Polish climbing thread

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 72 of total 72 in this topic
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 15, 2013 - 12:41pm 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 - 01:22pm PT
Wanda Rutkiewicz
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 15, 2013 - 01:54pm PT
Marlow, you're gonna cause Philo to hyperventilate.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 15, 2013 - 01:56pm 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 - 02:00pm PT
Reilly

Because of Wanda?
Or is it Poland?
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 15, 2013 - 02:06pm 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 - 02:06pm PT
Both
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 15, 2013 - 02:12pm 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 - 02:47pm 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 - 03:58pm 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!
toadgas

Trad climber
los angeles
Jan 15, 2013 - 04:02pm PT
^^^^^^^^

moosedrool gets post of the day! pretty incredible



polar opposite of the trustafarian gig



-
moosedrool

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Jan 15, 2013 - 04:56pm 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 - 05:07pm 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 - 05:55pm 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 - 06:45pm PT

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

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 16, 2013 - 09:54am 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 - 09:57am PT
Moose

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

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 16, 2013 - 10:31am PT
Krzysztof Wielicki. Crown of Himalaya.
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 16, 2013 - 10:48am 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 - 10:49am 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 - 10:50am PT
Moose: Cool, thanks for posting.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 16, 2013 - 11:14am PT
Artur Hajzer upon the 2012 happenings on K2: http://www.pakistan-explorer.com/3/post/2012/10/october-08th-2012.html
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 17, 2013 - 12:17pm PT
Climbing in Polish Jura: http://www.alpenverein-cottbus.de/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=146:klettern-im-polnischen-jura&catid=37:weltweit&Itemid=61

Climbing in Poland: http://flickrhivemind.net/Tags/climb,poland/Interesting
Send

Trad climber
Central Sierra
Jan 17, 2013 - 08:39pm PT

Jura Kraków-Częstochowa

Credit: Send

Credit: Send

Credit: Send

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 18, 2013 - 08:52am PT
Send.

Thanks for posting excellent photos of Polish cliff climbing.

Knowing a bit of Polish history it can be hard to imagine the beauty of the country.
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Jan 18, 2013 - 09:00am PT
I LOVE this thread! If it had a few more boobs it would be my favorite.


I want to go back to Poland.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 5, 2013 - 01:52pm PT
Polish Winter Nanga Parbat Expedition
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Feb 5, 2013 - 02:00pm PT
There's a good graphic short story in either Alpinist 38 or 39 that tells of the Lho La tragedy. Short, but well worth checking out.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 6, 2013 - 12:06pm PT
Free Climbing 1986

Film nakręcono w doli...nkach podkrakowskich i w Podlesicach. Wstępują Andrzej Marcisz, Piotr Korczak, Wojtek Kurtyka i Francuz Vincent Fine


steveA

Trad climber
bedford,massachusetts
Feb 6, 2013 - 12:38pm PT
Marlow,

I had the honor of climbing with Voytek Kurtyka, when we were all about the same age of 29.
My partner John Bouchard and I met up with Voytek and his Polish partner, on the last few pitches of the Walker Spur, in a raging thunderstorm.

Voytek and Bouchard both were hit by lightning. I'm sure they won't forget it, nor I.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 6, 2013 - 12:41pm PT
steveA
Are you willing to tell the story? Or have you or someone else written about the incident?

Edited: Thanks for telling the story!
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Feb 6, 2013 - 12:44pm PT
Is it the horse meat that makes the Poles tough as nails?
steveA

Trad climber
bedford,massachusetts
Feb 6, 2013 - 01:08pm PT
I remember years back, there was an article in Rock and Ice, I believe on climbing epics or something like that, and Bouchard contributed a story about getting hit by lightning on the Walker Spur.

I think we both consider it one of our closest calls. I only had him in a body belay with NO tie-in. We were in one hell of a hurry, since it was like a blizzard, and as I remember it, there weren't any obvious spots to put in protection for an anchor.

