Andrzej Bargiel skis Gasherbrum I & II

Andrzej Bargiel. ©coll. Bargiel

Polish skier and mountaineer Andrzej Bargiel climbed and skied Gasherbrum I and Gasherbrum II on July 19 and 26, 2023. These two ascents and descents on skis are part of his project to climb all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks without using supplementary oxygen, and then ski down from each summit.

That’s what we call killing two birds with one stone. After crossing the Baltoro glacier in Pakistan and climbing Khosar Gang (6046 m) to acclimatize, the expedition led by the 35-year-old Polish climber moved on to Gasherbrum II (8035 m), which Andrzej Bargiel climbed and skied down on July 19, 2023.

Andrzej Bargiel. ©coll. Bargiel

A week later, he moved on to its big brother, Gasherbrum I (8,080 m). After an overnight ascent from Camp 2, Andrzej Bargiel reached the summit at 7.15am on July 26, 2023, before skiing back down.

©coll. Bargiel

Climb the 14 x 8000 without additional oxygen, then ski back down

His “Hic Sunt Leones” project (“Here are the lions” in Latin) , begun in 2013, aims to climb the world’s 14 highest peaks without using additional oxygen, then ski back down from each summit.

In 2013, he climbed and descended Shishapangma (8027 m) on skis, becoming the first Polish expedition on skis in the Himalayas. In 2014, he climbed Manaslu (8163 m), then Broad Peak (8051 m) in 2015, where he succeeded in making the first ski descent. Finally, in 2018, he became the first man in the world to ski down from the summit of K2 (8611 m, the world’s second highest peak), without oxygen.

Andrzej Bargiel. ©coll. Bargiel

Andrzej Bargiel. ©coll. Bargiel

In 2019, he set off for Everest with the same goal, but was forced to give up due to bad conditions. He returned in the autumn of 2022, but failed again, at the South Col (7906 m) due to strong winds.

On April 30, 2021, he climbed and skied down the virgin summit of Yawash Sar II (6,178m) in Pakistan, followed by Laila Peak (6,092m) on May 10, 2021. The film Door Sar documents these two ascents.

With six 8000 summits under his belt, what’s next for the “snow leopard”? A third attempt on Everest? Otherwise, Andrzej Bargiel is spoiled for choice: Kangchenjunga, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Dhaulagiri, Nanga Parbat and Annapurna I. A very full agenda.