For some FKTs, the beauty lies in the solitary nature of human and landscape. Other FKTs derive meaning from the collective effort needed for safe and successful passage. Hillary Gerardi married the two on June 6, 2023, when she set the FKT on Mont Blanc, the 4,805-meter (15,766-foot) glaciated massif that looms above Western Europe.
Gerardi, an American living close to Chamonix, France and the fabled peak, dreamed of going fast on this mountain for years. The snowpack and weather finally aligned in early June, and Gerardi, supported by her hyper-coordinated team, traversed the 20-mile route with nearly 13,000 feet of climbing in 7:27:39, shaving 26 minutes off of Emelie Forsberg’s time from 2018.
Today, Gerardi joins the FKT Podcast to break down this epic effort, including how safety considerations led her to take the alternative “Killian” route on the way up; the instrumental roles gear and a coordinated team played; and how she overcame a fundamental error in this record-breaking event.
Photo Courtesy of Petter Engdahl