37th anniversary of the first Everest winter ascent.

February 17, 1980 – First winter ascent by Andrzej Zawada’s team from Poland: Leszek Cichy and Krzysztof Wielicki.

This was also the first winter summit of any of the world’s fourteen 8000 metre peaks.

Completed in 1980 by a team of phenomenally rugged Polish climbers, this ascent was led by … Leszek Cichy and Krzysztof Wielicki reached the summit on February 17.

wielicki-cichy
Krzysztof Wielicki and Leszek Cichy celebrate winning Mount Everest in Winter.

You can see ..

Krzysztof Wielicki – detailed diary of First winter ascent of Mount Everest, Please click the links below :

Polish winter expedition 1980: Everest – part 1

Polish winter expedition 1980: Everest – part 2

Polish winter expedition 1980: Everest – part 3

Polish winter expedition 1980: Everest – part 4

** I invite you to relationships with expeditions Polish mountaineers.

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Will the Everest 2017 Season Be One for the Record Books?

Autor : Kraig Becker

The start of the 2017 spring climbing season on Everest is still a couple of months off, but already there are climbers, guides, and Everest junkies all over the world who are gearing up for its start. Amongst them is mountaineer/blogger Alan Arnette, who always follows the climbing scene on the Big Hill closely and provides excellent insights as to what to expect and thoughts on events as they are developing. With a new season on the horizon, Alan is currently looking ahead and says that we can expect big things this year.

In an article posted to his blog yesterday, Alan says that 2017 is looking like a year for the record books. Two months before the first climbers start to arrive in Kathmandu, he is already predicting a record number of summits and many new climbers in Base Camp. This is in part because of the low cost operators who have begun taking over the mountain. This has allowed an influx of climbers from India and China in particular, and since those operators don’t mind dealing with large groups of clients. In some cases, more than 100 at a time.

But beyond that, there are a number of stories to watch this year that should prove of interest. For instance, Alan notes (as we have here at The Adventure Blog) that Ueli Steck is planning to return to attempt an Everest-Lhotse Traverse. He also mentions the Indian survey team that will be measuring the current height of Everest to see if the 2015 earthquake has had an impact on that number. And as if that wasn’t enough, Alan also notes that Nepali Min Bahadur Sherchan will be on the mountain in an attempt to set a new record for the oldest person to summit. At the age of 86, Min Bahadur says he is still in good shape and ready to go.

Of course, this is probably just the tip of the iceberg in terms of storylines and drama that we’ll see on Everest this spring. As always, it will be a never ending source of inspiration and motivation, and probably a bit of controversy along the way too. It wouldn’t be Everest otherwise. Stay tuned for regular reports throughout the spring as events unfold.

* source: – Will the Everest 2017 Season Be One for the Record Books?

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New Virtual Reality Experience Will Recreate First Ascent of Everest.

Autor : Kraig Becker

Do you ever wonder what it was like to climb those final few steps up to the summit of Mt. Everest with Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay when they made the first ascent of the mountain back in 1953? If so, then you may soon get the chance to witness that historical moment for yourself thanks to a new virtual reality project from a company called CGO Studios that is slated for release later this year.

The creative team at CGO specializes in making VR experiences that center around historical events. In the past, they’ve done projects that centered around the Wright Brothers’ first flight and they are currently putting the finishing touches on a digital visit to Anne Frank’s attic. But, the team is also knee deep in a project called “Everest ’53” that will take viewers high up the Himalayan peak, where they will join Hillary and Norgay as they approach the summit.

According to CGO, the team is creating its Everest project for use with the Oculus Rift VR goggles and its Touch controller. The virtual reality experience will immerse viewers in a 360º environment, and will equip them with historically accurate tools and gear to get them to the summit. The virtual environment will also replicate weather conditions on Everest on May 29, 1953 when Hillary and Norgay went to the summit for the first time, making the experience has real as possible. Both Peter Hillary and Jamling Tenzing Norgay – the sons of the two famous climbers – are assisting with the project, helping to deliver more realism.

