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Home - Sun, 14 Aug 2022 05:42:21 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Wojtek Kurtyka - 2016 Piolet d’Or Lifetime Achievement Award Wojtek Kurtyka - 2016 Piolet d’Or Lifetime Achievement Award

This coming April, we will be celebrating the different dimensions of alpinism, and more generally the 'mountain spirit', in a region that is emblematic of the values that we seek to promote, including sharing experiences, commitment, and innovation. We will be present in the area around the Piolets d’Or base camps in La Grave and the Lautaret col, in one of the most beautiful parts of France. Here at the heart of Ecrins National Park, we’ll follow in the footsteps of La Meije’s legendary 'Père Gaspard'.

There will be opportunities to meet alpinists from all over the world, as well as local residents, who are strongly attached to the values of mountain life. The event also features shared outdoor activities, a book fair, films, and the presentation of various ascents during friendly evening gatherings. A veritable festival of 'mountain spirit' awaits you in the region of La Meije in mid-April. 

2016 Piolet d’Or Lifetime Achievement Award 

The 2016 Piolet d’Or Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to a great Polish alpinist, Voytek Kurtyka, a mysterious and fascinating character legendary for his impressive ascents. His first ascent of the west face of Gasherbrum IV (or the 'Shining Wall') in 1985 is considered by purists to
be the most remarkable alpine-style ascent of the 20th century.

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Born in 1947 in Skrzynka, Poland, Voytek Kurtyka was a veritable phenomenon of a generation of Polish alpinists who marked the history of alpine style climbing in the Himalayas. Along with figures like Wanda Rutkiewicz and Jerzy Kukuczka, Kurtyka embodies the 'pioneering spirit' that was fundamental to this group of Polish alpinists who learned their craft in the Tatras. 

Photo: M. Skwarczek

One can even go so far as to identify a 'vision'when it comes to the alpinism practiced by this generation: total commitment and immersion, pure alpine style, long winter expeditions, an attraction to beauty, and an alchemy between the climber and the summit. Several of Kurtyka’s climbing partners, themselves living legends of great alpinism, will be present at the 2016 Piolets d’Or in La Grave. 

wojtek kurtyka traverse of broad peak photo jerzy kukuczka

Wojciech Kurtyka on traverse of Broad Peak. Photo: Jerzy Kukuczka

More about Wojtek: Wojciech Kurtyka

The most notable ascents of 2015 and the make-up of the international technical committee

The second highlight of the Piolets d’Or event relates to modern alpinism. We are proud to be able to count on the support of an elite level international  echnical committee to promote ethical alpinism. Choosing amongst the most notable ascents of 2015, the committee will recognise several ascents that they judge to be the best and most emblematic of the style that the Piolets d’Or seeks to promote. 

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This process, undertaken in a collaborative manner by the Groupe de Haute Montagne, the American Alpine Journal, and the Alpine Club, is currently underway. The results will be published in the next press release, in early March. Here are the members of the 2016 international technical committee:
- Michael Kennedy (USA)
- Valeri Babanov (RU)
- Silvo Karo (SLO)
- Vic Saunders (UK)
- Seb Bohin (F)
- Raphael Slawinsky (CAN)
- Yasuhiro Hanatani (J)
- Simon Elias (ESP)
- Hervé Barmasse (I)

You can find a list of the most notable ascents of 2015 at :
More information about the members at :

Spirit of international openness:

The Piolets d’Or is an event of international scope. Alpinists from all horizons, who have explored mountain ranges all over the world, meet to share and exchange experiences, pass along knowledge, and find inspiration. Alpine style climbing breaks down barriers and fosters mutual respect through its spirit of
discovery and understanding, and encourages respect for nature by renouncing siege-style tactics.

In a tense international geopolitical climate in which extremism is gaining ground - even within the European Union - the organisers of the Piolets d’Or, as well as the public and private partners who support the event, hope to convey a spirit and culture of international openness, thoughtfulness, and tolerance with this year’s event. We will provide more details on this aspect of the event in the next press release.

]]> (Damian Granowski) News Fri, 19 Feb 2016 12:01:24 +0000
The first winter ascent of Mount Everest The first winter ascent of Mount Everest

17th February 1980, 2:25 p.m., BC Mount Everest. Krzysztof’s voice in radio:

- Hello, Base Camp! Do you hear us?

- Yes, where are you? Hello, hello!

- Guess what?!

- Hello! Hello!

- On the summit. We are on the Summit!!!

- If it wasn't for Everest, we would never have dreamt of climbing here!


mount everest route 1980 winter ascent

The route of the first winter ascent. This is the normal route from Nepal via the South Col. Photo:

Two years before, on the 16th October 1978, Wanda Rutkiewicz became the first Pole and the first European (third woman in the world) to reach the summit of Mount Everest. However great success it was, it just inspired to set up more ambitious goals. At the time, the majority thought that climbing Mount Everest in winter was impossible. Everyone except Poles :-).

Andrzej Zawada’s vison came first. This and - probably - insistence of Józef Nyka who reminded that every 8000-meter peak was conquered during summer but none in winter conditions. Nyka suggested that Himalayan winter should be a target for Polish expeditions.

