French extreme skier Jean Noel Urban lost in fatal accident on Gasherbrum

French extreme skier Jean Noel Urban lost in fatal accident on Gasherbrum

Posted: Jun 21, 2008 01:03 am EDT

( Jean-Noel Urban's website has confirmed details about the June 18 accident.

At around 5 am, Jean-Noel Urban was leaving Camp 2 for Base Camp, when he fell into a very big crevasse. A search was attempted the next day, without results. There has been heavy snow fall since and rescue attempts have now been aborted. Nicolas Brun will leave BC, tomorrow, Saturday.

The 47-years-old French climber and ski instructor lived in La Salle Les Alpes, France. In the past 20 years he had skied a large number of 50-60 degrees steep slopes in Alps, Central Asia, America and the Himalayas.

On 8,000ers, Jean-Noel Urban had skied down Cho Oyu (2005) and GII (2006). He also had two partial descents on Shishas south face (both from the Central and Main summits), and attempts on Manaslu, the lesser but difficult GVI and Everest Hornbein couloir last year.

This season, Jean-Noel Urban and regular climbing partner Nicolas Brun planned to attempt an ascent of the Japanese couloir on the NW side of Gasherbum 1; and later an ascent and ski descent of Nanga Parbat by the Kinshofer route, Diamir side.

Jean-Noel Urban's major ski descents according to his homepage:

North America

1995: first entire ski descent of the northern face of MOUNT MCKINLEY (6194 m, Alaska), 4300 m of slope after fifteen days of final summit push in a thirty-days autonomous expedition.

Central Asia:

* KORZHENEVSKAÏA peak (7105 m, Tadjikistan, Pamir), first ski descent of the South-West ridge
* DOUCHAMBE peak (6950, Tadjikistan, Pamir), first ski descent, North face, Brodnik ridge,
* LENIN peak (7134 m, Khirgistan, Pamir)
* KHAN-TENGRY peak (6995 m, Khirgistan, Tien Shan), first ski descent, western ridge
* POBIEDY Peak (7439 m, Khirgistan, Tien Shan), first ski descent, West peak

High Himalaya

- 1998: attempt on the southern face of GASHERBRUM VI (7003 m, Pakistan, Karakoram)
- 2003: SATOPANTH (7075 m, India, Garwal Himalaya), first ski descent Nort-East ridge
- 2004: SHISHAPANGMA (central summit 8 008 m., Tibet, Himalaya) ski descent tentative of SW face - Loretan route
- 2005: MUZTAGH ATA (7546 m, China, Kun Lun)
CHO OYU (8201 m, Tibet/Nepal, Himalaya), Nort-West face ski descent
SHISHAPANGMA (8013 m, Tibet Himalaya), first ski descent (in part) South-West face, Scott route
- 2006: GASHERBRUM II (8035m, Pakistan - Karakoram), skis descent of SW face and East ridge
MANASLU (8163m, Nepal - Gurkha Himalaya), attempt of NE face
- 2007: EVEREST (8848m, Tibet, Himalaya), NE ridge, ascent and partial skis descent.
NANGA PARBAT (8125m, Pakistan - Karakoram), Diamir side, Kinshoffer route attempt (7400m).
DHAULAGIRI (8167m, Nepal, Himalaya), NE ridge attempt.

#Mountaineering #Mountaineering

French extreme skier Jean Noel Urban was killed in a crevasse fall between C2 and BC on Gasherbrum 1 Wednesday. Image courtesy of Urban's website (click to enlarge).
Very early in the season a crevasse took the life of the great mountaineer and extreme skier Jean-Noel Urban on Gasherbrum I. Image of JN at Chogolisa this summer, courtesy of Jean-Noel Urban's website (click to enlarge).
Image of Urban doing the first partial ski descent of the South-West face, Scott route on Shisha Pangma. All images courtesy of Jean-Nole Urban's website (click to enlarge).