Veteran trio to attempt K2 North Face

Posted: Oct 13, 2014 03:28 pm EDT

(Newsdesk/edited Nov 4, 2014) Only two 8000ers remain to be climbed in winter and while Nanga Parbat has had several attempts, last time (2011/12) someone tried K2 was a seasoned Russian team aborting after losing a climber to the frigid mountain.


Now a veteran trio from three countries have decided to give it a shot, from the steep and shady north side to boot.  The Russian*/Polish/Spanish trio Denis Urubko, Adam Bielecki and Alex Txikon joined forces last spring on Kanchenjunga in an unsuccessful new route attempt. In a few weeks they'll turn their boots to K2. 


The most seasoned of the three, in 2003 Denis made a winter attempt on K2 led by legendary winter climber Polish Krzysztof Wielicki.


Denis was selected for the final summit push as one in a team of two but had to abort the climb high up to rescue his mate. He left his ice axe at the turning point, around C4, hoping to one day come back for it. 


In 2007 Denis returned to K2 with a friend and summited the peak via the North Pillar in its latest summit yet.


Check out ExWeb's interview with Urubko about these and other winter climbs (Makalu and G2), often with Italian climbing mate Simone Moro. Moro is not coming this time, in his interview with Explorersweb he said about winter K2 last year: 


"Well, it will be climbed … soon. Yes, I have discussed with Denis to go to this mountain. The only reason why I am not going is because a few days after the summit of GII, my wife dreamed that I was dying during the winter ascent of K2 [...]  When I had options, I thought why should I go and take risk on K2 while Nanga Parbat is still there. So I decided to go to Nanga Parbat. This is honestly and purely the only reason why I didn’t go for K2."


Polish Adam Bielecki has two winter firsts: GI and Broad Peak, and he also climbed K2 in the summer of 2012 on the normal route.


Spanish Txikon was part of Goschl's fateful G1 winter attempt and later made it to 7100 on K2 via the Abruzzi Spur. 


Story edited November 4, 2014, to reflect that Denis Urubko is Russian, not Kazakh. Urubko was born son to a Russian family in the North of Caucasus. He moved to Kazakhstan in early 90s and became an officer in the Kazakhstan Army. He then moved back to Russia, and renewed his Russian citizenship.




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Another pendant matter: K2's dark and frigid North Face. Image by Denis Urubko (click to enlarge).
courtesy Denis Urubko, SOURCE
Urubko (left) with Simone Moro in a frigid high camp on Nanga Parbat in 2012.
courtesy Simone Moro, SOURCE
Adam Bielecki in C2, after first winter ascent of GI (2011).
courtesy Adam Bielecki, SOURCE
Alex Txikon and Artur Hajzer in the military camp near Concordia during winter GI expedition.
courtesy Alex Txikon, SOURCE
Members of Denis Urubko's team sleep on the bus on route to Kanchenjunga.
courtesy, SOURCE

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