Wojciech „Voytek” Kurtyka, b. 1947, Poland
Mountaineering is a complex and unique way of life, interweaving elements of sport, art and mysticism. Success or failure depends on the ebb and flow of immense inspiration. Detecting a single rule governing this energy is difficult – it arises and vanishes like the urge to dance and remains as mysterious as the phenomenon of life itself.
If there is such a thing as spiritual materialism, it is displayed in the urge to possess the mountains rather than to unravel and accept their mysteries.
Imperium Kontratakuje (The Empire Strikes Back) VI.5+ (French 8a), Łaskawiec, the Prądnik Valley, 8a rock climb at the age of 56!
Poniekąd Donikąd V+ A2+, 250m, Jarząbkowa Turnia, the Slovakian Tatra Mountains, New route in winter, with Marcin Michałek
Biacherahi Central Tower ca 5700m, Karakoram, Pakistan, south face, new route, with Taeko and Yasushi Yamanoi (Japan) [note: AAJ 2002]
Nanga Parbat, Mazeno Ridge, attempt, with Erhard Loretan (Swiss), climbed almost half the ridge in a day and half, turned back in perfect weather
Several attempts on the north face of Kang Tengri 6571m, with different partners
Losar, 700-m icefall above Namchee Bazaar, Nepal, ascent, with Maciej Rysula [article: Voytek Kurtyka, Losar, Alpinist, Autumn 2003, No 4]
K2 8611m, west face, attempt, with Carlos Buhler, Krzysztof Wielicki, their highpoint was 6650m
Gacopyrz Now VIII+, The Kazalnica Mieguszowiecka Wall, the Polish Tatra Mountains, new route, with Andrzej Marcisz
Nanga Parbat 8125m, Mazeno Ridge, expedition, with Doug Scott, never tried the route – Scott was swept by avalanche, seriously injuring his ankle
Chiński Maharadża (Chinese Maharaja) VI.5 (French: 7c+), Dolina Bolechowicka, the Polish Jura, freesolo ascent, one of the most serious freesolo ascents in Polish crags to date, because of the tricky character of the 25-meter line, done at the age of 46
Shock the Monkey VI.5+/6 (8a/a+) RP, Pochylec, The Prądnik Valley, his hardest rock climb
Łamaniec VI.5 (French: 7c+), Raptawicka Tower, the Western Polish Tatras, first ascent, one of the hardest bolted rock climbs in the Tatras