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The sky's the limit

64-year-old Catalan mountain climber, Òscar Cadiach, returns home after conquering his fourteenth 8,000-meter peak without oxygen

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07 August 2017 01:59 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

“This time I was sure that I would not get cold feet no matter what. I gave everything I had and at the end it turned out well. The monsoon season was getting closer and I had to be patient. Finally I made it to the top,” said the 64-year-old Catalan alpinist, Òscar Cadiach, at his arrival in Barcelona on Sunday, 10 days after reaching the summit of Broad Peak (8,047 meters). He is the first Catalan to achieve fourteen 8,000-meter summits without oxygen. He is the only climber in the world who has reached the Broad Peak’s three summits.

According to the Federation of Hiking Organizations of Catalonia (FEEC), Cadiach received an emotional welcome from friends and family in the Barcelona Airport. The warm welcome reminded the Tarragona born climber of his return in 1985, when he arrived home after reaching the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest, as a part of the first Catalan expedition to do so. 

  • "Now I have them all sewn up, and I am alive, and that is the most important"

    Òscar Cadiach · mountain climber

“It is a different kind of happiness. Maybe it is because it has liberated me from the fourteen 8,000-meter peaks. Now I have them all sewn up, and I am alive, and that is the most important,” he said and added that there will be new challenges “but not necessarily 8,000-meter peaks. There are other mountains as well,” he said upon his arrival on Sunday, according to FEEC, who received him with a bouquet of fourteen white roses symbolizing his fourteen snowy 8,000-meter summits conquered so far without oxygen.

The Catalan climber's fourteen 8,000-meter summits

Òscar Cadiach began his adventure in the world’s highest mountains 33 years ago. In1984 he surmounted his first 8,000-meter peak, the Nanga Parbat, and a year later he crowned the highest of them all, Everest.

In a second phase, the Tarragona alpinist took up the project again returning to Everest and climbed the Shisha Pangma that same year. The Lhotse closed this second phase of climbing 8,000-meter peaks in 2001.

Ten years later, Cadiach climbed an 8,000-meter peak again, this time the Manslu. The year after, he achieved what is known as the “Catalan hat-trick” by conquering Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and K2 in only three months.

After this, the Catalan climber only needed three more summits to finalize the project. In 2013, he took Kangchenjunga and Gasherbrum I. The Broad Peak was the last on the list. Cadiach has been trying to conquer it since 2014, but the weather conditions did not allow him to do so. But this past July 27, the alpinist finally crowned it to become the first Catalan to achieve the fourteen eight-thousanders without oxygen. 

All eight-thousanders 

  • Nanga Parbat (8,126 m).  August 7 1984
  • Everest (8,848 m). August 28 1985 and May 17 1993
  • Shisha Pangma (8,013 m). October 4 1993
  • Cho Oyu (8,201 m). September 28 1996 and May 4 1997
  • Makalu (8,481 m). May 19 1998
  • Gasherbrum II (8,035 m). July 7 1999
  • Lhotse (8,516 m). May 23 2001
  • Manaslu (8,156 m). October 4 2011
  • Annapurna (8,091 m). May 6 2012
  • Dhaulagiri (8,167 m). May 25 2012
  • K2 (8,611 m). July 31 2012
  • Kangchenjunga (8,586 m). May 20 2013
  • Gasherbrum I (8,080 m). July 29 2013
  • Broad Peak (8,047 m). July 27 2017
    Source: FEEC

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  • Òscar Cadiach at the summit of Broad Peak (by El Pont de Mahoma - Tarragona Ràdio)
  • Òscar Cadiach upon his arrival in Barcelona Airport (by Ivan Torres - FEEC)

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