Spanish climber Kilian Jornet in Mt Everest region on Sunday, May 21, 2017. Photo: Himalayan Times
Kilian Jornet, a popular Spanish mountaineer, has set a record for the fastest ascent of Mount Everest without fixed ropes or supplementary oxygen.
The man’s team, on Tuesday, said he climbed the world’s highest peak in just 26 hours.
According to Agence France Presse, AFP, Jornet scaled Everest’s north face, starting from the base camp on the Tibet side of the mountain, and reached the summit alone early Monday.
“We believe Kilian established a new fastest known time for the route (from) Everest Base Camp,” Laura Front from his press team told AFP.
“He climbed Everest without the use of O2 (or) fixed ropes and in one single push in 26 hours.”
Climbing without using fixed ropes or oxygen is known as alpine-style mountaineering and is seen as a faster and lighter form of the sport.
Jornet has previously set speed records on Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, Denali, Aconcagua and Kilimanjaro.
AFP could not independently verify his claim. Climbs are usually only confirmed by the authorities once the mountaineer returns with proof such as summit photos and GPS data.
The 29-year-old had hoped to set a record for the fastest round trip — from base camp to the summit and back again — but was hit by stomach problems on his descent and stopped at a higher camp to recover.
“Reaching the summit of Everest without fixed ropes isn’t something you’d do every day! I saw a fantastic sunset and finally reached the summit at midnight,” Jornet said in a statement.
“Up to 7,700m I felt really good and was making progress as planned but then I started to feel unwell, probably from a stomach virus. From then on I made slow progress and had to keep stopping to recover.”
Fellow climber Adrian Ballinger, who is at base camp with Jornet, told AFP the Spaniard might try again in the next few days to complete a recording-breaking round trip climb.