Voytek took off leading the last pitch, and Bouchard followed up right behind him. Just after Voytek reached the top, there was one horrendous lightning strike, and Bouchard was hit pretty bad; falling off.
Somehow, Bouchard grabbed Voytek's rope, with his good arm, saving himself.

When I arrived on the summit, a few minutes later, Voytek said, "I'm O.K.
only hit in the head, but your friend is hurt real bad"

Bouchard thought his arm was broken, but within 10 minutes, the shock started to wear off. When we all got back to Chamonix, John found that he had burn holes in his mittens and his socks!

In hindsight, if Voytek hadn't led off, ahead of Bouchard, I wouldn't be here to write this, since Bouchard would of pulled me off with him.
Regan

Big Wall climber
Feb 6, 2013 - 01:21pm PT
SteveA, Thanks for sharing the story. You are truly hardcore guys. Very inspirational...
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 6, 2013 - 01:43pm PT
Wanda Rutkiewicz

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


Since the linked video in the second post of this thread has been taken down and I'm not able to edit the post.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 6, 2013 - 01:54pm PT
Jerzy Kukuczka

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


Video texted in English.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 6, 2013 - 01:57pm PT
About the Polish climbers of Freedom Climbers: Three questions with Bernadette McDonald.

moosedrool

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Feb 6, 2013 - 02:00pm PT
Some info on Regan:

http://www.nieznanetatry.pl/marek---rdquo-regan-rdquo--reganowicz-,145,544,20,1,I,informacje.html

AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Feb 6, 2013 - 02:09pm PT
Voytek once commented on the success of Polish climbers in the Himalayas.
He said something like "Himalayan climbing is the art of suffering and Poles know how to suffer because we have always been between the hammer and the anvil" He was referring of course to Germany and Russia
I had the pleasure of directing him and Fred Beckey to the party location at the end of a Calgary climbing Festival back in 88(?). Fred was saying things like "Well Voytek do you want to grab a beer?"
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 6, 2013 - 02:15pm PT
Thanks for the information Moose. I understand Walter Bonatti was the first role model of Regan. Here is more information about Regan's climbing:

New Route on Baffin Island 2012 - Superbalance (VII/A4/M7+) - Poles, Marek Raganowicz and Marcin "Yeti" Tomaszewski: http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web12s/newswire-superbalance

http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Superbalance-Polar-Sun-Spire-Baffin-Island-April-May-2012/t11493n.html
MH2

climber
Feb 6, 2013 - 04:53pm PT
Voytek said, "I'm O.K.
only hit in the head


I remember taking this for outstanding deadpan humor in the article. Perhaps the reality was different.
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Feb 6, 2013 - 07:05pm PT
Marlow, the videos haven't been taken down. Looks like they just blocked embedding on other sites. Maybe you can just edit and post the URLs. For example, like this for your first video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=yyMmzv8fJH4

It'll save having to view source to figure out what you posted.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 26, 2013 - 11:07am PT
Gasherbrum I First Winter Ascent
MH2

climber
Feb 26, 2013 - 06:21pm PT
I heard that Wielicki is/was just on Nanga Parbat.
Send

Trad climber
Central Sierra
Mar 5, 2013 - 09:57am PT
http://www.thenews.pl/1/5/Artykul/129100

Polish-mountaineers-make-first-winter-ascent-of-Broad-Peak
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 5, 2013 - 10:36am PT
Thanks Send. This is the news:

"Maciej Berbeka, Adam Bielecki, Tomasz Kowalski and Artur Malek completed the feat at about 6 pm local time, scaling the famed peak in the Karakoram range, which lies on the border between Pakistan and China.
The news was relayed by noted climber Artur Hajzer, coordinator of the programme Polish Winter Mountaineering in the Himalayas 2010-2015.
“The summit has been conquered!” Hajzer hammered out on his Facebook page.
“It will be possible to speak of the entire success of the expedition when the team returns to base,” he added, noting that the climbers have to make a rapid descent as night is falling.
Nine mountaineers took part in this year's expedition, which was led by legendary climber Krzysztof Wielicki, 62, who came out of retirement for the venture.
Wielicki was the first climber in the world to make a winter ascent of Mount Everest, and the fifth to conquer all fourteen of the world's “eight-thousanders” (peaks over 8000m).
Broad Peak rises to 8047m, but has only now been conquered during the winter season.
Various members of the team attempted to scale the peak over the last few weeks, but winds, among other problems had prevented success until now."

