Denis Urubko Heads to K2 for Record-Tying 8,000’er

Denis Urubko is on his way to K2 to attempt his 26th 8,000m peak without O2. That would tie him with current record-holder Juanito Oiarzabal. He may then go back to Broad Peak for number 27, according to partner Maria Jose Cardell.

Laszlo Pinter, who is in touch with Cardell, told Explorersweb that Urubko plans to climb K2 in the next few days.

Urubko has climbing permits for four 8,000’ers this season — K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum I, and Gasherbrum II.  He has already summited Broad Peak once (July 19) and Gasherbrum II (July 23).

He could have gone immediately for Gasherbrum I, but the approach over the glacier was too risky for a lone climber. A couple of hours ago, some Pakistani climbers announced that they are heading to Gasherbrum I, but Urubko had no time to coordinate with them. In the end, he decided on K2.

Denis Urubko. Photo: Denis Urubko


According to Cardell, Urubko will climb on his own and has not arranged for any tent at Base Camp. Instead, he is bringing his own shelter in a backpack weighing more than 25kg.

A line of climbers at night on a steep section of K2, with headlamps

K2 at night. Photo: Sandro Gromen-Hayes


Some independent climbers also plan their No-O2 summit bid during this weather window. We are waiting for details about them.

Seven Summit Treks reports that seven of their clients and five Sherpas, all on bottled oxygen, are going for the summit of K2 tonight. They planned to reach Camp 4 today.

Adriana Brownlee and her guide Gelje Sherpa, climbing with O2, are also on their way to the top. Currently, they are at 7,956m.

K2 and the Abruzzi Route. Photo: Deosai Expeditions


Three Sherpas, Lakpa Dendi, Mingma David, and Chhiring Sherpa, are currently aiming to beat the late French alpinist Benoit Chamoux’s speed record on K2. In 1986, he went from Base Camp to summit back to Base Camp, in 23 hours, alone, without O2. The Sherpas are on their way now. No word on whether they are climbing together.

Benjamin Vedrines is also attempting a speed climb of K2 without supplemental oxygen, according to Everest Chronicle. He is currently at C3. Last week, Vedrines blazed his way up Broad Peak in a record 7 hours 28 minutes.

Broad Peak

At least nine climbers summited Broad Peak today, according to Seven Summit Treks, including four clients and five Sherpas.

Grace Tseng of Taiwan and her Sherpas are at Camp 3 and will head for the summit tonight.

Broad Peak. Photo: Seven Summit Treks

Kris Annapurna

KrisAnnapurna is a writer with ExplorersWeb.

Kris has been writing about history and tales in alpinism, news, mountaineering, and news updates in the Himalaya, Karakoram, etc., for the past year with ExplorersWeb. Prior to that, Kris worked as a real estate agent, interpreter, and translator in criminal law. Now based in Madrid, Spain, she was born and raised in Hungary.