Andrzej Zawada had proved to be a great head of expeditions to the high mountains. He was in charge when Poles conquered Noshaq (7492 m) in the winter of 1973.

Then 1974 year came and expedition to Lhotse. Andrzej Zawada and Andrzej Heinrich reached altitude 8250 m.a.s.l. during this expedition, setting the new winter world record. Polish mountaineers thought that human body can handle the winter conditions at such altitudes.

andrzej zawada

Andrzej Zawada. Photo: Bogdan Jankowski

Next goal: Everest!

The preparations for the first Polish winter ascent of Mount Everest (8848 m) started in 1977 when Zawada started the efforts to get the permit from Nepali authorities.

In November 1979 the most-awaited permit arrived. There was not much time left. The expedition should have started immediately...

Following weeks were real madness. Climbers needed almost everything - from gear to food and last but not least money...

At this time only vinegar (and vodka!) could be found on shop shelves in People’s Republic of Poland... However, the organizers miraculously managed to arrange almost everything.

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Only mountaineers came in abundance. Team consisted of 20 climbers (Andrzej Zawada ( expedition’s leader), Józef Bakalarski (cameraman), Leszek Cichy, Krzysztof Cielecki, Ryszard Dmoch, Walenty Fiut, Ryszard Gajewski, Zygmunt A. Heinrich, Jan Holnicki-Szulc, Robert Janik (doctor), Bogdan Jankowski, Stanisław Jaworski (cameraman), Janusz Mączka, Aleksander Lwow, Kazimierz W. Olech, Maciej Pawlikowski, Marian Piekutowski, Ryszard Szafirski, Krzysztof Wielicki, Krzysztof Żurek) and 5 Sherpas (led by Pemba Norbu).

On the 5th January 1980 the team set up Base Camp on the south face of Mount Everest. Expedition members chose a normal route from Nepal.

members of polish expedition on mount everest 1980

Expedition members: Andrzej Zawada (head of expedition), Józef Bakalarski (cameraman), Leszek Cichy, Krzysztof Cielecki, Ryszard Dmoch, Walenty Fiut, Ryszard Gajewski, Zygmunt A. Heinrich, Jan Holnicki-Szulc, Robert Janik (lekarz), Bogdan Jankowski, Stanisław Jaworski (cameraman), Janusz Mączka, Aleksander Lwow, Kazimierz W. Olech, Maciej Pawlikowski, Marian Piekutowski, Ryszard Szafirski, Krzysztof Wielicki, Krzysztof Żurek. Also five Sherpas. Photo: Bogdan Jankowski

Initially it was a piece of cake. In 10 days climbers have estabilished Camp III on 7150 m. They couldn’t understand why nobody had climbed Mount Everest in winter so far. And then the wind began to blow.

Poles didn't have such precise weather forecast as we have today. They tried to go up and retreated if was too cold or too windy for summit attack (usually it was).

tent polish winter expedition 1980 mount everest

Main tent in Base Camp. From left: Ryszard Gajewski, Andrzej Zawada, Leszek Cichy and Jan Holnicki-Szulc. Photo: Bogdan Jankowski

After one month of the expedition there were just a few climbers left in shape to attempt the summit attack.

On the 11th February Krzysztof Wielicki, Leszek Cichy and Walenty Fiut put up a small tent on the South Col. After a hard night - when the wind almost destroyed their shelter - they retreated (Wielicki to Camp II, Fiut to Base Camp).

Time was wasn’t on their side – the 15th February was last day of climbing permit. They send a liaison officer to extended permit. Nepal gave them just two days more...

"Prace inżynieryjne" przy lodospadzie Khumbu - Icefall Fot. Stanisław Jaworski

Working on Khumbu - Icefall. Photo Stanisław Jaworski

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On the 13th February Andrzej Zawada and Ryszard Szafirski in heroic attempt climbed up to to South Col, where they spent the night. Zawada was exhausted, but his bravery encouraged young climbers.

south col mount everest 1980

Zygmunt A. Heinrich and Pasang Norbu in Camp IV (South Col). Photo: Andrzej Zawada

Leszek Cichy and Krzysztof Wielicki decided to try to get to the summit. But there were still Andrzej Heinrich and Passang Sherpa in the camp above them. Heinrich was an old hand of Polish climbing. Always very careful. Maybe that was the reason of his retreat along with Passang from 8350 m.

oxygen tanks everest expedition

Checking oxygen tanks. Photo Andrzej Zawada

The last chance

On the 16th February, Cichy and Wielicki reached the South Col. The night was very hard with -42C and strong wind. They ate fruit jelly, lyophilized veal chop and some... old bread (which they found on South Col).

On 06:50 a.m. they started the summit push with light packs (only one oxygen tank per person).

The right side of the south ridge was easier to climb due to lighter wind. However, higher they had to cross to the left, where the gale was horrible. 

At 2:25 p.m. they reached the summit and left there a small cross and a rosary blessed by the pope John Paul II.

Krzysztof Wielicki na szczycie Everestu

Krzysztof Wielicki on top of the Everest. Photo: Leszek Cichy

Cichy took some small rocks from the summit along with a piece of paper with and advertisement: "For a good time call Pat Rucker 274-2602 Anchorage, Alaska, USA". Probably ”good time” had a lot in common with prostitution :-). This card was left by Ray Genet (mountaineer who ascended Everest in 1979 but never returned to Base Camp).

