I wonder how they felt a year ago when they were dying, going down after the first winter ascent of Broad Peak (8047m)…They carried in the heart more joy or sorrow? They repented climbing and its consequences, or maybe they were convinced that it was worth it? And if they were at the time of death reconciled to their fate?
Answers to these questions can be found in the ice-covered bodies, in frozen hearts and minds. Somewhere under the snow of this eight-thousand miracle of nature.
Adam Bielecki, Artur Małek, Maciej Berbeka and Tomasz Kowalski stood on the 5th of March 2013 at the summit of Broad Peak, making the first ever winter ascent. Undoubtedly, they did not think that the date of their triumph will also be the date of death of Tomek and Maciej. But which of the dead climbers had such a consciousness? Which, knowing that death awaits him, would start climbing?
In contrast to the opinion of the greater part of society, we are not suicidal, contrary – we know the value of life much more than others. Frequent balancing on the edge of life and death, allows us to appreciate more the gift of the existence and use it fully. Why should we carry in ourselves the desire to die, if there is still enough mountains to climb?
Sooner or later we all die. While we refuse to this and try to live as long as possible, desiring immortality in the depths of the soul, actually aware of the proximity of death, gives meaning to life. It motivates us to take action, to appreciate each moment, each encountered beings. It motivates us to live, and not only the existence consisting of slow vegetation.
It would be great, after a beautiful life, die beautifully. Not in the hospital but on the greatest mountain on Earth; not in white sheets, but in white snow down; not gasping for breath in the hospital room, but searching for remnants of oxygen, at huge altitudes; not with the ceiling, but with a billion of stars and the infinity of the universe over my head. In this way, I might die. Becoming what I love the most, what I dream about, or by what I can not sleep. And far away my soul will not go, because paradise is right there, on the spot.
The man has not yet created the words that could describe how much I suffering being away from my mountains. And he does not find them ever again. Because suffering is too great for any letter. Throughout the alphabet would not be able to fit.
People on the street are dancing of happiness, because the weather is like spring, and sometimes even a summer. But I’m crying watching that my Tatras are melt away, and my chance for winter climbing melts too, in the warm March sun. However, I live thinking of the Alps, which probably in April will be in front of me, and impress me with their beauty.
A few weeks ago I bought tickets to Spain at the beginning of March this year. I had to climb on the sun-warmed rock off the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. But every day I was in a more and more doubts. And when appeared the likelihood of organizing one of two planned trips to the Alps, doubts intensified and almost immediately turned into a decision – I choose the snow and ice!
Rock climbing is unquestionably the love of my life, but not as great as the high mountains. Always been for me rather a transitional state, some kind of a bridge that would take me to the greatest peaks of the Earth (which of course does not mean that I have no ambition to climb in the rocks more difficult routes). I’d love to ride both the mountains and the rocks, but when – as in this case, I am not able to go on two larger trips, I choose what is closest to my heart, so the mountains. Because I have to keep consistency in the pursuit of the goal, sacrifice as much as possible to achieve it.
Airline tickets were lost, unfortunately, along with money. Maybe I have not jumped on the ground of happiness, but I felt I was making the right decision. You have to lose something to gain something else, often more valuable. And need to have the courage to follow your heart voice, the voice of the mountains.
I have downloaded from the website of Polish Mountaineering Association training schedule preparing climber for climbing in high mountains, but at the moment I train according to The North Face plan, because to start mountaineering training I need to fix two things – the brakes on the bike and knees. I started to care more about the diet, because I did not provide my body of many nutrients. For over a year I’m on a vegan diet (previously 2-3 years on a vegetarian), which is quite challenging, and I unfortunately do not like the food and so far delivered usually quite negligible amount, so the effect was that my body was significantly weakened .
But I believe that I am stronger than my weakness, that the great desire of reaching for dreams will enable me to fulfill them and overcome all obstacles. And I’m sure that one day I will stand on top of K2 in winter and in addition to the cold and enormous fatigue, feel the power of God and liberation. And I’ll be the happiest creature created by God.