It’s a new world record by Christian Stangl. Before Everest, people thought he was crazy when he said he wanted to go up and down Mount Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Americas, in five hours. He only needed four-and-a-half hours.
There years later, with just a ski pole and a small backpack filled with carbohydrate gels, salted cookies and rosehip tea, Stangl went to the top of Everest in under 17 hours. No one has ever gone up that fast before.
In a total climbing time of 58 hours, Stangl conquered all the Seven Summits (the highest peaks on every continent.)
“Stangl’s climbing ethos has been described as pure mountaineering, but he calls it skyrunning. With hardly any equipment, no supplementary oxygen and no company, his approach is to insure against the grave dangers of high-altitude climbing by traveling light and getting up and back down the mountain before the weather deteriorates or his body begins to struggle from oxygen starvation.”
Now he’s preparing to climb the K2, a mountain fewer than 300 people have ever scaled.
What’s going to make it more difficult for him is the splitting of the serac, an overhang of glacial ice, in a steep corridor near the summit known as ‘The Bottleneck’. As a result, the ropes that help climbers up the normal Abruzzi Spru route are now gone and the route might have been blocked entirely.
Now this guy is something.