The golden decade of Polish Himalayan mountaineering, besides the unquestionable personal accomplishments of Jurek Kukuczka [the Polish national hero, (described by many in the international community as “the best Himalayan climber of all time”) has entered mountaineering history as ‘the second man to conquer all 14, 8000ers” after Reinhold Messner], Wanda Rutkiewicz, Ryszard Pawłowski [He has summitted Everest three times 5/13/94, 5/12/95, and 5/18/99], Krzysztof Wielicki [He is the fifth man to climb all fourteen eight-thousanders], Leszek Cichy, Wojtek Kurtyka and others, also saw winter achievements that were a team rather than individual success.
It was particularly noticeable during the winter expeditions how the whole team worked for the result. In Winter it is difficult to achieve success without teamwork.
They were successful in high mountain winter explorations. After all, half of fourteen 8000-metre peaks were climbed by Poles, within just eight years (1980-1988) to boot. Englishmen given them nickname “Ice Warriors”.
The Himalayas by the Fingertips.
A story of extreme climbing always sounds a bit like a fairy tale. As the altitude grows and the difficulties pile up, the eyes of the listeners open wider and wider. Some of them accept the account at face-value, others refuse to believe it, assuming the story-teller is telling stories.
Not than you can blame them – it does take some imagination to picture somebody climbing mountain faces many kilometers high, going up steps no bigger than a bottle top, with holds only large enough for fingertips. And all these acrobatics at an altitude so high that the extreme thinness of the air tears the struggling lungs apart.
The above is, however, no exaggeration. It is just as accurate as the account of the express ascent: 20 hours up an eight-thousand meter summit and back to base camp [Krzysztof Wielicki – Broad Peak (1984) – normal route, the first ever ascent on a summit of 8000 meter peak in one day (16 hours up, 6 hours down), solo]. Such extreme feats are part of sports climbing, a type of climbing reserved exclusively for the best – it is climbing by the fingertips.
I would like to invite for reading few articles about Polish famous climbers :
* see also:
** zapraszam na relacje z wypraw polskich himalaistów.
zapraszam do subskrypcji mego bloga
Filed under: Climbers, Expedition, himalaisci/ -tki, Himalayas, Polish Himalayas Tagged: | Anna Czerwinska, Climbers, Everest, Expedition, first winter ascent, golden decade, Himalaya, Ice Warriors, Jurek Kukuczka, Kinga Baranowska, Krzysztof Wielicki, Leszek Cichy, Maciej Berbeka, MARCIN MIOTK, Piotr Morawski, Piotr Pustelnik, Polish famous climbers, Ryszard Pawłowski, Wanda Rutkiewicz, winter expedition