Kilian Jornet´s “Summits of my life Project”: High altitude climbing and skiing at Nepal w/ Jordi Tosas & Jordi Corominas.
Kilian Jornet has just come back from his last step within his “Summits of My Life” project. The project is a personal challenge that took off running from the summit of Mont-Blanc in 2012 and will go on to that of Mount Everest by 2015. In between, mystic mountains such as Matterhorn, Elbrus, Aconcagua and Mc Kinley. These days, Kilian has just come back from spending some weeks skiing and climbing in Nepal with Jordi Tosas and Jordi Corominas. The objective was getting to know the Langtang area (Langtang National Park) north of Kathmandu and start getting used to high altitudes, which will be useful for future steps of the project to come.
KILIAN JORNET RETURNS FROM NEPAL FEELING REALLY GOOD
As mentioned above, Kilian Jornet has returned to Europe after spending a few weeks in Nepal exploring the Himalayas, specifically the Langtang area. This journey began with the aim of gaining height experience and discovering a new country, a new culture and mountains different from those where Kilian usually trains. On his return, the Cerdanya athlete has a positive opinion of the experience, which he shared with climbers Jordi Corominas and Jordi Tosas.
Upon his return to Europe, Kilian Jornet stated, “It was my first visit to Nepal. These days I have discovered the mountains that have always drawn climbers’ attention, not only because of their height but also because they are largely unexplored areas. I was lucky enough to be in the company of two very experienced people who taught me many things.”
“It was a very special trip, very compact. We just took a 10kg backpack and learned that very interesting things can be done in a very short time. The idea was to do in the Himalayas what we usually do in the Alps. I learned a lot during these days. They are very special mountains that one must get to know well. I’m sure the experience will help me a lot with future projects,” added Kilian.
Spending so much time with such experienced mountaineers was very helpful, says Kilian, who does not rule out carrying out further projects with both of his travel mates. It was Kilian’s first encounter with the Himalayas and he experienced how his body reacted to height. He remarks that: “Height is complicated but we acclimatized well. One notices that the body is not going at the same speed and one must slow the pace. It is important to get it right, to gradually ascend so that you sleep and rest at higher altitudes. One notices how the body moves more slowly and one has no spark, the usual pace is impossible, but still we managed long days of 16-17h nonstop with significant slopes.”
Despite having established the bases at the beginning of the adventure, plans changed according to weather (an essential factor in the Himalayas), their fitness or the route to be opened. Each climber carried their own pack, a 10kg backpack. Kilian says they were particularly worried about weight and this is why they carried one single bowl, which they took turns to use, each with his own spoon.
As for Jordi Tosas, one of Kilian’s expedition companions, he remarked about the trip: “More than a trip to Nepal, what really interested me was to make a trip with Kilian himself. When I made my proposal, it took him a couple of months to respond. And when he finally said “Yes” my whole life revolved around the trip to Nepal. The Himalayas bring many things together, but two above all. On the one hand, uncertainty with things like the weather forecast, the roads, the routes and so on. Everything becomes a basic and vital decision. On the other hand, uncertainty about size, the huge magnitude of the mountains, which compel you to make the greatest effort imaginable and in complete isolation. With all these ingredients, carrying out a project like this was a matter of eagerness, which was never lacking!”
Also worth highlighting was the three-day walk back to Katmandu, capital of Nepal, the last part of the expedition. They chose to go on foot rather than catch the bus, because according to Kilian: “We wanted to do it all on our own without relying on any help whatsoever.”
On his return Kilian will start to prepare to face the final stretch of the winter season, with the World Cup to be held in Trömso, Norway, on 14th April.
KILIAN JORNET´S SUMMITS OF MY LIFE PROJECT: THE CHALLENGE
Summits of My Life (SMOL) official web clearly states the aim and philosophy of this multi year project. As it goes in Kilian Jornet´s own words:
Today I am here to put forward a new project I have had in mind for some time. When I was a child, I had a photo of Cervino on my bedroom wall, I read Mesner´s books and I used to flick through my parents´ photos searching for mountains to dream about. This project has its roots in that time but it has been dormant until today. Summits of my Life is a 4-year project, in which we intend to run the length of the world´s greatest mountain ranges, trying to climb and descend some of the most spectacular mountains in the world as quickly as possible.
I am a competitor. I like to compete, to go beyond, to search for my limits. This is the reason why this project is based on striving to break records and to do fast ascents of those mountains that mean most to me. But records and times should only be important whilst running. Once back at the bottom, they should vanish. They serve to stimulate you, to find the limits inside yourself; they should be a mere intrinsic motivation.
This is why this project is not only about breaking records or climbing up and down mountains fast and with little equipment. It is also about transmitting values. I don´t mean to say they are the right values, the ones to follow, but they are the ones I was given and those I want to pass on. Violoncello player Lluís Claret once told me some words I will never forget. The voice of many people is in your sound. Our sound, our voice, is also the testimony of those we have admired and loved, those who have influenced and taught us.
Mountains have taught me a great deal, I owe them who I am, and also those who showed me the way to know the mountains, those who took me there and those I took there. They all filled my life with certain values, and it wouldn´t make sense to break records without them.
KILIAN JORNET´S SUMMITS OF MY LIFE: NEPAL PHOTO GALLERY
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