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with Stefan Nestler

Soria abandons Dhaulagiri expedition, summit successes on Manaslu

Carlos Soria on Dhaulagiri

The probably fittest of all seniors among the high altitude climbers must still wait for his 13th eight-thousander. Because of too much snow on the mountain Carlos Soria declared his expedition on the 8,167-meter-high Dhaulagiri for finished. During the ascent of the 78-year-old Spaniard and his companions to Camp 1, some avalanches had swept down not far away from the climbers, Carlos indicated on Facebook, adding that the high risk of avalanches would continue in the upper parts of the mountain. Moreover, the fixed ropes which they had laid before had been buried by fresh snow. “Because of all these adversities, we have no choice but to abandon our Dhaulagiri expedition for this season,” said Soria. A first summit attempt had failed one and a half weeks ago at an altitude of about 7,800 meters, because Carlos and Co. had missed the right route while the fog had become stronger.

Two are still missing in his collection


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 Annapurna (77). On Dhaulagiri, he has now failed seven times, most recently last spring. The 8027-meter-high Shishapangma is also missing to complete his eight-thousander collection. If he succeeds, Carlos would be by far the oldest man who stood on all 14 eight-thousanders. This “record” is held by the Polish climber Piotr Pustelnik, who scaled his last eight-thousander in 2010 at the age of 58.

Summit wave rolls on Manaslu

Manaslu (l.) and Pinnacle East (r.)

After all, Carlos had Dhaulagiri almost for himself this fall. On Manaslu, which is not far away, nobody can claim this at the moment. About 500 (!) climbers have pitched their tents in the base camp there. On Monday last week, the first summit successes had been reported from the 8,163-meter-high “mountain of the spirit”. Yesterday and today, several teams posted on the social networks that they had reached the highest point too. And the big summit wave is now rolling. Among those who set off for their summit attempt, are the German couple Alix von Melle and Luis Stitzinger. Both have so far climbed six eight-thousanders, five of them together. Yesterday, a 46-year-old British had died on Manaslu. After he had abandoned his ascent due to symptoms of severe high altitude sickness, he passed away on the descent somewhere above 6,000 meters.


26. September 2017 | 18:41