Climbers eye new records on Mt Everest in autumn

KATHMANDU: With the start of this year’s autumn climbing season, the world’s highest peak, Mt Everest, is all set to receive two renowned climbers from different continents as they aim to set the new records in the climbing history.

According to expedition organisers, Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki has left for Tibet to make a solo attempt to the summit of Mt Everest from northern side without supplemental oxygen while the world’s renowned ultra-runner Kilian Jornet will try for a new speed record (Fast Known Time in his parlance) on the world’s highest peak.

“This time, I have trained for a solo attempt without oxygen and I will take the Great Couloir route, which I will climb direct from the Base Camp,” Kuriki shared in Kathmandu before leaving for Lhasa on Wednesday.

After five unsuccessful autumn climbing attempts in the previous years, Kuriki hoped that he would try his best to set the new record on the top of the world this time.

Kuriki, who calls his fresh bid an "attempt on the barrier of negativity", had abandoned his attempt to climb the Mt Everest from Nepal side immediately after reaching the final camp as he found it very tough to move up to the deep snow in the last autumn season.

“To overcome the barrier of negativity, I am going to broadcast my attempt on the Mt Everest via satellite under the theme: sharing my adventure,” he shared.

The Japanese mountaineer had lost his nine fingers to frostbite in 2012 before abandoning the final summit push. “I want to see the world over the barrier of negativity, with everyone all over the world.”

Besides, the Spanish mountaineer Jornet, who already set the speed record for ascending the Mt Kilimanjaro, the Mt Aconcagua, the Mt Denali, the Matterhorn and the Mt Mont Blanc, has been now acclimatising in the mountain region.

“Kilian has already left for the Everest and is now acclimatising,” Laura Font of the Lymbus team replied to THT Online.

Under the ‘Summit of My Life’ project, Kilian intends to complete the ascent in one go to set a new speed record (Fast Known Time in his parlance).

He is taking on the challenge without oxygen or fixed ropes and carrying the lightest equipment possible. As he explains on his website, “This is so I can move more quickly. With light equipment, we can advance quicker, although we know this increases the risk. We are aware of this risk and we are taking it because ultimately this is the way we like to approach the mountain.”

The Everest expedition is made up of Jordi Tosas, an Alpine climber who knows the area well, as well as the cameramen and guides Sébastien Montaz-Rosset and Vivian Bruchez, according to a statement issued recently by Kilian.

“The Everest will probably be one of the most demanding climbs I have ever faced. It will be a great learning experience, from how my body reacts to the high altitude to how to apply the Alpine approach to the mountain."

"I have been preparing for this challenge for months and I am keen to get started. The Summits of My Life project has always taken me to my limits and this time it will not be any different,” he added.

The ultra-runner who is credited for the uphill, trans-mountain as well as ultralight records has also been supporting the earthquake survivors in Langtang region of Nepal.

“The Summits of My Life project has raised almost Euro 60,000 towards rebuilding Nepal.”