The description for “Everest ’53” says that viewers will join Hillary and Norgay in the “final moments” of their ascent, but just where it will start is hard to say. Will it begin at the Hillary Step or closer to the top? Is it mostly going to just center around the view from the summit, or something else? We’ll have to wait to see for sure, but it is an intriguing premise to say the least.

I’ve had the chance to test a few VR experiences and can say that they are a lot of fun and offer some interesting tools to do unique things. For the most part, they’ll never replace actually going outside to take part in real-world activities, but I do think the technology holds a lot of promise for delivering very compelling content like this. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to check it out for myself at some point.

Find out more at cgostudios.com.

* source: – New Virtual Reality Experience Will Recreate First Ascent of Everest

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Forbes Interviews 21-Time Everest Summiteer Apa Sherpa.

Autor : Kraig Becker

Who do you talk to if you want to know about climbing Everest? Why, Apa Sherpa of course. After all, he is the man that has stood on top of that mountain 21 times, tying him with Phurba Tashi for the most successful summits of the highest peak on the planet. Recently, Forbes magazine caught up with the now retired Apa and conducted an interview with him, getting some very interesting insights along the way.

In the interview, Apa talks about his first ascent of Everest, how he missed out on the infamous 1996 season, and why he made his last ascent in 2011, well before the disasters of 2014 and 2015. He also touches on what it is like to climb the mountain, providing advice for anyone who is considering doing it themselves. He even shares his experiences with meeting Sir Edmund Hillary, the legendary climber from New Zealand who – along with Tenzing Norgay – was the first to summit the Everest back in 1953.

Apa also talks about the experience of passing through the Khumbu Icefall, widely held as the most dangerous part of the climb from the Nepali side of the mountain. He estimates that he made that trek more than a thousand times, braving the shifting ice there far too often.

In another very interesting story, he talks about how he summited the mountain in 2008 in just 9 days. That was the year that the Chinese closed down the mountain until after their team took the Olympic torch to the top. So, rather than wait in BC, Apa stayed at his home, which is located near by. Then, after the torch circus was over, he reported to Base Camp and was on top of Everest a few days later.

This is a brief, but very interesting, interview that fans of Apa or climbing on Everest won’t want to miss. Read the entire thing here.

And as always, thanks to my friend George for sharing this with me.

* source: – Forbes Interviews 21-Time Everest Summiteer Apa Sherpa

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Winter Climbs 2017: Txikon Back in Base Camp, Ready for Summit Attempt.

Autor :  Kraig Becker

At the end of last week I wrote that Spanish climber Alex Txikon had set out from Everest Base Camp to take advantage of a brief weather window that had opened on the mountain. At the time, there was some speculation that he might be making an attempt on the summit, although I suspected it would be his final acclimatization rotation instead. Now, after a very busy couple of days on the mountain, we know two things: The weather window has closed and Alex is ready to make history once again this winter.

Txikon and his band of Sherpa climbing partners left BC last Thursday to make a push up the Lhotse Face. The team made solid time as they enjoyed good weather on their way up the mountain, first staying in Camp 2 for the night, before proceeding up to C3 the following day. Ultimately, they would establish Camp 4 at 7950 meters (26,082 ft) on Saturday, where they would deposit gear that will eventually be needed for the coming summit push. Once they dropped off the equipment, they immediately turned around and descended back down the mountain, with the Sherpas remaining in C2 while Alex himself continued back to Base Camp.
Now, all the members of the team have safely reached BC, where they are awaiting a storm that is expected to arrive early this week. That storm will bring high winds, lots of snow, and very cold conditions. But, it isn’t expected to be a large weather pattern, and the forecast says it will move on later in the week. That means that another weather window could open within a few days, giving the team a chance to go for the summit at long last.
Alex says that he is now full acclimatized but he needs rest before launching his summit bid. He’ll get time to regather his strength while the weather is bad. Once the storm passes and he’s had a few days to recuperate, the final push will begin. The Spaniard says that he is now ready to go and the stage has been set. All he needs is a stretch of good weather conditions and he will have a go at the summit.
As if climbing Everest in the winter isn’t challenging enough, Alex is also doing so without the use of bottled oxygen, something that has only been accomplished once in the past. You may recall that the Spanish climber is use to making history during the winter, as last year he was part of the squad that put up the first ascent of Nanga Parbat during that season as well.
For now, just like Alex and his teammates, we have to sit and wait. But the next time he leaves BC, it should be for an attempt on the summit. I’ll let you know when that happens and will have regular updates on his progress in the days ahead.

