Our next goal is definitely clear: Annapurna – the last mountain missing in Piotr Pustelnik’s Himalayan Crown, a mountain that has turned him down three times already. Other elements are also interesting but not of such great importance. We want to acclimatize on Ama Dablam then go quickly to Annapurna and to move to the endless Baltoro Glacier in summer, do the traverse of Gasherbrums I to III and do the traverse of Broad Peaks starting in the K2 base camp arriving at Concordia. Neither of the traverses has been completed yet, although in 1984 the super team Wojtek Kurtyka & Jerzy Kukuczka climbed all three Broad Peak summits descending via the normal route.
- Piotr Pustelnik – has been climbing in high mountains since 1985 and has climbed 13 eight-thousand-meter peaks
- Piotr Morawski – first man to have accomplished the winter ascent to Shisha Pangma and has climbed 4 eight-thousand-meter peaks
- Dariusz Załuski – has climbed 4 eight-thousand-meter peaks, participated in numerous winter and summer expeditions where he combined climbing with film shooting, his films from the highest peaks of the world have been awarded at renown mountain film festivals
- Peter Hámor – has climbed 5 eight-thousand-meter peaks and the highest peaks of all continents
Chapter One: mBank Annapurna North-West Face Expedition
Our goal is to accomplish the first repetition of the Czech route (Gabbarrou Spur) in the north-west face of Annapurna – the tenth world’s mountain with 8 091 m of altitude. Annapurna is the last mountain missing in Piotr Pustelnik’s Himalayan Crown. Piotr has climber thirteen out of fourteen eight-thousand-meter peaks and if he is successful on Annapurna he will be the fourteenth climber in the world to have accomplished the Himalayan Crown.
Despite Annapurna is one of the last eight-thousand-meter peaks in terms of altitude it is considered as one of the most dangerous mountains in the world. Not more than 103 ascents to its main peak and as many as 56 fatal accidents have been registered until 2005. The Annapurna massif is very large and is composed of six peaks. It is the first eight-thousand-meter peak to have been climbed. On 3 June 1950 two French climbers, Luis Lachenal and Maurice Herzog, succeeded after an atrocious struggle. The first winter ascent was accomplished by two Poles, Artur Hajzer and Jerzy Kukuczka, in 1987.
The expedition will not be a first ever to that summit for mBank. They supported the attempts in 2004 and 2005 via Bonington route in south face of Annapurna. In 2006 “Tres Pedros” – Piotr Pustelnik, Piotr Morawski and Peter Hamor – and a Canadian, Don Bowie, decided to climb the summit via the long east ridge that had been climbed only twice until then. Two Piotrs – Pustelnik and Morawski – climbed to the East Summit (8 010 m) where they quit to descend with a blinded Tibetan, Lo Tse. I was alone to stand atop the main summit on 21 May 2006.
This year Piotr Pustelnik decided to come back to Annapurna with a proven team: Piotr Pustelnik in the position of “kierownik”, Piotr Morawski, Peter Hamor and Dariuzs Zaluski who is going to be also the cameraman of the team. We aim at the Czech route Gabbarrou Spur in the north-west face of Annapurna that was first climbed in 1988 by Jindro Martis and Jozef Nezerka, and has not been climbed again ever since.
We want to acclimatize by climbing Ama Dablam (6856m), the “Himalayan Matterhorn” considered the most beautiful mountain in the Mt. Everest region, prior that demanding ascent. Ama Dablam may be translated into English as „Mother and Pearl Necklace“ and the mountain was climbed for the first time by Mike Gill, Barry Bishop, Mike Ward and Wally Romanes in 1961.
We set off to mountains from Warsaw on 15 March and will be acclimatizing on Ama Dablam until mid-April. Then we shall move by helicopter to the base camp on the north-western foothill of Annapurna. Chapter One and return to Kathmandu have been planned for 5 May.
Chapter Two: Gasherbrum and Broad Peak Expedition
We aim to traverse notorious Pakistani eight-thousand-meter peaks, an exploit planned by Wojtek Kurtyka in the years of his active climber career. The first part of this chapter of our project consists in complete pure traverse of Gasherbrums, starting with the ascent to Gasherbrum I (8 080 m) going via Gasherbrum II (8 035 m) to Gasherbrum III (7 952 m). It would be the first completion ever of that line.
The last part of the project Himalayan Trilogy Reactivation is the first complete traverse of the three-summit ridge of Broad Peak, the closest eight-thousand neighbour of Gasherbrum peaks and the twelfth highest peak of the world. We have already stood atop the main summit of Broad Peak with Piotrs in 2006 having climbed it via the normal route in the west face. This time we intend to accomplish the complete pure traverse of the summits Broad Peak North (7 550 m), Broad Peak Central Summit (8 016 m) and Broad Peak Main Summit (8 047 m).
We set off to Pakistan on 1 June and intend to spend two moths in Karakoram. The project shall be accomplished and finished on 5 August 2008.