National Geographic has recently released a series of images depicting some of the deadliest climbable mountains in the world – in the middle of winter. Attempting to scale the likes of K2 or Everest during the warmer months is obviously an incredible achievement in itself, but to do it in the dead of winter? Bonkers.
So who would be brave/stupid enough to accept this challenge? Why, the Polish of course – namely, Andrzej Zawada. Zawada’s strong and lasting leadership began to take hold in the 1970s, as the USSR’s iron grip on Poland slowly began to waver. In the wake of the Second World War, the world set out to conquer the world’s highest peaks. By the time Zawada and his team got to the scene, they’d all been done. But they hadn’t been done in winter.
Since Zawada’s burning to conquer the most dangerous mountains during the most dangerous seasons, Polish climbers have established a strong legacy of mountaineering greatness, eventually coming to be known as the ‘Ice Warriors’. This year, these teams hope to conquer K2, marking all the 8,000ft. (2438m) + mountains off their list. This small gallery captures a varied few of the world’s highest mountains, from the perspective of the (mostly Polish) climbers.