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Climbing Updated: 23 Feb 2016

Carlos Soria’s royal expedition to the McKinley

A tibia and fibula fracture almost forced him to give up his great passion. His eight-thousander challenge was still to come, but Carlos Soria already lived by and for the mountain. But courage, perseverance and drive have always been defining traits of his personality and one year later he was taking off to climb North America’s highest peak.

In 1970 Carlos Soria had his first taste of the sour side of sports and life, A fibula and tibia fractured in an accident while practicing another favorite sport of his: skiing. His leg was shattered. His shattered leg left the mountaineer facing the prospect a lengthy, painful and complex recovery, and a long time away from the mountain.

But a new challenge was already taking shape in Carlos Soria’s horizon and the accident was not going to stop him. Fuelled by his perseverance, energy, eagerness to recover and, above all, his unwavering love for the mountain, he was able to set off towards Alaska barely one year after his accident.

Carlos Soria and the Spanish expedition to the McKinley.

In 1971 - with King Juan Carlos, then Prince, as honorary president - Carlos Soria embarked in the first Spanish expedition to the McKinley. The climber managed to set foot on the  highest summit in North America (6194m). Two years later he would also take part in the also first Spanish expedition to the Himalayas, the ultimate mountain range for climbers.

That was not the only time that Carlos Soria and the King of Spain’s paths crossed: In 2001, Don Juan Carlos awarded him with the bronze medal of the Royal Order of Sporting Merit.

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Photograph of Carlos Soria at Base camp

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