Base Camp all to himself. We do know that Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki is also there for a solo bid on the mountain, but he didn't arrive until last week. It is unclear whether or not the heavy snow will impact his attempt to summit Everest, which will be his sixth time trying to accomplish that feat.

For now, we'll have to wait to see how Kilian does on Everest. Remember, he's never climbed an 8000 meter peak before. Hopefully he'll get another crack at it in the future. It will be interesting to see what an athlete of his caliber can accomplish there.

Himalaya Fall 2016: Kilian Jornet Updates His Progress on Everest

There is no doubt that the expedition that most people are following closely in the Himalaya this fall is Kilian Jornet's attempt to set a new speed record on Mt. Everest. The Spanish ultra-runner left his home for the North Side of the mountain a few weeks back, and while we know that he has been busy working on his acclimatization process in preparation for an eventual crack at the summit, there has been very little word on his progress. But late last week we finally got an update, and while it is brief, it does provide some insight into what is happening at the moment.

Last Thursday, Kilian posted the following message to his Summits of My Life Facebook page. It appears to be a screenshot of a text message sent by phone to his support team that is keeping all of us updated on his current progress. The message reads in Spanish: 
"Bones!! Info Everest: Estem sqguint amb l'aclimatacio. Esta tot molt carregat de neu, xo tot ok!"
Which roughly translates to:
"Good !! Everest Info: We are continuing with acclimatization. This all heavily loaded with snow, x all ok!" 
This small dispatch tells us quite a bit surprisingly enough. For instance, it reaffirms what we already knew that Kilian is proceeding with his acclimatization, which could potentially take another couple of weeks to complete. But, it also tells us a bit about the conditions on the mountain, as it sounds like there is quite a bit of snow there already this fall. That could have a dramatic impact on his eventual attempt at the speed record, although weather conditions can change rapidly, potentially clearing some of that snow out of his way.


While that isn't a lot to go on, it is about the only update we've had over the past couple of weeks, so it is nice to hear something. Hopefully we'll learn more about Kilian's progress and potential schedule soon.

Meanwhile, over on Cho Oyu the Adventure Consultants report that they held their puja ceremony today. This is a ritual during which a Buddhist Lama visits Base Camp and performs a ritual that not only asks permission from the mountain to allow the climbers to go up its slopes, but blesses those climbers and their gear to help keep them safe. Himalayan tradition states that the puja be performed prior to the start of actual climbing operations, so with this detail out of the way, the team will make its first foray up the slopes towards Camp 1 tomorrow.

The Altitude Junkies have checked in from Dhaulagiri, where they arrived in BC last Thursday. If everything has gone according to plan, they should have held their puja today as well, and will now begin fixing the ropes up the slopes. The most recent dispatch from the team says that they will be attempting a different route for that part of the climb due to the dry conditions there. Reportedly, the weather has been very good so far, with just light rain in the evenings. The AJ squad is the only one on the mountain so far, and they report that their BGAN Internet station is not working properly, so updates may be short and sporadic for the length of the expedition.

Finally, the Seven Summits Trek team departed Kathmandu and began their trek to BC on Manaslu yesterday. The expedition's dispatches indicate that the group of Sherpas charged with fixing ropes to the summit are already on the mountain, and should have the route set up to Camp 3 before the climbers arrive.


Himalaya Fall 2016: Japanese Climber Nobukazu Kuriki Heading Back to Everest

We're in a bit of a lull in the mountaineering scene right now. Yes, Kilian Jornet is in Tibet and preparing for his speed record attempt on Everest, but for the most part this is the time of year when there is a brief pause between the summer climbing season in Pakistan and the fall climbing season in Nepal and Tibet. Most of the teams that are preparing for a Himalayan summit in the next few months are waiting for the monsoon to subside before heading to the mountains. Once that happens over the next few weeks, we'll begin to see climbers arriving in Kathmandu once again.

In recent years, the fall season in the Himalaya has mostly concentrated on 8000 meter peaks other than Everest. A lot of mountaineers use this time of the year to gain valuable experience ahead of an Everest attempt next spring, so you're more likely to see expeditions to Shishapangma, Cho Oyu, or even Ama Dablam. But, there are still some climbers who will focus on the world's highest peak, most notably Japanese Nobukazu Kuriki.

