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with Stefan Nestler

No. 12 for “best ager” Carlos Soria

Annapurna I (l.)

Annapurna I (l.)

That was an exceptional weekend on Annapurna. According to the Nepalese newspaper “The Himalayan Times” a total of 30 climbers reached the 8091-meter-high summit. That makes 12 percent of the about 250 summit successes on Annapurna to date. The tenth highest mountain in the world is considered the most dangerous of the 14 eight-thousanders. Already 72 mountaineers have lost their lives on this mountain.

Kobusch’s first eight-thousander

Among the 14 foreign climbers, who reached the highest point last weekend, was German Jost Kobusch. For the 23-year-old, it was the first summit success on an eight-thousander. Kobusch had made headlines worldwide last year: with his video of the avalanche that had hit Everest Base Camp after the earthquake and killed 19 people. Compared with the young German, Spaniard Carlos Soria, who was also on top of Annapurna last weekend, is an “old hand” in two respects: It was his eigth-thousander number twelve – and Carlos has already 77 years under his belt. He is simply unstoppable.

As fit as a fiddle

Carlos Soria

Carlos Soria

Soria was a late bloomer on eight-thousanders. He climbed his first, Nanga Parbat, aged 51 – and picked up pace at an age when many retire. Carlos holds the age records at K 2 (65 years old), Broad Peak (68), Makalu (69, there he climbed solo and without bottled oxygen), Gasherbrum I (70), Manaslu (71), Lhotse (72), Kangchenjunga (75)  – and now on Annapurna (77) too. Theoretically, Soria, now well acclimatized, could even try to climb Dhaulagiri. The 8167-meter-high mountain is located only about 25 kilometers as the crow flies from Annapurna. The other eight-thousander which is still missing in the “best ager”’s list of summit successes is Shishapangma. If he does these two remaining jobs, Carlos will be by far the oldest man who stood on all 14 eight-thousanders. So far, this “record” is held by Polish climber Piotr Pustelnik, who scaled his last eight-thousander in 2010 at the age of 58.

Update 17 May: Carlos Soria has abandoned his attempt on Dhaulagiri and postponed the project to 2017. “The conditions are quite complicated,” Carlos was quoted on Twitter.


2. May 2016 | 13:11