Wielicki and Cichy also left a thermometer on the summit to measure the minimum temperature. They took some snow samples for scientists.

The descent usually is more strenuous and dangerous than ascent. Climbers are exhausted and mistake can lead to fatal consequences.

Wielicki’s toes were frostbitten and he was moving very slow. Climbers didn’t have flashlights. Leszek Cichy reached tent on South Col first and waited for Krzysztof. One hour later he arrived there. Team spent a night rescuing Krzysztof toes.

Next day the two descended to Camp III, where they met the other members of the expedition. The champions were back in the Base Camp on 19th February.

Krzysztof Wielicki i Leszek Cichy fetują zdobycie Mount Everestu w Zimie

Krzysztof Wielicki and Leszek Cichy in Base Camp. Photo Bogdan Jankowski

The atmosphere in BC couldn’t have been better. Everybody knew that each of them played an important part in this success. News about success soon reached Poland (through the radio station in Base Camp).

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krzysztof wielicki 1980 mount everest expedition

Krzysztof Wielicki. Photo Bogdan Jankowski

1980 leszek cichy presents note which in 1979 ray genet left on top of mount everest

Leszek Cichy. Photo Bogdan Jankowski

First winter ascent of Mount Everest by Andrzej Zawada's team was also the first successful winter expedition to any of the peaks above 8 000 m. After 1980 Poles did nine first winter ascents on 8000 metre peaks. Only two mountains remain unconquered in winter conditions: Nanga Parbat and K2.

Krzysztof Wielicki ascended all fourteen 8000 metre peaks (as the fifth personever).

Great thanks to Ola Leszczyńska and Tomek Mucha for proofreading!


„Góry, ludzie, kontynenty w obiektywie ekstremalnej kamery”, Jerzy Surdel

„Freedom Climbers” Bernadette McDonald

American Alpine Journal

„35 lat temu zdobyto Mount Everest” source:

"Okrągła rocznica pierwszego zimowego wejścia na Mount Everest", Janusz Kurczab. Source:

]]> (Damian Granowski) Articles Wed, 17 Feb 2016 07:18:00 +0000
Mountain quotes (funny, inspirational, sayings) Mountain quotes (funny, inspirational, sayings)

Here you have lot inspirational quotes about mountains. You will find there typical quotes about mountains (for mountaineers). lot of funny quotes about mountains, but also lot of smart sentences with mountains.

There you have my "top 10" - One of the most inpirational mountain quotes:

"Because it is there." — George Mallory, answer to the question 'Why do you want to climb Mt. Everest?

Mountains are not fair or unfair, they are just dangerous. Reinhold Messner

Human life is far more important than just getting to the top of a mountain. Edmund Hillary

Pissing through 6 inches of clothes with a 3 inch penis! - Anonymous Everest summiteer when asked what was the hardest thing about climbing Mt. Everest

Never measure the height of a mountain until you reach the top. Then you will see how low it was. Dag Hammerskjold

You never climb the same mountain twice, not even in memory. Memory rebuilds the mountain, changes the weather, retells the jokes, remakes all the moves. Lito Tejada-Flores

Its not the Mountain we conquer, but ourselves. Edmund Hillary

I've realised that at the top of the mountain, there's another mountain. Andrew Garfield

If you don't have a mountain, build one and then climb it. And after you climb it, build another one; otherwise you start to flatline in your life. Sylvester Stallone

At a time when you stay at the top, there is no explosion of happiness - happiness is experienced when everything remains in front of you, when you know that you have to a goal a few hundred, a few dozen meters when you are right in front. This is the time of happiness. Jerzy Kukuczka

Other mountain quotes

When preparing to climb a mountain - pack a light heart. Dan May

I live not in myself, but I becom Portion of that around me: and to me High mountains are a feelin, but the hum of human cities torture. George Byron

Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books. John Lubbock

I soon learned that Everest wasn't a private affair. It belonged to many men. Thomas Hornbein

The deepest sea has a bottom, the highest mountain has a summit. Chinese saying

For an old man, any hill is a mountain. Jewish saying

When a father climbs a dangerous mountain and dies, we mourn. When a mother does, we question her judgment. How could she? Susan Estrich

When the sun is shining I can do anything; no mountain is too high, no trouble too difficult to overcome. Wilma Rudolph

I can't understand why men make all this fuss about Everest — it's only a mountain. Junko Tabei, first woman to climb Everest

There's intense personal gratification in finding a mountain and becoming inspired by the aesthetics of an unclimbed line on that mountain, especially if that line has been tried by a lot of people who couldn't do it, and you get to set yourself up against the history of it. Jimmy Chin

I believe that the ascent of mountains forms an essential chapter in the complete duty of man, and that it is wrong to leave any district without setting foot on its highest peak. Sir Leslie Stephen

Within a month of intense life in the mountains is going through so much, what used to be a period of several years; This is a occupancy for people greedy for life - human life is not enough. Jerzy Kukuczka

