In summer 2001 I walked, with help from local transport, 450 km across the Polish Carpathian Mountains. After finishing that road I asked myself: how these mountains look outside of Poland? Do they continue? How far? The answer to this question changed my life.
Three years later, in June 2004, I found myself in front of Almaj mountains in south Romania. From there I’ve started solo thru-hike of the entire Carpathian Mountains. Despite the lack of experience, problems with equipment and bad weather, which has accompanied me for weeks, I marched along the main ridge of the Carpathians in Romania, Ukraine, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia – 2 200 km in 93 days. It was my first long distance thru-hike, during which I reached to my deepest resources of persistence, strength and motivation. Extremely profound experience, which became the beginning and cornerstone of my passion for long-distance hiking. It was also the fifth traverse of the Carpathian Mountain in history and the first one made solo.
I’ve descriped this trip in my first book “Pustka wielkich cisz” (“The emptiness of great silence”), by “Sorus” publishing house.
After 9 years, much more experienced, I returned to southern Romania to walk whole Carpathian Mountains again. Why? Perhaps I felt that first trip, almost unbearable and full of dramatic moments, was somehow unresolved issue. I needed to get even with it, so I returned to Carpathians in the summer and autumn of 2013. The route, mostly modified, done with a lot more of experience and with lightweight equipment, allowed me to cross this mountain range for second time. This time in 65 days, which is it’s fastest known time without support.