Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Kilian Jornet is reborn in the Pyrenees: he crowns 177 peaks of more than 3,000 m in 8 days

There are those who are subscribed to feats. Who, every day he faces is with the mentality of continuing to grow with new goals. There are those who do it with mundane and earthly things, such as passing an exam or completing the task assigned at work. And then there is Kilian Jornet. The Catalan ultrarunner knows no limits: there is always a higher peak, a more demanding route or a new challenge to face. This time, for this, Kilian has returned to its origins. In a complicated season, cut short by a serious injury suffered in Himalayas that has separated him from the competition, has decided to return to the mountains where he grew up. In the Pyreneeswhere he fell in love with the mountains and discovered his innate talent for trail riding, has made history once again: 177 summits of more than 3,000 m in 8 days. And, the best thing is that he has not done it to add a new milestone to his record, but for love.

The adventure began on Monday, October 2 at the foot of the Frondella peak (Sallent de Gállego, Huesca). The objective was to enjoy the road and cross the Pyrenees, surpassing a total of 177 peaks of more than 3,000 meters. During this trip through some of the most iconic peaks of the Pyrenean mountain range, he has come to chain more than 40 summits in the same day, to walk 39 hours straight and to travel by bike to connect sections. Despite the accumulated exhaustion, the reward of reaching each peak has been worth it. “Advancing along all these edges has been a pleasure and I have really enjoyed the routes. I had climbed these peaks when I was 13 years old but I didn’t remember them, and this has made this a very intense experience on a visual level. Rediscovering like this the peaks that I no longer remembered have been a spectacular experience and, on the other hand, one of the hardest things I’ve ever done“, he confessed at the foot of the Pica d’Estats, the last summit crowned.

A week among the mountains, some sections alone and others accompanied by the team of his NNormal brand, which They have returned him to his childhood, to its origins. During these 8 days the athlete has rediscovered the edges of the most emblematic peaks of the Pyrenees: Balaitus, Garmo Negro, Vignemale, Cilindro, Monte Perdido, Pic Long, Pic de Posets, Punta de Lliterola, Aneto, Sayó, Montcalm or Pica d’Estats, among many other peaks crowned by Kilian Jornet.

The trip came to an end last Tuesday morning, when the first rays of sun illuminated the top of the highest mountain in Catalonia, the Pica d’Estats, in the Alt Pirineu Natural Park. In his legs, Kilian Jornet has accumulated a total of 485.65 kilometers, a difference in altitude of more than 43,000 meters and more than 155 hours of physical activity.

Bitter memory of the Himalayas

This adventure has been a gift and a torture for Kilian. He has rediscovered his love for nature, he has reconnected with himself and with the mountains, after one of the hardest seasons for the Catalan athlete. In May of this year he obtained permission to enter the Himalayas. With his family she traveled to the foot of Everest, where he began his journey to the top alone. Were more than 30 hours that ended in a tremendously bitter way. He was able to overcome all obstacles, except reaching the top. A avalanche It ran over him and, after being scared, he decided to turn around.

At the foot of the roof of the planet, with his family, he made the decision to take a break, for a while. He put his boots back on in the Eiger Ultra, where he felt some discomfort in his hip that ended up being a Bone edema that has kept him apart all season. “This year I wanted to participate in some races, but an injury prevented me from doing so. After recovering, I began to consider different projects and It occurred to me to chain the peaks of more than 3,000 meters of the Pyrenees. He had this idea in his head, but he didn’t know if it would be a possible challenge or if it was crazy. After consulting it and being advised by people who know the routes of the Pyrenees very well, I decided to do it,” explains Kilian Jornet, who cannot participate in the most important trail events such as the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc or the Ultra Pirineus.

Touring the Pyrenees has allowed Kilian Jornet to reconnect with himself. Running through the terrain where he grew up has allowed him to reconnect with what moves him, to feel safe again. His bond with the mountain remains intact and Kilian feels like Kilian again.


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