Congrats!!!!.....
Anejo

Ice climber
Yukon
Mar 5, 2013 - 11:03am PT
25 years ago, almost to the day, Maciek Berbeka has reached Rocky Summit. So as of today he made it to the top - Broad Peak. It is his third winter ascent of the peak over 8000 m (Manaslu and Cho Oyu in eighties). This guy is 59 years old. What a FEAT! Congratulations to Maciek and the whole Polish Team!!!
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Mar 6, 2013 - 08:33am PT
Bad news from Broad Peak -

[quote]Two Polish mountaineers are missing in the Himalayas after scaling Broad Peak


BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MARCH 6, 2013 8:02 AM



WARSAW, Poland - Two Polish mountaineers have disappeared in the Himalayas after scaling a peak of more than 26,000 feet (8,000 metres), officials said Wednesday.

The two were part of a group of four Poles that on Tuesday completed what other Polish climbers say is the first-ever winter ascent of Broad Peak, the world's 12th highest mountain, which is located in Pakistan.

Artur Hajzer, a Polish mountaineering official, said on the news station TVN24 that there had been no contact with Maciej Berbeka and Tomasz Kowalski.

He said a Pakistani climber went up looking for the Poles in minus 35 degrees Celsius (minus 31 Fahrenheit) but found no sign of them.

Hajzer said time is running out as a snowstorm is expected.

The two other men, Adam Bielecki and Artur Malek, safely reached a camp below the peak, Hajzer said.



Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/Polish+mountaineers+missing+Himalayas+after+scaling+peak/8057271/story.html#ixzz2MmIBAHj9[/quote]


So sorry to hear this.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 7, 2013 - 10:21am PT
News at Planetmountain.com: http://www.planetmountain.com/english/News/shownews1.lasso?l=2&keyid=40683
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 8, 2013 - 10:29am PT
"Considering all the circumstances, conditions, my experience, history of Himalayan mountaineering, knowledge regarding physiology and high-altitude medicine as well as consultations with doctors and co-organizers of the expedition in Poland, I have to declare Maciej Berbeka and Tomasz Kowalski dead.

Taking into account the time that has passed since the last contact, altitude where it took place, their condition, current weather conditions and all other factors, I have to claim openly that both climbers are dead.

The expedition has come to an end. We are packing the base camp and start to descend. March via the Baltoro Glacier will take approximately 5 days. We will come back to Poland on approximately 20th March. Due to lack of electricity, we will not have any possibilities to maintain contact via telephones or e-mails and thus, the will not be any information about us till approximately 15th March."

Krzysztof Wielicki
Leader of the winter expedition of Polish Mountaineering Association to Broad Peak
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Mar 8, 2013 - 12:54pm PT
RIP.
10b4me

Boulder climber
Lost
Mar 8, 2013 - 01:04pm PT
my condolences to the friends, and families.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 21, 2013 - 11:20am PT
Voytek Kurtyka presented in Vertical Sept-Oct 2012
Credit: Marlow
Wojciech Kurtyka
Wojciech Kurtyka
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - May 17, 2013 - 02:14pm PT
Bernadette McDonald talking about the making of Freedom Climbers

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - May 17, 2013 - 02:26pm PT
Jerzy Kukuczka - Trailer
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - May 17, 2013 - 02:29pm PT
Edyta Ropek climbing

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 18, 2013 - 11:12am PT
Polskie Himalaje - Annapurna 1987 - Winter - texted in English.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 19, 2013 - 01:20pm PT
Polskie Himalaje - In Memoriam - Wanda Rutkiewicz (1943-1992) - texted in English.

