“Na Szczytach Świata” ("At the top of the world") Jerzy Kukuczka and Tomasz Malanowski, the book (PL)
“Na szczytach świata” is a record of high-altitude memories of Jerzy Kukuczka, the best Polish climber of XX century. A long interview conducted and compiled by Tomasz Malanowski, a frank and open discussion of many mountain topics - the difficult beginning being the roots of his later Himalayan successes, struggling with yourself, the routes established on the world’s fourteen highest summits, climbing partners, death and friendship and the choice whether to help and put yourself at risk or save your own life, complicated preparations for expeditions which often started with paint works on factory chimneys as well as many other issues that were close to Jerzy’s heart. This is a simple and honest dialogue, far from the mountain martyrdom.
“This, what started to happen in the events and continues to pester me on the next day on the crest, filled me with anxiety, even with fear. As I was cooking my evening meal, I had all the time an overwhelming feeling that I need to prepare it for two. What’s more, I was convinced that there was someone else in the tent and I would not risk my head saying that I was not trying to talk to him. I felt very well, nothing bugged me. So, why the hallucinations? Or perhaps it just seemed to me that everything was fine? Such questions racked me just like the hallucinations. Then, again I was not sure whether I was right to go up. In the morning, as I was heading to the summit, I still had this illusion of someone’s presence. I caught myself stopping to wait for the other one, let him go first and change me leading. And there were the stars. At some point, I glanced at Tibet and I had to sit down. In daylight sky I could clearly see them glittering as if it was night. I closed my eyes , than I looked at my watch. It was almost 1 p.m. when I looked again at the sky. The stars were still shining…”
Jerzy Kukuczka, an excerpt from the book “ Na szczytach świata”.