Kilian Jornet set off at 4.38AM today from Chamonix shooting for the Mont Blanc summit together with friend and champion mountain skier Matheo Jacquemoud within the 2nd year of his Summits of My life project. He succesfully completed the ascent and descent of Mont Blanc des Chamonix, setting a new record with a time of 4h57m versus the previous one standing since 1990 of 5h11 by Pierre-André Gobet.
KILIAN JORNET MONT BLANC RECORD 4h57m: The report.
The second year of the Summits of My Life challenges series has been launched today with the succesful attempt at the Chamonix -Mont Blanc – Chamonix record and will continue throughout the summer at the Elbrus (Russia) and the Matterhorn (Italy). Seb Montaz will be once again the film director in charge of capturing the images that are to share the passion later on all over the world, including the crowdfunding initiative that is helping fund the ongoning development of this series of challenges.
The Summits of My Life project started in 2012 and it aims to summit some of the most iconic peaks in the world on a fastest known time basis. It tries to strike a balanace between beating speed records at each vertex without assistance while at the same time taking the opportunity to convey personal values upon life and the mountain.
This second season for Summits of My Life started this morning with a climb and descent of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the French Alps. At 4:48AM in the morning Jornet, accompanied by his friend Matheo Jacquemoud (champion mountain skier from France) launched themselves upon the third challenge of the project. The planned route started at the Chamonix village church facade and went up Mont Blanc by the historic route through the Grands Mulets. Once out of Chamonix both athletes climbed on by Jonction, then on to by Grands Mulets and Vallot refuge, to finally reach the top with a time of 3:30 am.
Jornet & Jacquemoud climbed roped together by Jonction towards Vallot shelter, thus ensuring the safety of both. On the way down the two athletes went down flying on a route welll known by both, were they had made a previous attempt as recent as the 3rd of July.
Unfortunately, Jacquemoud suffered a slight fall at Jonction, hence putting the required record pace at risk. Matheo then insisted upon Kilian for him to fly down to ensure the challege was surpassed and so went down the spaniard. He raced down only to stop at the Chamonix church plaza with a final time of 04:57 h. The previous record was 5:11 h, established in 1990 by the Swiss Pierre-André Gobet.
Upon his final arrival at the square, Jornet said: “We knew that today the conditions were fine and it was finally the day to launch the attempt. We had a very steady pace during the ascent. For me it was important to do it together, with a friend as Mathéo, so as to keep in line with the project´s philosophy. Mathéo unfortunately fell down and could not accompany me on the final stretch, but it was a nice experience and the start of the Summits challenges this year. “
Jacquemond, meanwhile, said “We have gone together very well and the summit of Mont Blanc has been a beautiful moment for us. At the end of the descent I’ve fallen and I’ve hut my leg a bit. Although sane enough, I could not go as fast as I would have liked to, so we agreed with Kilian for him to proceed forward while I kept coming down with Vivier. I’m glad I was able to accompany Kilian, it has been a beautiful day. “
The whole journey has been filmed by director Seb Montaz who commented: “It is very easy to work with Kilian and Matheo because they are very enthusiastic, yet filming them is also very complicated because they both move very fast and are hence difficult to follow. Today we have had a lot of snow, therefore I was able to ski down while recording both runners with a small steady cam which also gives viewers a subjective feeling as of running alongside them. For me, the best moment today was when Kilian had to say goodbye to Matheo with a hug. It has been very emotional “
Accompanying Montaz was the mountain guide Vivian Bucher, who has overseen the overall security and has subsequently made the descent with Jacquemoud. Bucher said that “Seb and I have come up ahead of them. At 1AM we were ready and started opening our trace out and waited the time that Matheo & Kilian took then to come up. We have also taken it upon ourselves to check the status of the snow, which has proved to be perfect and it was only then that we felt the conditions to be very good today. We knew the route well because we had done it four times before. With Seb we have separated so we could see them and film them at all times. It was a great experience “
Jornet, following the premises of the Summits of My Life project has wanted to do this climb with accompanying values: friendship (up to Jacquemond), simplicity (using a lightweight), effort (trying to beat the record) or respect for nature and others. Kilian Jornet highlighted: “If I had to describe today in a single word I would say friendship. It was very nice to share the ride with a friend. Upon reaching the top, we looked at each other and understood how much this meant to us both “
This climb kicks off the Summits of My Life project challenges for this year. Next stages planned are to be at Mount Elbrus (Russia) and at the Matterhorn (Italy) in which is perhaps the most technically demanding in a traditional alpine sense of all the Summits to be achieved till 2015 within the entire project.
FURTHER INFO ABOUT TRAIL RUNNING IN SPAIN.