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Kilian Jornet sets Denali speed record

Denali in June. Credit: Nic McPhee/Flickr

Denali in June. Credit: Nic McPhee/Flickr

Human lung and star ultrarunner Kilian Jornet has nabbed the fastest known time (FKT) for ascending and descending Alaska’s 20,237-foot Mount McKinley, completing the West Buttress route in June 2014 in a thigh-frying 11 hours, 40 minutes. Though records on McKinley are only loosely tracked, the previous FKT was 16 hours, 46 minutes, set by Ed Warren in 2013.

Jornet used skis and crampons to ascend about 13,000 feet of icy passes. In total, the Spaniard covered 33 miles.

The recent record is part of Jornet’s four-year endurance project he calls “Summits of My Life.” He’s already set records on Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. Jornet is now eyeing Mt. Elbrus, Aconcagua, and—wait for it—Everest.


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