Hidden Peak
(Gasherbrum I) 8068 m

summited 23.07.2003 by the classical route, Ukrainian National Expedition Ukraine-Karakoram-2003.
"The Mountain began to cripple and kill us and we trampled our way simply and primitively... "

During the expedition two climbs in different styles and classes were made - a high altitude climb of Hidden Peak (8068m) under leadership of Vladislav Terzyul and a big wall class climb on Trango Tower (6257m) under the leadership of Vladimir Mogyla. The head of the expedition was Valentin Simonenko, the chief coach Mstislav Gorbenko and the coach Michael Zagirnyak.
The members of Hidden Peak team:
1. Nikolay Goryunov
2. Sergey Kovalev
3. Vladimir Pestrikov
4. Sergey Pugachov
5. Vladislav Terzyul
6. Michael Yevchev
7. Georgiy Taran, doctor

Expedition Ukraina-Karakoram-2003 first planned to climb Hidden Peak via an original route - up the left buttress of the South West face. For acclimatization Vladislav proposed to climb Trango Tower, located at the same region in the lower part of the Baltoro glacier, via an easy route. But the coaches did not support this idea. The accepted plan was to go to Hidden Peak BC and start working on the route. Two ascents were envisaged: first to pass the key section of the route and set up two intermediate camps; second, climbing to the summit.
After arriving at BC and setting it up, the team began work on the route - steep rocks mixed with snow and ice. Some sections of the route appeared to be dangerous - falling ice crumbles and snowy dust. Working on some of this section Vladislav was gashed on left hand by piece of ice. Later in Odessa he found that his hand had been fractured. This accident did not prevent him from climbing. But it made the team change route. They decided to climb Hidden Peak via the normal way. The tactical plan was entirely revised. At the time of the accident, the team had surmounted a considerable part of the other route and set C1 and C2. But the mountain did not allow anyone to make progress. Two members of a Spanish-Argentinian expedition perished. Then tragedy happened to the Ukrainian team. On June 15, during an acclimatization trek from C1 to C2, a huge mass of ice fell from the slopes between the marked trail and the wall of Hidden Peak. Vladimir Pestrikov was wounded And died, hit by a piece of ice; and Sergey Kovalev sustained a concussion. They were moving faster than the rest of the team and were 200m ahead. The others - N. Gorunov, S. Pugachov and M. Yevchev - quickly jumped into a safe place and were covered with ice dust, but did not get hurt. Vladislav didnt take part in the ascent that day, he was treating his injured hand in BC. No one could accept this fatality. All the participants, including members of other expeditions, doctors, helicopter pilots and officers, did their best and struggled for about 1.5 hours for Vladimirs life. S. Kovalev went out to accompany Vladimirs body to Skardu and home. The team on Trango Tower climbed in accordance with their plan, and the members of the Hidden Peak team slowly recovered from the shock. They had strength for climbing, they had spent months in training, making winter pre-expedition camps in the Caucasus. Vladimir had dreamed of climbing this mountain. The previous year on Mt.Dhaulagiri, he had felt sickness and Terzyul had conditioned him to be in good shape for the Hidden Peak climb. Vladimir accepted all those demands, met them and was one of leaders of the expedition. It was difficult for the rest of the team to come to a decision to continue climbing. Talks about this decision with the President of the Mountaineering Federation of Ukraine, V. Simonenko, by satellite phone
lasted over an hour! He took responsibility and agreed that we should proceed. There were about nine expeditions working on Hidden Peak. And as it was often the case in our history of Himalayan expeditions, our team became the first summiters that season. The climbing was done via the classical route in alpine style without supplementary oxygen. The team dedicated the climb to the memory of Vladimir Pestrikov, good friend, great mountaineer and climbing partner. He had summited Lhotse and Dhaulagiri.

The schedule of climbing (by Nikolay Goryunov):
"20.07 - The group of climbers V.Terzyul, N.Goryunov, S.Pugachov, M.Yevchev leave BC for C1
21.07 - Ascent from C1 to C2 (6300m), the rest of the day spent taking gear up to 6700m via the Japanese couloir.


The ridge on sky line - classical route to G1, view from C2.

22.07 - Ascent from C2 to C3 (about 7300m) took about 10 hours. We met the Iranian team on fixed ropes and lost time waiting for them to pass.


V. Terzyul on the route between C2 and C3.


View of G1 from the slopes of G2, assault camp C3.

23.07 - Started at 4.10 a.m. local time. The route crossed very long snowy slopes and couloirs. It was tough and icy. We moved slowly, no fixed ropes. The higher we climbed the slower we moved. M. Yevchev stopped climbing around 11.00 and waited for us at a safe place. The summit seemed to be close but it took about 3 hours more. We had to convince ourselves to go step by step. 100m before the summit we were surprised to see fixed rope, then a short ridge and at 14.10 we were at the summit!


V.Terzyul and N.Goryunov on the top of Hidden Peak.


V.Terzyul on the summit.

About 15.00 we started our descent, moving cautiously, using ropes by turn. Beneath us were steep and long slopes. It got dark about 20.00. At 22.30 we arrived at C3.
24.07 - The weather was getting worse, it was a blizzard and there was poor visibility. We descended to C2 and met Spanish, Italian and other climbers there. We had a short rest and proceeded to descend to C1.
25.07 - At C1 we rested, slept and drank a lot of fluid. We got a late morning start to BC. The glacier on South Gasherbrum had changed radically - it was extremely cracked. We passed it very cautiously. On the way to BC, our doctor and the cook, Nazar-Karim, met us and took some of our gear. We arrived at BC with light backpacks - only 20 kg. In evening we commemorated Vladimir."
Next day BC was packed up, and the team went to Trango Tower BC to support the group of V. Mogyla working on the route. Terzyul and Yevchev went to Skardu with the caravan of porters and expeditions supplies and equipment.

Vladimir Pesrtikov.