Art of Freedom

Art of Freedom : The Life and Climbs of Voytek Kurtyka

4.23 (451 ratings by Goodreads)
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Voytek Kurtyka remains one of the greatest alpinists of all time. Born in 1947, he was one of the leading lights of the Polish golden age of Himalayan climbing. His visionary approach to climbing resulted in many renowned ascents, such as the complete Broad Peak traverse, the "night naked" speed climbs of Cho Oyu and Shishapangma and, above all, the alpine-style ascent of the West Face of Gasherbrum IV. Dubbed the "climb of the century," his route on G IV, as of 2016, has yet to be repeated. His most frequent climbing partners were alpine legends of their time: Polish Himalayan climber Jerzy Kukuczka, Swiss mountain guide Erhard Loretan and British alpinist Alex MacIntyre.

After repeated requests to accept the Piolet d'Or lifetime achievement award (the Academy Award of the climbing world), Kurtyka finally accepted the honour in the spring of 2016. A fiercely private individual, he continues to decline countless invitations for interviews, lectures and festival appearances, but has agreed to co-operate with internationally renowned and award winning Canadian author Bernadette McDonald on this long-awaited biography.

Certain to be a major event in the climbing world, Art of Freedom will appeal to all readers who dream of mountain landscapes and those who long to touch the sky.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 376 pages
  • 160 x 231 x 25mm | 635g
  • Victoria, Canada
  • English
  • 1771602120
  • 9781771602129
  • 696,268

Review quote

Many years ago my friend Alex MacIntyre told me stories about his climbing partner Voytek Kurtyka, and their fast, light ascents of big walls in the high Himalaya. Voytek seemed a near mythical figure, for whom such intense climbing was an art form and a spiritual endeavor. He shunned publicity, and for decades remained a 'climber's climber', little known outside the inner sanctum of mountaineering. With this graceful biography, Bernadette McDonald now introduces Voytek to a wide audience. She creates a 3D picture of a remarkable alpinist, following the arc of his astonishing life and sharing with us his climbs, his writings, his complexities and his wisdom. Art of Freedom is an important addition to mountaineering history and literature, and is sure to become a classic.

-- (03/01/2017)
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Rating details

451 ratings
4.23 out of 5 stars
5 44% (197)
4 39% (177)
3 14% (64)
2 3% (13)
1 0% (0)
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