Polish climbing thread

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Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 15, 2013 - 03:41pm PT
Wojciech Kurtyka

"His climbs in Poland consist of many difficult climbs – in crags, the hardest free climbs and free solo climbs of the time. In the Tatra Mountains he did a lot of first free ascents, first ascents in winter and established new winter routes.

Kurtyka became well known abroad in early 1973 after achieving the first winter ascent of Trollveggen (Troll Wall) in Norway, the highest vertical cliff on the continent (4 men Polish team).

He started in Greater Ranges in 1972, completing a little known – but important according to him – first ascent of the wall of Akher Chogh in Hindu Kush, in lightweight, alpine style. He started climbing in the Himalayas in 1974. After participating in two big Polish national expeditions in 1974 and 1976, he gradually turned to lightweight expeditions.

His teammates were such world-class Himalayan climbers as, among others, Alex MacIntyre (1977, 1978, 1980, 1981), Jerzy Kukuczka (1981, 1983, 1984), Doug Scott (1993, Nanga Parbat attempt), Erhard Loretan (1988, 1990, 1991, 1997), Reinhold Messner (1982, Cho Oyu winter attempt), Yasushi Yamanoi (2000, 2001, K2 and Latok attempts).

The ideas of minimal equipment and support even on the most difficult walls and highest peaks was included in his philosophical concept of the "path of the mountain".

Kurtyka's and Robert Schauer's (Austrian) climb of the West face of Gasherbrum IV in 1985 was selected by Climbing magazine as one of the 10 most impressive climbs of the 20th century (including rock climbing, bouldering etc.).

Besides being a climber, Kurtyka is author of many articles on climbing published in Polish and English. He is also an inventor (around 1980) of the local Polish grading system of free climbs. This system uses an opened scale, called "Kurtyka scale" or "Krakowska scale"."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wojciech_Kurtyka


Shorter version texted in English:

Be free to post material concerning Polish climbing and climbers - the bravest among the brave.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 15, 2013 - 04:22pm PT
Wanda Rutkiewicz
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 15, 2013 - 04:54pm PT
Marlow, you're gonna cause Philo to hyperventilate.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 15, 2013 - 04:56pm PT
Bernadette McDonald. Freedom climbers.

Ed Viesturs about Polish climbers when "Freedom climbers" was published: “For many years, we in the climbing community have stood in awe of the accomplishments of Polish climbers. Relatively late into the Himalyan game due to political and monetary restrictions enforced onto them within their own country, the Poles sought the mountains as their escape. It was in fact the hardships they endured within Poland that hardened them physically and emotionally to seek out and endure the toughest climbs in the world. Freedom Climbers is a very enlightening and captivating look at the Polish climbing superstars, what drives them, their amazing accomplishments and their continuing role in pushing the limits in the mountain arena.”

Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
An interview:
http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2011/12/15/freedom-climbers-polands-legendary-mountain-explorers/

On Supertopo about Freedom climbers: http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1658855&msg=1659501#msg1659501
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 15, 2013 - 05:00pm PT
Reilly

Because of Wanda?
Or is it Poland?
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 15, 2013 - 05:06pm PT
My language filter isn't working.

I can't understand those videos, they're speaking Canada!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 15, 2013 - 05:06pm PT
Both
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 15, 2013 - 05:12pm PT
Survival

It doesn't matter. Even if they speak incomprehensible Canadian there is a lot of excellent pictures, film and music. You can even hear Barbara Streisand sing "woman in love" in American.

The ambiance, the ambiance...
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 15, 2013 - 05:47pm PT
Polish mountain climbers (from Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Polish_mountain_climbers
moosedrool

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Jan 15, 2013 - 06:58pm PT
I just watched the video about Kurtyka. The video is not only a testimony to his achievements, but also a portrait of a humble human being.
Thank you Marlow. Excellent post!

