Camp 3 at 7,250 meters was the end of the lines. The Nepalese operator “Expedition Base” informed on Facebook that all mountaineers who had set off on Tuesday for another summit attempt on the eight-thousander Dhaulagiri descended towards the base camp today. The Spaniard Carlos Soria and his teammates were among those who turned back. “The wind was very strong, and the weather forecasts for the summit area have not turned better,” the 80-year-old let us know via Twitter.
Even in the tenth attempt unsuccessful?
The super fit senior climber now might fail for the tenth time on the 8,167-meter-high Dhaulagiri in western Nepal. During the first summit attempt last week, when more than a handful of mountaineers reached the highest point, Soria turned back in Camp 2 at 6,400 meters. Carlos is only missing Dhaulagiri and Shishapangma in his eight-thousander collection. He holds the age records on K2 (65 years), Makalu (69, at that time he climbed solo and without bottled oxygen), Gasherbrum I (70), Manaslu (71), Lhotse (72), Kangchenjunga (75) and Annapurna (77).
Climbing with a knee prosthesis
Soria is meanwhile climbing with a knee prosthesis. In preparation for Dhaulagiri, Carlos summited the 7,134-meter-high Pik Lenin on the border between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan this summer. In case he also scales Dhaulagiri and Shishapangma, Carlos Soria will be by far the oldest person on all 14 eight-thousanders. So far this “record” is held by the Spaniard Oscar Cadiach, who scaled Broad Peak, his last eight-thousander, in 2017 at the age of 64.
“Permit under progress”
The Nepalese Nirmal “Nims” Purja is still waiting for his special permit to climb Shishapangma. “The permit is under progress”, Dawa Sherpa, managing director of the Nepalese expedition organizer “Climbalaya Treks”, writes to me. “We are very hopeful and optimistic.“
Since the end of April, Nims has scaled 13 eight-thousanders in an unprecedented tour de force. Only the 8,027-meter-high Shishapangma, the lowest eight-thousander, is still missing. The Chinese-Tibetan authorities had actually closed the mountain for this fall season for safety reasons. Allegedly, however, they want to make an exception for Purja.
Update 12 October: Carlos Soria has announced the end of his expedition. “We don’t have the feeling to have failed. We’re just postponing the desired moment of reaching the wonderful summit of Dhaulagiri,” the Spaniard wrote on Facebook.