Tomek Mackiewicz and Nanga Parbat: Seven Years of Love, Faith, Deceit and the Union

Winter 2011:
Everyone is talking about Broad Peak, Gasherbrum I and GII, and rather a mysterious lone Russian on Nanga Parbat. And then there are two more; Marek Klonowski and Tomasz Mackiewicz. “There are no details of this undertaking in Polish sources,” comments The duo’s credentials are limited to first Polish ascent of Mount Logan in Canada and traverse of the massif. The result of the expedition is quite forgettable – except that the two fell in love with the mountain. Fast forward seven years and “Tomek Czapkins Mackiewicz” becomes the face of winter Nanga Parbat.

Elite climbers Simone Moro and Denis Urubko attempt Nanga Parbat and they find Poles next to their tents at Diamir BC. “Yeah! These folks were on Nanga Parbat a year ago too,” the generic expression about these still unknown fellows. They reach the mountain with slogan “Justice for All”, and the project is aptly name “Nanga Dream”.

In 2012: Photo: Marek Klownowski

Three in row! It’s getting serious now. Tomek and Marek are definitely up to something. Who in right mind would return to Nanga Parbat again and again and again! The duo switches the side this time and goes to Schell route on Rupal side. And eventually earn a consolation price for their consistency. Tomek becomes first climber in fifteen years to go beyond 7000m on Nanga Parbat in winter. He spent several days in a snow cave at 6600m before running out of supplies. In last push, he reached 7400m.

The cave; Photo: Marek Klownowski

Winter Nanga Parbat as usual. Tomek and Marek are already in BC (along with four other Poles). They are next to 'lavish' expedition of Simone Moro and David Gottler. On Jan 10th, Marek leaves the mountain due to family issues and Tomek perhaps doesn’t enjoy the notion. Nonetheless, he works in with Simone’s team and once again reaches 7200m (with Gottler).

Tomek finds a new climbing partner Elisabeth Revol. They, along with Daniele Nardi, are on Diamir side. Daniele, however, sticks to Mummery Rib. Tomek and Eli attempt Messner-Messner-Eisendle-Tomaseth 2000 route, and reach 7800m. After so many years, someone could actually “feel” the summit.

7500m; Tomek’s desperate but he doesn’t have resources for another summit attempt. And then …
It’s over. Nanga Parbat is climbed in winter and, not by Tomek Mackiewicz. He doesn’t like it and says things (allegedly under some kind of influence) which should not have been said.

The summiteers along with Tamara; Photo: Alex Txikon

Tomek and Elisabeth are on Nanga Parbat. But this isn’t the biggest news anymore. There’s a star-studded show on K2 and, Everest is hungry for attention as ever. Nanga is done. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. Eli did it. Tomek did it, but then he couldn’t. Nanga Parbat loved him back.

Goodbye Czapkin; Photo: Elisabeth Revol

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