It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out; it's the grain of sand in your shoe. Robert W. Service

You don't climb mountains without a team, you don't climb mountains without being fit, you don't climb mountains without being prepared and you don't climb mountains without balancing the risks and rewards. And you never climb a mountain on accident - it has to be intentional. Mark Udall

One thing to remember on the Eiger, never look up, or you may need a plastic surgeon. Don Whillans

Often the best guys are just those that can suffer longer, who don't give up. And it's so easy to give up, when you're on a mountain and it's really hurting. We go through a lot physically. David Millar

Mountains have a way of dealing with overconfidence. Hermann Buhl

If adventure has a final and all-embracing motive, it is surely this: we go out because it is our nature to go out, to climb mountains, and to paddle rivers, to fly to the planets and plunge into the depths of the oceans... When man ceases to do these things, he is no longer man. Wilfrid Noyce

I just want to do God's will. And he's allowed me to go to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land! I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land. Martin Luther King, Jr.

When you find your passion, it's great. You go up a mountain with partners, and you have a wonderful opportunity to connect and achieve a goal together. You are not trying to be better than other humans. You are supporting each other. Conrad Anker

Success comes to those who have an entire mountain of gold that they continually mine, not those who find one nugget and try to live on it for fifty years. John C. Maxwell

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Let's not mince words: Everest doesn't attract a whole lot of well-balanced folks. The self-selection process tends to weed out the cautious and the sensible in favor of those who are single-minded and incredibly driven. Which is a big reason the mountain is so dangerous. Jon Krakauer

Climbing is one of the few sports in which the arena (the cliffs, the mountains and their specific routes) acquire a notoriety that outpopulates, outshines and outlives the actual athletes. Jonathan Waterman

The mountains have rules. they are harsh rules, but they are there, and if you keep to them you are safe. A mountain is not like men. A mountain is sincere. The weapons to conquer it exist inside you, inside your soul. Walter Bonatti

The higher the mountain, the deeper the valley. Alsacian saying

I've walked a lot in the mountains in Iceland. And as you come to a new valley, as you come to a new landscape, you have a certain view. If you stand still, the landscape doesn't necessarily tell you how big it is. It doesn't really tell you what you're looking at. The moment you start to move the mountain starts to move. Olafur Eliasson

I know the guru route, I know you go sit on a mountain. But screw India. I ain't going there. Susan Powter

Been there, done that. Greg Child about Everest

Ever since a small boy, I have loved just to look at the mountains, to see them in different lights and from different angles, to feel their rough rock under my fingers and the breath of the winds against my feet... I am in love with the mountains. Wilfrid Noyce

Only mountains can never meet. French saying

There's a world out there, and you've got to look at both sides of the mountain in your lifetime. Bill Janklow

The mountain remains unmoved at seeming defeat by the mist. Rabindranath Tagore

When we tire of well-worn ways, we seek for new. This restless craving in the souls of men spurs them to climb, and to seek the mountain view. Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The great thing about rock-n-roll is you realize the top of the mountain is big enough for more than one band. Paul Stanley

Despite all I have seen and experienced, I still get the same simple thrill out of glimpsing a tiny patch of snow in a high mountain gully and feel the same urge to climb towards it. Edmund Hillary

The mainstream audience has a certain picture of what climbing is all about: man conquering mountain. But you can't conquer a mountain, though it may conquer you. Jimmy Chin

You climb to reach the summit, but once there, discover that all roads lead down. Stanislaw Lem, The Cyberiad

It is a crest of granite... perfectly inaccessible, being probably the only one of the prominent points about the Yosemite which never has been, and never will be, trodden my human foot. California Geological Survey report about Half Dome, 1865

Over every mountain there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley. Theodore Roethke

Only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain. Richard M. Nixon

I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes. James Joyce

He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary. Friedrich Nietzsche

Great men are rarely isolated mountain peaks; they are the summits of ranges. Thomas W. Higginson

I was never comfortable with the risk of climbing in the Himalayas, or the amount of time in idleness that is involved in the Everest expedition. Steve Fossett

I like to think of Everest as a great mountaineering challenge, and when you've got people just streaming up the mountain - well, many of them are just climbing it to get their name in the paper, really. Edmund Hillary

I was making a film called The White Tower at the foot of Mont Blanc - the one thing I learned from that experience was that it's more difficult to go down a mountain than to go up. A lot of people don't realize that. Glenn Ford

For me, a holiday is about taking a book and going to a mountain and reading. Sonam Kapoor

A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand. Is not the mountain far more awe-inspiring and more clearly visible to one passing through the valley than to those who inhabit the mountain? Khalil Gibran

Great men are rarely isolated mountain peaks; they are the summits of ranges. Thomas W. Higginson

I thought climbing the Devil's Thumb would fix all that was wrong with my life. In the end, of course, it changed almost nothing. But I came to appreciate that mountains make poor receptacles for dreams. Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

Tis distance lends enchantment to the view, and robes the mountain in its azure hue. Thomas Campbell

Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean. John Muir

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Mountains are the beginning and the end of all natural scenery. John Ruskin, British art critic and writer

The first question which you will ask and which I must try to answer is this; What is the use of climbing Mount Everest? and my answer must at once be, it is no use. There is not the slightest prospect of any gain whatsoever. George Leigh Mallory

