Krzysztof Wielicki

Krzysztof Wielicki (born January 5, 1950 in Szklarka Przygodzicka, municipality Ostrzeszów, Poland) is a Polish alpine and high-altitude climber, regarded as one of the greatest Polish climbers in history. He is the fifth man to climb all fourteen eight-thousanders and the first ever to climb Mount Everest, Kangchenjunga, and Lhotse in the winter. He is a member of The Explorers Club.

Krzysztof Wielicki
2018 - Pol’and’Rock Festival - Krzysztof Wielicki 02
Krzysztof Wielicki on the Pol'and'Rock Festival 2018
Personal information
Born5 January 1950 (age 69)
Szklarka Przygodzicka, Poland
Climbing career
Known forFirst to climb Mount Everest, Kangchenjunga, and Lhotse in the winter


He was born on 5 January 1950 in Szklarka Przygodzicka, Greater Poland. He graduated from the Wrocław University of Science and Technology (WUST) where he studied electronics. He chaired the Tourism Committee in the Polish Students' Association at the Faculty of Electronics at the WUST. He started climbing in Sokoliki in May 1970. In 1972, he participated in his first climbing course and a winter camp led by Wanda Rutkiewicz.[1][2]

In 1973, he achieved first major international climbing successes during a camp in the Dolomites. Together with Bogdan Nowaczyk, he became the first climber to complete within one day the Via Italiano-Francese on Punta Civetta. He later travelled to climb in the Caucasus Mountains, Hindu Kush and Pamir Mountains.

On 17 February 1980, as a member of Polish national expedition led by Andrzej Zawada, Wielicki and fellow climber Leszek Cichy became the first to climb an eight-thousander in the winter. He was also the first to make successful winter ascents of Mount Everest, Kangchenjunga, and Lhotse, three out of four highest mountains in the world (K2 remains the only eight-thousander never to have been climbed in winter so far).[3][4]

He climbed Broad Peak during a solo expedition and made the first ever ascent of an eight-thousander from a base within 24 hours. He climbed Dhaulagiri and Shishapangma alone establishing new routes. He also made a solo ascent of Gasherbrum II and Nanga Parbat, a feat that was only witnessed by a few Pakistani shepherds. He participated in a number of expeditions on K2. In 1996, he made an ascent of the mountain along the north pillar together with two Italian climbers.[5]

He organized the 2002-2003 Polish winter expedition on K2, which failed to reach the summit. He made another attempt to climb an eight-thousander in the winter by organizing an expedition on Nanga Parbat (2006-2007) but was forced to turn back due to adverse weather conditions. In 2013, he led an expedition to climb Broad Peak in the winter. On 5 March, Adam Bielecki, Artur Małec, Maciej Berbeka and Tomasz Kowalski reached the summit for the first time in history during winter (Berbeka and Kowalski died while descending from the mountain).[6] In 2018, he led another unsuccessful expedition to reach the summit of K2 in the winter.[7]

Major ascents

Year Mountain Height (in metres) Remarks
1980 Mount Everest 8848 First winter ascent of an 8000-meter peak (with Leszek Cichy)
1984 Broad Peak 8051 First one-day ascent of an 8000-meter peak (solo)
1984, 1992 Manaslu 8163 New route on the South-South-East Face
1986 Kangchenjunga 8586 First winter ascent of Kangchenjunga (with Jerzy Kukuczka)
1986 Makalu 8485 Alpine style
1988 Lhotse 8516 First winter ascent of Lhotse (solo)
1990 Dhaulagiri 8167 New route, solo expedition
1991 Annapurna Massif 8091 Bonington route
1993 Cho Oyu 8201 Polish route
1993 Shishapangma 8027 New route on the South Face, solo expedition, in 24 hours
1995, 2006 Gasherbrum II 8035 Solo expedition
1995 Gasherbrum I 8080 Alpine style
1996 K2 8611 Japanese route
1996 Nanga Parbat 8126 Kinshofer route, solo expedition


