Polish travelers cross Iran on their expedition to Himalayas
A team of Polish travelers is currently in Iran as part of their long expedition to Nepal to retrace the footsteps of the first Polish expedition to the Himalayas 50 years ago.
It was in the 70s and 80s of the 20th century that Polish Himalayan mountaineering lived its ‘Golden Age”. In those years Poles not only climbed the highest peaks of the Himalayas and the Karakoram but also became famous for their first-ever winter conquests of several summits. A Polish-made truck “Jelcz” played an important role in the successes of Polish climbers, who used it to travel overland from Poland to the world’s highest mountains as well as to transport their equipment, food, and supplies. This year, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first voyage of Polish mountaineers in a Jelcz truck to the “Roof of the World”, a group of Polish travelers will follow the same route from Poland to Nepal in a replica of the historical vehicle that played such a prominent role in the successes of Polish mountaineers. Their expedition in a Jelcz truck, nicknamed “the Mobile Monument of Polish Himalayism”, intends to revive the memory of Polish sports achievements, to honor the great figures of Polish mountaineering, and to make them known internationally. They travel across ten countries, including Iran en route to Nepal. They started their journey from Jelenia Góra in Poland on August 21, and after crossing Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey, they arrived in Iran on September 5. On Tuesday, the Embassy of Poland in Tehran hosted an exhibition on “The History of Polish Mountaineering”. Three prominent Polish travellers, Ryszard Wloszczowski, Arkadiusz Peryga and Maciej Pietrowicz presented a photo exhibition on the history of Polish mountaineering. Welcoming the guests, the Deputy of the Polish Ambassador to Iran and Minister Counselor Wojciech Unolt at the beginning of the exhibition said, “Three brave Polish mountaineers travel from Poland to Nepal in their historic truck to present the achievements of Polish mountaineers over the past 50 years. They have arrived in Iran now to show the achievements of Polish mountaineers in a special photo exhibition for those interested in this field.” About the effects of holding such cultural events in deepening ties between Iran and Poland, Wojciech Unolt told MNA correspondent, “We are trying to hold cultural events that may be of interest in Iran. We held some events before the pandemic and now in this situation, holding such events is a little difficult. One of the topics that are of interest in Iran is mountaineering. I think this photo exhibition will be interesting for them.” He further described cultural diplomacy as useful for expanding trade and political relations between Tehran and Warsaw, saying that such events can make big changes in the good relations between the two countries. Two countries also can exchange a lot of information through cultural diplomacy. Referring to the joint history of Iran and Poland in World War II, he added that holding such events are effective in promoting diplomacy. Diplomacy improves relations between the two countries. During the event, the President of the Iran Mountaineering Federation Reza Zare who also attended the exhibition pointed to the cultural commonalities between Iran and Poland and the role of Poles in the development of mountaineering, saying that in the 1970s the Polish climbers traced the Polish route on the northern face of Alam-Kuh, Iran’s second-highest peak. He also described the Polish conquests as a model for Iranian mountaineers.