Kilian Jornet Burgada: Biography of a superman

June 25, 2020

Kilian Jornet Burgada Biography

Kilian Jornet has become a mountaineering legend in recent years. His ambition, sports prowess and history of achievement have made him the best mountain runner in the world and also a symbol of admiration.

“I define myself as a lover of the mountains. I like competition, but for me sport is a way of discovering landscapes, both internal and external. "Says Kilian when asked a little about himself.

From a young age, Kilian has felt a kind of magnetism towards the mountains, and all that that entails: climbing, summit, technique, freedom and descent, running light and fast as only he knows how to do. A humble man who has known how to overcome all the challenges in his fight against nature and in his fight to find the meaning of life, who at the end of the day has found him right there, on his way to the top.

Thus begins the story of this Catalan superman who does not differentiate between rock, snow or gravel, and who has overcome so many challenges that he seems rather out of this world!

Kilian Jornet Burgada Biography


Imagine a boy of just three years running through the snow barefoot as if in a vision he had learned that his destiny would be found in that.

If we look deeply into the history of this conqueror of summits, we learn that Kilian was never a "normal" child, although his own mother at first thought that this exploratory nature was. But what child climbs his first 'three thousand' at three years of age?

"I lived my childhood as a time to discover, explore and learn a lot," says the mountaineer, mountain racer and professional skier. In addition, he assures that his parents gave him all the tools and support to achieve his goals from an early age.

And it is very possible that the influence of his parents Eduard Jornet (mountain guide and guard of the Cap de Rec refuge, in the Idledan Pyrenees) and Núria Burgada (teacher of mountain sports) had something to do with this whole equation . It is undoubtedly undeniable that his adventurous character comes from birth.

And he did not wait long to bring out his desire for nature, climbing and mountains. At the age of 5 he crowned Pico Aneto (the summit of the Pyrenees, Tuca d'Aneto) and a year later he achieved his first 'four thousand' after climbing the Breithorn in the Italian and Swiss Alps. It was imminent that this climbing prodigy would impressively stand out thereafter and for the rest of his life.

Kilian Jornet Burgada Biography

At 13, Kilian reaches a peak in his life. Climbing had already become part of him, and his ambition to go further and higher grew daily.

"They were years when I felt strange," says the mountaineer, who stopped at this point in his youth where he did not find himself in other contexts that did not deal with climbing; I just found a comfortable place in the mountains.

And is that even Kilian himself realized what was happening to him:

“I felt that the things I wanted to do, the things that nobody thought I understood. I felt lonely in my teens, a stage when people want the opposite: they want to have friends and relate. ”

Fortunately, this time coincided with his visits to the Catalan Mountain Ski Technification Center together with the mountaineer Jordi Cañals (participant in the first Catalan expedition to Everest in 1985), who was his first coach and sports manager. It was there that he managed to channel all this energy and talent, and focused it on sports, climbing and mountain skiing.

And although the age allowed to participate in the practice was a minimum of 14 years, it was undeniable that such a fortified, brave and expert 13-year-old Killian Jornet was an excellent candidate to enter the Center, so they allowed him to enter despite the age.

This was an excellent opportunity for young Kilian to direct his eagerness to climb and focus him on a sporting discipline instead of using his talent as a method of isolation. And so he did, making friends with his own interests, and making this passion a lifestyle and a professional career.

It was undoubtedly a time when he was not lacking in motivation or lacking interest, because in all of this his emotion and energy fell. Over the years, he matured a lot and strengthened his fitness by the standards of great peaks such as being the highest mountain in the world: Everest.

Kilian Jornet Burgada Biography


The truth is that the mountaineer has prepared his entire life for this moment. And it is that Killian himself affirms that his preparation for Everest began precisely at the age of three, when he began to go out on the mountain to climb and train, because it came naturally, because it came from his soul.

The story tells itself and that's how it was: Kilian climbed Everest twice, the highest and most dangerous mountain in the world, in less than a week, without ropes, without oxygen, without Sherpas, without a doubt.

It summits Everest for the first time during the early hours of May 21-22, 2017 in 26 hours, ascending the North face from Base Camp.

On May 27 of that same year, 5 days later, he returned to peak on Everest in a second attempt to outdo himself. Kilian Jornet climbs the world's largest mountain (for the second time in a week) in 17 hours.

A simply admirable show of momentum. She is a person who has never settled in her life, and she was not going to start facing the most important challenge that has been proposed so far.

Jornet recently celebrated three years since he achieved his double climb to Everest with #MayToEverest and a virtual zoom session with 10 of his followers. What better way to celebrate it than with your fans!

Kilian Jornet Burgada Biography


Kilian officially started as a skier in 1999 in the cross country modality, and participated in the Spanish Cup in 2000 in the La Molina race.

In 2003 he became the youngest member of the Spanish national mountain ski team, achieving achievement after achievement internationally.

In 2007 he entered the world of running, demonstrating his impressive skills of agility and speed in this discipline, always with his own unique and light style.

In 2008, 2009 and 2010 he won three world titles, taking home the gold medal on the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, and breaking the record in 2008 with 21 hours on a 166km route and a drop of 9400m.

In addition, he is crowned champion in the World Ski Championships in the Race mode Vertical, taking the gold medal in 2009 and 2010.

Altogether, Kilian Jornet won 14 medals at the World Mountain Ski Championships between 2008 - 2017, in addition to 8 medals at the European Mountain Ski Championships between 2009 - 2018.