* source: – Winter Climbs 2017: Txikon Back in Base Camp, Ready for Summit Attempt
** see also – Winter Climbs 2017: Txikon Leaves Everest BC, Possible Summit Bid This Weekend.

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Winter Climbs 2017: Txikon Leaves Everest BC, Possible Summit Bid This Weekend.

Autor : Kraig Becker

We have an update from Everest this morning, where Alex Txikon is proceeding with his winter ascent of the tallest mountain on the planet. The expedition is proceeding according to plan, and after nearly a week in Base Camp resting and recuperating, the Spanish climber has now headed up the mountain to take advantage of a small weather window that could potentially provide just enough of an opening to give him access to the summit.

Alex, along with his Sherpa climbing partners, left BC yesterday at 4:30 AM with an eye on reaching Camp 2 at 6400 meters (20,997 ft). From there, the plan would be to move up to Camp 3 today at 7300 meters (23,950 ft). From there, they’ll survey the weather to determine where they’ll go next, but there is some speculation that he might make a summit bid while the weather holds.

Personally, I believe Txikon and his team are possibly looking to establish Camp 4 and may even spend a night at around 8000 meters (26,246 ft), before descending back to Base Camp for one more rest. This weather window isn’t a very big one, and the team may not quite be ready yet to make a dash for the top. If they do build C4, and then descend they’ll be acclimated for the next weather window, which could come as early as next week. Time is on Alex’s side right now, as winter will last another six weeks. He’s likely to play it safe, be patient, and give himself the best possible chance at achieving his goals, which is a winter summit of Everest without the use of supplemental oxygen. That is something that has only been done once before by Ang Rita Sherpa, who did it back in 1987. The big difference this time around is that the entire expedition is taking place during the winter season. When Ang Rita did it, it was on the first day of winter.

Will Alex make a dash for the summit during this period of calm weather? Possibly. But my instincts say no – not yet. We’ll just have to wait and watch to see what happens. He is a strong climber and may see this as his best opportunity. For now, we wait for further news on his progress.

More soon!

* source: –Winter Climbs 2017: Txikon Leaves Everest BC, Possible Summit Bid This Weekend

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30th anniversary of the first Annapurna winter ascent.

On 3 February 1987, Polish climbers Jerzy Kukuczka and Artur Hajzer made the first winter ascent of Annapurna I.

Jerzy kukuczka – climbing season 1987

1987 — Annapurna I – first winter ascent

After his early November climb on Manaslu, Jurek and Artur Hajzer summited Annapurna North Face on February 3, 1987. Hajzer returned to the mountains with Kukuczka already in September that same year. That’s when they made a first ascent of the East Ridgeon Shisha Pangma (Summit on September 18, 1987).

* source: – http://winterclimb.com/climbing-base/item/3-jerzy-kukuczka

Artur HajzerJerzy Kukuczka’s partner

When you look for a phrase to describe Artur Hajzer, one of the first that comes to mind is ‘Jurek Kukuczka’s partner.’ Even though their first expedition was not successful, after Lhotse Hajzer felt much more secure.

