Summited 23.05.1993 by East ridge from Sikkim, Indian-Ukrainian
|“It was my the first eight
thousander - technically difficult, and safety was problematic on
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
Before the Kanchenjunga expedition we climbed Nanda Devi in 1991.
It was the first expedition to India organized from the city of
Odessa’s 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 Odessa’s
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 didn’t 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
The group of climbers is 10 m from the top, V.Terzyul is on
Slava didn’t tell me that he did not want to use oxygen. He carried
bottles but didn’t 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
Later we began to think about the next eight thousand meter peak.
For a long time Slava didn’t 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.