Dhaulagiri: Soria Airlifted From Camp 2

Carlos Soria, who broke his leg at 7,700m on Dhaulagiri yesterday, has been airlifted to a hospital from Camp 2. This ends a difficult rescue operation, successful thanks to Soria’s climbing mate Sito Carcavilla, the team’s Sherpas, and the intervention of Polish climbers Bartek Ziemski and Oswald Pereira.

“It was an unbelievable effort,” Pereira told ExplorersWeb over InReach. “I wish everybody would do the same.”

An accident at 7,700m

The accident took place when Soria and his team (Carcavilla and five Sherpas, according to preliminary reports) were at 7,700m, at the traverse below Dhaulagiri’s summit area. According to Soria’s home team, “a Sherpa clipped to the same section of fixed rope fell and dragged the others for several meters until the rope tensed.” In the fall, Soria broke his leg.

Chepal Sherpa, who was there guiding for Seven Summit Treks, noted that the accident occurred at the end of the traverse, by the couloir leading to the summit ridge. He added that when the Sherpa slipped, a snow anchor holding the fixed rope came loose. This resulted in a fall of a few meters for those clipped to the rope.

Dhaulagiri lightened by the full moon (and photo exposure) on a pitch black night.

Dhaularigi at night. Photo: Carlos Soria


Soria’s descent was a long, slow struggle along the always tricky traverse and then steep terrain to Camp 3 at 7,200m.

Meanwhile, Polish climbers Bartek Ziemski and Oswald Pereira were asked to help. Two days before, they had been the first to summit Dhaulagiri (Ziemski also completed a ski descent) and they were now back in Kathmandu.

A helicopter airlifted Ziemski and Pereira to Camp 2, the highest point that the helicopter could reach. Carrying oxygen, medicine, and a sliding stretcher, they set off for Camp 3, where they met Soria and his team. Together, everyone continued down to Camp 2. They arrived there late at night, in the dark.

Soria was airlifted out as soon as helicopters could fly this morning.

rescurs tend to injured climber, all in red.

Rescuers tend to an injured Carlos Soria. Photo: Oswald R. Pereira


Few good Samaritans on Dhaulagiri

As the accident and the rescue took place, many other climbers were marching up and down the mountain. Seven Summit Treks and Pioneer Adventures, who had set off from Camp 3 at the same time as Soria’s group, reached Dhaulagiri’s summit that afternoon. A second group of climbers planned to follow today.

Soria, climbing at age 84 and with several Sherpas (the exact number involved with his summit push is not confirmed), had organized his climb in an effort to ensure he wouldn’t need outside help. But when the accident happened, his team proved not to be enough.

As a result, Ziemski and Pereira needed to abandon their own plans, although Dhaulagiri abounded in climbers who could have pitched in. But it seems that none of those who were already there were willing or able to help.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.