Kilian Jornet smashes Denali ascent-descent record

Spanish ultra-runner climbs North America’s highest peak in record-breaking time.


Photo: Summits of my Life

Kilian Jornet has managed to climb and descend the highest peak in North America in a record-breaking time of 11 hours and 40 minutes, shaving 5 hours of the record time that was set last June by Ed Warren.

Jornet reached the summit using a variation of the traditional route taking on the Rescue Gully, to avoid being held up by long sections of fixed ropes used on the traditional route. Using skis for the majority of the climb (and all of the descent) and only opting for crampons for the tougher top section, Jornet was able to reach the summit in just 9 hours 45 minutes.

Despite claiming the new record time, the trip was not an easy one, with bad weather hampering things somewhat. Out of a 16 day expedition, only 3 days were clear enough to make an attempt possible. In fact, the team were not fully acclimatised but still opted to go for it.

Bad visibility and extreme cold marred the attempt too. With the top obscured by fog, and bitterly cold, Jornet took time to try and warm his feet on the ascent and to get his skis on for the descent. In fact conditions were so bad, that the Spaniard did not realise he was on for the record until halfway down.

The ascent of 6,194 metre Denali (Mount McKinley) marks the 6th element of Jornet’s Summits of My Life Project that aims to claim speed records on some of the world’s most iconic peaks.

Up until now, the Spanish runner/climber has taken on

Mont Blanc- twice

• Once gaining the Chamonix-Summit-Chamonix record

• One record-breaking traverse crossing from East to West taking on 8 summits along the way.

The Matterhorn

• A record-breaking ascent-descent of the Toblerone-shaped peak.


More to Come

He still has a long way to go, however. The rest of the project looks like this


• Jornet took on the highest peak in Europe last year but had to turn back 300 metres from the summit due to adverse weather.


• 2014 is the year that the highest peak in South America has been penciled in for a summit attempt.


• The daddy of them all and the climax of the Summits project. Jornet plans to take on the highest peak in the world in 2015.


For more information on the Summits of my Life Project head to


A full trip report can be found on the blog.


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