When Carlos Soria leaves his home to coach within the mountains exterior Madrid, sporting a facemask brings again recollections of the Himalayas.
“It is tough to breathe, so it jogs my memory of after I’m at excessive altitude,” he says with a smile.
The 81-year-old expects to expertise the skinny air of the Himalayas as soon as once more this spring, when he plans to climb Dhaulagiri mountain in Nepal.
Then, within the autumn, he hopes to summit Shishapangma in Tibet. If he manages each, he’ll turn into the oldest particular person to have reached the summit of the world’s 14 highest peaks – all of which surpass 8,000m (26,247ft).
Carlos, a retired upholsterer born in Ávila to the north-west of Madrid, has climbed all through his life. However prior to now twenty years or so, his feats in breaking a flurry of age-related mountaineering data have made him distinctive.
He has scaled 11 of the 14 highest peaks on this planet since turning 60. He briefly turned the oldest particular person to summit Mount Everest on the age of 62. By 70 he had accomplished ascents of the best peaks on all seven continents.
‘Alone two toes’
His most treasured achievement is the way in which he has gone about his climbs.
“The file I’m proudest of is that I’ve by no means suffered severe frostbite and I’ve by no means needed to be rescued,” he says. “I’ve all the time gone up and are available down every peak alone two toes.”
He had been hoping to finish his climbs of the 14 highest peaks final 12 months, however Covid-19 thwarted his plans. When he does go, he says he’ll keep in mind victims of the pandemic on the two summits.
“I need to pay tribute to the individuals of my age around the globe who’ve died from this virus – the people who find themselves having a nasty time in care properties and who’re very scared,” he says.
“I’ll take somewhat bunch of flowers and depart it on the summit as a tribute to all of the individuals who have died on account of this horrible scenario,” he provides.
He’s now coaching laborious within the Sierra de Guadarrama mountain vary close to Madrid. He additionally has an improvised gymnasium in a room behind his home which accommodates an train bike, weights and even a small climbing wall that enables him to practise utilizing ice picks.
“No one on this planet has executed something like this,” says Sito Carcavilla, a geologist who has climbed with Carlos.
“Carlos isn’t an previous man who obtained bored when he retired after which determined to start out climbing mountains,” he explains. “He is a veteran mountaineer who’s nonetheless energetic and there is not any different sportsman… of any variety who has been energetic on the highest stage for six many years.”
Carlos is now securing the funding he wants for the spring and autumn expeditions, and hopes they won’t be additional disrupted by the pandemic. Two years in the past, he underwent knee alternative surgical procedure however the veteran climber insists his bodily health isn’t a problem.
“I’ve misplaced some stability in my legs, a little bit of power, a little bit of psychological sharpness,” he says. “However after I’ve been to the Himalayas I’ve by no means felt just like the previous man who’s simply going to see if he can handle.”
“Aged individuals have this concept that it is recreation over for them,” he provides. “There are many individuals who say ‘nicely, I am already 70’, however so what? That is a beautiful age!”