Urubko Changes His Mind, Makes for Broad Peak Summit NOW

Denis Urubko, off again to make climbing history. Photo: Denis Urubko

Denis Urubko just couldn’t wait for the wide weather window expected to open by Feb 22. He is going up now, even if he has to endure gale-force winds on his solo rush to Camp 7. In a brief text to his partner, Pipi Cardell, Denis Urubko confirmed yesterday that he was hurrying for the summit of winter Broad Peak. His simple, bold plan: Run to Camp 3 today (at about 7,000m), summit tomorrow and back.

The only problem: high winds are raking the mountain, making the winter cold far more dangerous. According to Federico Bernardi of Montagna Magica, winds may reach 80kph today. As he also noted, Urubko wouldn’t bother to add the weight of a satphone to his backpack because, after all, any rescue in case of trouble would be impossible. According to the latest forecast, summit weather for Monday will be clear but windy, with still-air temperatures close to -40° and winds of 30kph in the morning increasing to 70kph by evening.

As usual with Urubko, it’s nail-biting time for us at home. We won’t know his whereabouts or what is going on until he returns and tell the story himself. On his recent solo of Gasherbrum II last summer, other teams in Base Camp could at least share the word when the lonely climber was finally spotted on his way down. This time, he is totally alone on the mountain.

On Facebook, Pipi Cardell has posted a romantic image of her and Urubko’s silhouettes joined at the hip on a sandy beach, with the motto: “We are one.” For the next couple of days, supporters around the world will also be united in wishing him the best.

Photo: Pipi Cardell

About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Sport journalist, published author and communication consultant. Feeling back home at ExplorersWeb after five years exploring distant professional ranges. From Dec19 to Feb20, I'll be also working as press manager for Alex Txikon's expeditions to Antarctica, winter Ama Dablam and winter Everest.

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11 Comments on "Urubko Changes His Mind, Makes for Broad Peak Summit NOW"

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Mark Zatylny
Guest

Looks dangerous all right. Hope he makes it so he can try something even more dangerous next time.

Ryan
Guest

T

Mark Zatylny
Guest

How about k2 winter climb backwards and stand on your head for 10 minutes at the top

Temo
Guest

He will summit Broad peak on the 17. Chill at BC for 2 to 3 days and then run up K2 on the 22! Go Denis!
Legend!

Ryan
Guest

I don’t see it happening because he considers the last day of February the last day of winter. I want him to be the first to nail K2 winter. He was so close last year.

JasonL
Guest
This is totally why he is doing it. There are new lines up thru most of the hard parts and lines from this summer. This is an acclimation climb, make it or not. K2, very solo, winter. It has to be calling. I’m sure it’s impossible on the high slopes, but maybe the snow is right. If it is walkable (not deep) and the wind dies for 2 days, who knows? It would be by far the greatest climb ever. 1 man 4 season tent (does he have 1?) 4lb, sleep bag 4lb, pack 4lb, pads 3lb, food 3lb, fuel/stove… Read more »
Polish broad Peak expedition
Guest
Polish broad Peak expedition

Broad Peak has been climbed in winter. Just because he says winter finishes on a different day doesn’t mean anything. What if someone come next time and says he thinks winter finishes on 31st of January? Should we rewrite the history because of someone’s believes?

Ranjeet S. Tate
Guest

Plus, this year February has 29 days, so that is clearly cheating! Unless of course, he leaps it in one bound.

JasonL
Guest
Yah, basically. It is far colder in the Himalaya on Dec 1 than on March 21. Actually, it’s much colder on Nov 21 as the Himalaya are effected more by the directness of sun, rather than the whims of polar air mass. So doing it before Mar 1 is much harder. It won’t be the first winter accent for all but he is right about the most harsh 3 month period. And actually, it would be moved back about 10 days to find the coldest. But people want to leave after christmas in the Christian west/east. So March 1 works.… Read more »
Deian
Guest

Does somebody knows from what website is the forecast screenshot?comment image

Jerry Kobalenko
Admin

We took the screenshot from a FB group called Alpine Climbing. Sorry, no website apparent. The wind info came from mountain-forecast.com.