Because Kilian is more than just a guy who’s really good at his sport. His position in the mountain world now is shared by only a few other superstars, like Alex Honnold or Lindsay Vonn. He represents the current age of mountain adventure and as such he has tremendous power to mold the direction our sport takes. People will do what he says by the thousands. Yet it may still be a long time before we’re able to truly appreciate what his consistently positive and humble attitude is doing for our collective mentality. If he was more combative or egotistical, I think we might all start to adopt a more competitive frame of mind. But Kilian came from a mountain background that taught him the traditional values of mountain travel–the kind of values John Muir and Henry David Thoreau talked about–and he’s able to prioritize experience and community while still acknowledging the vital role that competition plays in mountain running.
Kilian Jornet: Our Sport’s Ambassador (cache)
Despite the controversy related to his twice in a row ascensions of the Everest, Kilian remains an inspiration for a whole generation of trail runners, alpinists and mountain adventurers. Dakota Jones is right when he put into perspectives how lucky we are to have such an iconic and humble athlete.
Some impacts (when reaching a certain scale?) are very hard to measure.