Julie Tullis

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Julie Tullis (15 March 1939 6/7 August 1986) was a British climber and filmmaker who died while descending from K2's summit during a storm, along with four other climbers from several expeditions, during the "Black Summer" of 1986.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Climbing Activity to ascend a steep object

Climbing is the activity of using one's hands, feet, or any other part of the body to ascend a steep object. It is done for locomotion, recreation and competition, in trades that rely on it, and in emergency rescue and military operations. It is done indoors and out, on natural and man-made structures.

K2 the second-highest mountain on Earth, located on the China–Pakistan border in a region also claimed by India

K2, also known as Mount Godwin-Austen or Chhogori, at 8,611 metres (28,251 ft) above sea level, is the second highest mountain in the world, after Mount Everest at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft). It is located on the China–Pakistan border between Baltistan in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan, and the Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang, China. K2 is the highest point of the Karakoram range and the highest point in both Pakistan and Xinjiang.


Early life

Julie was born to Erica and Francis Palau. Her early life was disrupted by the outbreak of World War II. In 1956, she began climbing near Tunbridge Wells, where she met Terry Tullis. In 1959, they were married and spent the following years running various small businesses. They also continued climbing, in addition to which Julie studied traditional Japanese martial arts, under David Passmore in the Budokan school, Tunbridge Wells. She occasionally practised karate forms in traditional Hakama when climbing.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Royal Tunbridge Wells town in Kent, England

Royal Tunbridge Wells, previously just Tunbridge Wells, is a town in western Kent, England, 30 miles (48 km) south-east of central London, close to the border with East Sussex upon the northern edge of the High Weald, whose sandstone geology is exemplified by the rock formations at the Wellington Rocks and High Rocks.


Tullis met Austrian climber Kurt Diemberger in 1976, and by 1980 they were working together on lecture tours. In 1981, Diemberger hired Tullis as a technician for an expedition to Nanga Parbat, and their high-altitude filming career began. It would include, in the following years, expeditions to the North ridge of K2 and the unclimbed North-East ridge of Mount Everest. In 1984, Tullis and Diemberger climbed Broad Peak, and after more film work they went on an expedition to climb K2, in 1986.

Kurt Diemberger Austrian mountaineer

Kurt Diemberger is an Austrian mountaineer and author of several books. He is the only living person who has made the first ascents on two mountains over 8,000 metres: of Broad Peak in 1957 and of Dhaulagiri in 1960.

Nanga Parbat mountain in Pakistan

Nanga Parbat, locally known as Diamer, is the ninth highest mountain in the world at 8,126 metres (26,660 ft) above sea level. Located in the Diamer District of Pakistan’s Gilgit Baltistan region, Nanga Parbat is the western anchor of the Himalayas. The name Nanga Parbat is derived from the Sanskrit words nagna and parvata which together mean "Naked Mountain". The mountain is locally known by its Tibetan name Diamer or Deo Mir, meaning "huge mountain".

Mount Everest Earths highest mountain, part of the Himalaya between Nepal and China

Mount Everest, known in Nepali as Sagarmatha (सगरमाथा) and in Tibetan as Chomolungma (ཇོ་མོ་གླང་མ), is Earth's highest mountain above sea level, located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas. The international border between Nepal and China runs across its summit point.

K2, mountain of mountains

Although Tullis and Diemberger finally made the summit on 4 August 1986, making Tullis the first British woman to do so, they were exhausted from spending several days above 8,000 m (known as the death zone). On the descent, Tullis slipped and fell; although Diemberger's belay successfully saved them both, it is likely that Tullis suffered internal or head injuries that began to affect her vision and co-ordination.[ citation needed ] Arriving at Camp IV they were trapped in their tents by a storm that lasted for several days. All the trapped climbers deteriorated physically and mentally, lacking food, sleep, oxygen and, once the gas for the stoves ran out, the ability to melt snow and produce water. This, in turn, made them vulnerable to pulmonary or cerebral oedema, which in Tullis' condition would have been rapidly fatal.


Tullis died on the night of 6/7 August (the accounts of Diemberger and another climber present, Willi Bauer, differ on the date) and was buried on the mountainside.


In 2005, an audio cassette tape diary recorded by Tullis in 1982 was recovered from the glacier below K2. [1]

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  1. Lane, Megan (27 October 2006). "Home Counties to Himalayas". BBC News. Retrieved 2014-03-05.