Gruelling video shows Austrian skier breaking vertical ski climb record

Jakob Herrmann climbed 79,534ft on skis in 24 hours to smash Kilian Jornet’s world record
(Image credit: Philipp Reiter / The Adventure Bakery)

Austrian professional ski mountaineer Jakob Herrmann has broken Kilian Jornet's world record for the furthest distance climbed on skis in a 24-hour period.

Setting out on January 27 at 3pm in Radstadt, Austria, the 36-year-old skimo athlete spent the next day relentlessly skiing uphill to achieve the new world record, completing a 2,329ft (710m) and 2.5 km (1.55 miles) ascent a total of 34 times, through the night and day, only stopping for short breaks to eat rice and potatoes (he drank isotonic drinks and snacked on gels, bars and homemade banana bread while on the move).

And at 3pm on January 28th, Herrmann completed his challenge, beating the previous record set by Kilian Jornet in 2019 (77,054 vertical feet / 23,486 vertical meters) by an impressive 2,480ft / 756m. 

Herrmann was supported on his record attempt by colleagues, friends and family. The professional ski mountaineer from Werfenweng has been part of the DYNAFIT athlete team since 2019. Last winter, he won at the ski touring competitions Mountain Attack and Erztrophy, as well as two Austrian championship titles.

According to a Dynafit post on Instagram to commemorate the record, Jakob’s first reaction was: “It’s absolutely crazy, I have no words for it. I felt super strong today and I’m so proud to finish with a new world record. Thanks to all my supporters!”

Kilian Jornet was quick to praise Herrmann’s achievement. “A 24-hour record is something very special. The monotony of the movement is within you and synchronizes with your breathing and heartbeat. I think for athletes accustomed to running fast, it is important to start a bit slower because after 10-12 hours, especially at night, conditions become tougher. The excitement of the first hours is gone, the energy from food is barely there, and the muscles start to ache a bit. These are the moments when it is crucial to maintain the pace. Jakob has done that, and I am happy for him and congratulate him on the new record.”