If that name sounds familiar it is because this fall Kuriki will be making his sixth attempt on Everest, once again looking to summit solo and without oxygen. He has tried this same feat in the past, and it hasn't always gone well for him. Back in 2012, the Japanese mountaineer ended up getting stranded high on the mountain and head to be rescued, but not before he suffered severe frostbite in his hands and feet. He ended up losing parts of nine fingers in the process.

That hasn't deterred him from attempting Everest however. He climbed on the South Side last year and made a valiant effort before ultimately having to call it quits. This year he'll have a go at the summit from the Tibetan side of the mountain, where he hasn't climbed before. It is unclear whey he decided to make the change, but it could have something to do with Nepal's recently discussed new restrictions, which ban solo climbers altogether.

Kuriki, who is a popular figure back home in Japan, has crowdfunded his latest expedition, easily surpassing his goals to get the money he needs for this climb. He'll now prepare to head back to the Himalaya this fall, most likely sometime in September. That's about when Jornet hopes to be wrapping up his speed attempt, so the two might not even be on the mountain at the same time.

As German adventure sports writer Stefan Nestler points out, there hasn't been a successful fall summit of Everest in nearly six years. That's when Eric Larsen topped out along with five Sherpas as part of the Save the Poles project. Lets hope Kilian and Nobu have more luck this year.

Himalaya Fall 2016: Kilian Trains in Tibet for Everest

We're back on a regular posting schedule for a few weeks after my recent visit to Quebec, and we have news from the Himalaya about Kilian Jornet's speed attempt on Everest. This expedition will be the last of his "Summits of My Life" project, which has also resulted in new records for the fastest known times on other major peaks, including Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, and Denali.

If you've been following Kilian's progress at all, you probably know that he left for the Himalaya a few weeks back where he has been organizing gear, continuing his training, and acclimatizing to the altitude. But, we also have a few more specifics about his schedule over the past few days.

Last Tuesday, Kilian flew from Kathmandu to Lhasa in Tibet. He spent a day there before starting the drive to Everest Base Camp, which is accessible by car on the North Side of the mountain. But, it is still a dramatic gain in altitude during that drive, so most people still go slow, and take a few days to reach BC, allowing their bodies to acclimatize a bit along the way. With that in mind, the Spanish ultrarunner has been working out along the way.

Over the weekend, he was in Tingri at 4300 meters (14,107 ft) where Kilian conducted some training runs. That's an altitude he's accustomed to, having spent the last few years making the Alps of Europe his personal playground. He also spent a good deal of time there training before leaving for the Himalaya.

It isn't clear yet just when Kilian and his team will arrive in Base Camp, but I would expect that that will happen this week. From there, the plan is to acclimate to higher altitudes before getting ready to make his historic attempt on the summit of Everest. We're still a few weeks away from that happening, but it certainly should be interesting to follow his preparation for the final push to the top. Especially when you keep in mind that this will be his first foray above 8000 meters.

Kilian's approach to the speed attempt has been a simple one. Get to the mountain while it is still summer, before there is anyone else attempting to climb it in the fall. This will ensure that the route is free from crowds that could potentially low him down. Taking one of the routes on the North Side should help keep the still on-going monsoons at bay to a degree as well, although it still could be dicey up on top. He'll now focus solely on acclimatizing and scouting the route until he is fully ready to go. From there, it will be a simple matter of waiting for the weather to cooperate and then choosing the best time to go.

For now, we all wait for that to happen.

Himalaya Fall 2016: Kilian Jornet is Off to Everest

It is extremely early to begin reporting on the Fall 2016 climbing season in the Himalaya, but of course everyone is eager to hear news of the progress of Kilian Jornet as he prepares to make an attempt at the speed record on Mt. Everest. We won't have long to wait to get updates however, as the Spanish ultra-runner has already departed for Kathmandu and is now putting the finishing touches on his preparation there.

Kilian has gone to the Himalaya early in order to avoid any other teams who potentially could be on the mountain. He'll be making his speed attempt from the North Side in Tibet, although exactly which route he'll use remains to be seen. Some of the preliminary work of the trip will be to scout the trails and determine which one will best suit his needs. He'll also wrap up his acclimatization efforts and keep an eye on the weather for the best summit days too.

