Discover the relentless climber who changed the world's deadliest sport...
#stories from the eastern west
In the early 1960s, a woman decided that the way men were dominating the world of mountain climbing didn’t make any sense. She went on to defy the whole community and became an icon, a trail-blazer who energised the whole community of female climbers and proved that women are capable of being self-sufficient, excellent climbers.
Her name was Wanda Rutkiewicz and to date, she is one of the most memorable female climbers, the first European to climb Mount Everest, the first woman ever to climb K2, and the only female climber of her time who could challenge men and prove to them women were equal.
However, underneath all this success there was loneliness, dejection, and desperate efforts to build a normal life outside of 8000-metre-high peaks…
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[02:06] A handful of facts before we go
[06:56] Wanda’s first Himalayan Experiences
[12:10] Mount Everest, K2 and other achievements
[19:53] The Caravan of Dreams
[23:40] The Decline and Kanchenjunga
[29:10] But what is it that makes people climb?
- Art of Freedom // an Adam Mickiewicz Institute documentary about Wanda and other exceptional Polish climbers of the Himalayas
- Jennifer Jordan: Women of K2 // a WGBH Forum lecture about the first female climbers of K2
Bernadette McDonald // for sharing with us her memories of Wanda as well as opinions of other climbers that she gathered during the writing of her book Freedom Climbers. Bernadette is a Canadian-born author of several non-fiction books, primarily on mountain culture topics, including Brotherhood of the Rope, Tomaž Humar, and Freedom Climbers. Her most recent book Art Of Freedom, tells the story of another outstanding Polish climber: Voytek (Wojtek) Kurtyka
Piotr Pustelnik // for taking time out of his busy day and sharing with us his views on Wanda and mountain climbing in general. Piotr is a legendary climber, and one of the few people who has successfully climbed all fourteen of the eight-thousanders. He recently released his autobiography: Ja, Pustelnik.
Samuel Corwin // for putting his field recordings on the Internet and available under a creative commons license. Samuel travelled from the south of India to Nepal and back again in the winter and spring of 2015 and recorded hours of genuine music and ambiances. Thanks to his generous approach we were able to present you the most realistic local music you can get.
SFTEW Team: Wojciech Oleksiak, Adam Zulawski, Grażyna Soczewka & Michael Keller