Award-winning author Bernadette McDonald recounts the thrilling tale of how Polish mountaineers developed 'the art of suffering' in their quest to climb all 14 8,000 metre Himalayan peaks in winter.
There's no challenge harder, fiercer or crueller in the world of mountaineering, taking climbers right to their limits of skill and survival. But that's just what a group of Polish mountaineers attempted, starting with Everest in the winter of 1980.
McDonald looks into what drove this dedicated cohort of climbers from Poland to take up such a savage quest, recounts how climbers from other nations soon joined the challenge, and how the competition to be the first to complete each peak grew until only the infamous K2 was left.
"He appeared, without a word, in the tent’s entrance, covered in ice. He looked like anyone would after spending over twenty-four hours in a hurricane at over 8,000 metres. In winter. In the Karakoram. He was so exhausted he couldn’t speak."
- Category finalist: Banff Mountain Book Competition 2020