In 2001, he received the Lowell Thomas Award conferred by The Explorers Club. He was awarded the Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta in 2003, for his outstanding achievements in alpinism and for popularizing the sport of climbing. In 2015, he was awarded Wrocław University of Science nad Technology Medal for his achievements in alpinism.[8]

In 2017, the International Astronomical Union approved the name of asteroid discovered by Vincenzo Silvano Casulli as 173094 Wielicki in honour of the Polish climber.[9]

In 2018, he received jointly with Reinhold Messner the Princess of Asturias Award in the category of Sports.[10] The 2019 Piolet d'Or will be awarded in September 2019 to Krzysztof as the 11th Lifetime Achievement award.[11][12]

See also

Preceded by
New Zealand national rugby union team
Princess of Asturias Award for Sports
(with Reinhold Messner)

Succeeded by


  1. ^ "W Newsweeku: Czy Krzysztof Wielicki poprowadzi jeszcze Polaków w Himalaje?". Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  2. ^ "Krzysztof Wielicki the famous Polish climber". Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  3. ^ "Scaling the World's Most Lethal Mountain, in the Dead of Winter". Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  4. ^ "35 lat temu Leszek Cichy i Krzysztof Wielicki jako pierwsi zdobyli zimą Mount Everest". Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  5. ^ "W Newsweeku: Czy Krzysztof Wielicki poprowadzi jeszcze Polaków w Himalaje?". Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  6. ^ "W Newsweeku: Czy Krzysztof Wielicki poprowadzi jeszcze Polaków w Himalaje?". Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  7. ^ "Polish mountaineers end attempt to climb K2 in winter". Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  8. ^ "Zjazd absolwentów i zwiedzanie Politechniki Wrocławskiej". Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  9. ^ "JPL Small-Body Database Browser". Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  10. ^ "PRINCESS OF ASTURIAS AWARD FOR SPORTS 2018". Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  11. ^ "Krzysztof Wielicki awarded Piolet d'Or Lifetime Achievement Award". Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  12. ^ [1]

External links

Andrzej Zawada

Andrzej Zawada, born: Maria Andrzej Zawada, (16 July 1928 in Olsztyn – 21 August 2000 in Warsaw) was a Polish Alpinist and Tatra Mountains climber, pioneer of winter Himalayism. Organiser and leader in numerous high-mountains expeditions. Author of movies and photographs from expeditions, co-author of Alpinist books. Honorary member of the British Alpine Club, French Groupe de Haute Montagne and American The Explorers Club.

Grandson of Tomasz Rawicz-Zawada young participant of January Uprising in 1863. Son of Filip Rawicz Zawada, Polish legionnaire and consul.

Zawada studied physics and geophysics in Wrocław and Warsaw. Received an engineer's degree seismologist. In the years 1955-1993 he worked at the Institute of Geophysics Polish Academy of Sciences.

Amongst climbers he is known for his phrase: "Tell me, what you did in the winter in the Tatras, and I'll tell you what climber you are".

Broad Peak

Broad Peak (Urdu: بروڈ پیک‎) is the 12th highest mountain in the world at 8,047 metres (26,401 ft) above sea level. The literal translation of "Broad Peak" to Falchan Kangri is not used among the Balti people. The English name was introduced in 1892 by the British explorer Martin Conway, in reference to the similarly named Breithorn in the Alps.

Denis Urubko

Denis Urubko (Russian: Дени́с Ви́кторович Уру́бко; 29 July 1973) is a mountaineer. In 2009, as a citizen of Kazakhstan he became the 15th person to climb all 14 eight-thousanders and the 8th person to achieve the feat without the use of supplementary oxygen. He had Soviet citizenship, but after the dissolution of the Soviet Union he became a citizen of Kazakhstan, but renounced the citizenship in 2012. In 2013, he received Russian citizenship and in 12 February 2015 he received Polish citizenship.

