Karl Egloff sets new speed ascent record on Denali

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The Ecuadorian-Swiss mountain athlete Karl Egloff has smashed the ascent time for Denali as part of his project of speed climbing the highest peaks of the seven continents.

The previous speed record on Denali (6,190m) was established by the Spanish athlete Kilian Jornet with an ascent time of 9 hours, 45 minutes in 2014, followed by a ski descent which took 2 hours for a total time of 11 hour, 45 minutes. Karl set a new world record on Thursday, June 20th, 2019 with an ascent time of 7 hours and 40 minutes, and a descent time of 4 hours, 4 minutes (for a total time of 11 hours, 44 minutes), smashing Jornet’s ascent record, and shaving a minute off the record for the total time.

Karl Egloff chose to ascend via the West Buttress with a distance of 26.55km (16.5 miles) and 4,060m of positive elevation gain, and descended the same route. Egloff left from base camp located at 2,194.5m at 7am local time. This is his fourth world record achieved within his Seven Summits project.

The route used is the most popular commercial route to the summit of Denali. Mountaineers usually take one to two weeks to reach the summit, including acclimatisation. The last section of the mountain from Camp 4 to the summit takes an average time of nine hours.

This Egloff’s second attempt to establish a record in Denali. In 2018 he aborted a first attempt due to bad weather and dangerous mountain conditions.

The record set by Karl Egloff was solo, as his previous records within his Seven Summits project. This record would not have been possible without the support of his friend Nicolás Miranda, an Ecuadorian mountaineer and also security manager of Karl’s project. Nicolás took care that the route and climate conditions were appropriate for the attempt.

As part of his Seven Summits project, Karl Egloff has already set speed records in 2017 at Mount Elbrus (5,642m); in 2014 at Kilimanjaro (5,895m); and in 2015 at Aconcagua (6,960.8m). In addition, he has established other world records in South America: Chimborazo, Ecuador (6,263m), Huascarán, Peru (6,650m), Cotopaxi, Ecuador (5,897m), Cayambe, Ecuador (5,790m), and Cerro El Plomo, Chile (5,424m).


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