Carlos Soria once again made history by becoming the oldest person to reach the summit of the third highest mountain on the planet. The BBVA Expedition managed to reach the Kanchenjunga peak (8,586 meters) this morning at 9:05 a.m. (5:20 a.m. Spanish time). The team, tired but in good condition, have contacted Base Camp. "This is everyone's summit," the mountain climber from Ávila said. The BBVA Expedition is now resting, back at Camp III (7,550 meters).
The final climb from Camp III, at 7,550 meters, began around 7:30 p.m. (3:45 p.m. Spanish time). Carlos Soria had communicated with Base Camp before initiating the climb to report the high probability of reaching the summit. "I am now strong both physically and mentally and will take advantage of this opportunity given to us by the mountain," he said.
Few clouds and some wind accompanied Carlos Soria as the climb progressed and night began to fall. The forecasts of sunny peaks and 30 km/h winds turned out correct and the BBVA Expedition saw an impressive sunrise around 5:15 am.
Carlos Soria reached the summit of the Kanchenjunga (8,586 meters) at 9:05 am (5:20 am Spanish time), after a 13.5 hour climb. At that time, the climber's name made world mountaineering history as he became the oldest climber to reach the peak of the third highest mountain on the planet. He and his faithful sherpa Muktu, who accompanied him at all times, then began their descent back to Camp III. The BBVA Expedition reached the aforementioned camp at around 19h00 local time and almost 24 hours after they left toward the peak yesterday afternoon. The descent was very hard due to the tiredness accumulated and the technical difficulty of the terrain. All are exhausted but in good physical condition and they will in all likelihood initiate the descent to Base Camp tomorrow. Their return to Spain will be next week.
"This is everyone's summit"
From the summit, Carlos Soria was moved as he called Base Camp to announce the success of the ascent. "It's a typical thing to say, but what I truly feel is that this is everyone's summit," the mountaineer from Ávila said.
His first words have been of thanks to his family, to his wife Cristina, to his daughters and grandchildren, and to all his followers in social networks. "I felt their support even at the highest point of the mountain, and they have been the ones who gave me the strength to achieve it. They really all climbed with Carlos Soria," he emphasized.
His second thought was for the team. "I shall not forget to give my special recognition to the wonderful team of sherpas. And of course, also to my companions and great friends Sito Carcavilla, Carlos Martínez, Luismi López, and Dani Salas. And, naturally, to BBVA, which lent me their confidence three years ago and have been with me ever since."