Mountains teach that not everything in this world can be rationally explained. Aleksander Lwow

My first book was called, 'Mountain, Get Out of My Way,' where I did an autobiographical sketch, if you will, looking back at myself and looking back at things in my life, and juxtaposing them against things that are happening in other people's lives and trying to be motivational. Montel Williams

When I was 23, I climbed this mountain in Alaska called Devil's Thumb alone. It was incredibly dangerous, and I did it because I thought that if I did something that hard and pulled it off, my life was gonna be transformed. And of course, nothing happened. But I get the search for purpose. Jon Krakauer

One may walk over the highest mountain one step at a time. Barbara Walters

To those who have struggled with them, the mountains reveal beauties that they will not disclose to those who make no effort. That is the reward the mountains give to effort. And it is because they have so much to give and give it so lavishly to those who will wrestle with them that men love the mountains and go back to them again and again. The mountains reserve their choice gifts for those who stand upon their summits. Sir Francis Younghusband

One way to get high blood pressure is to go mountain climbing over molehills. Earl Wilson

The destruction of the natural beauty, the ecosystems, and the majesty of mountains affect us in ways we're not even aware of. Every time a mountain is beheaded, we chop off a little part of our souls. Gloria Reuben

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the mountains there are only two grades: You can either do it, or you can't. Rusty Baille

The mountains are exceptional places for, as the natural environment is concerned, they are the concentration of the wildest possible variety of all natural phenomena and forms. They are somehow a concentration of the truth of nature or even I'd say its essence. Voytek Kurtyka (Wojciech Kurtyka)

I send my warmest congratulations to you and to the other members of the Italian team, who have achieved such a splendid mountaineering feat on Mt McKinley. President Kennedy to Riccardo Cassin in 1961

I like being near the top of a mountain. One can't get lost here. Wisława Szymborska

For us the mountains had been a natural field of activity where, playing on the frontiers of life and death, we had found the freedom for which we were blindly groping and which was as necessary to us as bread. Maurice Herzog

It's a heavy burden to look up at the mountain and want to start the climb. Abby Wambach

I like to think of Everest as a great mountaineering challenge, and when you've got people just streaming up the mountain - well, many of them are just climbing it to get their name in the paper, really. Edmund Hillary

Building a company isn't that different from climbing a big mountain. You need people helping you traverse treacherous paths and to lift you up when you fall. Vivek Wadhwa

Take it from a guy: If you're in love with somebody, you will swim the stream, you will climb the mountain, you will slay the dragon. You're going to get to her somehow, some way. Phil McGraw

Any road followed precisely to its end leads precisely nowhere. Climb the mountain just a little bit to test it's a mountain. From the top of the mountain, you cannot see the mountain. Frank Herbert

If you want to train for big mountain endeavors, spend time in big mountains. Jimmy Chin

On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude. Lionel Terray

Etiquette is all human social behavior. If you're a hermit on a mountain, you don't have to worry about etiquette; if somebody comes up the mountain, then you've got a problem. It matters because we want to live in reasonably harmonious communities. Judith Martin

Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain. Anonymous

Mountains were once my big adventure but is is over since a long time; I still dream from the wonderful days sometimes, read also a few pages from a mountain book. But the thought of doing again active mountain climbing has faded. Fritz Zwicky

A man does not climb a mountain without bringing some of it away with him and leaving something of himself upon it. Martin Conway

If Everest is the cake, Trango is the topping. Anonymous

Doubly happy, however, is the man to whom lofty mountain tops are within reach. John Muir

I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like child stringing beads in kindergarten, - happy, absorbed and quietly putting one bead on after another. Brenda Ueland

We've climbed the mighty mountain. I see the valley below, and it's a valley of peace. George W. Bush

When you do a play, you have the kind of nightly feeling of accomplishment. But you also have the daily dread of the doing it every night. And because you're doing the whole thing every day, it's like climbing up the mountain every single night. With a movie it's like climbing the mountain very slowly, over months of filming. Jesse Eisenberg

The only mountain that I would still like to climb: I'd like to break 85. Peter Falk

Creative people who can't help but explore other mental territories are at greater risk, just as someone who climbs a mountain is more at risk than someone who just walks along a village lane. R. D. Laing

Yeah, I mean, climbing's always been a massive hobby of mine up until, kind of, recent times when I've had family, but no, it's been a driving passion in my life and, uh, I've always wanted to climb the Matterhorn. It was the mountain that, sort of, inspired me to climb, as a youngster. So, it was great to be able to get to do it. Andy Serkis

Space Mountain may be the oldest ride in the park, but it has the longest line. Ric Flair

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance. Khalil Gibran

My idea of a real treat is Magic Mountain without standing in line. Alan Rickman

The mountain is nothing without people on it. Often you part expedition exasperated, but a year or two later you go back with the same partners knowing there's potential in this human relationship. Greg Child

When you do a play, you have the kind of nightly feeling of accomplishment. But you also have the daily dread of the doing it every night. And because you're doing the whole thing every day, it's like climbing up the mountain every single night. With a movie it's like climbing the mountain very slowly, over months of filming. Jesse Eisenberg

