Annapurna’s summit (8,091 m) will have to wait. The Nepalese colossus was unforgiving with BBVA’s Expedition and after a 50-day stay at the Base Camp the chances of reaching the top had dropped to a point of no return. “The amount of snowfall this year has been incredible” We brought seven tents for the high-altitude camps and we’re only taking three back. We lost some tents and tons of material to avalanches”, said the veteran mountaineer, whose decisions during these weeks have always prioritized expedition member safety.
Carlos Soria confirmed his decision this morning: “After weighing in all possibilities, we concluded that we didn’t stand any real chance at reaching the Annapurna summit without assuming unacceptable risks. It’s a hard pill to swallow after having done everything right, but one has to be ready to make decisions at times like these".
After two weeks of heavy snowfall which had buried the ascent route, several avalanches ripped through the high-altitude camps that the expedition had set up in Fields 1, 2 and 3. “We came with seven tents and we’re leaving with three, because avalanches took the rest away. The amount of snowfall this year has been incredible”, said the 76 year old mountaineer.
“We made the decisions we needed to make” said the mountaineer from Avila.
Despite the bad news, Carlos Soria does not regret the decisions they made: “We’re proud because we did things right, like we always do. We did what we felt was appropriate at every point in time. We put a fair fight against the mountain, and it beat us like it has done before, but it will always be there, and we’ll back to take another shot at it."
“ We have been defeated - by no means humiliated - by the Annapurna". For 50 days we’ve been trying to climb as hard as we could. We stayed 100% focused, because to tackle this mountain you need full focus and determination. We were very unlucky,” he concluded.
The BBVA Expedition will depart from the Base Camp tomorrow, and head towards Katmandu. They will arrive in Spain sometime next week.