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EverestHistory.com: Piotr Pustelnik


Piotr Pustelnik, with his Summit of Kangchenjunga has joined an elite group in the goal to reach the True Summits of the 14 8000 meter peaks. 

Below is a short biography of Piotr Pustelnik. 

Piotr Pustelnik was born on July 12, 1951 in Lodz (Poland). Nothing had prefigured his great climbing career until he turned 18 in 1969. Then he went of his first mountain hike and soon understood mountains were the best kind of landscape for him. Later, during one of his stays in the Tatras, he saw some climbers descending a mountain, accompanied by the clanging of their gear. He immediately felt a desire to be like them.

The beginnings were not easy, although the first steps were taken almost at once. Together with his cousin, he decided to enroll in a climbing course with the Mountaineering Club in Lodz. After numerous theoretical classes, practical assessment followed in the rocks of Podlesice. He failed and was kicked out of the course. He was only 22 then. It did not impair his determination though and he started to practice on his own with a couple of friends. He had done quite a lot of climbing in the Tatras before he finally decided to "legalize" his activity, and passed the climbing exam (on the second attempt). Several months later he became an instructor of alpinism.

In 1980 he first went abroad, to the Alps. The trip organized by the Academic Mountain Club in Lodz turned out successful, enabling Piotr to do a few major routes, including the eastern face of Mt Blanc. 

After that, a period of family life and writing a doctoral thesis followed, marking a break in his active climbing until 1985. Then he went to Cashmere, and a year later he attempted to climb Pinnacle (6950 m), which he did not summit due to altitude problems. In 1989 he climbed Korzhenevskoy Peak in the Pamir. Then he could go only higher.

His debut in the Karakoram came in 1990, on an expedition with Wanda Rutkiewicz, and brought immediate success - he summited Gasherbrum II (8035 m) in a solo climb. The next 8000-ers followed smoothly in the next decade: 

Gasherbrum II (8035 m) 19 July 1990
Nanga Parbat (8125 m) 12 July 1992
Cho Oyu (8201 m) 24 September 1993
Shishapangma (8027 m) 6 October 1993
Dhaulagiri (8167 m) 26 September 1994
Mount Everest (8848 m) 12 May 1995
K2 (8611 m) 14 July 1996
Gasherbrum I (8068 m) 15 July 1997
Gasherbrum II (8035 m) 21 July 1997
Lhotse (8501 m) 15 May 2000
Kangchenjunga 15 May 2001
Makalu May 2002
Manaslu 17th of May 2003

Piotr Pustelnik is a researcher at the Faculty of Processing Engineering and Environment Protection, Technical University of Lodz.  He does a lot of climbing in the mountains all over the world. Currently, he is involved in a project of 'Three Crowns", aiming to reach the 14 highest peaks of the Himalayas, next to the highest and the second highest peaks of all the Continents. Written by Waldek Brygier

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