I think when you begin to think of yourself as having achieved something, then there's nothing left for you to work towards. I want to believe that there is a mountain so high that I will spend my entire life striving to reach the top of it. Cicely Tyson

Every man should pull a boat over a mountain once in his life. Werner Herzog

The mountains have done the spiritual side of me more good religiously, as well as in my body physically, than anything else in the world. No one knows who and what God is until he has seen some real mountaineering and climbing in the Alps. Rev F. T. Wethered, 1919

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as the sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms teir energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. John Muir about Yosemite

The top of one mountain is always the bottom of another. Marianne Williamson

More mountaineering quotes (and quotes about climbing) you will finde there:
Famous inspirational climbing quotes about mountaineering, rock climbing, mountains and also funny quotes :)

]]> (Damian Granowski) Articles Thu, 21 Jan 2016 09:05:23 +0000
Iron Knight D14+/15- ? Iron Knight D14+/15- ?

Eptingen in Switzerland has new dry-tooling extreme route. Jonas Allemann send Iron Knight D14+/15- (proposition grade), which is combination of 3 previous routes: Dark Knight (D11+/12-), Spiderman and Iron Man D14/14+.


iron knight eptingen topo

Topo of Iron Knight D14+/15-. Photo. fb Jason Allemann

In Eptingen was first M8+ route on the Europe (Robert Jasper, 1997).

]]> (Damian Granowski) News Thu, 17 Dec 2015 14:35:46 +0000
Klemen Premrl - Who is Who? Klemen Premrl - Who is Who?

Klemen Premrl is professional ice climber. He specialized in mixed climbing, especially in hard ice climbing. In his climbing CV has routes like this: Riptide WI7, Wolverine WI 11, Spray On... Top WI 10, M9+, 240 m and lot of others :).


Btw. Klemen will be on Kraków Mountain Festival (4-6 December) in Kraków!

Damian Granowski: Date of birth and how long do you climb?

Klemen Premrl: 21 of September, 1973. I’m climbing since I was 12 years of age, which makes it 30 years in the sport.

klemen premrl iceland ice climbing

Photo: Tim Kemple

Best OS in dry-tooling and ice?

In conventional ice climbing everything that I climbed is on-sight, that’s what ice climbing is all about. So I reckon it is WI 7+. In more modern form of ice climbing, in Helmcken falls, I climbed Spray on WI 10 in first go. In dry tooling I'm not so sure, but on a good day, I can on-sight routes in the range of M10 / M11.

Best RP on dry-tooling and ice?

The hardest Mixed route that I did is Overhead Hazard M12, 250 m, Helmcken Falls, Canada. The only two ice routes that I needed to practice before I sent them, were Wolverine WI 11 and Clash of the Titans WI 10+, both in Helmcken Falls, Canada.

klemen premrl ice climbing

Ice climbing on Iceland. Photo: Tim Kemple

Which Ice tools and crampons?

Black diamond Fuel Ice Tool. 

Black diamond Stinger Crampons,


Black Diamond

The best place on competitions and climbing meetings?

I climbed in Ice Climbing World Cup from its start in 1998 to 2003. I was always one of those who fight for the prestigious places amongst finalists. My best is 5th place, Ice Climbing World Cup, Pitztal 2003

klemen premrl in Cineplex

Klemen in Cineplex, Canadian Rockies. Photo: Damian Granowski

How did you start climbing with Ice-tools? First you climbed in summer or winter ?

I started with mountaineering and rock climbing. When I joined Alpine club I got proper alpine education, which also means that you get to know the basics of different types of climbing. Soon, I found ice climbing as the most joyful art of climbing and I'm loving it ever since.

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Some people climb in winter, because it is for them some alternative from climbing indoors, others just like it. What's your favourite kind of climbing? What keeps you at it?

I like all aspects of climbing, and I don't see myself as being an Ice climber. The thing is that my focus is shifting a lot over a time. Right now, I'm climbing in rock way more than I do in Ice… But Im known for my Ice climbing. What keeps me in it is the ability to push boundaries of what is possible a bit higher, ability to set new trends, ability to bring this sport to the next level.

val del orco klemen premrl

Climbing on Legoland in Val dell'Orco. Photo arch. Klemen Premrl

What is most important to you in winter climbing? The desire for adventure, difficulties, winter climate, or perhaps fame and women ;-)?

Its about the unknown and adventure. It’s definitely not about the hardest, highest or whatever. I think, that for me is about finding new ways of ice climbing. But to be honest, it’s all about fame and women!

Of course, we can not escape from a series of questions like "Most", What is your favorite dry-tooling area? What is it that you want to go back?

Dry tooling area? Well for me, dry tooling is just training, that’s not proper climbing! But, I can tell you about the best place for ice and mixed climbing. Thats Helmcken Falls, Canada, BC. Is just unreal and cant be compared to anything else!

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The most beautiful route which you do? What contributed to the fact that deserves to be called ?

