By now, nearly everyone has heard of Kilian Jornet. In addition to being a world champion ski-mountaineer and ultra runner, he’s set climbing records on Mont Blanc, Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, Denali and the Matterhorn. His final mountain challenge for his Summits of My Life project was Everest, and after scaling the highest peak on Earth, he was all anyone could talk about for days — and for good reason.
Not only did Jornet climb the mountain which is situated 29,029 feet above sea level in 26 hours, he accomplished the feat twice in six days. This is astounding, as only about 5,000 people have made it to the summit of Mount Everest. Of those who succeeded, fewer than 200 were done without supplemental oxygen.
Jornet successfully scaled Everest on May 22, 2017, making a roughly 12,296-foot ascent in 26 hours without bottled oxygen or the use of fixed ropes. Incredibly, he moved slower than planned because of a stomach bug. Six days later, he climbed Everest again and traveled from the Advanced Base Camp to the summit in 17 hours (a 7,703-foot ascent). After he returned to his home in Norway, Men’s Journal conducted an interview with the super-athlete.
Reportedly, Jornet had just finished his ski-mountaineering season before climbing Mt. Everest, therefore, did no special training to prepare. The only thing he did do differently was to spend longer trips in the mountains to psychologically prepare for the solitude and dangers he would face during the trek.
Said Jornet, “I started at 10 in the evening. It took me 4.5 hours to get to ABC [Advanced Base Camp], there I stopped and rested for two hours. At 4 a.m. I started from ABC and was feeling really good up to 7,700 meters. Then I started to feel sick to my stomach and I started vomiting and having stomach cramps. So, from 7,700 to the summit I was just fighting that. I needed to stop every 10 to 20 meters because I had cramps. They weren’t good feelings, but my head was clear, so I just kept going. I reached the summit at midnight.”
What’s even more impressive is the fact that Jornet didn’t eat for 15 hours while hiking during the first ascent, due to the stomach illness he picked up. Once he did reach the summit, he enjoyed the darkening view for about 15 minutes before heading back down.
Much of the journey was trudging through snow, said Jornet. There was little to no running, despite his fast pace. “My goal was to try to climb there the same way we climb in the Alps. So, that’s without setting camps, without having [stashed gear] on the mountain and trying to go from bottom to top to bottom…” he said.
Recalling the second attempt to the top of Mt. Everest, Jornet said, “I started early in the morning May 27. Many climbers were turning around because it was really windy. I had to put my down suit on at 7,000 meters because it was so cold. I got to the summit at sunset. Going down I lost my way below 8,300 meters. I was feeling a bit strange in the mind. It was in the middle of the night and snowing. At around 8,000 meters I did a short bivy for one hour or so to rest and wait for the light so I could see a bit more clear.”
What Jornet has accomplished is nothing short of amazing. While he acknowledges he set a record of sorts, he simply perceives the feat as one more adventure completed in his lifetime. With this mentality, Jornet has joined the handful of individuals on the planet whose mental prowess is stronger than his physical capabilities. Such is important to note, as this is the secret to success — regardless of the goal one seeks to achieve.
Watch the video below to learn more:
Image Credit: Kilian Jornet
I am Luke Miller, content manager at Truth Theory and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here