Maciek Bukowski

Maciek on Philipe Cuisinere F8b/+, Rodellar © Michał KwiatkowskiMaciek on Philipe Cuisinere F8b/+, Rodellar © Michał Kwiatkowski

Maciek is a talented young Polish climber who has hit exceptional form in recent years. His passion for climbing runs deep and is matched by a strong desire to keep on improving. He has already redpointed F8c and onsighted F7c+. He has also excelled on the Polish competition scene.

He was born in Warsaw in 1994 and started climbing when he was 12 years old: “My father took me to the Polish rock area – Jura – there I met some interesting people and got to like climbing very much.” After just one day Maciek knew he would be hooked forever: “From the very beginning I treated climbing as my biggest passion.”

There are no crags within easy striking distance of Warsaw, so Maciek became a regular visitor to the indoor climbing walls in Warsaw.

Aside from his dad, Maciek was helped by a number of older climbers:

“I started climbing on the Polish crags with Grzegorz Mróz, my first guide in climbing. Then I trained in Warsaw with Małgorzata Kusztelak and later with Jakub Ziółkowski.”

In his first season Maciek started slowly and was only top roping up to F6a. He soon stepped up a gear though and took on more challenging routes: “From the second season I started gradually improving my achievements in the Polish Jura. I remember that I got really happy when I sent Polak Musi - my first F7a+ - in 2009. After a year I sent Porozmawiajmy o Kobietach – my first F7c, which earlier had looked for me impossible to climb. Then in 2011 I did Aleja Zasłużonych F8a+.“

In 2012, at the age of 18, Maciek found himself drawn to the world famous sport climbing cliffs of Spain:

“I flew to Rodellar and spent about one month in this beautiful village. The place was a little bit magic for me. I hadn’t seen any rock so huge and overhanging until this moment. The routes were very long and my endurance left a lot to be desired, but after a month of climbing I did a little progress and managed to do Philippe Cuisinere F8b/+.”

Another highlight of the year was Władca Pierścieni at Okiennik Wielki in Poland, his first F7c+ flash. He also redpointed two F8a+s and seven F8as.

Maciek Bukowski © Artur Bukowski© Artur Bukowski

In the summer of 2013 Maciek spent a week at Ceuse in France, gaining valuable fitness, as much from the routes as the legendary walk in. It proved to be the perfect preparation for what was to come:

“Then I came to Rodellar, I finished some easy projects from the previous year and after getting better endurance I focused on something harder. With Szymon Łodziński (my climbing partner) we chose the route Florida – a 20m and 45 degree burly F8a/b leading to a rest and nice boulder problem on small tufas, crimps and slopers increasing difficulty to F8c. Szymon did this route first and after some time I managed to do it as well.”

While at Rodellar Maciek ticked Botanics F8b+ and Ixeia 8b+, plus several F8a+s and F8as. He also onsighted a brace of F7c+s, including his first at this grade, Les Vielles Glories. During a brief visit to the DMM factory in North Wales he sampled some slate routes in Dinorwig Quarry and did Jerry’s Roof 7C and Bus Stop 7B+ in the Llanberis Pass.

Maciek has always placed well in the Polish climbing competitions, with numerous top five positions over the years. In 2013 he even gained two first places in his age category for the Polish Cup.

Early in 2014 Maciek climbed his first 7C+ boulder problem; Keep Fit at Kamień Michniowski. In May a trip to the Slovenian crag, Osp, gave some satisfying ascents; the best of which came on the last day when he redpointed Missing Link F8b+. Returning home he managed to climb Robot Obibok at Jastrzebnik, his first Polish F8b.

Maciek still lives in Warsaw where he studies electronics:

“Lately I became interested in web development. I’m also trying to keep fit by cycling and swimming. A few years ago I skied a lot but now I prefer to climb rocks.”

“Despite all of the things that bother me during the week, I’ll always manage to find time to go to the gym and do some proper training! And during summer I spend most of my time at crags, not only in Poland, but in Spain or Italy as well.”

Check out this film of Maciek onsighting Peixa F7c+ at Siurana at the end of 2013 and this film of him climbing Skrzydełko VI.5+/6 on Popielarce in the Polish Jura.