B i o g r a p h y


Vladislav Terzyul was a real hero. That is not an eloquent description, but it would be difficult to say the truth in a simpler way. He was a hero in the old way, a man able to perform deeds beyond the power of ordinary individuals.
All heroic characteristics were combined harmoniously in his being: physical strength, a creative mind, a noble soul, and deep spiritual power. Vladislav had a great appetite for life, a great driving force to live. If something was wrong, he did not waste time irritated, but he sought a solution for the problem. Certainly he had problems in life, faced hardship and challenges in the changing political, economic and social reality of his country Ukraine, as well as in the mountains. Despite those hardships and the insecurity and social chaos of his time, he achieved a lot. He found work for himself and others, starting a business when it was not easy. He had a family and supported them, he was a leader in his everyday community and in the mountains.
And mainly he was a great high altitude mountaineer, having the unique ability to adapt to high altitude and the strength to work there. He was the first and only man from the CIS countries to climb the 14 highest peaks in the world; he did this without the use of supplemental oxygen.


"We achieve that which is beyond the strength of others!"

"The more people who know the mountains, the better life would be down below. There you become stronger, more generous, …closer to God."

"Mountaineering is a hard work, hard, serious work…"

"It is necessary to go to the mountain. It is difficult but it is necessary to go towards it, the mountain by itself doesn’t come in BC…"

"In principle, there are no easy eight thousand meter peaks"

"We don’t employ high altitude porters, we do the work ourselves, the mountain remains a mountain for us."

"The flag is not an empty symbol, it represents pride for the place you live"

"Ukrainian salo is a unique product, we always take some to the mountains . . .”

"Everything that I do I try to do thoroughly…"

"It is for those who are the first, always difficult to start…"

"…Someone ought to go …otherwise a life would stop"


Vladislav Terzyul

  • Honoured Master of Sport (2000)
  • Master of Sport of International Class (1999)
  • Captain of Ukrainian High altitude mountaineering team (since 2000.)
  • Instructor on Mountaineering (mountain guide) of the 3rd category, worked at alpine camps ‘Elbrus’, ‘Shelda’, ‘Baksan’
  • Alpine ski instructor, worked at alpine camp ‘Elbrus’, tourist centre ‘Cheget’
  • The title ‘Snow Leopard’* was not officially assigned but climbed all the 7000-thousanders of former USSR and Mt. Khan-Tengri. (* Honoured title assigned to people climbed four 7000-thousanders of former USSR and Mt.Khan-Tengri)
  • Awarded with honoured title ‘Odessa citizen of the year’ in 2000

Honoured with State awards ‘For courage’ of II and III degrees, ‘For courage’ of I degree (posthumous), awarded by Orthodox church with ‘Saint Vladimir Medal’.

‘Saint Vladimir Medal’ award, 2000.

Vladislav Terzyul was born on June 18, 1953 in city of Artyom in the Primorsky region of Siberia. His Father was a Ukrainian mining engineer, his mother was a Siberian school teacher. Father was transferred to different mining regions, and the family migrated with him throughout the Far East. Valdislav lived in Indigirka, Kuzbuss and Kirgizia.

Before entering high school, Vladislav worked as a geologist in Yakutia and Polar Siberia. His ability to endure and to work in extreme weather conditions was acquired there, and proved to be useful later in mountaineering expeditions.

After graduation from the Novosibirskyi Institute of Water Transport Engineers, he worked as a shipping dispatcher in ports of USSR and from 1980 – in Ukraine at the port of Yuzhnyi in the Odessa region.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he was the head of ‘Vysotnik’ company, which provided services requiring the skill of industrial mountaineering. He founded this company with other climbers in 1995. Simultaneously he was sport instructor in the Odessa port plant.

Vladislav began sport climbing in 1979, at this time he was not a novice in the mountains and had a good background of expedition experience. The first high mountain climbs were made on peak Komsomolets (alpine camp ‘Ala-Archa’). His first coach was Denisov Valeriy (Bishkek, Kirhyzskaya SSR).
During the years spent mountaineering he made more than 50 climbs of 5-6 category of difficulty (according to former USSR classification) including:

1991 – Mt.Nanda-Devi, East ridge, India
1994 – Mt. Volnaya Espania (Caucuses), NE ridge (1st place on Ukrainian championship in winter class).
1994 – Mt.Rackiot, India
1998 – Mt.Ama-Dablam, Himalayas.

He also climbed all the highest peaks of former USSR: Lenin peak, Kommunizma peak (twice), Korzhenevskaya peak (twice), Pobeda peak (1992, through the West Pobeda peak, 1st place on the Ukrainian championship in high altitude class), Peak Khan-Tengri (2001).

From the early nineties he took part in Himalayas and Karakorum expeditions. He successfully climbed the fourteen 8000-thousanders (Mt. Shishapangma Central). He was a member of ‘Odessa’ alpine club and the majority of his climbs were made with its team. Vladislav was a devoted film maker and took a videocamera on his expeditions. He is author and director of many unique videos about his climbs.
Married, has two daughters and grandson.

Vladislav Terzyul passed away on Mt.Makalu on May 18, 2004.


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information prepared by Melnyk Lyudmyla
programming by Zatsarevnyi Igor
photo from archives of V.Terzyul and the authors of the papers
special thanks to Linda Wylie and Julie Kandyba for English version editing
and to "Climbers for Peace" from Northern California for support

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