Frostbitten Russian-polish mountaineer abandons Gasherbrum-I winter summit attempt


Gasherbrum-I winter summit attempt

GILGIT: Renowned Russian-Polish mountaineer Denis Urubko, the only climber attempting a winter summit in Pakistan this season, has halted his expedition to Gasherbrum-I in Gilgit-Baltistan following an unfortunate accident near Camp 2.

The seasoned 50-year-old climber had planned to ascend to Camp 2 at 6,500 meters, encouraged by favorable weather conditions. However, while traversing the Gasherbrum Glacier at approximately 5,500 meters, he fell six to seven meters into a crevasse. Urubko remained inside the crevasse for an hour until local climber Hassan Shigri, his companion from Base Camp to Camp 2, successfully rescued him.

As a result of the accident, Urubko sustained frostbite on his right hand. Currently, he is undertaking a multi-day trek back to Skardu to receive urgent medical treatment. The setback has led Urubko to declare an end to his expedition. “The expedition is over,” his social page announced.

While talking to HUM News English, Jasmine Tours Owner Ali Asghar Porik confirmed the development, stating that Urubko was trekking down through Baltoro Glacier. Porik added that they are waiting for his arrival and highlighted that air rescue was not possible due to harsh weather conditions and snowfall.

Urubko’s attempt to summit during this winter stands out, as he is the only mountaineer to do so amid a decline in winter arrivals caused by the 2022 fee hike imposed by the Gilgit-Baltistan government, which eliminated winter discounts and set substantial group fees for peaks above 6,500 meters.

Denis Urubko achieved the remarkable feat of becoming the 15th individual to conquer all 14 eight-thousand-meter peaks in 2009, distinguishing himself as the eighth climber to do so without supplemental oxygen.

He boasts an impressive record of 26 summits on 8000-meter peaks. His illustrious climbing career includes successful winter ascents of two 8,000-meter peaks: Makalu in 2009 alongside Simone Moro, and Gasherbrum II in 2011 in the company of Cory Richards and Moro.

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