Although of that is still a few weeks off however, as Jornet only left for Nepal late last week. He'll spend some time getting organized and rested before making the journey to Tibet and Everest itself, where he'll then get comfortable in Base Camp before the real work begins. I would expect that we'll begin seeing more updates later in the week as he starts the process of getting accustomed to the high altitude.

Prior to setting out for the Himalaya the endurance athlete was focused on acclimatizing in the Alps. The video below gives you an idea of how that training went and the efforts that were made to prepare for Everest prior to leaving. As you would expect, Kilian used Mont Blanc as his training ground, although it is less than half the height of Everest.

It will be interesting to see how Jornet does in his quest for yet another speed record. He has yet to climb above 8000 meters (26,246 ft) in his career, and what that will be like for him will be crucial. We'll keep a close eye on his progress and post updates regularly in the days ahead. This expedition will truly be exciting to follow.


Kilian Jornet Officially Announces Everest Speed Record Expedition

We've known that it was coming for some time, but today Spanish ultrarunner/mountaineer Kilian Jornet has officially announced his attempt to set a new speed record (Fast Known Time (FKT) in his parlance) on the world's highest peak, Mt. Everest. And as usual, he'll be making the attempt in his own unique, unorthodox, and challenging way.

In a press release sent out this morning, Jornet says that he'll be making the climb throughout August and September. But prior to leaving for the Himalaya, he'll first begin to acclimatize in the Alps closer to home. For the next few weeks, Kilian and his support team will live and train in the European mountains as they begin to get their bodies ready for the demands that they'll face once they head to Tibet.

The plan is to attempt to summit Everest from the North Side, along a route that sees little traffic. The exact route hasn't been made clear yet, as the intention is to scout the mountain once they are there. What they find on the slopes of the mountain will ultimately decide which way he will go to the top.

The final summit push will begin at Rongbuk monastery and will continue all the way to the top of Everest, and then back down again. In all, Kilian will have to run about 30 km (18.6 miles), which is a short distance for a man who is use to competing in 100 mile (160 km) long races. But, he has never tested himself at such high altitudes before, so it is unclear how his body will respond. This will be the Spaniard's first attempt at an 8000-meter peak, but despite that he still intends to have a go at the FKT in alpine style and without the use of bottled oxygen.

Additionally, one has to wonder how much of an impact acclimatizing in the Alps will have on his progress. The highest peak in that mountain range is Mont Blanc, which stands 4810 m (15,781 ft) in height. That is not insignificant of course, but it is not even the same height as Base Camp on Everest. In other words, he'll still have a lot of work to do once he arrives in the Himalaya.

Right now, the plan is to depart Europe on August 7 to start the expedition. Kilian and his crew will then spend the next eight weeks prepping and planning for the run. Will he be able to set a new speed record on the highest mountain on the planet? Only time will tell, but I wouldn't doubt the man who set speed records on other mountains like Mont Blanc, Aconcagua, Denali, and Kilimanjaro. Still, Everest is an entirely different beast, and it will be interesting to watch this all unfold.

Stay tuned.

How Kilian Jornet Plans to Set a Speed Record on Everest

One of the expeditions to Everest that we'll be watching very closely this year is Kilian Jornet's attempt to set a new speed record on Everest. As an amazing mountain runner, Kilian has already set records for fast ascents of Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, Denali, and Aconcagua, but now he's taking his considerable skills to the Himalaya where he hopes to go to the summit of the tallest mountain on the planet in record time.

Recently the Spaniard sat down with Men's Journal to talk about his upcoming adventure. In that interview, Kilian talked about what he learned last year on Everest when the April 25 earthquake hit Nepal, bringing an abrupt end to the climbing seasons. He also talks about his biggest concerns for his upcoming return to the mountain, the gear he'll take with him on the summit attempt, and more.

Probably of the most interest to readers is Kilian's game plan for the upcoming expedition. He'll be climbing from the North Side of the mountain in Tibet, and hopes to ascend via either the Horbein or Norton couloir depending on conditions. He'll scout out the route ahead of time, and spend some time acclimatizing before making the attempt, with altitude and safety being amongst his biggest concerns.  As you would expect, he'll be going as fast and light as possible, and make the ascent without bottled oxygen.

