By Michał Skiba
In July of 2008 I found myself hanging out in a Krakow apartment that belonged to the CEO of a Polish consulting company. The CEO’s name is Marek Romanowicz . I met him a month earlier in a tiny Kashmiri village overlooking Tso Moriri , an impressive lake close to the Chinese border with arid 6000m peaks circling its shoreline. The area had been restricted till 1994 and now travelers can only visit with a permit.
The self-proclaimed “trekking addict” had been organizing private expeditions to the most awesome corners of the globe for the past 17 years. They were a way for him to get out the office, see exotic landscapes and sample the lifestyles of villagers unaccustomed to Western culture and all things that came with it. While pouring Żołądkowa Gorzka in his living room I suggested: “Let’s do the most difficult route in the world – before death and marriage, and while we’ve still got some freedom”.
Over the course of the next nine months the two of us had planned a seven week route in Nepal’s Makalu-Barun and Solukhumbu regions that began in October 2009 in the sweltering jungles of Nepal’s lowlands, and guided us to the summit of Ama Dablam, an iconic peak just south of Mount Everest that rises a full six kilometers above our starting point.
Two university students, Jakub Polasik and Piotr Kluz, joined our group, and when in Nepal, we hired a guide (“Sherpa”) and five porters. Asides from help with carrying our 100 kilograms of food supplies and securing permits, we managed everything ourselves. Along the way we photographed magnificent rice and potato terraces, isolated villages, the base camps of four 8000 meter peaks and crossed two 6000+ meter mountain passes. We bathed three times in those two months!
This April, Marek and I are flying out to Nepal again and will be completing a four week trek skirting Manaslu, the 8156 meter Mountain of the Spirit.
Photos from this and previous treks can be found on our Facebook page