Kilian Jornet on the west ridge of Everest, no summit but an avalanche
Back in Khumbu, Kilian Jornet recounted his latest adventures in the Himalayas on his social networks. The legend of trail running had kept secret his expedition project in the spring:…
Back in Khumbu, Kilian Jornet recounted his latest adventures in the Himalayas on his social networks. The legend of trail running had kept secret his expedition project in the spring: the ascent of Everest (8848 m), the highest peak in the world, via the west ridge – a first for him -, historic route first performed in 1963 by Tom Hornbein (disappeared at 92 in May) and Willi Onsoloed.
“After a few hundred meters down the couloir, a huge layer of snow broke off and caused an avalanche that took me about 50 meters”
“The climb was just perfect, writes the 35-year-old Catalan. Like a big puzzle with all the pieces except one: the top. » The main thing was elsewhere for the quadruple winner of the UTMB and mountaineer known in particular for his double ascent of the Roof of the World in 2017, without oxygen in less than a week.
“My ascent began with a steep couloir that took me to the western ridge of Everest, he explains. At the time, the conditions were horrible: blue ice under a deep layer of snow. For 1000 m I took 2 steps up and one step down! When I arrived on the west ridge, it was very windy, so I decided to take refuge under a ledge for 3 hours to rest and calm down and I took the opportunity to observe the endless line of expeditionaries who chose the traditional routes (Nepali and Tibetan) and advanced towards the summit. »
Once the wind died down, Jornet then reached the foot of the Hornbein corridor. “I felt very comfortable and the conditions were perfect, he continues. However, after a few hundred meters down the couloir, a huge layer of snow (which probably formed after the strong morning winds) broke off and caused an avalanche that took me about 50 meters. » Jornet then hesitated to continue, before finally deciding to turn back.
A 30-hour expedition, solo and without oxygen on a very vertical route, little used due in particular to its technicality. “I didn’t reach the peak I had in mind, but I managed everything else, ures Jornet. It’s been a perfect day. »