Carlos Carsolio Larrea
is a Mexican
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...
mountain climber. Carsolio is known for being the fourth man (first non-European) and the second youngest to climb the world's 14 eight-thousander
The eight-thousanders are the fourteen independent mountains on Earth that are more than high above sea level. They are all located in the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges in Asia....
mountain peaks, all of them without supplementary oxygen (but he required emergency oxygen on his descent from Makalu
Makalu is the fifth highest mountain in the world at and is located southeast of Mount Everest, on the border between Nepal and China...
Carsolio, the eldest of seven children, was introduced to mountaineering
Mountaineering or mountain climbing is the sport, hobby or profession of hiking, skiing, and climbing mountains. While mountaineering began as attempts to reach the highest point of unclimbed mountains it has branched into specialisations that address different aspects of the mountain and consists...
by his mother. When she was pregnant, she climbed Iztaccíhuatl
Iztaccíhuatl , is the third highest mountain in Mexico, after the Pico de Orizaba, , and Popocatépetl, . Its name is Nahuatl for "White woman"....
(5,220 meters) despite her doctor's recommendations. Carsolio admired climber Hermann Buhl
Hermann Buhl is considered one of the best climbers of all time. He was particularly innovative in applying alpine style to Himalayan climbing...
in his youth, and later Lynn Hill
Lynn Hill is a United States rock climber, known as a top sport climber of the 1980s and famous for making the first free ascent of the Nose Route on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley....
, Peter Croft
and Jerzy Kukuczka
Jerzy Kukuczka , born in Katowice, Poland, was a Polish alpine and high-altitude climber. On 18 September 1987, he became the second man, after Reinhold Messner, to climb all fourteen eight-thousanders in the world....
His first ascent
In climbing, a first ascent is the first successful, documented attainment of the top of a mountain, or the first to follow a particular climbing route...
s were in Mexico: Pico de Orizaba
The Pico de Orizaba, or Citlaltépetl , is a stratovolcano, the highest mountain in Mexico and the third highest in North America. It rises above sea level in the eastern end of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, on the border between the states of Veracruz and Puebla...
Popocatépetl also known as "Popochowa" by the local population is an active volcano and, at , the second highest peak in Mexico after the Pico de Orizaba...
and Iztaccíhuatl. In the early 1980s Carsolio climbed the nose of El Capitan
El Capitan is a vertical rock formation in Yosemite National Park, located on the north side of Yosemite Valley, near its western end. The granite monolith extends about from base to summit along its tallest face, and is one of the world's favorite challenges for rock climbers.The formation was...
in Yosemite, California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...
At age 22, Carsolio got his first big achievement when he climbed Reinhold Messner
Reinhold Messner is an Italian mountaineer and explorer from Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol "whose astonishing feats on Everest and on peaks throughout the world have earned him the status of the greatest climber in history." He is renowned for making the first solo ascent of Mount Everest without...
's tough south face route of Aconcagua
Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the Americas at . It is located in the Andes mountain range, in the Argentine province of Mendoza and it lies west by north of its capital, the city of Mendoza. The summit is also located about 5 kilometres from San Juan Province and 15 kilometres from the...
, the highest peak in the Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...
at 6,962 meters (22,841 ft). He traveled to Patagonia
Patagonia is a region located in Argentina and Chile, integrating the southernmost section of the Andes mountains to the southwest towards the Pacific ocean and from the east of the cordillera to the valleys it follows south through Colorado River towards Carmen de Patagones in the Atlantic Ocean...
in 1990 with his friend Andrés Delgado to make the first Mexican ascent of Cerro Torre
Cerro Torre is one of the mountains of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field in South America. It is located in a region which is disputed between Argentina and Chile, west of Cerro Chalten . The peak is the highest in a four mountain chain: the other peaks are Torre Egger , Punta Herron, and Cerro...
, considered by experts as the world's most difficult mountain for its great granite
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...
wall of at least 800 meters (2,625 ft), no matter what path climbers seek to attack. In 1991 Carsolio and Delgado climbed on Baffin Island
The Baffin Mountains are a mountain range running along the northeastern coast of Baffin Island and Bylot Island, Nunavut are part of the Arctic Cordillera. The ice-capped mountains are some of the highest peaks of eastern North America, reaching a height of above sea level...