In 2006, he won the Elbrus Speed Climbing competition which he did by setting a new speed record, climbing from Azau station to the summit in 3 hours, 55 minutes and 58 seconds (record beaten in 2010 by Andrzej Bargiel). This climb represents a vertical rise of almost 3,250 metres or more than 10,600 feet and thus a speed of more than 800 vertical metres (2,600 vertical feet) an hour. He summited almost 40 minutes ahead of the next finisher. He has also won the Khan Tengri Mountain Festival when he speed climbed the mountain from Base Camp at 4,200 metres to the summit at 7,010 metres and then back to Base Camp in 12 hours and 21 minutes, winning by over 3 hours.He has climbed two 8,000 metre peaks in winter. Makalu in 2009 together with Simone Moro and Gasherbrum II in 2011 together with Cory Richards and again Simone Moro. He has also opened new routes on Cho Oyu, Manaslu and Broad Peak. All together he has 19 ascents of 8,000 metre peaks. He is also a "Snow Leopard" having summited the five 7,000 metre peaks of the former USSR in only 42 days in 1999. He climbs without additional oxygen.

On 27 January 2018, Urubko, along with Adam Bielecki, led a rescue operation on Nanga Parbat to save climbers Elisabeth Revol and Tomasz Mackiewicz, who were stuck on the mountain. Bielecki and Urubko, who had been attempting a winter summit of K2, were brought to the mountain by helicopter and climbed over 1000m through the night to reach Revol. They succeeded in bringing Revol to safety, but, due to the severe weather conditions, were unable to save Mackiewicz.He was part of the Krzysztof Wielicki led Polish winter expedition on K2 in 2017/2018. The team has called off their expedition because of bad weather and safety of the climbers. Hence K2 remains unclimbed in winter. Due to the heavy snowfall it is assumed that the routes towards upper camps are blocked and the threat of avalanche is increased. Also there is high chance of destruction of Camp 1, Camp 2 and Camp 3 as well. In addition, only one good weather window was expected around 11 March 2018, but probably it was a very short time period for summit push and it might endanger the life of the climbers, as analyzed by Wielicki. From the first week of January 2018, they started activity via Cesen/Basque route. The rotation continued till 25 January 2018. Meanwhile Denis Urubko, Adam Bielecki, Jarek Botor and Piotr Tomala took part in the rescue operation of Polish climber Tomasz (Tomek) Mackiewicz who was stuck on Nanga while attempting to summit. However, from 1 February 2018, they restarted their activities via the Cesen/Basque route. Then the team chose the Abruzzi Spur route on K2 and cancelled their previous approach via Cesen/Basque route due to an accident causing injury to Rafal Fronia on 9 February 2018, which forced him to abandon his expedition. Via Cesen/Basque route they reached up to 6300m, while on the Abruzzi Spur route they reached up to 7400m. However in his solo attempt Denis Urubku reported that he probably reached up to 7600m having drawn criticism from his fellow climbers.


The International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation or UIAA recognise eight-thousanders as the 14 mountains that are more than 8,000 metres (26,247 ft) in height above sea level, and are considered to be sufficiently independent from neighbouring peaks. However, there is no precise definition of the criteria used to assess independence, and since 2012 the UIAA has been involved in a process to consider whether the list should be expanded to 20 mountains. All eight-thousanders are located in the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges in Asia, and their summits are in the death zone.

The first person to summit all 14 eight-thousanders was Italian Reinhold Messner in 1986, who completed the feat without the aid of supplementary oxygen. In 2010, Spaniard Edurne Pasaban became the first woman to summit all 14 eight-thousanders, but with the aid of supplementary oxygen; in 2011 Austrian Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner became the first woman to summit all 14 eight-thousanders without the aid of supplementary oxygen. From 1950–1964, all eight-thousanders were summited. As of May 2019, K2 remains the only eight-thousander not summited in a Winter ascent.

February 17

February 17 is the 48th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. 317 days remain until the end of the year (318 in leap years).

