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The Guatemalan Record

Más de dos décadas y nadie consigue igualar el récord de Viñals

21 years have passed since the deed of the Guatemalan mountaineer Jaime Viñals. It wasn’t just the first Central American to climb Mount Everestthe highest point on planet Earth, but also He is the only person in this region who has managed to reach the top of each of the highest peaks of the 7 continents. Viñals is now 55 years old, and so far in these 2 decades, he has not seen opposition to the record he holds, while he continues looking for another mountain challenge, known in the field of mountaineering as ‘The World Trilogy’.

Vinals started the challenge in 1995when he managed to conquer the top of the Mount Aconcagua (Argentina), and concluded 6 years later when crowning the Everest (Chinese/Nepal). The rest of the mountains that I climb were done in the following order: Denali (Alaska), Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Elbrus (Russia), Kosciuszko Y Pyramid of the Carstensz (Australia and New Guinea) and Vinson Massif (Antarctica).

Viñals currently spends his time giving lectures and his professions as a writer and financial consultant, matters that he complements with one of his great passions, the mountains. In the first months of 2022, Viñals intends to climb Mount Sidley, which would make Guatemala the first country to complete the so-called ‘World Trilogy’.

The agonizing climb to Everest

The climb to this summit is one of the biggest challenges that Viñals has been faced with, The Asian giant is one of the most complex and dangerous routes, so much so that in a first attempt by the mountaineer to reach the top, several of his fellow expedition members died: “To reach the ascent of Everest I had a first attempt where the summit was not reached and four people from the expedition died. As a result of the lesson learned from the mistakes that were made, I looked for financing and I was lucky that 27 Guatemalan companies supported me,” Viñals commented in an interview with the Guatemalan News Agency.

Viñals at that time, remember the low pressure and the constant cold as the biggest obstacles on this climb, although the motivation of being the first Central American to complete the summit of Everest pushed him to get it on May 23, 2001. To this day, Viñals fondly remembers the moment, since when he reached the top he dedicated this achievement to his pregnant wife and his then-2-year-old son, according to what he stated in the interview with AGN.

What is the ‘World Trilogy’?

According to Viñals, this is the most complicated challenge he has faced, he explains in this way what is called the ‘World Trilogy’ in relation to the mountain world: Roughly speaking, it’s going around the world three times and on each lap climbing seven unique and prominent peaks on each of the seven continents.”

Other great achievements of Viñals

Viñals has also overcome another mountaineering challenge called ‘The 7 Islands of the World’, which consists of summiting each of the 7 largest islands on the planet. Also in 2008 it became the the only Central American to conquer the 7 highest Andean peaks.

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