As of this writing, Kilian has not left for the Himalaya yet, so it is unclear when he'll set out for Everest. Speculation has him traveling to Tibet this spring to attempt his climb, but in the Men's Journal interview Jornet says that he will be going at the end of the summer, which would indicate he's planning a fall attempt on the speed record. According to his social media, the ultrarunner is still in Europe, but he still has plenty of time to set out for the mountain and get ready for a late season summit attempt. We'll just have to keep an eye on his plans to see what happens. A lot of people have been waiting for Kilian to take a shot at the Big Hill, and hopefully we'll see him go for it soon.

Himalaya 2016: Who's Who on Everest This Year?

As we get closer to the start of the 2016 spring climbing season in the Himalaya, we're beginning to get an idea of how the next few months will unfold. In his latest blog post, Alan Arnette shares some information about the plans of some of the more well known climbers who will be on Everest this year, including a number of athletes that we cover on The Adventure Blog on a regular basis.

Some of the high profile climbers who will be on the world's tallest peak this spring include Cory Richards, who will be climbing with Adrian Ballinger on the North Side without oxygen, while Richard Parks will be attempting the same thing from the South Side. Meanwhile, U.S. Marine Charlie Linville, who lost a leg in combat in Iraq, will attempt to summit with the The Heroes Project.

 Other expeditions to keep an eye on include Kilian Jornet attempt at a speed record from the North Side, and Belgian athlete Jelle Veyt, who will ride a bike from Kathmandu to Everest Base Camp, where he will then attempt a summit without oxygen as well. My friend Don Mann will also be attempting Everest for the first time, and I'll be following his progress closely. This former Navy SEAL and intense endurance athlete will be climbing with the Adventure Consultants.

There will not doubt be some other great stories to share as the season unfolds as well. These are just a few of the climber we'll be keeping an eye on in the days ahead, particularly once the season truly gets underway in just a few weeks time.

Climb to the Summit of Mont Blanc with Google Street View

Over the years Google Street View has continued to expand, taking us from the familiar avenues of our hometowns to such iconic locations as Machu Picchu in Peru, Petra in Jordan, and even the Khumbu in Nepal. Now, you can add one more location to that list, as earlier this week the tech giant brought one of Europe's most famous mountains online when they added Mont Blanc to their library of virtual destinations.

To capture these amazing places in full 360º images, Google uses a special backpack called the Street View Trekker. This special pack comes equipped with a device that includes 15 different cameras, each snapping images at the same time. Once the data is collected, software is used to stitch the data back together, creating a seamless experience of the various locations that the Trekker records.

In order to capture Mont Blanc in all of its glory, Google decided to enlist some specialists to help them out. They brought in mountain athletes Kilian Jornet, Ueli Steck, and Candide Thovex – amongst others – to get a streamlined version of the Trekker to the summit. The results are nothing short of spectacular.

The video below gives you a bit of insight into the project that brought Mont Blanc online. To explore it for yourself in Street View, simply click here.


Kilian Jornet's Summits of My Life to Help Rebuild 116 Homes in Nepal

A couple of weeks back I shared the trailer to Kilian Jornet's latest film entitled Langtang. It follows the Spanish mountain runner as he traveled through Nepal recently, surveying the damage that was left in the wake of the earthquake from this past April. The footage that was seen in the trailer alone was very sobering, and a stark reminder that the Himalayan country has a long way to go before it completely returns to normalcy.

Apparently, Kilian was so moved by what he found there that he decided that he had to do something to help. That's why his Summits of My Life project has committed itself to helping rebuild 116 homes in the Langtang region of Nepal, and is joining forces with SOS Himalaya to raise funds to aid with the reconstruction process.

"After the experience in Nepal we realized that we wanted to continue helping the people of Langtang, who have lost everything. After our return from Nepal we went into action and, along with SOS Himalaya, we devised a project that fits very well in the Langtang Valley. SOS Himalaya is a charity with whom we share many values and we are very pleased to start this collaboration,’" explained Jornet.