Artur Hajzer, Wanda Rutkiewicz i Jerzy Kukuczka, Annapurna 1987

Artur Hajzer, Wanda Rutkiewicz and Jerzy Kukuczka, Annapurna 1987

“I started believing in myself. I realised that my first steps were analogous to what Jurek had been doing a few years back. Eventually, I felt convinced that the Lhotse failure had not determined it all and the next time – as proven by Jurek’s career – would be better,” Hajzer recalled years later. And it was better, together with Jerzy Kukuczka.

“How about going on an expedition with me? I need a partner. How about that?”

“I am all for it, on spec”, answered Elephant to Kukuś.

“It was very elevating to Artur, he was very pleased. Jurek Kukuczka offered Artur that if he had organised an expedition to Manaslu and a winter expedition to Annapurna, they would climb together. And so it happened, and that is the reason Artur decided not to go with us to climb K2 via the Magic Line route,” recalls Janusz Majer.

“The Manaslu (8,156m) expedition was the most difficult of all our – mine and Jurek’s – successful expeditions. It took place in autumn 1986. We were to attempt the south face of Annapurna (8,091m) in the same season,” wrote Hajzer. On 03 February 1987 they made their first winter ascent together to the summit of an eight-thousander.

Another expedition they went on together was a summer expedition to Shishapangma in August 1987, during which they established a new route on the western ridge. The same year, Artur made another attempt on the south face of Lhotse during an international expedition organised by Krzysztof Wielicki. The expedition was a failure. In 1988, he accompanied Jurek Kukuczka, this time ascending the west Annapurna via a new route. A year later he returned for the third time to the south face of Lhotse. That time, the international expedition was organised by the Kukuczka’s ‘greatest rival’ – Rainhold Messner.

“After that expedition I came to a conclusion that another attempt would be a waste of time,” Artur writes in Attack of Despair. That is why he did not join Kukuczka during his attempt.

“It was clear that Artur had equalled his master and his own ambition took the floor. He wanted to bring his own mountaineering projects to life,” recalls Janusz Majer.

….. more – Artur Hajzer – Ice Leader.

** see also:

–   Jerzy Kukuczka – famous Polish climber /Version polish and english/

–   Polish famous climbers – The golden decade of Polish Himalayan mountaineering.

Winter Manifesto of Krzysztof Wielicki – Manifest zimowy Krzysztofa Wielickiego /Version polish and english/

Polish winter expedition to K2, 2002/3 /Version polish and english/

Ice Warriors not give up – HiMountain winter expedition to Broad Peak – 2008/09. HiMountain wyprawa zimowa Broad Peak – 2008/09. /Version english and polish/

Polish-Italian winter expedition to Shisha Pangma (8027m), 2005 /Version polish and english/

Polish winter expedition 1980 – First winter ascent of Everest, part 1

Polish winter expedition 1980 – First winter ascent of Everest, part 2

Polish winter expedition 1980 – First winter ascent of Everest, part 3

Polish winter expedition 1980 – First winter ascent of Everest, part 4

… the first winter ascent of the south face of annapurna i, 1987-1988
https://www.himalayanclub.org/…/the-firstwinterascent-of-the-so…

Annapurna I : Climbing, Hiking & Mountaineering : SummitPost
http://www.summitpost.org/annapurna-i/150258

Jerzy Kukuczka Ascents :

Alps

1973, 19 July – Aiguille du Moine. First polish ascent on Aureille-Fentren Route. Team: Jerzy Kukuczka, Marek Łukaszewski.

1973, 22 July – La Pell, Massiw Vercors. First polish ascent on Parish Route. Team: Jerzy Kukuczka, Marek Łukaszewski.

1973, 6 August – Mont Blanc, E Face. Major Route. Team: Beata Kozłowska, Jerzy Kukuczka, Janusz Kurczab, Marek Łukaszewski.

1973, 12-14 August – Petit Dru, new route. Team: Jerzy Kukuczka, Wojciech Kurtyka, Marek Łukaszewski.

1975, 3-4 August – Grandes Jorasses, N Face. New Route. Team: Jerzy Kukuczka, Wojciech Kurtyka, Marek Łukaszewski.

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