Spanish climber, 82, returns to Dhaulagiri for the 12th attempt

Kathmandu, Sep 13 (EFE).- Spanish mountaineer Carlos Soria, aiming to become the oldest person to climb the world’s 14 highest peaks, has returned to the base camp of the Mt.Dhaulagiri for his 12th attempt to climb the seventh tallest mountain.

The 82-year-old climber abandoned the ascent of Dhaulagiri in May this year due to the coronavirus and inclement weather conditions.

He now hopes to scale the 8,167-meter-high peak in his 12th attempt this autumn and set the record to be the oldest climber to crown the 14 eight-thousander mountains on the planet.

“He landed in Kathmandu on Sep.7 and reached the base camp of Dhaulagiri on Monday evening,” Chhang Dawa Sherpa, expedition manager of Seven Summit Treks, told EFE.

The trekking agency is handling the Soria expedition.

“The plan is to climb the summit by the first week of October, depending on the weather condition,” the Sherpa said.

He said the gradual receding of the Covid-19 pandemic had created scope for the climbing activities to recover from the back-breaking impact in May.

The Department of Tourism that issues climbing permits said more than 200 aspirants had already applied to climb different mountains in Nepal for the autumn season, which begins in September and lasts till November.

The aspiring climbers include 35 foreigners attempting Dhaulagiri, said the Sherpa.

“We can see and feel closer to Dhaulagiri. We are in the Italian countryside, at the feet of the mountain. Tonight we enjoyed a wonderful star filled firmament. An unbeatable welcome,” Soria wrote on his Facebook page.

He plans to retire after completing two climbs, Dhaulagiri, and Shishapangma, in Tibet, the fourteenth highest peak in the world at 8,013 meters.

His first expedition to Dhaulagiri was in 1998. He failed to complete the climb, but he has not stopped trying since.

“I have been trying Dhaulagiri for many years. For me, climbing is important but more than that I have to return safely,” the veteran told EFE in April.

Soria, who has been climbing mountains since he was 14, is the only mountaineer who has achieved 10 eight thousand after turning 60.

He completed the ascent of the seven highest peaks of the seven continents in 2010 after climbing Kilimanjaro.

His first eight-thousander was Pakistan’s Nanga Parbat (8,125 meters), which he climbed in 1990 at the age of 51, followed by Gasherbrum II (8,035 m), also in Pakistan, which he scaled in 1994.

The retired upholsterer’s most recent ascent was in Nepal in 2016, when he climbed Annapurna (8,091 m), considered one of the most dangerous peaks.

He was then 77.

He climbed Makalu in the Himalayas when he was 69. He did it alone and without using supplemental oxygen. EFE


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