Summited 27.09.2000 by the classical route from the North face,
skied down from 7400m, Ukrainian National Expedition
|“Of all the expeditions attempting
the mountain, we arrived last at Base Camp and we were the first in
the season to summit the eight-thousander …”
The team members:
1. Vadim Leontiev, the head of the expedition
2. Michael Evchev
3. Vladimir Mogyla
4. Vadim Pihotskiy
5. Sergey Pugachov
6. Vladislav Terzyul
Sergey Pugachov, Master of Sport, city of Donetsk :
"It was a speedy and financially lightweight expedition –
pretty short, with fast acclimatization and only two ascents on
the route. From the very beginning we started at a good pace because
Vladislav wanted to climb one more mountain, Cho-Oyu, which he then
did excellently. From the frontier to BC we drove, we were in hurry
and skipped some necessary stages of acclimatization. The Bridge
of Friendship, the border between Nepal and Tibet, is at the height
of 1500m. The next night we spent at 3500m already at Nyalam village.
From there we tried to make a training ascent for acclimatization
in nasty sleety weather that resulted in sickness for two participants:
Evchev and Mogyla. On the next day we reached BC. The particular
feature of Shishapangma is that Base Camp, at 5000m, is highest
among the other eight thousand meter peaks and it could be reached
by jeep.Thus the transition into high altitude occurred too fast.
BC is located on the high Tibetan plateau without any greenery.
Next to it is a huge glacier with towering icy dragon teeth. To
get to the beginning of the route one has to pass 10 km of trail
We spent a couple of days in BC for acclimatization and getting
the caravan ready. Then with yaks we came to the advanced BC. On
our arrival we found that many expeditions had been working on the
mountain. As usual Vladislav met a lot of friends there. Later in
this season while climbing Cho-Oyu he met his friend Richard Pavlovsky
and stayed at the Polish camp. I become acquainted more closely
with Richard later in 2003 during a Hidden Peak expedition. He impressed
me very much: his is a pretty strong personality concentrated on
climbing. He was a partner of the famous Jerzy Kukuzka who climbed
all the 14 world’s highest peaks next after Messner and exceeded
him on the number of technical routes. Kukuzka passed away climbing
the south face of Lhotse and his partner Pavlovsky had to descend
solo from the wall…
The team in BC: V. Mogyla, V.Pihotskiy, V.Leontiev, V.Terzyul,
After five days Vladimir Mogyla refused to take part in the expedition
on account of poor health. It was necessary to get him down and
for that we needed to hire a personal jeep. In a totalitarian country
everything is controlled, an officer provides an expedition with
everything: gives the cars, arranges a caravan, proposes the hotel
and so on. But one is not free and can do nothing without his approval.
It is possible to refuse to climb at all but it is prohibited to
go far from BC. And our officer proved to be not an ordinary man;
he had climbed 7 peaks over eight thousand meters. He was a fat
pompous Chinese and didn’t understand the language of ultimatum.
But Vladislav succeeded in finding ways for cooperation and demonstrated
his diplomacy by drinking a lot of vodka with the Chinese. He arranged
the matter of Vladimir’s dispatch and then he was given a personal
jeep to get to Cho-Oyu with an allowance charter “everything permitted”.
We had not climbed the main summit because we didn’t even know
about its existence. All the expeditions climb the central summit
and the Chinese account it (consider it to be right) and give certificates
for it. If we knew that it was necessary to pass the ridge we would
do that, leave earlier from the summit camp. And we had done what
we planned initially, quickly and correctly. From C3 we three together
Terzyul, Pihotskiy and Pugachev – left not early, around 7 am. The
main difficulty was the swampy snow: the mountain is entirely snowy.
There is a technical place, a rocky cliff, equipped with ropes.
We stepped on the summit towards evening around 6 pm. We understood
that we would run down to C3 quickly in two hours and we did. On
our way down we were covered by a blizzard and when we got to the
tent there were Leontiev and Evchev. We had no time to descend to
a lower camp so we spent a terrible night, five together in a three-person
Next day we waited till our guys came from the summit and this evening
jumped down to C2 (7100m), in order to release for them the upper
camp for good rest and evacuation. Further we three went to remove
our intermediate camps. From C3 Terzyul skied down, turning to the
right around the rock cliffs. He passed the plateau walking due
to deep snow and poor sliding. Our route is good as observed from
beneath and we had been seen in telescopes by the members of the
other expeditions. Later they came, greeted us and expressed fraternal
Scheduling of the climb (by V.Leontiev, Master of Sport, city
"09.09–11.09 – Arrived at BC, acclimatization ascent, got ready
for trek to ABC.
12.09 – all the team went to ABC (5600m) along an even trail following
the river bed. In 5-6 hours we have reached it and set up the camp.
Everyone was suffering from headache.
13.09 – We proceeded to develop our camp, build sauna, sort out
foodstuffs. Vladimir felt bad, we sought for a doctor in other expeditions
but in vain. Terzyul repaired a heater for the sauna, he wanted
that sauna very much.
14.09 – The group of Terzyul, Pugachev, Pihotskiy, and Evchev went
in the direction of C1 (6300m), taking gear and food. Myself along
with Vladimir went downward and made an agreement with the Chinese
about a car. Vladimir left the expedition due to illness.
15.09 – After Vladimir’s dispatch I came back to ABC. The guys didn’t
reach C1, they left some stuff stored before it. It appeared we
would need one more intermediate camp.
16.09 – It snowed during the night; we discussed our tactics. After
that Terzyul and Pihotskiy set off from the tent and went toward
the glacier’s tongue. The rest set out in two hours with heavy backpacks.
17.09 – Set up C1 (6300m) and overnighted there.
18.09 – It snowed in the night and our traces had been wiped out.
Terzyul led on skis, the rest were walking with difficulty despite
the tracks he made. In two hours we got out onto the plateau. We
left our stuff before C2 (7100m). Terzyul looked unusually tired,
he caught a cold (sneezing).
19.09 – We came back to ABC to relax a little, took a steam bath
and Terzyul recovered.
20.09 – 21.09 – Days for break and relaxation. Shishapangma was
covered with clouds and it was getting colder.
22.09 – Ascended to C1 (6300m). A snowy wind quickly wiped out our
23.09 – Set out one tent, traveled to C2 (7100m) and developed it.
We started late so broke the tent in twilight with a very strong
24.09 – Strong wind. Terzyul went to bring some stuff stored lower
at C2. We delivered expedition stuff to C3 (7400m) and came back
to C2 for overnight. Terzyul wanted to go upward but the guys were
not ready yet; they needed some more acclimatisation. We were alone
on the plateau, all the other expeditions had gone down.
25.09 – Day off in C2 (7100m). We were alone on the route – the
weather frightened away the others. Yesterday we climbed the ridge
but didn’t find a quiet place for a tent.
26.09 – I found that we had only two balloons of fuel, so I needed
to go to C1 to get fuel. Terzyul, Pugachev, Pihotskiy went towards
the summit, Evchev accompanied them till C3. The group set up C3
View from C2 to the ridge, where the summit camp was located.
27.09 – at 10:00 contacted Terzyul by radio. It was windy, a snowy
ground wind. They went in crampons over the ridge. At 12:00 am they
were 200m before the “ring” on the ridge, the snow had different
density, the wind calmed down. At 15:00 they were in the middle
of the deep snow triangle, everything was OK. At 18:00 they began
descending from the top in strong wind. By 20:00 everyone had come
to the tent in C3. They drank tea and tried somehow to relax with
five together in the three-person tent.
29.09 – Leontiev and Evchev summited and came back into C3 while
rest of the group went down to C2."