The spring Earthquake completely buried Langtang in snow, ice, rock, and rubble. It was as if the entire village was wiped from the face of the Earth. And because of its remote location, there has been very little progress made toward rebuilding the place. Summits of My Life and SOS Himalaya are hoping to change that. 

So why 116 homes? That's the number of families who want to return to Langtang following the deviation. So, in a sense, the two organizations are hoping to rebuild the village from scratch to allow those who want to return the opportunity to do just that. Each house costs approximately $180 to build, so the goal is to raise $20,880. A relatively modest sum all things considered. 

Fundraising efforts got underway last week, and anyone interested in contributing to the cause can do so on this page on the Summits of My Life website

The earthquake in Nepal has been pushed from the headlines by more recent stories, but the efforts to rebuild continue there. It'll be some time before everything returns to normal, and it is good that there are still some who are focused on aiding in the rebuilding process. Next spring will be a crucial time for the country, hopefully we'll see visitors return in large numbers to aid the economy and help with getting Nepal back on its feet. 

Video: Kilian Jornet's Summits of My Life - Langtang Trailer

This past spring, mountain runner Kilian Jornet traveled to the Himalaya, where he had hoped to attempt a new speed record on Everest. But, as we all know, those efforts were cut short when a massive earthquake hit Nepal, devastating the countryside and leaving parts of that nation completely in ruins. In this video, we get a sneak preview of Kilian's latest film – entitled Langtang – which takes along with him as he explores the Langtang Valley following this natural disaster. The footage we see, even in this brief clip, is incredibly sobering, and a reminder of how powerful this earthquake was, and why Nepal continues to struggle with rebuilding. The full Langtang film will be available on December 12, and promises to be quite a powerful experience.

Langtang Trailer - Summits of My Life from Summits of My Life on Vimeo.

Ueli Steck and Kilian Jornet Climb The Eiger Together

A few weeks back I posted an update from the Himalaya about two of the biggest stars in outdoor adventure coming together at last. Swiss climber Ueli Steck was in Nepal at the time to attempt to climb Nuptse, while Spanish mountain runner Kilian Jornet was there just enjoying some time in the big mountains. The duo met in Base Camp on Nuptse, leaving many of us to wonder what a team-up between these two great athletes would be like. Well, we no longer need to wonder.

Apparently, Ueli and Kilian hit it off well enough in the Himalaya that they were eager to meet up once again back home. This past Sunday, the two men climbed one of the most iconic mountains in all of Europe when they summited The Eiger together. They chose to go up the famous North Face along the Hackmair Route.

As you would expect, the two men went light and fast, although they weren't out to break any records. For Ueli, it was his 38th time up The Eiger, but it was a first for Kilian. From car to summit, and back again required just 10 hours, although according to the Swiss climber, it was simply a fun day in the mountains.

Want to catch a glimpse of what it was like to be on The Eiger with Ueli and Kilian? Check out the video below.



I spend all yesterday following this guy. Great day with Ueli Steck in Eiger.Suunto I Petzl
Posted by Kilian Jornet on Monday, November 9, 2015

Himalaya Fall 2015: Ueli Steck and Kilian Jornet Share Nuptse Base Camp

Just a quick update today from the Himalaya to shed a little more light on the amazing scene we caught a glimpse of in yesterday's post on the ongoing climbing operations in Nepal at the moment. It may have slipped under the radar for some readers who skimmed by that story, but two of the best alpine athletes in the world were actually sharing Base Camp on Nuptse over the past few days.

Swiss mountaineer Ueli Steck and Spanish mountain runner Kilian Jornet met up in the Himalaya and had the opportunity to spend a bit of time together. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, these two men could compose quite the "Dream Team" of climbing if they were ever to team up on a project. Ueli is probably the better climber of the two, but Kilian is probably the faster man in the mountains. Both are known for their speed however, and have accomplished amazing things in the Alps, Himalaya, and beyond.

Ueli commented on the back that both men were in BC on Nuptse in a Facebook post. He said:
"We had a great day today. Colin and Ben went have a look at Nuptse on the lower part. Helias Kilian and myself did a little tour climbing. Its just great to hang out with this Guys. Very inspiring to me. And the hope for Nuptse is still alive!"
The other people that is speaking of include Colin Haley, his climbing partner on Nuptse, Ben Guiguonnet, and Hélias Millerioux, two young French mountain guides who staged a dramatic first ascent on Siula Chico, and are now hoping to find a new route up Nuptse as well.


As for Kilian, he appears to be back in the Himalaya simply to enjoy some time in the mountains. He has not announced any major plans for while he is there, and does't appear to have any intentions of climbing any big peaks. He is perhaps doing a bit of training to prepare for the spring 2016 season, where he will most likely attempt a speed record once again on Everest. This year that attempt was cut short when the April 25 earthquake brought an end to all climbing expeditions on the mountain.

Is there a chance we could see Ueli and Kilian team up in the future? Anything seems possible, and I believe there is a great deal of mutual respect between these two athletes. As I said above, this would be quite a team, and I'm sure fans of both men would like to see it happen. Only time will tell.

In other climbing news, 76 year old Spanish climber Carlos Soria is back in the Himalaya this fall, although he isn't there to take on an 8000 meter peak this time out. Instead, he hopes to climb Ama Dablam, the striking peak that is viewed so prominently throughout the Khumbu Valley. The mountain is 6812 meters (22,349 ft) in height, and is often used as a warm-up for other big climbs in the region, something Carlos doesn't really need.

That's all from the Himalaya today. More new soon I'm sure.

Himalaya Fall 2015: Ueli and Colin Scout Nuptse Route

There is a bit of progress to report in the Himalaya, where a few teams are forging ahead with their expeditions, despite the fact that weather conditions have not been favorable all season long. But the fall climbing season is far from over, and there is still time for these expeditions to achieve their goals, even if it appears that they'll face some serious obstacles along the way.

Ueli Steck and Colin Haley are back on Nuptse and still hoping they can summit along the very difficult Babanov route. Yesterday, the team did some scouting of that route to check out conditions on the mountain, and Ueli reports on Facebook that "the hope for Nuptse is still alive!" That indicates that the boys are far from wrapping things up, and are still planning to at least have a go at the mountain, despite some difficult setbacks. Colin struggled early with illness, but is ready to climb now, but the weather has dumped fresh, wet snow on the mountain, making it more dangerous to go up. Hopefully those conditions will settle down, allowing the duo to proceed.

Steck and Haley were not alone in Base Camp yesterday. They were joined by a trio of visitors that includes none other than Kilian Jornet. It's not clear what Kilian was doing on Nuptse. It could be that he is just in the Himalaya on a training/scouting expedition, and dropped by to see Ueli, but none the less, they are hanging out on the mountain right now. For many, that would be the Dream Team of climbing, Kilian and Ueli working together on a project. Perhaps we'll see that happen at some point.

Meanwhile, Bill Burke has arrived in Kathamdnu is preparing for a very special climbing expedition of his own. Bill is back in Nepal to have a crack and an unclimbed peak that just happens to be named after him. The 73 year old climber will be attempting to summit Burke-Khang, a 6742 meter (22,775 foot) mountain that has only just recently been opened to climbing. He departs from Kathmandu today for Lukla, and will spend a few days trekking in the Khumbu Valley before arriving in BC on the mountain.

There have been no new updates from Luke Smithwick or Brian Beatty just yet. The duo set out on Sunday to begin their expedition of the unclimbed Saldim Ri (6343 m/20,810 ft) in the Makalu region of Nepal. They should be trekking to the mountain now however, and will arriving in the next few days. Hopefully we'll get another update on their progress than.

Finally, there has also been no word on the progress of the South Korean team on Lhotse. When last they checked in, the conditions on the mountain were unsafe for climbing and the weather was very poor. At the time, they were waiting for a shift in fortunes, but it doesn't seem that that has come there way just yet.

While it has certainly gotten a little quieter in the Himalaya, these expeditions are definitely still worth following. More to come soon.

Video: Face to Face with Kilian Jornet

It is safe to say that Kilian Jornet is amongst the very best mountain runners in the entire world. He has set speed records for running to the summit of high mountains on just about every continent, and is hoping to eventually set a speed record on Everest as well. In this video, we get a chance to meet the man and learn what drives him in his pursuit of achieving impressive accomplishments at high altitude. Most of us will never be able to run like Kilian, but he can still serve as an inspiration none the less.