iRunFar: How did you choose the mountains for Summits of My Life? Some of them seem familiar to you, as you’ve spent time on them and you know them, while some are in far-off places you’ve yet to see in person. What were the various appeals of each mountain in the project?
Kilian Jornet: When I was a child, I had a photo of Cervino on my bedroom wall, I read [Reinhold] Messner’s books and I used to flick through my parents’ photos searching for mountains to dream about. This project has its roots in that time, but it has been dormant until today.
iRF: You have a close relationship with your family, so they must support you in your dreams, however big those dreams are. What kinds of reactions and support has your family shown?
Jornet: Yes, my family supports me 100% on this project! Of course, they know that there are some risks, but we have to take it to achieve your dreams. I told in a presentation a sentence by the great writer Pablo Coelho, “There is only one thing that stops dreams from coming true; the fear of failure.” I am aware this is a very ambitious and hard project. But one must be ambitious, know where the hazards are and risk failure. Without trying, dreams remain dreams, and we’ll never know who we really are.
iRF: Many people have come to know you first as a ski mountaineer and a mountain/trail runner who finishes at or near the top of whatever competitions you enter. During this project, do you think you’ll still compete in ski and trail running races?
Jornet: By no means does this project mean that I am leaving trail running or mountain skiing behind. On the contrary, given my passion for mountains, I want to pioneer the most alpinist part of my being and I believe I am now ready to attempt this. And, also, I like the competition and this environment and I don’t want to stop it. Maybe, I’ll have to reduce some races, but when the moment arrives, we will see.