Septuagenarian retreats from Nepal peak, vows to returnOctober 11th, 2011 - 12:30 pm ICT by IANS
Jomsom (Nepal), Oct 11 (IANS/EFE) The Spanish septuagenarian with ambitions to become the oldest mountaineer to climb the 14 highest peaks on the planet, completed his descent Monday from the base camp on Dhaulagiri mountain after the risk of avalanches forced him to abort the climb.
Carlos Soria, 72, began his descent from the base camp last Friday after having to give up on his fourth attempt to reach the top of Dhaulagiri, at 8,167 meters the world’s seventh-highest mountain.
After spending the night in Hidden Valley instead of Yak Kharka as he had initially planned, the veteran mountaineer climbed down as far as Marpha, where his wife Maria Cristina, on her first visit to Nepal, came to meet him.
The only peaks remaining for the veteran Spanish sportsman to conquer apart from Dhaulagiri are Annapurna, also in Nepal, at 8,091 meters the tenth-highest mountain on the planet, and Kanchenjunga between India and Nepal, third-highest at 8,586 meters.
“This mountain isn’t good for climbing in the autumn. The usual thing is to come here in spring. Over time it has gained a reputation for being dangerous because of its avalanches. It normally snows more in autumn than in the spring, but I wanted to come, because I don’t have a lot of time and any day my age can play a joke on me and tell me, ‘Hey, pal, this is over’,” Soria quipped.
“It all began badly here. While starting the climb the weather was good but when we got to the camp we found there had been almost 20 days of rain and bad weather. It rained up to almost 5,000 meters, and from there on the snow began building up,” he told EFE.
Soria said he remains committed to his goal of scaling all 14 summits.
“We’re not changing anything right now and we’ll carry on as planned. Next spring we’ll go to Kanchenjunga. And what I’ll do is return the following autumn to Dhaulagiri. We’ll see how it goes on the Kanchenjuna, a mountain where I’ve never been before. The goal is to finish up with Annapurna in the spring of 2013,” he said.
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Tags: ambitions, annapurna, autumn, bad weather, carlos soria, days of rain, hidden valley, highest mountain, joke, kanchenjunga, last friday, maria cristina, mountaineer, nepal peak, oct 11, retreats, septuagenarian, sportsman, summits, wife maria