On 18 September Spanish ski mountaineer and sky runner Kilian Jornet Burgada ascended from Courmayeur to the summit of Mont Blanc via the famous Innominata Ridge (1000m, D+, V+, 60º) in 6 hours and 17 minutes. The Spaniard then raced down to Chamonix in a total time of 8 hours 42 minutes.
Setting off at 3:53am from the church at Courmayeur, the Catalan champion ascended alone up the beautiful Val Veny to reach the Monzino hut (2590m) at 5:25am from where the real difficulties begin, i.e. the glacier which leads to the Eccles bivy at 4041m. Much to his surprise the glacier was in excellent condition and Jornet managed to ascend quickly using crampons up to the bivy, from where a short abseil led him to the Innominata Ridge which he had climbed a few days earlier.
“Innominata Ridge with Dakota Jones”
“Once I had completed the rappel and the tough long stretch, where I did not find any snow, I could breathe more easily.” said Jornet, adding “I knew I could manage the Innominata, as I had done it a few days before. It is a very technical route with slopes of 60 °, and climbing passes of difficulty V+, so I had to use all my senses. Luckily I didn’t find a lot of snow or ice on it.” Jornet summited Mont Blanc at 10:15am, 6 hours and 17 minutes after departing Courmayeur, and after a short 5 minutes break he headed straight down to the church at Chamonix which he reached in a mere 2 hours and 19 minutes. In total, 8 hours 42 minutes for this round-trip Courmayeur – Mont Blanc – Chamonix.
It is worth remembering that this rapid ascent is part of the second chapter of the Summits of My Life project and that the first stage – the Mont Blanc traverse – was overshadowed by the tragic death of his companion and ski mountaineering champion Stephane Brosse.
Details: Start: Courmayeur (Valle de Aosta, Italy) Finish: Chamonix (France) Distance: 42 km Height gain: 3,810m via the Innominata Ridge Split times: Courmayeur – Val Veny: 40′; Val Veny – Rifugio Monzino: 1h30-50′; Monzino – Eccles: 3h30-2h; Eccles – Mont Blanc: 6h17-2h47 (5’ stop at the summit); Monte Blanc – Gouter: 6h50 -27′; Gouter – Houches: 8h15 -1h25; Houches – Chamonix: 8h42’57’’