Wanda challenged the Polish hardmen the same way as Lynn Hill challenged Americans when she freed The Nose.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 25, 2014 - 01:14am PT
What happens if you bring some of the worlds best alpinists into the same room for a group interview?

That's what the French climbing Magazine Vertical did in October 1985. Those present were Wanda Rutkiewiscz, Eric Escoffier, Voytek Kurtyka, Erhard Loretan, Pierre Beghin, Doug Scott and Reinhold Messner. Here's the article translated and published in Mountain 109, 1986

Posted here on the Polish climbing thread because two Poles are involved - Wanda and Voytek.

Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow

There's an interesting take on the funding of climbers - receiving money from the State or not.

The Italian is not willing to take money from the State - the possible fascist State. But I think most Italians would be willing to receive money from one of Berlusconi's firms even with the possibility of Mafia and corruption involved. Italians don't trust the State. They have been governed by a bunch of infighting principalities, by Spain, by Austria and by France. They have to rely on themselves and the fox Berlusconi at least was seen as one of the people. After all, the idea of self-made man is really Italian, not American. Being in the pockets of corporations is good. Being in the pockets of the State is bad. Americans and Italians are similar in their views.

The Poles are willing to receive money from the State. Money from the State is money from the people collected through taxes to be used at purposes that serve what's common good. In Norway people would think in the same way. Being in the pockets of the State is not bad and not much will be asked for. Norwegians will take money from corporations too...

And the French? Pragmatics: They'll receive money from the State or from corporations because they need them, but if you ask them what they think, they'll say: "...but I don't like the money..."

Lol...
bigbird

climber
WA
Jan 25, 2014 - 03:03am PT
The irony of the article above is that the majority of the people interviewed in it are now dead...

Wanda Rutkiewiscz- 1992 - Kangchenjunga

Eric Escoffier- 1998- Broad Peak

Erhard Loretan- died in the alps in 2011...
His credibility was greatly tarnished though, after he was convicted of manslaughter for the death of his seven-month-old son...

Pierre Beghin- Annapurna 1992

The mountains sure have an appalling death toll... Especially when you are pushing the limits....
steveA

Trad climber
Wolfeboro, NH
Jan 25, 2014 - 05:20am PT
Bigbird,

Yes, and had that lightning strike on the Walker Spur in 1975,been a little more direct, Voytech wouldn't have gone on to the greater ranges, and I wouldn't be typing this.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Jan 25, 2014 - 05:57am PT
Regarding Erhard Loretan, I never met the fellow and certainly can't judge, but I think there may be something more to his "disgrace" at his sons homicide conviction. Whatever those circumstances were, his conduct afterwards presents an element of humility and accountability seldom seen these days.

from his wiki:

Loretan was convicted in 2003 of the manslaughter of his seven-month-old son, after shaking him for a short period of time to stop him crying in late 2001.[1] He was given a four-month suspended sentence.[2] At that time Shaken baby syndrome (SBS) was largely unknown, but he decided to disclose his name to the press in the hope that other parents might avoid a similar drama. Publicity of the case raised awareness of the danger of shaking children due to weak neck muscles.

and from the account of his death:

Minder described how the two had approached the Grünhorn in the Bernese Oberland on skis, before climbing a ridge towards the mountain's summit. Loretan had turned 52 that day, and the couple were spending his birthday together in the mountains they both loved. She described how her left foot slipped and she lost balance, falling backwards. Her last thought as she registered the ground rushing past her was "a prayer to not suffer too much before dying".

Part of her motivation for revealing what happened on their last day together is what she regards as the unjust treatment Loretan received at the hands of the media after the death of his baby son in 2001.

He was convicted of manslaughter after briefly shaking seven-month-old Ewan, unable to cope with an inconsolable baby. Loretan gave up his right to anonymity to publicise the risks of shaken baby syndrome.