Janusz Majer

Janusz Majer (born September 25, 1946) a Polish alpinist, himalaist and traveler. He is co-founder and co-owner (together with Artur Hajzer) ADD Company the owner Alpinus brand (1993–2001), co-founder of Mount Company – the owner HiMountain brand which produces outdoor clothing and equipment and co-owner of large chain of HiMountain Chain Shops in Poland. From 23 November 2013 the head of the program "Polish Himalayas", part of which is the program "Polish Winter Himalaism them. Artur Hajzer".


K2 (Urdu: کے ٹو‎, Kai Ṭū), also known as Mount Godwin-Austen or Chhogori (Balti and Urdu: چھوغوری‎, Chinese: 乔戈里峰), at 8,611 metres (28,251 ft) above sea level, is the second highest mountain in the world, after Mount Everest at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft). It is located on the China–Pakistan border between Baltistan in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan, and the Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang, China. K2 is the highest point of the Karakoram range and the highest point in both Pakistan and Xinjiang.

K2 is known as the Savage Mountain due to the extreme difficulty of ascent. It has the second-highest fatality rate among the eight-thousanders, with around 300 successful summits and 77 fatalities; about one person dies on the mountain for every four who reach the summit. It is more difficult and hazardous to reach the peak of K2 from the Chinese side, so it is usually climbed from the Pakistani side. K2 has never been climbed during winter, unlike Annapurna, the mountain with the highest fatality-to-summit rate (191 summits and 61 fatalities), or the other eight-thousanders. Ascents have almost always been made in July and August, the warmest times of year; K2's more northern location makes it more susceptible to inclement and colder weather.The summit was reached for the first time by the Italian climbers Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni, on the 1954 Italian Karakoram expedition led by Ardito Desio.


Kangchenjunga, also spelled Kanchenjunga, is the third highest mountain in the world. It rises with an elevation of 8,586 m (28,169 ft) in a section of the Himalayas called Kangchenjunga Himal delimited in the west by the Tamur River, in the north by the Lhonak Chu and Jongsang La, and in the east by the Teesta River. It lies between Nepal and Sikkim, India, with three of the five peaks (Main, Central, and South) directly on the border, and the remaining two (West and Kangbachen) in Nepal's Taplejung District.Until 1852, Kangchenjunga was assumed to be the highest mountain in the world, but calculations based on various readings and measurements made by the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India in 1849 came to the conclusion that Mount Everest, known as Peak XV at the time, was the highest. Allowing for further verification of all calculations, it was officially announced in 1856 that Kangchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world.Kangchenjunga was first climbed on 25 May 1955 by Joe Brown and George Band, who were part of a British expedition. They stopped short of the summit in accordance with the promise given to the Chogyal that the top of the mountain would remain intact. Every climber or climbing group that has reached the summit has followed this tradition. Other members of this expedition included John Angelo Jackson and Tom Mackinon.

Kinga Baranowska

Kinga Baranowska (born 17 November 1975 in Wejherowo) is a Polish mountaineer. She made ascents of eight eight-thousanders and is the first Polish woman to have climbed Dhaulagiri, Manaslu and Kangchenjunga. She currently lives in Warsaw.


Krzysztof (Polish pronunciation: [ˈkʂɨʂtɔf]) is a Polish given name, equivalent to English Christopher. The name became popular in the 15th century. Its diminutive forms include Krzyś, Krzysiek, and Krzysio; augmentative – Krzycho

Individuals named Krzysztof may choose to celebrate their name day on March 15, July 25, March 2, May 21, August 20 or October 31.

Leszek Cichy

Leszek Cichy (Polish pronunciation: [ˈlɛʂɛk ˈt͡ɕixɨ]) is a Polish mountaineer, geodesist, financier, and entrepreneur. He was born in Pruszków, Poland on November 14, 1951. He is best known for making the first winter ascent of Mount Everest together with Krzysztof Wielicki in 1980 which established the winter ascent record of 8,848 meters. He was also the first Polish climber to complete the Seven Summits and a number of other prestigious climbs.