That must be a route that climbs the ceiling of Crystal Ice Cave in Vatnajökull glacier. Climbing in there was totally new experience for all of us. Rahel and I weren't even sure if it is going to work out at all. Besides, this cave is just stunning! It isa really beautiful place, with crystal ice that goes from perfect transparency, bright white and all shades of blue!

klemen premrl iceland

Climbing on Iceland. Photo: Tim Kemple

Favorite climbing gear, which would you recommend to anyone?

Black Diamond Express Ice Screws, Fuel Ice Tool, Stinger crampon…

Apparently, outside climbing, there are other hobbies... What do you like doing in your free time, when not climbing? (answer "I read climbing websites" is not correct )

Free ride mountain biking and skiing, white water kayaking… But to be honest, with a growing family I changed my priorities, and in the last couple of years, climbing and family takes most of my time.

klemen bouldering

Boulder Cocoon in Prilep. Photo: Klemen Profile on fb

The most difficult mountain route, which you ascent? What factors made ​​up for the difficulties? You encourage, or reborn to repeat it?

Climbing is way more than technical difficulty and grade. For me, climbing is all about adventure and unknown, its all about feelings and experiences, its all about what you learn in the process, its all about how far you push yourself, and its about much more. Therefore, its difficult to pick up one route and claim it is the hardest one. But there is a route the ranks really high on all of those criteria., and I can say, that my proudest climbing achievement was climbing to the top of Helmcken falls for the first time via a new route Spray on… Top, WI 10, M9+, 250 m, Helmcken Falls, Wels gray Provincial Park, Canada, BC, with a mate of mine Tim Emmett.

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Climbing equipment is evolving all the time, skills of climbers also grow. How do you think, where will go mixed climbing?

That’s a tough one! Mixed climbing is part of ice climbing or alpinism if you want. Therefore, it should be seen in that context. But for the sake of argument, I could say that mixed climbing already had some ups and downs, and it looked like it hit the wall a couple of times already, but we manage to find a way to progress. I believe its gonna be the same in the future. Im not sure where is going, but for sure higher and harder!

What do you think is the best advice for beginners (and not only) winter climbers?

Live, Climb, Repeat. Enjoy the process and push yourself.

greenland klemen premrl

Sailing on Greenland. See movie from this trip. Photo: Klemen Premrl

Winter is already coming to an end. You will throw your gear into the closet and get back to the rocks? Or you cannot give up and you'll be somewhere else to look for the rocking?

Usually I have a couple of projects lined up for upcoming winter, and when those are done, all of my ice climbing gear goes directly to the closet. Then is T shirt rock climbing time! For sure, if opportunity for a good adventure arises, you don't have to ask me twice to get that dusty ice climbing gear out of the closet and have some more fun on ice.

Klemen's website

Other interviews from series "Who is who?"

Ramon Marin

Raphael Slawinski

Angelika Rainer

Michi Wohlleben

]]> (Damian Granowski) Articles Mon, 23 Nov 2015 07:38:00 +0000
The Iceland Trifecta The Iceland Trifecta

Klemen Premrl and Rahel Schelb spent some time on climbing ice on Iceland. Death-defying adventure, stunning landscapes, and rarely-documented feats of physical endurance and skill. Watch photographer Tim Kemple and master climbers scale the frigid crags of Iceland. Check this :)


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]]> (Damian Granowski) Videos Mon, 16 Nov 2015 16:50:28 +0000
Alpawand / From Earth to Heaven 7+ Alpawand / From Earth to Heaven 7+

From Earth to Heaven 7+ is 550 meters multi-pitch sport route on Alpawand in Austria. Route offering nice climb on small holds on limestone. Last pitches (on The Nose) are outstanding! Alpawand (one of the highest wall in Reiteralm) is nice opportunity to short brake on travel to other alpine destinations. Altought route need endurance and solid climbing skill in seventh grade.

Also on Alpawand are some nice classic climbs (probably best know is Wassersymphonie [The Water Symphony] 8 [7- obl]).


Tomasz Reinfuss on 6 or 7 pitch (chimneys)

Grade: 7+ (VII+ UIAA)
Length: 550 meters, 17 pitches
Time: 6-8 hours
Best time for climb: July-September
Localization: Austria / Berchtesgaden Alps / Reiteralm/ Alpawand (North face).
Character: well bolted climb, mainly slabs on small holds. Some chimneys and traverses.
First ascent: 2006, 23 September - Fritz Amann, Josef Brüderl and Willi Maier


Damian Granowski going ahead on traverse on The Nose. Photo. Tomasz Reinfuss

Approach (1,5 hours)

Geogr. 47.625726 N 12.735989 E (619 m above sea level)
UTM 33T 329900 5277186
Above is destination for parking car (small village Reith). You choose direction to Trausteiner hut (good to have MTB - you can cut 30 minutes from Aprroach). When the patch go to foothill of the wall you will find small patch (goes to right) to the base of the Alpawand. You pass two rock steps (fixed ropes) and after you go to corner, where is belay stance (with table “From Earth to Heaven”).

If you will find the base of the route, then is hardly to get lost on route :-).

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Click for bigger fototopo From Earth to Heaven (in gallery)

Its good to wait minimum 1 day after rain, because Alpawand can be wet. Our first choice was Wassersymphonie 8, but it was completely wet at the bottom. From Earth to Heaven at the same day was dry.


