For us, Asia is home primarily to the largest mountains in the world and thus the highest off-road routes, but also the vast stepps of Mongolia, the wilderness of Kyrgyzstan and the cold of Siberia.
It’s thousands of kilometers in a diverse climate, which even the most hardened cyclists can’t ride in one life. It is also a place of great geographical contrasts. 44.6 million km², which is about 30% of the land area and thus the largest continent on Earth. There is both the highest (Mount Everest, 8848 m) and the lowest point on the Earth’s surface (depression of the Dead Sea, -422 m).
Central Asia (also sometimes called High Asia) is the highest. There is the Tibetan Plateau surrounded by impressive mountain ranges: the Himalayas (from the south), Karakorum (from the southwest) and Kunlun (from the north), and here our story begins in the Himalayas.
For Poles (winter warriors), the Himalayas are a piece of world-class history, forever written in the pages of extreme Himalayanism. These are the names that should be known when thinking about this destination.
Jerzy Kukuczka – the second man on Earth who won the Crown of the Himalayas and Karakorum. He marked 11 new roads and accomplished 4 winter summits, and all this in half the time (8 years) that it took Reinhold Messner, who was the first to accomplish the same feat in 16 years.
For more: https://jerzykukuczka.com/en/foundation/
Andrzej Zawada – In 1974 he lead the expedition to Lhotse 8501 m a.s.l. which managed, for the first time in the history of mountaineering, to cover eight thousand metres in winter. In 1980 he achieved the impossible. Under his supervision, the national expedition to Mount Everest 8848 m a.s.l. managed to conquer the Himalayan giant for the first time in winter.
For more: http://andrzejzawada.pl/en/
Jerzy Kurtyka – He is one of the pioneers of the Alpine style in Polish and global mountaineering – assuming a high-altitude sports transition, undertaken as a single, continuous attempt without establishing camps and railing ropes.
For more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZPdDLA_YuY
Krzysztof Wielicki – together with Leszek Cichy made the first winter ascent of Mount Everest (expedition under the leadership of Andrzej Zawada). He also conquered Kanczedzongi and Lhoste, Dhaulagiri, Shishapangma, Gaszerbrum II, Nanga Parbat and K2.
For more: http://wydawnictwoagora.pl/krzysztof-wielicki-pieklo-mnie-nie-chcialo/
Wanda Rutkiewicz – 3rd woman in the world and the first European woman to conquer Mount Everest
For more: https://www.national-geographic.pl/traveler/wywiady/wanda-rutkiewicz
Janusz Majer, Artur Hajzer, Ryszard Pawłowski, Janusz Gołąb, Leszek Cichy, Adam Bielecki….. and many, many more
Polish elite of extreme athletes – our winter warriors.
We also had the pleasure of calling the Himalayas our home on two separate occasions. In 2014, led by Jacek Lisiecki, we set out and reached the Thorung La pass (5460 m) in Nepal on our bicycles. A year later our hunger for more brought us back to the Himalayas, but this time on the Indian side of the border, where our team cycled what is probably the highest road in the world, the Ladakh Highway, and reached Khardung La pass (5340 m).
Author of pictures: united-cyclists.com team