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TCC will host presentation from first North American to climb all 14 8,000-meter peaks

JACKSON, Wyo. — This week the Teton Climbers’ Coalition (TCC) will welcome Mexican alpinist Carlos Carsolio as the first speaker in its Winter Speaker Series.

Carsolio, the first North American and fourth person to climb all 14 8000-meter peaks, will speak (virtually) from 7 to 9 p.m. Thurdsay, Jan. 21.

A motivational speaker, Carsolio is set to deliver an evening of inspiration. The majority of climbers who aspire to the world’s highest summits employ supplemental oxygen to achieve their objectives. The only time Carsolio used it was during his descent from 8,485-meter Makalu on October 12, 1988. Having soloed the normal route, Carsolio developed pulmonary edema and was helped down by Spanish climbers, who gave him oxygen to survive.

All the rest of Carsolio’s 8,000ers were climbed without oxygen, six of them solo. On 8,047-meter Broad Peak in 1994, he soloed a new route, becoming only the fifth person to solo a new route on an 8,000-meter peak.

Tragedy is a constant companion in “the death zone,” the point, generally acknowledged as higher than 8,000 meters, where the oxygen levels are insufficient to sustain human life for an extended period of time. Carsolio encountered it on 8,586-meter Kangchenjunga, the third-highest summit in the world.

Polish mountaineering legend Wanda Rutkiewicz, the first woman to summit K2 and third to climb Mt. Everest, had already climbed eight 8,000-meter peaks when she and Carlos embarked on an ascent of Kangchenjunga.

The pair left Camp IV (7,950 meters) at 3:30 a.m. on May 12, 1992. Climbing through a blizzard, Carsolio reached the summit—the only person to do so that year. On his descent, exhausted, he encountered Rutkiewicz at 8,300 meters.

Though she had no food, Rutkiewicz was determined to bivouac and summit the next day. Carlsolio’s efforts to convince her to descend with him failed. She was never seen again.

These and other adventures will be on tap when Carsolio makes his presentation on Thursday. The Winter Speaker Series is being presented by the Hatchet Resort, American Alpine Club, Access Fund, Teton Mountaineering, Skinny Skis, and Black Diamond, in partnership with Coombs Outdoors and the Jackson Hole High School Mountaineering Club.

Registration for Thursday’s event, which is free, may be made here. A $5 donation is suggested.

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