Jornet's Aconcagua Attempt Cut Short

Wind forces runner to abandon FKT bid

Endurance athletes Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg acclimate to Aconcagua. (Summits of my life/Facebook)
Photo: Summits of my life/Facebook Summits of my life kilian jornet mountain running aconcagua hannah weinberger outside online outside magazine outside mountaineering ski traverse fkt fastest known time speed record ascent

Mountain runner Kilian Jornet attempted a fastest known time (FKT) speed ascent and descent record on the Argentinian mountain of Aconcagua today as part of his Summits of My Life project, but he was forced to turn back due to strong winds, according to the project’s Facebook page. The time to beat is 15 hours, 5 minutes.

Jornet, 27, has been in Argentina since December 10, when he arrived in Mendoza to finish a five-city film tour. He has since been training to summit the 22,837-foot Aconcagua and acclimatize to altitude. Jornet summited successfully on December 16 during strong winds and had been waiting for a pocket of better weather to attempt the speed record.

Friends received a message from Jornet this morning announcing the attempt. “Today is the day to try!” he wrote. “Wind is stronger than perfect on the mountain but [it] is a window.” Jornet started out by running up Aconcagua; he planned to ski down after reaching its peak. Three hours later, however, his plan was cut short.

“Kilian was not able to reach the summit on his attempt due to strong wind,” Jornet’s friends wrote on Facebook. “He could reach up to 6.500m [21,325 feet] but 90km/h [55 mph*] winds made the attempt completely impossible and he had to turn back. In Kilian’s words ‘I will try again soon.’”

There’s no word yet on when “soon” might be.

Besting Aconcagua would be the second-to-last challenge in Jornet’s Summits of My Life project, a quest he began in 2012 to complete FKTs at the world’s Seven Summits. He plans to end the project next year with a run up Everest.

*This article was updated to correct the wind speed Jornet faced during is latest FKT attempt.

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