Kilian Jornet's Latest Epic Adventure: Rediscovering the Pyrenees


Photography by: @NNormal / David Ariño

Kilian Jornet is no stranger to a challenge. The Spaniard has forged a formidable reputation conquering races, trails and setting FKTs around the world. So when Jornet describes his latest challenge, Rediscovering the Pyrenees, "as one of the hardest things I've ever done", it's no surprise that the data around it is... impressive.

Over the course of eight days at the start of October, Jornet summited no fewer than one hundred and seventy-seven 3000m+ peaks as he set about climbing the mountains of his childhood.

Starting at the foot of the Frondella and finishing at the top of Pica d’Estats, Jornet hiked more than 301 miles / 485km, and realised a cumulative elevation gain of more than 131,233 feet / 43,000m - tracking it all on Strava.

"Rediscovering peaks that I had forgotten was a spectacular experience and, on the other hand, one of the hardest things I've ever done," Jornet explained. "This year I wanted to participate in some races, but it wasn't possible due to an injury. After recovering, I began to consider various projects and thought of linking the peaks higher than 3,000 meters in the Pyrenees. I had this idea in mind but wasn't sure if it would be a feasible challenge or pure madness." 

After consulting with local experts, Jornet decided to start his attempt on October 2nd. In what was constituted an incredible feat of endurance, the Spaniard summited no fewer than 40 different peaks on one single day. He also walked non-stop for 39 consecutive hours, and connected the different sections of the route by bike. The adventure finished watching the sunrise at the top of the Pica d’Estats, in the Alt Pirineu Natural Park on October 10th.

Completing his rediscovery of the Pyrennes has been a positive end to a difficult year for Jornet. A sacrum injury on the day before the Eiger Ultra Trail ruled the four-time winner out of this year's UTMB. However, in completing the Rediscovering the Pyrenees challenge, Jornet capped off the year in style.

See Kilian's full route:

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