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.
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
||15 May 2001
17th of May
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
Daily News and Expedition