Yulia Zi – Broad Peak updates

Broad Peak Expedition 2021 / Terzyul 14 Project

Yulia Zi was on Broad Peak with a very special mission – Terzyul14, a project dedicated to honoring the memory and raising awareness about Vladyslav Terzyul (that includes a documentary), the first and only Ukrainian alpinist to date who has been to the top of all of the 14 highest mountains in the world (above 8000m).

We followed her journey here…

7th August

“How does one talk about the most difficult yet valuable expedition of their life? An expedition where so many both fears and dreams came true? Expedition which made you closer with your previous friends and has gifted you with new ones? I know for many “summit / no summit” is what matters the most but the truth is, for many of us, those who actually risks our life and enormous investments of time, health, efforts and money it’s all about what happens in our basecamp to basecamp journeys.

“I’ve talked to many climbers during my expedition. Almost none of them knew much about Broad Peak, there is simply very-very little info about it. Overshadowed by the legendary K2, it’s often used for a safer acclimatization. It has been summitted under 400 times at the time of expedition and by only 15+ women. There are three camps, lots of rockfall danger under camp 1, avalanche danger below camp2, long deep snow climb to camp 3 and a very-very long summit day (11-13 hrs one way) with plenty of dangers and obstacles as well (chest deep snow, crevasses, avalanches)

“There were zero big commercial expeditions on Broad Peak this year which has tremendously influenced the complications with the route setting and fixed rope management / maintenance. I knew that, however the dream of my first 8000m peak while my friends climb K2 was greater than fears of risks.

“Thus, it’s important to remind you that I had three main goals going into my independent expedition:
1.Come back alive and uninjured
2.Dedicate my attempt and raise awareness about Ukraine’s 1st and only mountaineer who has been to the top of all 8 14-peaks (with no oxygen) – Vladyslav Terzyul
3. 8-000m peak experience (to see if my dream and aspiration for high altitude mountaineering has a right to exist, learn, learn, learn!)

“Every day, every hour, every 100m I worked hard on my goals above and can proudly say I stayed committed to them, even after my unsuccessful first summit push where, surviving two night nights at camp 3 (7000m) I was really not sure if I will end up being one of those climbers who do not wake up in their tents, when it was impossible to think about another journey from basecamp back up to camp 3 to try once more, when it was so easy to use an excuse of my health and give up….I gathered all of my strength, will power and resources to start my multi-day climb up the mountain again…towards my goals

“Two summit pushes. Zero finished oxygen bottles (a separate story). One life I get to keep for now. Many lessons and new friends. Unbelievable luggage of experience. 7500 new personal high altitude record on 12th highest mountain in the world in remote Pakistan.

“To be continued….”

23rd July

“Every day of an expedition is an event of its own. Today marks day 31 since I left my home in San Francisco to attempt my first ever 8000m with no team or guide. I knew it’s not going to be easy but it turned out even harder. Our internet is very bad and time slips through the cracks easily so It’s hard to keep you up to date.
The approach to K2 and BP basecamps is known to be one of the hardest and the longest. Huge difference from luxury of trekking in Nepal. But the first sight of K2 was worth every struggle. How much I read about you! And now you are there to be admired every day. Broad Peak, you have been heavily underestimated by many!

“I share my BC with two amazing brits Paul and Pete who are on the way to become the first ones in the UK to summit both BP and K2. Every morning I am spoiled by a proper coffee from the company started by their ex-military friend @tacticalcoffeecompany. We are serviced by one chef, his assistant and kitchen boy. At BC each member has its own tent that requires moving sometime as it sits on the glacier that also moves.

“Getting to the base of the mountain requires an 1.5hr walk on the glacier. The route to c1 and C2 are dangerous with avalanches being the main threat. The start of the route is also notorious for a rock-fall so you gotta move fast. The camps are tight with the bathroom so close you can smell it everywhere. One must use a rope to get to your no secret and not private spot at all and try not to fall off the mountain at the same time. I have to share a tent with my Ali at high camps. Thus beautiful views, consonant risks and absolute discomfort (physical and psychological) are the most loyal partner of any 8000m expedition.

“Unfortunately we had a first death on Broad Peak – Mr.Kim of South Korea, who did summit becoming the first disabled person to complete all 14×8000 but died on the descent. I will never forget him sitting across the table & wishing everybody a safe summit. RIP.”

13th July

“Sending greetings from Pakistan, Karakoram range, where I reside at the moment at Broad Peak Basecamp (5051m). I am here with a very special mission – Terzyul14, a project dedicated to honoring the memory and raising awareness about Vladyslav Terzyul (that includes a documentary), the first and only Ukrainian alpinist to date who has been to the top of all of the 14 highest mountains in the world (above 8000m).”

“Why and how did I come up with this idea? About two years ago I came across Vladyslav’s name on Wikipedia. Given I am madly in love with the mountains, his achievement as the Ukrainian alpinist truly impressed me. His unique character and life story inspired me. I was surprised I have never heard of him before, especially him being also from South of Ukraine, living by the sea, climbing the highest mountains worldwide during a very difficult for Ukraine time after the Soviet Union breakup. To every summit he carried a Ukrainian flag with him. Unfortunately, from 14 highest summits 2 were not recognized officially due to an error with the main summit. One of those summits was the top of Broad Peak in 1995 (many other alpinist made the same error). Vladyslav was going to return and tag the main summit but unfortunately he tragically died while descending from the summit of his final 14th mountain Makalu (2004). This is why I am dedicating my first 8000m mountain attempt to Vladyslav’s memory and raising UA flag in his honor as well as those brave Ukrainians who are attempting K2 this season. I want to raise awareness about Vladyslav Terzuyl both an the ukrainian alpinist with an incredible achievement but also as a person who knew how to set high goals and make it happens no matter how hard it was. Ukrainians today should know Ukraine’s hero’s and simply have good role models from Ukraine. Also those perished live while we remember them. “

“I don’t know what’s going to happen. All I can do is work hard and hope for my maybe modest but descent experience, health, physical and mental strength, mountain luck will remain with me to try my best and safely come down. I am here on my own, no guides, no other team members, just me and my HAP (High Altitude Porter) Ali (A pakistani version similar to Nepalese sherpas). But I know for sure that I am blessed to have this unique opportunity and honorable occasion to experience the beauty of these legendary mountains, test my limits and what’s most important – bring your attention to Vladyslav’s story. What will happen? No ones knows. Expedition life is the life of one day and one task at a time. Send positive thoughts my way please.”

 


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Yulia Zi