Zbliżają się wakacje, czas pomyśleć o wyzwaniach! Dzisiaj mamy bardzo ciekawy tekst Ani Ciszelskiej z klasy 2c o koronach wszelakich gór: Himalajów, ziemi, Polski, Sudetów… Teza Ani – każdy z nas ma szansę zostać zdobywcą korony! Podziwiamy zdobywców szczytów – może warto zacząć od naszych Sudetów? Korona Sudetów polskich – 21 szczytów. Na pewno połowę z nich mamy już pozdobywanych! A jakby to sobie usystematyzować? Brzmi kusząco?

Are you ready to be crowned?…

Recently we have had the opportunity to observe the coronation of the king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland – Charles III. It was the first coronation in 70 years – no wonder it aroused interest around the world. But there are other crowns, not just those put on the heads of kings and queens. I will say more – even you can have them too! Let’s find out about it!

It all started in the 80’s of the twentieth century. All the peaks that are more than 8,000 meters high had already been conquered long ago and it was realized that no person had yet climbed all of them. Yet, there were two climbers who at that time were in with a chance, a Tyrolean Reinhold Messner and a Pole Jerzy Kukuczka. In February 1985, Messner had already climbed 10 eight-thousanders and Kukuczka 8. This is how the race began, which was followed by the whole world. Although both claimed that climbing was the most important thing for them, not a competition, the question is if that was really true. It is not easy to compare ascents on such high peaks when you risk your life almost every day. You can’t even compare the abilities they both had. It is also difficult to compare the difficulty of the routes they climbed. But well, it’s human nature to watch competitions and compare results.

In  the beginning of 1986 the result was as follows: Messner 12 peaks, Kukuczka 10 peaks. However, on 16 October 1986, Messner climbed his last – the fourteenth – eight-thousander – Lhotse. At that time, Jerzy Kukuczka had climbed 11 eight-thousanders. A few weeks later he reached the twelfth – Manaslu. He became the second, after Messner, winner of the Crown of the Himalayas and Karakoram. After descending to the base, 14 Silesian dumplings were waiting for him, each with a small flag with the name of the peak. After this event, Reinhold Messner sent Jerzy Kukuczka a telegram saying: „You are not second, you are great. Reinhold Messner”.

Both were awarded the Olympic medal for their achievements. Reinhold Messner, after conquering all 14 eight-thousanders, retired from active mountaineering and took up social and political activities. Jerzy Kukuczka continued his passion, but he died on October 24, 1989, while attempting the southern face of Lhotse… Now, the Crown of the Himalayas and Karakoram has already been climbed by almost 50 people, including three Poles.
And so, after the Crown of the Himalayas and the Karakoram, other “crowns” came into the game: the Crown of the Earth – the highest peaks of all continents, the Crown of Europe – the highest peaks of all countries in Europe and probably the crowns of other continents. But, as I said before, even us, we can get crowns too! There are some possibilities:

– The Crown of Polish Mountains – the highest peaks of all mountain ranges in Poland (28 peaks),
– The Crown of the Sudetes – the highest peaks of all mountain ranges in the Polish, Czech and German Sudetes (22 peaks),
– The Crown of the Polish Sudetes – the highest peaks of all mountain ranges in the Polish Sudetes (21 peaks).

And probably many others. Confirmations of reaching peaks are are made with special stamps, which can be found at the top in special booklets. In less frequented places – a photo is enough. Then, the booklet with a complete set of stamps has to be showed in any branch of PTTK (Polish touristic organization) and that’s it!
Holidays are around the corner, maybe is is a good time to start completing one of the Crowns!

Anna Ciszelska (2c)