Jan Kiełkowski (born in 1943), mountaineer and rock climber, M.Sc. Eng. in Geology (graduate of the University of Science and Technology-AGH in Kraków), author of many guidebooks and monographs. Has climbed in the Tatras since 1963 – made more than 30 ascents by new routes and first winter ascents which were among the most difficult ones at that time. Some of them have not lost their significance, like Droga Czoka i Kiełkowskiego (led in 1972) on the wall of Kocioł Kazalnicy or Wielkie Zacięcie (winter 1968). He climbed also in the Alps, Caucasus, mountains of the Balkans, Morocco, Pyrenean Peninsula, Scandinavia and Turkey. He climbed extensively in the rocks of Jura Krakowsko-Częstochowska, in 1972 he won the first climbing competition in Poland.
He participated in mountaineering expeditions to the Pamir (ascent of Pik Lenin) and Pamir-Altai (first ascent of Pik Fedchenko ), to the Hindu Kush (the north-west flank of Akher Chagh, 1976), the Himalayas (Silesia expedition to Lhotse, 1979), the Andes (1981 Cordillera Huayhuash, among others, ascents of Nevados Ancocancha Central and Principal and Nev. Raju Collota). Between 1972-1973 he studied and documented deposits of coal in the Peruvian Andes, and, while doing so, made over 100 ascents of mountain peaks, including 30 virgin five-thousanders in Cord. Chacua.
His publications include numerous mountain guidebooks and monographs. Among other things, together with his wife Małgorzata, he has drawn up a pioneering series of 11 monographic climbing guidebooks to the rocks of Jura Krakowsko-Częstochowska (1977-1997). He is the author of climbing guidebooks to the Tatras, as well as several pioneer monographic climbing guidebooks to the Himalayas, Karakoram and the Andes. Some of them, e.g.: Mount Everest Massif (1993 and 2000), Kangchenjunga Himal (1998), Makalu Himal (2001) or K2 and Northern Baltoro Mustagh (1997) were published in the “Mountaineering Monograph” series, the only such series in the world. Co-author and co-editor of The Great Encyclopaedia of Mountains and Mountaineering (7 volumes) by the STAPIS Publishing House, containing a total of more than 20 000 entries- the only one collection with such volume in the world.
Together with his wife Małgorzata, they have created a rich collection of mountain literature, comprising of more than 6000 books and journals and over 2000 thousand maps of mountain regions which were the basics for The Great Encyclopaedia of Mountains and Mountaineering. They both received the award “For spreading mountain culture” (2013), and the Wladyslaw Krygowski Literary Award for 2013.