Ivan Gálfy

Alpinist, Leader of Himalayan expeditions, General Head of the Mountain Rescue Service in Slovakia

For many years he was belonging to the elite of Slovak mountaineering. For fourteen years he had been proving his professional climbing capabilities in the Czechoslovak representation. During his mountaineering carrier he performed numerous ascents in the Tatras, Alps, and Caucasus as well as in Himalayas. Just in Himalayas, through the years 1969 – 1987, he was a leader of majority Czechoslovak expeditions. Just under his wand our climbers had climbed Nanga Parbat, Makalu, Kangchenjunga, Jannu and Lhotse Shar. In 1976 he signed over the position of general head of the Mountain Rescue Service in Slovakia where he stayed till 2001.

“A human always has most of the memories in that what was first. The Nanga Parbat expedition was very noteworthy. Return to home belongs among the handsome experience because the traffic in Smokovec was stopped, four music bands played music, and the crowd was bigger than on the First May celebrations. Amphitheater, in which we were officially welcomed, was overfilled. Later on we were honored by the president Mr. Ludvík Svoboda. In 1970 I climbed Gerlach with him and I mentioned to him that we are about to go to the Himalayas. "So if you can climb it," he said, "come to tell me about it to Prague". The week after our return he sent a private airplane for us and he accepted us at the Prague Castle. On the way back from the capital city we stopped in Bratislava in which we were honored by our Slovak authorities. Even though nowadays we treat them in various ways, Professor Peter Colotka told us the words that sound in my ears up to this day. That we are not even aware of what we have done because as the representatives of such a small nation we proved to be superior to what is the tradition of big nations" said by a man in the interview who is legally considered as the Nestor of Czechoslovak mountaineering.


Hindu Kush () 1965, 1967
Nanga Parbat (8125 m) 1969*, 1971*
Makalu (8463 m) 1973*, 1976*
Jannu (7710 m) 1979*, 1981*
Kangchenjunga (8586 m) 1981*
Lhoce Shar (8400) 1984*
Mount Everest (8848 m) 1987*
* - as a leader of the expedition