Kanchenjunga 8586 m
Summited 23.05.1993 by East ridge from Sikkim, Indian-Ukrainian Expedition
It was my the first eight thousander - technically difficult, and safety was problematic on the route

The team members:
1. Sviridenko V., head of the expedition
2. Sytnik M., head of climbing
3. Alperin V.
4. Boyko V.
5. Dityuk Y.
6. Dudko V.
7. Haraldin A.
8. Ibrahim-Zade D.
9. Klovanich S.
10. Parkhomenko A.
11. Prodan S.
12. Serenkov P.
13. Serpak A.
14. Terzyul V.
15. Vlasenko A.
16. Zeid P

Vadim Sviridenko, Master of Sport, Honored Coach of Ukraine, city of Odessa:

Before the Kanchenjunga expedition we climbed Nanda Devi in 1991. It was the first expedition to India organized from the city of Odessas mountaineering community. No one cooperated with Indian climbers before that. We yearned for the Himalayas and dreamed about them enthusiastically. At that time I was supported by Odessas authorities and I proved able to manage the expedition. Slava Terzyul was a member of the team. I cannot say that he stood out from the other participants - the expedition was too large. It is worth mentioning that he was an absolutely perfect team member. He never troubled me, was very diligent and never needed to discuss topics in vain. Terzyul and Gorbenko were partners and they climbed Nanda Devi in dashing style. Our background experience and expertise were much better than that of the Indian members of the joint expedition. At that time, Terzyul was formally a mountaineer of the 1st grade (middle category) according to our domestic classification. For that expedition to Nanda Devi, it was not necessary to be of a higher class because the route was simple enough. We had a good start, and succeeded in our cooperation with the Indians. And so I began to prepare an expedition to an eight thousand meter peak. To climb Kanchenjunga from the Indian side, the route of P.Bauer in 1931, was our choice. In those times the Germans were considered to be the strongest mountaineers in the world, but they failed to reached the summit. On the other hand they had passed across the tremendous icy ridge. Sikkim is on the Tibetan border in a zone of permanent conflicts. There are even territories reinforced with military presence in the mountains. Therefore the Europeans did not visit the region often to climb. The route to the summit had been climbed twice by Japanese and Indians, and we were the first European team to attempt the summit along this route. The entry to the route starts from the south side in Sikkim. It goes in the direction of the Zemu glacier, then from advanced base camp on the upper part of the glacier over a small icefall to arrive at the location of the first camp. Next comes the ridge stretching long and monotonously from 5400m up to 7800m to a pinnacle which the Germans called sugar head. It is a difficult, icy ridge with cornices on both sides. There are no rocks at all. Our guys sometimes crossed only 100 meters per day. There was a shortage of ice screws and it was extremely dangerous. It was necessary to use fixed ropes all the time for safety. Descending was possible only with fixed ropes; one had to be roped at all times. Later, Terzyul would say that he had never seen anything like that on other 8000m peaks.

During the Kanchenjunga expedition, just as on Nanda Devi, Slava fulfilled his part of the tactical plan and carried his share of the loads. He didnt grumble, be difficult or discuss things needlessly. He compensated for any lack of skill and experience with inexhaustible energy and optimism. There was no need to ask him to go make an overview of some part of the route or to take up ropes that the Japanese presented us for fixing. Terzyul was everywhere. I noted his addiction to introspection. I liked that in his days off, he often tried to be alone with himself. He went to take photos or to swim somewhere. Later he began to construct a sauna - it was his hobby. He always brought mustard, cooked with some flavourings. I like it if a person has nice individual features, interweaving them with the common human fabric. The route Terzyul climbed was with M.Sytnik, Master of Sport of International Class (M.Gorbenko did not take part in this expedition). They both had good mutual understanding and climbed the mountain in excellent style without any delay.


The group of climbers is 10 m from the top, V.Terzyul is on right.

Slava didnt tell me that he did not want to use oxygen. He carried bottles but didnt use them. He is not a giant in his constitution but he endured the fatigue and never complained about it. He seems to have something physiologically that is not given to most people his respiratory tract worked wonderfully as did his cardiovascular system. He never suffered from loss of appetite or of weight, and this reflects a human ability not to use oxygen. The only problem was that he was not indifferent to any gear that had been abandoned on the route. Everything attracted him - an ice-axe, a tent, a rope. It irritated some guys. I tried to explain that he had a lot of unused energy. After the summit, he stayed several days in the summit camp at 8100m to wait for Ibrahim-Zade and Parchomenko but they failed to meet each other. While staying there Slava found the summit tent of Wanda Rutkevich. He was the first to find this tent since her death. Later he handed over to me some of her things - the flag and a few small souvenirs, I saved them till now. We worried about him staying too long on the route - he descended alone with a heavy burden and it even angered other BC inhabitants. When Slava arrived at the first camp he picked up a broken portable radio transmitter abandoned there, repaired it and contacted base camp with it. I said Guys, look, he is not a radio operator, not a specialized engineer, he is just a normal fellow, not lazy - he got there, examined the situation, repaired it and made no excuses for this delay on the route.

Later we began to think about the next eight thousand meter peak. For a long time Slava didnt reply to my proposal to climb all fourteen peaks over eight thousand meters. He had doubts about how to combine the prospect with his work and family. I began to tell him about that idea after the Broad Peak (1995) expedition. We met Scott Fisher, the famous American climber, there and I proposed that he take Slava on the Everest expedition in 1996. Scott and Slava liked one another but at that time Scott had already engaged several very strong guides for the 1996 Everest expedition, including Anatoli Boukreev. Terzyul developed a good character - a sociability. Slava was easily accepted into the international mountaineering community; his path crossed that of many well-known climbers. At the bottom of Broad Peak he became acquainted with some Polish alpinists, who invited him on an Annapurna expedition in autumn of 1996.