The case was a sensation in Switzerland. Loretan, the third man to climb all 14 mountains over 8,000 metres, was admired around the world, not just for his mountaineering exploits but for his modesty and integrity. After Ewan's death he became withdrawn, but his relationship with Minder restored his enthusiasm for life.

The loss of his own son was a tragedy from which he never recovered," Minder said, before speculating that the media would have turned on Loretan had he survived their accident rather than her. "Would public opinion have accused him of negligently killing his far less experienced partner in the mountains he knew so well? Put simply, why do people treat so differently circumstances that are so similar?"

In recent years, Loretan has become concerned at the rise in lawsuits against mountain guides. Clients, he believed, had come to expect absolute safety in an environment where it was not possible. They wanted to feel like risk-takers, he said, but not actually take responsibility for their own actions.

"As a judge, I cannot complain when the law is applied," she said. "But having lost the man I love in such terrible circumstances, my conscience has been roused. The boundary between guilt and innocence can be separated by nothing more than a hair's breadth.


Not exactly a Rob Ford or cesare Maesstri. .... or a bunch of damn climate change deniers.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 19, 2014 - 02:55pm PT

The Gasherbrums are lonely - Voytek Kurtyka in Mountain 97, 1984

The remarkable traverse in June/July 1983 by Voytek Kurtyka and Jurek Kukuczka of Gasherbrum 2 and the ascent of the South-West face of Hidden Peak - followed by friendly ravens...

Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Feb 19, 2014 - 05:21pm PT
Why them Polaks so crazy? Why couldn't they just stay home and get rich?
MH2

climber
Feb 19, 2014 - 06:11pm PT
^^^^ Which parts of Poland have you visited?
moosedrool

climber
Stair climber, lost, far away from Poland
Feb 19, 2014 - 06:20pm PT

Why them Polaks so crazy? Why couldn't they just stay home and get rich?

Many of us came to Ameryka to get rich. Still crazy, though.

;)

Andrzej
Jim Clipper

climber
from: forests to tree farms
Feb 19, 2014 - 06:45pm PT
Andrej and others,

Thanks for the insight about some accomplished, well rounded climbers.
bigbird

climber
WA
Feb 19, 2014 - 07:05pm PT
Bruce-

My bad if I came across as disingenuous, At the time I was not into climbing. I remembered the headlines and not much more regarding the matter. But "new sh#t has come to light", and my opinion has changed.

Another video featuring Wojciech Kurtyka....


Lots of interesting stuff on that utube channel...


Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Feb 19, 2014 - 07:22pm PT
no worries. I just raised it as he is widely known for the sensational, not so much for how he followed up. Incidentally, its not like I'm intimately familiar with him or anything. for all I know he might be a monster but judging by the available literature, it sounds quite the opposite. The whole thing sounds remarkably human in both his error and the fantastic potential for redemption. Sounds like he was a real loss.
Incidentally, epanding a bit on out discussion on the other thread, Loretan and his polish friends were I think to date the most inspirational alpinists since Messner and his pals. I'm not sure even guys like Uli steck would be so bold as to say they've blown past them, and thats saying something.
If I recall, EL was a cabinet maker and a mountain guide, not at all a paid athlete, which really puts his accomplishments in context.

The poles were something else all together in terms of "getting rich". The stories of their first travels to the hindu Kush and the "funding" it involved puts anything modern to shame. Voytek Kurtyka in particular has one of the most amazing histories of accomplishment, no less that he's still here
Evel

Trad climber
Nedsterdam CO
Feb 19, 2014 - 07:51pm PT
Kurtyka was but one...

Pavel Shabiln? (sp?)
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 21, 2014 - 11:32am PT

Interview with Krzysztof Wielicki
kaholatingtong

Trad climber
Nevada City
Feb 21, 2014 - 12:46pm PT
the hardest of the hard. lacking anything of value to add, I will just say, RESPECT!
Messages 1 - 72 of total 72 in this topic
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Trip Report and Articles
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews