On May 27, five days after Kilian Jornet ran to the top of Everest in 26 hours, he summited again. Both times, the professional endurance athlete opted to go without the use of supplemental oxygen. Jornet’s motivation for attempting the summit a second time was simple: He wanted a do-over of upper reaches of the route, otherwise known as the Death Zone, where he began to feel sick during his first ascent.
As he explained in a press release about his first summit experience on Everest at 25,000 feet and above: “I didn’t feel great and was moving very slowly. I had to stop every few meters with cramps and vomiting. When I got back down [to Advanced Base Camp] I thought I would like to try another attempt if I felt well enough.”
Jornet clearly felt well enough. Not only did he summit again, but he did it in 17 hours from Advanced Base Camp (21,000 feet), a trek that typically takes four days. Still, Jornet was not entirely satisfied, stating in the press release that “it was really windy so it was hard to move fast.”
Will Jornet be back? Most likely not. He’s done with Everest for this season, already all the way back down to the North side’s Base Camp at 17,000 feet, where he’ll recover before returning to Europe. Plus, Jornet’s dual Everest summits are a fitting finale to his Summits of My Life Project, a work-in-progress since 2012 to set speed records on some of the world’s greatest peaks.