Today we speak with Dima Tertychnyy, who has climbed the world's tallest mountains, played football for one of Europe's top teams and recently been accepted to Charterhouse, one of the UK's most prestigious schools.
Dima Tertychnyy is an extraordinary student with an extraordinary story, and one that we thought would be worth sharing with our readers. Though only 16 years old, Dima has already successfully climbed a number of the world’s tallest mountains, including Kilimanjaro, Elbrus and Mont Blanc, and has plans to climb Everest in the near future. He has travelled to some of the world’s most remote and beautiful places; played football for the Dynamo youth team in Russia, and all on top of being a top student at school in the UK.
Last summer Dima travelled and completed a start-up academy course at Skolkovo Business School, and this year will start a new chapter at Charterhouse, one of the UK’s most prestigious boarding schools. He will study there for 2 years before applying to university. We decided to have a chat with him and to learn the secrets of his success. In particular, how does he manage to cope with the physical and mental toll of mountaineering (climbing can take up to 40 days and be extremely dangerous), conquer the world and at the same time remain a successful and positive student, loving son and brother and caring friend? Let’s see what he had to say.
Dima, our first question concerns your love for mountain climbing. Where does this interest come from?
It all started quite spontaneously to be honest. In October 2012, my father told me that we were going to climb Kilimanjaro, and that’s it — he did not really ask my opinion and any attempt I made to get out of the expedition was unsuccessful! Now I feel very grateful to him for this of course. Over the years we have undertaken 10 expeditions, 7 of which have been successful – Mont Blanc, Elbrus, Aconcagua, Denali, Kartsenz, the Array Vinson and Kilimanjaro. Our next destination is the peak of Everest and the culmination of the “7 peaks” programme. There only 500 people in the whole world who have done this.
How did you manage to develop the sufficient mental and physical stamina to withstand the long and freezing hours of climbing, all the while deprived of oxygen?
For me personally it was mainly thanks to football. In Moscow I train at the Dynamo football club five days a week, so I didn’t really have any problems in terms of physical endurance. As for the mental aspect of it, I motivated myself by thinking that if I stopped and went down I would only have to come back and start the climb again!
We would like to ask you the same question regarding your time management. Taking into consideration the fast pace of your life and impressive achievements it is clear that you have that skill under control as well.
To be honest I am more of an improviser than a planner. (smiling)
We know that football plays a very important part of your life. What do you personally get from it?
I am very grateful to my mum for taking me to a football club 11 years ago. Football taught me to never give up, be tough and strong, make fast decisions but also be able to trust other people.
Dima, can you please tell us more about your start-up course at Skolkovo business academy? Did this experience inspire you to create your own project?
From my point of view, the week I spent there has given me a lot. We studied business models implemented by major companies, how they work and grow. But apart from that I made many new and interesting friends along the way. Unfortunately, I do not have an idea for a good start-up yet, but I’m sure it will come to me soon.
You have also attended a summer course at Oxford University. How did you find it and what did you think about the academic programme and education in the UK in general?
I really liked this course. First of all, Oxford is a beautiful place to study. Every day we had some free time to explore the city. Secondly, the programme is very useful for students considering studying in the UK. The workload is high and the whole experience seems more like a real school rather than summer camp.
This year you are starting to study at a boarding school. Was it hard to get into Charterhouse and what are your expectations for this year?
Initially I did not worry or stress much about the entrance exams and application. I did not attach much significance to it. However, when I received an offer, I realised what I had managed to accomplish. I have been studying here for 3 weeks now and can certainly say it was a very productive period. I plan to make the most out of the amazing facilities and opportunities offered at this school.
If you were to give advice to other kids wishing to reach their goals in sports and education and also study in the UK in future, what would you tell them?
My main advice would be – follow your dreams and never hesitate to tell others about your goals.
If you want to see some photos and videos from Dima’s climbing expeditions, you can follow his Instagram profile @mountaneersdream. He is also sharing some of the moments from his trips to unique places, such as Easter Island or his football training sessions in his personal profile @dimatert.