Kilian Jornet attempts Everest from the West Ridge, but fails

The Daily Retina

Kilian Jornet attempted to climb Everest by the western ridge alone and without supplemental oxygen. Back in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, he looks back on his dream of following in the footsteps of Tom Hornbein who paved the way in 1963. He only knew it from photos and descriptions in mountaineering books. Now he has seen and explored it with his own eyes.

After reaching the Himalayas on April 19 with his family, Kilian Jornet gradually acclimatized by going from Namche (3,440 m) to Pheriche (4,371 m). The Catalan then completed four rotations, which served him both for training and acclimatization. He even reached Camp 4 located at 7,900 meters above sea level. Kilian Jornet had to wait several days in order to benefit from the best weather window and thus make the climb in the best possible conditions.

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Family acclimatization

The weather, a key success factor

“The climb started in a steep couloir in order to reach the western shoulder, he describes. Over there, conditions were horrible, ice below with a top layer of deep snow”. But a strong wind prevented him from continuing. No choice : “I stayed under a ledge for 3 hours to rest and calm down while enjoying watching the queues of Nepalese and Tibetan normal route climbers making their way to the top. »

Caught in an avalanche, Kilian Jornet gives up the summit

Once the conditions were favorable again, he took to the road again with “a mixed terrain towards the foot of the Hornbein Couloir”. “I felt good and the conditions were perfect”. Unfortunately, an area loaded with windblown snow, certainly created by the morning wind according to Jornet, caused an avalanche which carried him for about 50 meters. “At that moment, I wondered if I should continue or turn around and I decided to turn back”. The descent was “interesting”, according to him. He was forced to use the “return to start” function on his watch, because “the visibility was 2 or 3 meters and my tracks from the climb were covered in snow”.

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“A large puzzle with all the pieces except one…”

However, he does not consider his expedition a failure. “I didn’t reach the peak I was aiming for, but everything else did. I firmly believe that the “how” is much bigger and more important than the “what”. And in that sense, the climb was just perfect. She was like a big puzzle with all the pieces except one, the top one.. He describes that day as “a beautiful day in the mountains”. “Everything was more than perfect, but I didn’t reach the top”.

Kilian had already managed a double ascent of Everest in one week, in 2017…

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Source: World – UK Daily News