Lhotse (Nepali: ल्होत्से L'hōtsē [loːtsi]; Tibetan: ལྷོ་རྩེ, lho rtse) is the fourth highest mountain in the world at 8,516 metres (27,940 ft), after Mount Everest, K2, and Kangchenjunga. Part of the Everest massif, Lhotse is connected to the latter peak via the South Col. Lhotse means “South Peak” in Tibetan. In addition to the main summit at 8,516 metres (27,940 ft) above sea level, the mountain comprises the smaller peaks Lhotse Middle (East) at 8,414 m (27,605 ft), and Lhotse Shar at 8,383 m (27,503 ft). The summit is on the border between Tibet of China and the Khumbu region of Nepal.

List of Polish inventors and discoverers

This is a list of Polish inventors and discoverers. The following list comprises people from Poland and of Polish origin, and also people of predominantly Polish heritage, in alphabetical order of the surname.


Ostrzeszów [ɔsˈtʂɛʂuf] (German: Schildberg, 1943-45: Schildberg im Wartheland) is a town in Poland, in Greater Poland Voivodeship. It is the capital of Ostrzeszów County. The population in 2006 was 14,536 inhabitants. The town is situated around 80 kilometres (50 miles) from Wrocław, 170 km (106 miles) from Katowice and 160 km (99 miles) from Poznań. Attractions in the town include the surrounding forests, an attractive town square, and the Norwegian POW Museum.

One of Ostrzeszów's honorary citizens is Krzysztof Wielicki, who climbed all of the world's mountains of over 8,000 metres (26,247 feet) in height. Also, a young and popular guitarist, Adam Fulara was born in Ostrzeszów.

Reinhold Messner

Reinhold Andreas Messner (German pronunciation: [ˈʁaɪ̯nhɔlt ˈmɛsnɐ]; born 17 September 1944) is an Italian mountaineer, explorer, and author. He made the first solo ascent of Mount Everest, the first ascent of Everest without supplemental oxygen, along with Peter Habeler, and was the first climber to ascend all fourteen peaks over 8,000 metres (26,000 ft) above sea level. He was also the first person to cross Antarctica and Greenland with neither snowmobiles nor dog sleds. Furthermore, he crossed the Gobi Desert alone. Messner also published more than 80 books about his experiences as a climber and explorer. In 2018 he received jointly with Krzysztof Wielicki the Princess of Asturias Award in the category of Sports.

Ryszard Pawłowski

Ryszard Pawłowski (24 June 1950 in Bogatynia) - Polish alpine and high-altitude climber and photographer. Member of The Explorers Club.

Ryszard Pawlowski is the founder and co-owner of the Patagonia Mountain Agency. He has been climbing since 1970 and is an alpinism instructor and guide. He has climbed the mountains of North and South America, the Himalayas, Alps, Caucasus, Pamirs and Tian Shan.

He has summitted Mt. Everest five times - 13 May 1994, 12 May 1995, 18 May 1999, 20 May 2012 and 25 May 2014.

He has climbed with - Jerzy Kukuczka, Piotr Pustelnik, Janusz Majer, Krzysztof Wielicki.

He has summited ten of the fourteen 8000 metre peaks including K2.


Shishapangma, also called Gosainthān, is the 14th highest mountain in the world at 8,027 metres (26,335 ft) above sea level. It was the last 8,000 metre peak to be climbed, due to its location entirely within Tibet and the restrictions on visits by foreign travelers to the region imposed by authorities of the Government of China and of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Wrocław University of Science and Technology

Wrocław University of Science and Technology (Polish: Politechnika Wrocławska, founded as German: Technische Hochschule Breslau) is a technological university in Wrocław Poland. With buildings and infrastructures dispersed throughout the city, its main facilities are gathered at a central location near Plac Grunwaldzki, alongside the Oder river. It operates three regional branches in Jelenia Góra, Legnica, and Wałbrzych. Huffington Post UK named Wrocław University of Science and Technology in the top 15 Of The World’s Most Beautiful Universities Rankings.


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