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Photo: Ludovic Challeat

UKRAINE DHAULAGIRI (8167m) EXPEDITION

12 September - 30 October, 2002

Himalaya

The team summited Mt. Dhaulagiri on October 17

Members:

  • Vladislav Terzyul, 49, Odessa, Ukraine. After ascent of Dhaulagiri, climbed 12 “eight-thousanders” (Makalu & Gasherbrum1 to come).The list of ascents
  • Vladimir Pestrikov, 39, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. Except Dhaulagiri climbed only Lhotse (spring, 2002).

Organizer and general sponsor of expedition:
Ukrainian Mountaineering and Rock-climbing federation
“Odessa” Alpine Club

This Dhaulagiri Expedition was the second attempt for V.Terzyul to climb this Himalayan giant. The first had been made in autumn of 1997 in team with 3 Ukrainians but the expedition after reached height 7100 was failed due to bad weather conditions.

Report by Vladimir Pestrikov

 

Light-weighted Ukrainian expedition, without using the help of climbing Sherpas, arrived to the Dhaulagiri Base camp on 24 of September. It was the last of expeditions, who had been working on the mountain. There were problems with the load delivery to Base camp. Porters left the load in the Hidden Valley in one-day passage from Dhaulagiri Base camp. That’s why participants and a cook had to make several passages Hidden Valley-BC for delivering a load. This put off the expedition’s beginning.

On the first of October Ukrainian team got out of Base Camp and organized Camp1 near a standard place (5900), on the third of October Camp2 was organized (6800). In both camps snow caves were duged out instead of tents. October 4 the team climbed to Camp3 (7500) for acclimatization. That day 5 people of French team were there.

October 5 members descended to BC for a rest. In the BC there was traditional for Ukrainian expeditions sauna, which was very popular with other teams and was used for recovery.

That day all the other teams, which were working on Dhaulagiri, decided to leave the mountain because of bad route condition and avalanches descend danger.

Ukrainian expedition made a decision to stay and try to climb the peak from Eastern crest without doing a dangerous traverse right higher Camp3.

On 7th and 8th of October in the Dhaulagiri area was big snowfall (near 1m).

On 10th of October team left the Base camp. Deep snow made difficulties for the movement. And though climbers used snow shoes (“big foot”) the speed was very low. For example, passage from Camp1 to Camp2 took 14 hours instead of usual 5-6 hours.

On 12th of October the altitude of 7500m was reached and Camp3 was set (a tent) at 9 p.m..

On 13th of October climbers made first reconnaissance in the direction of Eastern crest.

On 14th of October the altitude of 7700m was reached. On dangerous sections climbers fastened near 200m of fixed ropes. But strong wind that and next days didn’t allow working on the route all light day.

On 15th and 16th of October the team continued the climbing and fastened near 100m of fixed ropes and moved some parts of the ropes to the upper part of route. By the 16th of October the team reached “snow summit” (8100m) and planed a route to the main peak. All these days, from12th to 16th of October, team had been coming back to the Cam3 for staying over night.

On 17th of October the team left the Camp3 at 5a.m. and reached the main summit at 3 p.m. and descended at 6:30p.m.to Camp3.

The descend to Base camp took almost three days. Deep snow and avalanches made movement difficult. Only by 4p.m. of 20th of October Ukrainian team descended to Base Camp, where at that time was only one cook – Sherpa.

On 22nd of October the expedition left the Base Camp and arrived to Marpha on the 23rd. The team left the load in the Base Camp and prepared it for transportation from Base Camp. But it was stolen and hasn’t been found till now.

Practically all the way from the summit to BC we moved very cautiously, joined with rope, no permanent safety rope below, avalanches. On prone to avalanche slopes we cut up snow deliberately to allow small avalanches to slip down to get a passable way. In BC we packed up all the bivouac stuff, gear and clothes to get it ready for evacuation. While we were walking to meet porters our stuff had been stolen. We came back to KTM with only chocolate bar.” Thank to God

On the 30th of October the team left Nepal and flew back home.

Because of long residence on high altitudes and low temperature and wind influence both participants got frostbitten feet. And Vladimir Pestrikov had frostbitten his hand’s fingers. Right after coming back to Ukraine he was hospitalized. But now his condition is much better. Doctors make optimistic prognosis.


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