Climber Kilian Jornet summits Everest in 26 hours, sets speed record

Early Monday morning — according to the Himalayan Times — Spanish mountaineer and long-distance runner Kilian Jornet set what is believed to be a new speed record for summiting Mount Everest, reaching the peak of the highest mountain on Earth in just 26 hours.

Per the Himalayan Times, the respected 29-year-old mountaineer reached the peak around midnight on Monday and managed to reach the top of Everest unsupported without the use of fixed ropes or bottled oxygen. The Himalayan Times reports that Jornet now holds speed records on the famed peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Aconcagua, Denali, Matterhorn and Mont Blanc.

According to Jornet, most of his ascent was made without major issue, until he got near the end of his climb.

“Until I reached 25,200 feet, I felt really good and was making progress as planned but then I started to feel unwell, probably from stomach virus,” Jornet wrote on his blog about the climb. “From then on I made slow progress and had to keep stopping to recover. I finally reached the summit at midnight.”

Jornet’s blog said that while his initial plan was to return to Everest base camp at 16,700 feet, due to his stomach problems, he is currently recovering at Everest advanced base camp at roughly 21,000 feet.

In a previous blog post, Jornet stressed that his goal of setting the Everest speed record wasn’t for personal glory but as a way to celebrate all the supporters who helped him get to where he is.

Mount everest
Everest stands at over 29,000 feet in elevation. Climbing it without bottled oxygen is extremely demanding and harsh on the human body. Photo: Courtesy of Fryderyk Supinski/Flickr

“We began this challenge together five years ago and with our values and our approach to the mountain we’ve got to this point,” Jornet wrote. “Although we don’t know what will happen, I’m clear about one thing: It’s not my Everest, but ours, everyone who has in one way or another contributed to making this project a reality.”

It’s worth noting that Jornet began his ascent Saturday around 10 p.m., which means that he managed this record at a time when four other mountaineers tragically lost their lives on the mountain.

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