Kilian Jornet has abandoned his attempt to climb Everest and Lhotse owing to weather concerns,The Himalayan Times reported. The Spanish ultra runner and his team were the last climbers on the mountains, so with their decision it appears no one will summit the peak this October season.
Camp officials said Jornet was at the South Col, 8,400m, the final camp before a summit push, when he decided to turn around.
Having apparently set the speed record for climbing Everest with no supplementary oxygen in 2017, his feat was thrown into controversy when US climber Dan Howitt published an in-depth report raising questions around the lack of GPS, no summit photos, inconsistencies in reports and quotes and other unconventional behaviour, such as a lack of summit phone call.
The climbing community thought Jornet may be returning to set the record again and put the issue to bed. TheSCMP guessed he may be attempting to link Lhotse and Everest in a single push. His media team was coy and said he would release his goals only if and once they were achieved. We may now never know.
Other climbers, including two Americans – Garrett Madison, Zac Bookman – and Kristin Bennett and extreme skier, Poland’s Andrzej Leszek Bargiel, have all already withdrawn from their attempts because of the weather.
In contrast, earlier this year, in May, shocking images of traffic jams went viral as a good weather window combined with too many climbers, and too few experienced guides, resulting in a mad rush for the summit. Eleven people died as a result.