Runner Breaks Speed Record on Tallest Peak in Western Hemisphere

Karl Egloff at the start and finish point of the Aconcagua summit route.
Karl Egloff at the start and finish point of the Aconcagua summit route.Courtesy Karl Egloff

Ecuadorian-Swiss mountaineer and guide, Karl Egloff, has claimed the record for the fastest summit of the Western Hemisphere’s tallest mountain, Aconcagua. The Andean mountain’s peak sits at 22,841 feet and a typical climb averages five to seven days in order to accommodate climbers adjusting to the altitude and thin air. Egloff completed the task in less than half a day.

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The 33-year-old set the mark by ascending and descending Aconcagua in 11 hours, 52 minutes. His pace was just minutes shy of cutting an hour from the previous record, held by Spanish ultrarunner Kilian Jornet. The route, which is nearly 25 miles long, climbs and descends 13,327 feet.

Jornet’s Aconcagua record stood for less than two months prior to Egloff’s climb. It isn’t the only title that he has lost recently to Egloff. In August 2014, Egloff broke the speed record on Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain. Jornet had the fastest time in the books for four years, but Egloff did it 15 minutes faster with a run just under seven hours. Egloff also currently holds the record of fastest known time of ascending and descending Cotopaxi, the second highest mountain in his home country of Ecuador. 

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