When I was climbing, sparks of pain appeared in my eyes

When I walked on stones, sparks of pain appeared in my eyes

Tatyana Yalovchak is one of two Ukrainian women who managed to conquer the 7 highest peaks in the world. The ascent of Everest was preceded by a painful blow of fate – 2014, an armed conflict in the Donbas, a forced departure, a loss of business … Instead of complaining about fate, the girl made a bold move – she sold the apartment and reached the highest peak in the world.

Tatiana, you have conquered the seven highest peaks in the world, not counting the smallest peaks. What are you going to do next? There is information that you will soon start a new project – in the style of Bear Grylls – about survival. Tell us the details.

I was often asked, “When will you lead your group?” Now I am gathering a group called “The Way of Santiago” – 115 km, it is not so difficult, a moderate exercise and, above all, it is safe. During the May holidays, from May 10th to May 18th, I am collecting a company to take a catamaran trip to the Greek islands. We plan to eat only fish and shellfish, which we will catch – we will bring the tools with us. Now four catamarans have already been filled, about 36 people. Perhaps there will be five catamarans.

“Think well and you will be fine,” – with this motto you walked to the highest mountain on the planet. And yet, what were the thoughts during the ascent? What were you afraid of?

I could not be afraid. I had everything at stake. I sold the apartment and I must have been number one. When they ask, “Why did you go to the top?”, I reply: “To become the number one, and the others will follow”. For example, now I speak as a motivational speaker. I spoke with Yitzhak Pintosevich’s to an audience of a thousand people, now there will be an audience of three thousand people. Nice to be useful to people. I am invited by large companies – in the IT field, medicine, pharmaceuticals, banking, and insurance sectors. In these events, I try to inspire to achieve global goals. Everyone has his goal but must be set as high as possible.

“When I took off my socks after the ascent, I took them off together with my nails.

Bring a backpack with an oxygen tank above 8,300 meters – with what can a man on the street compare it to represent feelings?

Just go out with a normal backpack and a bottle of water and walk for 24 hours without stopping. We had a way out at 12 pm – so that the future day of light would be longer for the descent. From a height of 8848 m, it is necessary to go down to 6400 – it takes a lot of time. This is all at a temperature of -40 ° C with a backpack. When I took off my socks after going up, I took them off with my nails. There is also a picture. Incredibly painful. But the truth is to think that you can’t be hurt, you have to survive. The following day, she spent another 12 hours at 6400 m, already with other boots. When I accidentally hit with my shoe a stone, there were sparks in my eyes from the pain.

Life in the camp before going up – what is it? What kind of comfort do you lack during the ascent?

I had 57 kg of luggage, 4 books, perfume – all this creates a sense of intimacy. There is no time to read books there, of course – there are so many interesting people with their lives, communication with them is more fascinating than books! In general, the conditions were comfortable. Alexander Abramov brought together a team of 17 people so that people would be as good as possible. So we can not think about 40 days on how to get to the top. We had a large tent in the base camp, where there was also a swimming pool, we could sit out there for the bad weather. It is impossible to stay in a small tent all the time. The weather changed frequently: if the cloud covered the sun, it was very cold, in the full sun it was hot. At any height, I brought two bottles of hot water with me: one on my legs and one I hugged in my arms. It was always cold

Your mother did not know you went to Everest. What was the reaction when she found it out? How was it?

Yes, I did not know, she watched it on TV. She knew I was in the mountains, but I did not tell her the details. We talked and stayed in touch all the time – there was internet in the base camp. I always said: “Just know that I’m fine”.

Which of the peaks would you like to climb again?

My first thought is Everest.

The first is true!

Yes, I often dream of it. I remember all the routes, all the tracks, how to go there. Four times I have climbed up to the height of 6400, I remember these protracted routes. You need to have big motivations to go there. It is very difficult for the body.

Maybe you will bring your team there?

No, I will not take this responsibility. I do not have such an experience. Perhaps, if there are people who want to know how to prepare for the ascent, I will be ready to share my experience with them, I will advise with whom to go. For example, Sasha Abramov has fifteen ascents on Everest! Ten of them are successful. Five times he failed to climb. This year he had a group of twenty-six people – and everyone got up! This is an incredible indicator.

For example, if an ordinary 30-year-old and medium-bodied person says, “I want to go to the Everest”. How much time and energy will you need? What do you need to do?

Let’s take my example. Before Everest, I had a climbing hobby. It would be nice to get to Kazbek, Elbrus, Ararat, to feel – for 4-5 thousand, then for 6, then for 7 thousand. Before I said: you have to go to 8000 m, and then go to 8848. I said: “Stop! If I go to 8000, then I will not go exactly to 8848.” There must be a great desire. I took a backpack, in a backpack there were heavy glossy magazines. Weights on the hands, weights on the legs. I went out and went out for hours outside the city. You have to get used to being alone with yourself. Now climbing Everest costs $ 80,000, and it is always better to count on yourself.

Did you have to lose friends while you were ascending?

Fortunately no; there was a case where a girl at an altitude of 8500 m felt very bad and made a decision to return.

What are the biggest dangers that can become fatal even for experienced climbers?

Ambition. Sometimes a person says, “I paid so much, I have to go up!” They think like that: “Yalovchak has done it, and I am a man, I can make it”, the ego interferes. Sometimes people think that somehow they will reach the top, there is enough oxygen, and then they will somehow descend. But this “somehow” does not work. In 15 minutes without oxygen, a person dies. We are not adapted to these difficult conditions. We must remember: the top cannot be subdued, just go and be its guests. And if you go there with an open heart, then, most likely, everything will work.

What was the most vivid impression of while ascending?

Before climbing Everest, I was told there would be a bath in the field at an altitude of 5,200 meters. I brought the bath brooms. There was a tent, where there was hot and cold water, you mix it and you can bath. In the end, I got out – exhausted without sleep and food, psychologically exhausted – poured hot water into the basin and wanted to beat myself with these brooms. Then I sat down in the basin, realized what work I had done, and began to cry, hugging these brooms.

How do you relax? Do you like the classic “hotel-food-excursion” tours? What are your favorite countries?

I love the Dominican very much. I really like Jamaica, Cuba, the whole Caribbeans. I love Italy – there’s pizza, macaroni, strong coffee espresso, like Italy. Egypt is Impressive – I was there on the May holidays. I found a corner where I wrote my Everest book: all I needed was a beach, a book, and I was happy.

So you are writing a book!

Yes, but for now I have different opinions about what will be. Some say: “Write in an artistic style”. Others: “Write step by step how you got everything”.

When will it be available?

I think that it will be ready in May 2019, I will make a presentation. I am scared: what happens if I write badly?.

Forget it, how can possibly people not like it?

I’m not a banknote, that everyone likes. There are also ill-minded people. When I was going to Everest, before selling the apartment, I tried to find sponsors. Then they wrote me “crazy”, “you’ll be killed”, “where are you going”, “you need money just for a walk”. But even these people give strength.

And finally: what are you dreaming about?

Basically, I am dreaming about money. To finance my projects, and a home, I need a place and a support base. I want feminine simplicity. Sometimes I think I’ll go to politics. It seems I have a strong character, and I can do it.

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