Forget Kilian Jornet’s recent FKT of Everest, there’s a new King of the Mountain and it’s the unstoppable Yuri Merinovic – originally from the Ukraine, and now living in sunny Australia. He’s just summited Everest in what is perhaps not the Fastest Known Time, but certainly the LAOC – Least Amount of Clothes. Sporting little more than his ioMerino socks, jocks and beanie. We caught up with Yuri after his epic effort, and he’d put some clothes back on, to find out more about what makes him tick, and how he pulled off, not only his clothes, but what surely must be one of the most epic ascents of Everest ever.
So, Yuri, why Everest? And why no clothes?
Is easy for me to explain. Everest because is big. The biggest. The most famous. And I like big things. I like big Pineapple in Queensland, but is not so difficult to climb. So I want to do something extra big like Everest. Maybe I cannot do fast like Kilian so I think maybe I can do in my underwear instead. My ioMerino undies are so warm and comfortable I think it is no problem for me.
What do you say to people who may not believe you really did this? Why are there no photos at the actual summit?
Oh, if not believe, no problem for me. I would take photo, but I have nowhere to keep my camera. Well, I have one place, but it is not so comfortable, so I just remember in my head what it is like and tell everyone later.
Why the Australian flag and not the Ukrainian flag.
Mainly I like Australia flag better. Good design. I like stars. Ukraine flag just boring yellow and blue. Plus I am very grateful to Australia because this is where I live now and where ioMerino comes from and they make the clothes that keep my most important bits warm and comfortable. Yes very, very grateful. Warm feet. Warm head. Warm… other bits. This is very important.
What advice do you have for those planning their next adventure and what’s next for Yuri – and will it involve clothes?
Is very important to chase your dreams. More important than chasing money. Even more important than chasing pictures for Instagram. So just have good dream, then go do it. And if you are outside, you must wear ioMerino because is so good and comfortable and warm.
I am still dreaming now I do not know what I will do next. Maybe clothes. Maybe no clothes. All I can say is if I do wear clothes, they will be from my Australian friends ioMerino. Good. Natural. Comfortable. Warm. Ethical. Sustainable. Very, very good clothes for outside.
We’ll check in with Yuri during the year to see what else he gets up to and report back next April 1st.