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...
where they accomplished the first Mexican summit.
The fourteen eight-thousanders, the big challenge
Carsolio climbed his first eight-thousander with Jerzy Kukuczka; considered by some the best high-altitude climber in the world. They climbed Nanga Parbat
on July 13, 1985, with a Polish
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...
expedition, led by Pawel Mularz.
Carsolio summited Shisha Pangma
with Elsa Ávila, Ramíro Navarrete, Ryszard Warecki and Wanda Rutkiewicz
Wanda Rutkiewicz was a Polish mountain climber. She was the first woman to successfully summit K2.-Early life:Rutkiewicz was born in Plungė, Lithuania...
, and being the first to traverse the sharp snow arête from the Central Summit to the Main Summit. Carsolio and Ávila were the first Mexicans to reach that peak, for Navarrete would be the first Ecuadorian eight-thousander on July 18, 1987.
His solo ascension of Makalu
on October 12, 1988 was the third eight-thousander in Carsolio's career. He required rescue and emergency oxygen on the descent.
On October 13, 1989 Carsolio headed a Mexican expedition to make summit on Mount Everest
by the southeast route without the aid of bottled oxygen
Oxygen is the element with atomic number 8 and represented by the symbol O. Its name derives from the Greek roots ὀξύς and -γενής , because at the time of naming, it was mistakenly thought that all acids required oxygen in their composition...
. This was a pending account with the mountain, months before with Elsa Ávila; they had to abort the mission because his partner got severe pulmonary edema
Pulmonary edema , or oedema , is fluid accumulation in the air spaces and parenchyma of the lungs. It leads to impaired gas exchange and may cause respiratory failure...
only 92 meters (302 ft), from the summit. They were forced to retreat. Elsa would summit Everest 10 years later. However, on May 16, his countryman, Ricardo Torres-Nava, reached the mountaintop to become the first Mexican and Latin American to do so, with supplementary oxygen on an American
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
expedition. 1989 was a particularly hard year on Everest. Sherpas saw it as a dark year
because of 24 people who reached the Everest, 8 died during the descent.
On May 12, 1992 Carsolio made the summit of Kangchenjunga
climbing solo. Wanda Rutkiewicz began the ascent with Carlos at 3:30 AM on May 12 from camp IV, located at 7,950 meters (26,083 ft). After a dozen hours of climbing under heavy snowfall, Carsolio reached the top (the only summit that year). On his descent, between 8,200 and 8,300 meters (26,900 – 27,230 ft), Carsolio encountered Rutkiewicz. Although she had no food, she decided to bivouac
A bivouac traditionally refers to a military encampment made with tents or improvised shelters, usually without shelter or protection from enemy fire or such a site where a camp may be built. It is also commonly used to describe a variety of improvised camp sites such as those used in scouting and...
and attempt the summit the next day. Carsolio was exhausted and could not convince her to descend with him, and she was never seen again.
The sixth eight-thousander for Carsolio was K2
on 13 June 1993, considered by many climbers the most difficult peak in the world.
On April 26, 1994, Carsolio reached the summit of Cho Oyu
, establishing a speed record: ascent from base camp in 18 hours and 45 minutes.
New record on Lhotse
: with a climb of 23 hours and 50 minutes from base camp to the summit on May 13, 1994, Carsolio got the summit of his eighth solo eight-thousander.
The Carsolio Route
. On July 9, 1994 Carlos makes the summit solo of Broad Peak
establishing a new route on the west face of the mountain, now known by his name. Carsolio called it his most successful climb. With that, he is only the fifth person to establish a new solo route of an eight-thousander.
The year 1994 ends to Carsolio with two world records in just 17 days, a new route with his name and three eight-thousands more in his statistics.
1995 was the most productive year for Carsolio. He conquered Annapurna
on April 25, Dhaulagiri
on May 15, Gasherbrum II
on July 4 and Gasherbrum I
on July 15; four eight-thousanders more to his account. Just Manaslu left. Carlos tried it with Kukuczka in 1986, but failed at that time with principles of freezing on fingers and toes, nearly lost his life on this expedition in an attempt of a new route.