A little known fact about Polish climbers in the 80’s and 90’s is how they founded their trips abroad. At that time, a regular job paid about $500-$1000 a year. It was impossible to save money for even a small expedition. But in the early 80’ a group of climbers opened a new company that utilized their climbing skills. The services included painting industrial chimneys and constructions plus some other odd jobs. That new “occupation” paid 10-20 times more than any other job (including a doctor or lawyer). A few more companies like that soon opened. Since those businesses were operated by climbers and for climbers, the profit was often used to finance expeditions to the mountains abroad. I know this first hand because I used to work for one on those companies. I wasn’t a mountain climber, though. All I did was some rock climbing, maybe 20 days total in the 80’s. What I climbed more often, were viaducts. LOL! They were old and decommissioned, and had brick surfaces. That was a Polish version of gym climbing! But I had a chance to climb and work with many climbers that actually went to the Alps and Himalayas. Many of those climbers were Polish freedom fighters as well. Many times I discussed politics, philosophy, or even quantum physics when hanging from a rope and painting something. Good times!
moosedrool

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Jan 15, 2013 - 07:56pm PT
Krzysztof Wielicki, another Polish hardman.
In 1984 he climbed Broad Peak (Falchan Kangri) in a day. Round trip from base at 4950m to the top at 8047m in 22h 10min. That's over 10,000 vertical feet!

“In the summer of 1984, Wojtek Kurtyka put me on. Together with Jurek Kukuczka, we were together on an expedition to Broad Peak (8047 m). We were climbing in order to adjust and Wojtek noticed that I'm walking very fast. I was always there 2-3 hours before the others. He said, since I'm moving so fast, maybe I could reach the summit in one day. So I gave it a try, at first in secret, at night. I reached 7200 m. It was foggy. I didn't see where I was, I got scared. You walk alone, without a rope, without fixed ropes marking the route, around a mountain crack. I withdrew. After a week I did it again. I headed off to the north. I managed to reach the summit in 16.5 hours and to walk back in less than 6 hours, so I made it in a day. This has been mentioned in the world press as a record”.

Now this 62 years old climber is leading the Polish Winter Broad Peak Expedition 2012/2013.

http://www.pakistan-explorer.com/3/post/2012/12/return-of-the-ice-warrior-krzysztof-wielicki-to-lead-polish-winter-broad-peak-expedition-20122013.html

Gene

climber
Jan 15, 2013 - 08:07pm PT
Our own Regan is keeping the Polish hardman/suffering tradition alive and well.

I love the stories of how Poles bitd left town with 2 lbs of cheese, 4 lbs. of chocolate, a pack of chewing gum, and about $0.35 in hard currency and somehow manage to trade and travel their way to Nepal or Pakistan, knock off three 8,000 meter peaks in a season, and fly home first class. Fine folks, indeed.

g
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 15, 2013 - 08:55pm PT
New Zealand.

http://www.microsofttranslator.com/BV.aspx?ref=IE8Activity&a=http%3A%2F%2Fwyprawy.onet.pl%2F37321%2Cekspedycja.html
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jan 15, 2013 - 09:45pm PT

Those dudes were REAL hardmen. Freedom Climbers is a great read.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 16, 2013 - 12:54pm PT
Aleksandra Taistra

"Which woman has climbed more 5.14b routes than anyone except Josune Bereziartu (who’s in a class of her own)? It’s not Liv Sansoz or Beth Rodden or Martina Cufar. The answer is Aleksandra “Ola” Taistra of Poland, who just redpointed her third 8c (5.14b): Die Hard, a bouldery monodoigt testpiece at Grotte Gabbio, near Fenrentillo, Italy. In 2004 and 2005, Taistra completed two 5.14b routes in Poland: Power Play and Nie dla Psa Kielbasa.

Taistra, 25, is not the only Polish strongwoman. Last year, Kinga Ociepka, climbed the 5.14b Geminis at Rodellar, Spain, at age 20."

Cosi Fan Tutte 8c+: http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=67495

Climbing an 8c
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 16, 2013 - 12:57pm PT
Moose

Great stories! Are there any photos of the viaduct climbing?
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 16, 2013 - 01:31pm PT
Krzysztof Wielicki. Crown of Himalaya.
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 16, 2013 - 01:48pm PT
The Poland appreciation thread: http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/794148/Poland-appreciation-thread
moosedrool

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Jan 16, 2013 - 01:49pm PT
I don't have any pictures of me climbing in Poland. I was too poor to have a camera. I found some pictures of my climbing areas on the Internet.

photo not found
Missing photo ID#284512

photo not found
Missing photo ID#284513

photo not found
Missing photo ID#284514

Pretty good quality limestone:

photo not found
Missing photo ID#284515

It took over a day traveling by train and bus to get to the mountains from my house. The biggest rock in my neighborhood was this:

photo not found
Missing photo ID#284517

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 16, 2013 - 01:50pm PT
Moose: Cool, thanks for posting.
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