Spaniard Carlos Soria
The 81-year-old who climbed the mountains and passed
Carlos Soria wants to climb two 8000m mountains this year and then be the oldest person to have climbed the 14 highest peaks in the world. At the age of 81 he is slowly feeling the effects of his age, but that shouldn’t stop him.
Carlos Soria actually wanted to have achieved his goal last year. But like so many people around the world, the 81-year-old Spaniard was thwarted by the corona pandemic. Now Soria wants to climb the last two remaining peaks on his list this year. Then he would be the oldest person in the world who has climbed the 14 highest mountains.
In spring, Soria wants to climb Mount Dhaulagiri in Nepal, as he reveals to the British BBC. In autumn the ascent of Shishapangma in Tibet is due. Both mountains are higher than 8000 meters and are the last two on the 14 list to be conquered. Soria has climbed his whole life, but the passion is really rekindled in old age: He climbed eleven of the highest peaks only after his 60th birthday.
Carlos Soria is preparing to climb
At the moment, the 81-year-old is preparing for his upcoming ascents in Madrid under Corona conditions. He works out in the mountains around Madrid as well as in an improvised fitness studio behind his house. He keeps fit there with weights and an ergometer, and he practices with his ice ax on a small climbing wall.
The corona pandemic has not left Soria without a trace. On the peaks he would like to lay flowers in memory of the many deceased worldwide. “I want to pay tribute to people my age who have died from the virus or who live in fear in old people’s homes,” he told the BBC.
Proud that he never had to be saved
Soria is currently financing his next two expeditions and hopes that these trips will soon be possible despite the pandemic. Regardless of his advanced age and an artificial knee, he says, his physical fitness isn’t causing him any major problems. “I’ve lost a bit of stability in my legs, some strength and a little bit of mental sharpness,” he says. “But when I’m in the Himalayas, I never feel like the old guy who’s checking to see if he’ll even make it.”
Of all his records, he is most proud of the fact that he never suffered severe frostbite and that he never had to be rescued. “I’ve come up and down every mountain on my own two feet.”
Soria also sees herself as a motivator for other people in his age group. “Older people often think it is now Game Over for her. They say things like: Well, I’m already 70. “But they shouldn’t do that, he thinks.” What the hell? this is a wonderful age! ”
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