On 12 May 1996, Carlos and his younger brother, Alfredo, made the summit of Manaslu
on Alpine style
Alpine style refers to mountaineering in a self-sufficient manner, thereby carrying all of one's food, shelter, equipment etc. as one climbs, as opposed to expedition style mountaineering which involves setting up a fixed line of stocked camps on the mountain which can be accessed at one's leisure...
. For Carlos was his long-awaited fourteenth and final eight-thousander. Manaslu is characterised by bad weather. The risk is higher than other mountains, the statistics of people who die there are much higher than Everest. The ascent of Manaslu by the Carsolios had a serious setback at 200 meters (656 ft), from the summit; the climbers found that a strong storm was approaching from the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. They calculated that at the Manaslu would arrive in a couple of hours, just when they were touching the mountaintop. The international media
In communications, media are the storage and transmission channels or tools used to store and deliver information or data...
pressure was enormous, Carlos never made an expedition so well prepared, equipped and funded, but only one eight-thousander left. But to survive they made the right decision, to turn back. Fortunately the storm was not as high, at around 7,300 meters (23,950 ft). Although the brothers had to dig an ice cave for shelter. It was a blow. After a week of recovery they came again and after a few days later the Carsolios finally reached the summit. The objective was accomplished; Carlos Carsolio got the 14 eight-thousander. Headlines of the feat spread all around the world.
| Peak || Year || Notes
Nanga Parbat is the ninth highest mountain on Earth, the second highest mountain in Pakistan and among the eight-thousanders with a summit elevation of 8,126 meters...
Makalu is the fifth highest mountain in the world at and is located southeast of Mount Everest, on the border between Nepal and China...
|| Solo; required emergency oxygen on descent
Mount Everest is the world's highest mountain, with a peak at above sea level. It is located in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas. The international boundary runs across the precise summit point...
Kangchenjunga is the third highest mountain of the world with an elevation of and located along the India-Nepal border in the Himalayas.Kangchenjunga is also the name of the section of the Himalayas and means "The Five Treasures of Snows", as it contains five peaks, four of them over...
K2 is the second-highest mountain on Earth, after Mount Everest...
Cho Oyu is the sixth highest mountain in the world at above sea level. Cho Oyu lies in the Himalayas and is 20 km west of Mount Everest, at the border between China and Nepal...
|| Solo; summitted from base camp in 18 hours and 45 minutes, a world record
Lhotse is the fourth highest mountain on Earth and is connected to Everest via the South Col. In addition to the main summit at 8,516 metres above sea level, Lhotse Middle is and Lhotse Shar is...
|| Solo; another world record, achieved in 23 hours and 50 minutes
Broad Peak , is the 12th highest mountain on Earth, with an elevation of 8,051 meters . The literal translation of "Broad Peak" to Faichan Kangri is not accepted among the Balti people.- Geography :...
|| Solo, new route; fifth man ever to solo a new route on an eight-thousander
Annapurna is a section of the Himalayas in north-central Nepal that includes Annapurna I, thirteen additional peaks over and 16 more over ....
Dhaulagiri is Earth's seventh highest mountain at ; one of fourteen over eight thousand metres. Dhaulagiri was first climbed May 13, 1960 by a Swiss/Austrian expedition....
Gasherbrum II , also known as K4, is the 13th highest mountain on Earth, located on the border of Gilgit-Baltistan province, Pakistan and Xinjiang, China...
Gasherbrum I , also known as Hidden Peak or K5, is the 11th highest peak on Earth, located on the Pakistan-China border in Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan and Xinjiang region of China. Gasherbrum I is part of the Gasherbrum massif, located in the Karakoram region of the Himalaya...
Manaslu , also known as Kutang) is the eighth highest mountain in the world, and is located in the Mansiri Himal, part of the Nepalese Himalayas, in the west-central part of Nepal. Its name, which means "Mountain of the Spirit", comes from the Sanskrit word Manasa, meaning "intellect" or "soul"...
- http://www.vertimania.com.mx/8000s_mexicanos/biografias/carlos_carsolio.htm (in Spanish).