He grew up in New Jersey, the son of Polish emigrants who fled the same political upheaval that later ensnared the river-runners. In 1980 they stormed up Everest in the dead of winter, leaving a picture of the new Polish pope on the world’s highest summit. “He said, ‘This is much too much movie for you to handle.’”Nawrot persisted until Majcherczyk finally sat for an interview. “Yurek was pretty much convinced that the pope’s life depended on their success in the canyon,” Nawrot says. Friends warned them to stay clear of the Polish consulate, implying that Warsaw had issued orders for their arrest.