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“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.

Delivery date: 1-2 days
39,00 zł
25,00 zł

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”.

Products specifications
Language Polski
Type of publication The Book
Literary / Art form Wywiad
Author Jerzy Kukuczka i Tomasz Malanowski
Publishing house Fundacja Wielki Człowiek
ISBN 978-83-937896-0-3
Year of publication 2013
Number of pages 208
Format A5
Cover Miękka
Book interior B / W + color photographs
O Jerzym Kukuczce jerzy-kukuczka
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“Mój pionowy świat” is an autobiographical book by Jerzy Kukuczka. It’s full of passion, commitment and dedication to mountains. It presents his way to climb all fourteen eight-thousenders, his emotional attitude to mountains and his climbing partners and a brief outline of Poland of that time and the situation the Polish Himalayan mountaineering developed in. But above all, it introduces readers into the psychological portrait of the best Polish climber of XX century and is a great opportunity to “get to know” Jerzy Kukuczka, his mountain stories, reflections and on occasion even his desires.

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"Kukuczka. Opowieść o najsłynniejszym polskim himalaiście" Dariusz Kortko, Marcin Pietraszewski

Death is experienced everywhere equally strong, but the reaction to it in the mountains is unusual, because such are conditions. My partner dies, and I cannot fall into pieces. I cannot sit down and deliberate over it. No one will come after me, no one will help me. I must keep going, otherwise I will die as well.

Jerzy Kukuczka

"Kukuczka" - this portrait of the legendary mountaineer is more than just a book about determination and the mountains. This is a breathtaking story about the limits of risk that sometimes become the limits of humanity.

- From the logical point of view, I should not go with you because all the people around you die - a fellow climber said once Jerzy Kukuczka straight in his face. Was it merely ill fate or was he indeed responsible for the death, which almost always during his expeditions took its toll? If you cannot help a person because they fell off the wall or died of pulmonary edema, should you give up summiting, after so many months of preparation, when it is within your reach, when you can fulfil your dreams?

How was that possible that a short, silent boy from Silesia, an electrician with just vocational education became "great"? The authors, having access to numerous materials – memoir notes by Kukuczka and his books, talks with his wife Cecylia, interviews with members of expeditions Kukuczka was a member of etc. have created a fascinating portrait of a man who persistently strived to achieve his goal, a man full of contradictions and realizing that that you cannot reconcile everything and everyone in life, a man who right from his youth was marked by death lurking nearby. He was twenty-three years old when for the first time he lost in the mountains his friend, his peer. And at the age of fourty, in 1989 he fell off from the south face of Lhotse, which was perhaps the most difficult test for a climber. On that last day, he wrote in his diary two enigmatic words: Paradise - Heaven ... The body was not found, the tomb is empty ...!

I highly appreciate the authors - Dariusz Kortko and Marcin Pietraszewski - for their courage in discovering Kukuczka’s comprehensive personality. The well-known legend, crafted for the media was not enough to them. The authors tried to show the complexity of the human being. (...) This biography is written with respect and understanding, with humor and empathy. As in the case of the main character, it is a masterpiece, made in the best style.

From the introduction by Bernadette McDonald

He went to the mountains because that's where he felt a taste of freedom, because it was his passion and an endless adventure. He did not like to share his experience from the mountains, and I suspect that he took with him many secrets, which we will never know. I read this book and I see his portrait like in a dream. It brings tears to my eyes. What I have left are only beautiful memories and memory, a memory that lasts forever.

Cecylia Kukuczka, wife

For many people of my generation Kukuczka was a hero. One of the half-gods, who maniacally summited another eight-thousenders. But hardly anyone in the People’s Republic of Poland of the time guessed what price for those moments of freedom during subsequent expedition he had to pay. And his closest ones as well. This is a true story of the man who almost managed to achieved his goal...

Michał Nogaś, ,Polish Radio, Program 3

Grey communist everyday life. Poland, full of absurdities, restrictions, control and a seemingly ordinary man embedded in it. The man who had a vision, dreams and the strength to follow them. On the way to the top, literally and figuratively, he had to face adversities of the outside world... No equipment, small chances to cross the boundaries of the People’s Republic of Poland, modest financial resources. But Kukuczka chased also his own internal limitations and the more they stood in his way, the more determined he became. For all those who dream and desire to make their dreams come true, Kukuczka and this book certainly will be very inspiring reading on the way to summit the Crown of Your Own Life.

Jacek Masłowski. Coach, psychoterapeuta

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