New Female FKT on Mont Blanc: 7h25’28”

On June 17, Hillary Gerardi, a professional American ultra-marathoner and skyrunner, went up and down 4,807m Mont Blanc in a total time of 7 hours 25 minutes and 28 seconds. In doing so, she set a new fastest known time (FKT) for women. Emelie Forsberg held the previous best time of 7 hours and 54 minutes, which she set in 2018.

Gerardi went up via the north ridge of the Gouter dome, which later joins the normal route. During the most dangerous parts of the ascent, Gerardi tied up with Valentine Fabre.

Gerardi began from the Chamonix Valley at 2:02 am and summited 5 hours and 16 minutes later. During the descent, South African trail runner Meg Mackenzie accompanied her and helped her keep a good pace. Gerardi was back in front of Saint Michael Church of Chamonix at 9:30 am.

Hillary Gerardi during the descent.

Hillary Gerardi descends Mont Blanc. Photo: Petter Engdahl


“The preparation has been physical, mental, technical, relational, material, altitudinal, meteorological and climatological,” Gerardi wrote on social media.

A resident of Chamonix, Gerardi started running six years ago. She won races including the Kima Trophy in Italy, Norway’s Tromso Skyrace, and the Glen Coe Skyline in Scotland.

Hillary Gerardi back at Chamonix Valley.

A tired but exhilarated Hillary Gerardi back in the Chamonix Valley. Photo: Toni Spasenoski


Before becoming a runner, Gerardi worked at the Center for Research on Altitude Ecosystems, which studies the impact of climate change.

Kilian Jornet set the overall FKT record from Chamonix in 2013, in a time of 4 hours 57 minutes 44 seconds. Manuel Merillas of Spain set the fastest time from Courmayeur on the Italian side (considerably further away) in 2021: 6 hours 35 minutes and 32 seconds.

Hillary Gerardi.

Hillary Gerardi. Photo: Davina Montaz-Rosset

Kris Annapurna

KrisAnnapurna is a writer with ExplorersWeb.

Kris has been writing about history and tales in alpinism, news, mountaineering, and news updates in the Himalaya, Karakoram, etc., for the past year with ExplorersWeb. Prior to that, Kris worked as a real estate agent, interpreter, and translator in criminal law. Now based in Madrid, Spain, she was born and raised in Hungary.