Urubko Goes It Alone on Gasherbrum II

8000ers Mountain
Denis Urubko on the summit of Gasherbrum II. He first climbed it via the normal route to acclimatize for his attempted new line. Photo: Denis Urubko

Nirmal Purja is not the only one with a busy agenda these days. On July 18, Denis Urubko summited Gasherbrum II; 48 hours later, he was running (literally) toward Gasherbrum VII to help rescue Francesco Cassardo. Today, his wife Maria Cardell confirms that Urubko will seek to open a new route on GII, but contrary to their original plan, she will not join him. He will climb alone.

Cardell fell and hurt her back during the trek to Base Camp. Despite medication, the pain has not receded. In fact, it became worse when she tried to push through the injury and do the first acclimatization round to Camp 2 on Gasherbrum.

According to a medical report, she may have a spinal issue affecting a nerve and needs aerial evacuation since, by now, she cannot hike out herself. “Denis insists on me returning home asap, but he is going to attempt our new route on his own and I want to be here for him,” Cardell stated. “I can hold on and Denis can fulfill our dream for us both.”

María Cardell in Gasherbrum’ Base Camp. Photo: Denis Urubko

Related story:

Gasherbrum VII: Urubko to the Rescue, Again

About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!

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3 Comments on "Urubko Goes It Alone on Gasherbrum II"

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Denis is a champ! Just does the mission… And helps others… Ive spoken with him…you couldn’t have a better person on a mountain on his day… Good luck mate!


Is there more information about his new route?


What a stud !
And he does all that while, in process, rescuing a few climbers in need.
Three actually.
And counting lol.
When I was a kid I had Tom Cruise as a bad *ss role model to look up.
Guess Denis wasn’t active back then. :-/
One thing about that first photo – it says “Photo: Denis Urubko”. Was that pic from his latest “acclimatization route” ? He wasn’t alone on top, wasn’t he ? Who took it then, I can see a shadow there. Was María there, someone else or it’s a pic from one of his earlier climbs. Anyone ?