He was deserving of 4 medals in the World Skyrunning Championship between 2010 - 2018 and was champion of the World Skyrunning Series consecutively in 2007, 2008, 2009, and also in 2012, 2013 and 2014. In addition, he obtained 3 medals in the European Skyrunning Championship between 2008 - 2013.

And his successes don't stop there! Kilian was champion of the Ultra Running World Series in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and was champion of the Kilometer World Series Vertical 2014 the year.

He is undoubtedly a person who loves competition, who loves to play sports and who lived for it as a lifestyle and a professional career.

Kilian Jornet Burgada Biography

In addition, Kilian has added numerous and admirable records throughout his career, characterized by carrying the minimum amount of equipment and supplies that he carries with him on his journeys.

  • 2009: Record of the Tahoe Rim Trail, in California and Nevada, with 38 hours and 32 minutes. A race consists of 265 kilometers and there is a difference of 8000 positive meters.
  • 2010: Record of the Transpirinenca, from Fuenterrabía to Llansá, in 8 days. The race consists of 700 kilometers.
  • 2013: Record speed of ascent and descent of the Matterhorn from the town of Breuil-Cervinia by the Lion ridge in 2 hours 52 minutes and 2 seconds. In addition, it reaches the Chamonix-Mont Blanc ascent and descent record in 4 hours 57 minutes.
  • 2017: Base Camp Record - Everest in 17 hours.
  • 2018: Record of the Bob Graham Round, route of almost 106 km and 8200 m of positive elevation gain, in 12 hours 52 minutes.

Kilian Jornet Burgada Biography


For Killian, 2006 was one of his best years, in which he was in optimal physical condition. Although he was Junior, he had won the Agustí Roc, and was world champion in mountain skiing. However, just before starting the season running through Puigcerdá, he suffered an accident in which he broke his knee fracturing his kneecap.

The doctors told him that he could lead a normal life but that it would not be easy to recover his condition to lead the extreme lifestyle to which he was accustomed. But Killian was not depressed by the fact, and instead struggled daily to exercise and strengthen his knee, and not allow this to affect his career and passion.

It was certainly a time of therapy and rest for Killian, but also a perfect opportunity to study and read. At that time Killian did not stop looking at texts on human physiognomy and sports techniques, awakening a more mature interest in sports discipline and a state of consciousness about who she was, and what she wanted to do with the rest of her life.

“I wrote a list of all the races I would like to participate in…. races that one day he wanted to win, it was like the list of teenage dreams ”

And you will know, one by one, he was conquering and winning each and every one of the proposals that had been made on that list.

"I thought that list would cross it off when I reached 40, 50 years old ... And when I got it at twenty-a few years old, it was a moment more of sadness than of joy, because you find a void and you say, oysters, there is nothing else "

At this point in his life, sadness did invade Killian's life, to the point of feeling media pressure and discouragement competing, internalizing his fame, and all that that entailed.

"I don't want to compete again" thought the Catalan mountaineer, "It is something that does me more harm than good".

At that time Killian really questioned the consequences of being famous: “It's hard to see myself as an idol, or a myth for someone just because I run fast. I could be a bad guy or an abuser, a Nazi, a murderer, anything, and people wouldn't find out because they don't know anything about me. I feel dirty somehow, dirty because of people's admiration. I feel dirty because of bigotry, and that's why I feel like I have to clean myself, and the way I find to do it is to do something that brings me closer to death. ”

Kilian then faced very strong feelings that invaded his senses: a suffocation and considerable pressure, because he did not see the meaning of the admiration of others, and he did not understand how strangers could applaud his greatness and his talent without even knowing him.

At this point in his life, the mountaineer had to deal with his eagerness for sport and competition, and also that dislike for being exposed in the media.

Killian had a hard time, but in the end her return to the mountains reminded her that this was what gave her life: exploring the mountains, running on them, "playing" on them.

"Summits of my LifeIt was the project that brought me out of that sad moment. To have fulfilled all the dreams he had as a child ... "said the mountaineer.

He also had to overcome the death of his idol and friend Stephane Brosse in an accident, when they were climbing the Montblanc together. After that he wrote: "The mountain takes away many things, but it also gives us everything we need to breathe."

He found meaning in the mountains in the respect he has for them. Although he faced discouragement, he surpassed himself, and followed the passion that led him to break all the triumphs and records for which he is admired today. Finally, Killian knows who his life partner Emelie Forsberg would be, with whom he found his emotional stability in those moments of disdain and continued his sports career even more motivated, to go further, and to reach higher, each time faster.

Kilian Jornet Burgada Biography


Kilian was raised among mountains and ambitious people who inspired him to pursue an arduous sports career and overcome his path to Everest. In Summits of My Life, Jornet reveals in a series of several films a little more about his intimate fears, his passions and his contradictions throughout his life.

In this personal project, closely linked to the purism and minimalism of the mountains, the mountaineer shows 5 years of traveling around the world, and his experience in the most important and challenging climbs on the entire planet.

The start and production of this project in the style “cinema verité”Was an important before and after for the mountaineer in his career and in his life.

Kilian Jornet Burgada BiographyKilian was born to conquer mountains, and to that he has dedicated his whole life. Human at last, he has had to overcome difficult moments, but at no time is his technique, his ambition, nor his adventurous spirit questioned. Without a doubt, he is an admirable character who will go down in history for his great heart, and for his eagerness to achieve his dreams, whatever the cost.

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