After racing up Denali in record time earlier this year, Kilian Jornet ends 2014 with one more for the record books. On December 23, the Spanish runner clocked the fastest-ever ascent and descent time of the 22,841-foot Aconcagua in Argentina, the tallest peak in the Western Hemisphere. He completed the route, which ascends 13,327 vertical feet in about 25 miles, in 12 hours, 49 minutes. Previous records have been disputed, but nobody has claimed a time of less than 13 hours, 49 minutes.
“We spent almost two weeks in the area, but we would have probably needed a few more to be in the best possible condition. I was greatly affected by altitude, especially from 6,500m (21,325 feet) onwards, when I felt my brain was being compressed and I found it difficult to advance,” Jornet reported on his blog. He had attempted the peak earlier in the month but was turned back just 1,500 feet below the top due to dangerous 55 mph winds.
Conquering the record for Aconcagua is just one part of Jornet’s Summits of My Life project, for which the athlete is attempting to climb and descend the “most important mountains on the planet” in record time. He began the project in 2012 and will finish in 2015 with an attempt on Mount Everest.