I am three-time Polish champion in ski alpinism, third in the overall World Cup, I have the world record in the Elbrus race and I became the first Pole, who in 2013 managed to summit the eight-thousander of Shishapangma on skis and completed the ski descent from its very top to the bottom. I set a time record in reaching the Manaslu summit and as the second man in history I came down from this peak skiing to the base camp. In 2015, as the first man in the world I completed the ski descent from the Broad Peak summit. In the following year I set out on an expedition to conquer the five highest peaks of the former Soviet Union area. It was a successful completion that resulted in a prestigious mountaineering award - the so called “Snow Leopard”.

I was born on April 18, 1988 in Łętownia, near Jordanów. I am the ninth of eleven children of Maria and Józef Bargiel. Energy has been bursting with me since my childhood. No one was able to deal with me, neither teachers at school, nor parents, who unsuccessfully tried to direct my energy to work in a backyard household.

It was only in the backyard sports that I gave way to my fantasy. Running after the ball, climbing the trees, swimming and romping with the guys was what I liked the most. In high school it became clear that the only way to tame my energy was regular sports training. I started riding horses and doing mountain biking. I even had some small successes, unfortunately my bike just fell apart. Our sports club did not have enough budget to buy a new bike, and parents could not afford such a luxury. Apparently my cycling career wasn’t meant for me.

Then I went back to skis, but I want to tell this story from the beginning …

Well, I bought my first skis from my neighbour when I was 9 years old and I think I did the “deal of my life". I exchanged table tennis paddles for wooden skis with a screwed edge and plastic sliding (height 190 cm) and shoes in size 44 !!! I was so excited that I couldn’t sleep. Even then I knew it would be my passion. As soon as the first snow fell, I went with a bunch of buddies to hills nearby my house. Together, we made the ski runs and built the first ski jumps. It was in these places that I took my first steps in the discipline known colloquially as the "freeride". I often escaped from school or invented strange ailments, thanks to which I could free myself from classes. I can say that it was my private investment in a sports career.

Winter existed only for skis!



Andrzej Bargiel is a three-time champion of Poland in ski-alpinism. In 2010, he set a new world record in the Elbrus race, which hasn’t been beaten till now.

In 2012, Andrzej went to the Himalayas for the first time. He was one of the participants of the unification expedition of the Polish Mountaineering Association, organized as part of the "Polish Winter Himalayan Mountaineering 2010-2015" program. The expedition set for its goal Manaslu summit (8156 m. a.s.l.). Due to bad weather conditions, the attempt to reach the summit wasn’t successful. Andrzej, however, managed to climb to a height of 7600 m and ski down to the base camp situated at the altitude of 4800 m a.s.l. Thanks to the skis, Andrzej was able do descent really fast. The descent, which took the remaining participants 9 hours, Andrzej completed in half an hour. It turned out that ski alpinism works perfectly in high mountains.

Three months after returning from Manaslu, Andrzej received proposal to take part in Lhotse expedition (8516 m. a.s.l.).

The plan of this expedition was as follows - an attempt to establish new record and the first ski descent from the summit. Just as in case with Manaslu, the weather conditions were not favourable and the unfortunate accident of one of the members of the expedition interrupted the whole undertaking. Andrzej made ski descent from a height of 7900 m a.s.l. to the height of the first camp, located at 6000 m.

On October 2, 2013, Andrzej reached alone the summit of Shishapangma (8013 m a.s.l) and became the first Pole who without unfastening the skis came down from the summit to the very bottom.

In 2014, he added to his successes two more records at Manaslu (8156 m), reaching the summit in a record time - 14 hours 15 minutes and skiing down from the peak to a height that no one had ever achieved before as well as breaking the time record in base-top-base style. The way from the base to the top of Manaslu and his return to the base camp took him 21 hours and 14 minutes.

A year later, in 2015, he stood on the summit of Broad Peak (8051 m a.s.l.), and then, as the first man in history came down from this peak skiing up to its bottom. Andrzej's ascent to the top lasted eight hours and the descent took him three hours.

At the turn of July and August 2016, his list of achievements increased by a record time of gaining the five highest peaks of the former USSR, the so-called Snow Leopard. He made it just in 30 days, breaking the record set in 1999 by Denis Urubko and Andrei Molotov, which took 12 days longer. He managed to descent on skis partially or completely of all the peaks.

Through his pioneering project Hic Sunt Leones, Andrzej tries to achieve the goals he sets himself in a style that no one in the world has ever tried. Quick ascents and descents from the tops to the base of the mountain without the use of oxygen are certainly achievements that will be recorded in the history of world himalaism and ski alpinism.


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