Typical slabs on the route

Be carefuly on first pitches where you can find “english gardens” (rotten rock and loose gras). Authors (?) put on first pitch fixed rope in one dangerous place.


Corner in the upper part of the wall

From Earth to Heaven consist 17 pitches, which mostly has 5-6 grade. You have six 7th grade pitches. Crux of the route is on the top of the route :-). Alpawand is limestone climbing, and usually You will find tiny and sharp crimps. But don’t be affraid - There is also lot of good holds and quite nice formations. You will climb mainly on slabs, but there will be also:
corners, chimneys (6-7 pitch), traverses (highly recommended on The Nose). The routes ends on top of Alpawand (1671 above sea level).


Tomasz Reinfuss below The Nose

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Route is good bolted (there is some hard to clip bolts, but mainly is ok) and you don’t need take nuts and cams. Take:
2x50 m double rope.
14 quickdraws.
Personal gear.


Unknow german climber on middle part of From Earth to Heaven


Its not recommended to do abseils (some traverses). From the exit of the route go right to the pines to the Gipfelschrofen. Then go left through steep Latschengassen down to alpine pasture. Here you will find path (yellow dots) to he Alpaalm (another alpine pasture with small hut). Go left by trail down to the valley.


Another option if weather is bad will be climbing in Dolomites.

Damian Granowski

]]> (Damian Granowski) Mountain Base Fri, 03 Nov 2017 10:03:45 +0000
Sandstone Sandstone

One of the most amazing sandstone ares are in Czech. In Adršpach and Teplice you have hundreds of talls sandstone towers. You cannot use chalk, and metal gear for protection. You have protection from some rings and knots. Check this movie "Sandstone" about history and climbing in Czech :-).



]]> (Damian Granowski) Videos Wed, 14 Oct 2015 14:28:58 +0000
GuideBase: The new booking platform for all mountain sports and activities GuideBase: The new booking platform for all mountain sports and activities

Extreme sport enters the digital age: with GuideBase, the journey for mountain sports enthusiasts now starts with a simple online booking experience. Based on the model of successful online platforms like Airbnb, we at, a Munich-based startup, are pioneering a means of directly bringing together adventure-seekers with certified mountain guides and ski instructors.


Whether you want to experience some backcountry skiing or take an alpine tour of Mont Blanc, GuideBase is the place for you.

Safety is of upmost importance: only professional state-certified IFMGA mountain guides, ISIA certified ski instructors, or ski schools with similarly verifiable certifications are allowed to offer their services on GuideBase. Our clients are always in safe hands.

For mountain lovers:
- Search for guides and instructors by activity or location
- Great snowfall last night? Last-minute bookings now possible
- Chat directly with your guide using the built-in GuideBase Messenger
- Book using all common methods of online payment
- Use the GuideBase app on the go

For guides:
- GuideBase verifies all mountain guides
- A personal profile shows every guide’s level of certification, description, spoken languages and more
- Guides can market their services with ease to a global customer base
- GuideBase allows guides to manage their digital payments painlessly
- Guides can work more days per year and earn more per day

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An open, mutual review system helps alpine enthusiasts easily find precisely the right guide, even at a personal level. Using the GuideBase website and app is free and it takes less than a minute to open an account. 

The GuideBase founders Henning Rehder and Jonas Kronwitter have plans to expand the business beyond the Alps to an even wider global audience in 2016.

News Sun, 15 Nov 2015 16:00:00 +0000
Because It’s There... 10 quotes about Mount Everest Because It’s There... 10 quotes about Mount Everest

Mount Everest is the highest point of Earth. First time conquered in 1953. From this time thousands of people summit on Mount Everest. Here you have some inspirational quotes about Mount Everest.

Because it is there. George Mallory, answer to the question 'Why do you want to climb Mt. Everest?


I can't understand why men make all this fuss about Everest — it's only a mountain. Junko Tabei, first woman to climb Mount Everest

I soon learned that Everest wasn't a private affair. It belonged to many men. Thomas Hornbein

Pissing through 6 inches of clothes with a 3 inch penis! - Anonymous Everest summiteer when asked what was the hardest thing about climbing Mount Everest

Been there, done that. Greg Child about Mount Everest

The first question which you will ask and which I must try to answer is this; What is the use of climbing Mount Everest? and my answer must at once be, it is no use. There is not the slightest prospect of any gain whatsoever. George Leigh Mallory

You perfect a sport when you can do all of these things with less stuff. The most impressive ascent of Everest was by the Swedish guy who bicycled from Stockholm to Kathmandu and then soloed Everest and bicycled back to Stockholm. That is cool, as opposed to this huge multinational guided thing with computers and internet cafes at the base of Everest. Yvon Chouinard

This forms the nub of a dilemma that every Everest climber eventually comes up against: in order to succeed you must be exceedingly driven, but if you’re too driven you’re likely to die. Jon Krakauer

No one remembers who climbed Mount Everest the second time. Edmund Hillary

Well, we knocked the bastard off! Edmund Hillary

More climbing qutoes you will find here: Famous climbing & mountaineering quotes.

]]> (Damian Granowski) Articles Tue, 29 Sep 2015 15:15:37 +0000