Urubko Frostbitten after Crevasse Fall, Aborts Winter Gasherbrum I

Denis Urubko’s bold attempt to climb Gasherbrum I in Pakistan, solo, in winter, has come to a dramatic end. The Russian climber is walking back to Skardu with serious frostbite on his right hand after falling into a crevasse. Luckily, someone was there to help.

Encouraged by good weather, Urubko planned to reach Camp 2 at 6,500m. But while crossing the dangerous Gasherbrum Glacier at around 5,500m, he fell six or seven meters into a crevasse. Urubko remained inside for at least an hour until Pakistani climber Hassan Shigri, who accompanied him from Base Camp to Camp 2 at the top of the glacier, managed to drag him out.

Denis Urubko and Hassan Shigri.

Denis Urubko and Hassan Shigri. Photo: Denis Urubko


By the time Urubko returned to a tent, his right hand was frostbitten. The injuries require immediate treatment but according to Desnivel, Urubko’s insurance is, for some reason, inactive. For that reason, Urubko has started the long walk back to Skardu in the midwinter Karakoram.

He hopes to get treatment at the town’s military hospital. Wasting no time, Urubko hopes to reach town in two days. It will be a hard trek back but at least he has survived the fall and can walk down the Baltoro Glacier under his own power.

Denis Urubko's frostbitten right hand.

Denis Urubko’s frostbitten right hand. Photo: Denis Urubko

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.