Urubko Goes It Alone on Gasherbrum II

Nirmal Purja is not the only one with a busy agenda these days. On July 18, Denis Urubko summited Gasherbrum II; 48 hours later, he was running (literally) toward Gasherbrum VII to help rescue Francesco Cassardo. Today, his wife Maria Cardell confirms that Urubko will seek to open a new route on GII, but contrary to their original plan, she will not join him. He will climb alone.

Cardell fell and hurt her back during the trek to Base Camp. Despite medication, the pain has not receded. In fact, it became worse when she tried to push through the injury and do the first acclimatization round to Camp 2 on Gasherbrum.

According to a medical report, she may have a spinal issue affecting a nerve and needs aerial evacuation since, by now, she cannot hike out herself. “Denis insists on me returning home asap, but he is going to attempt our new route on his own and I want to be here for him,” Cardell stated. “I can hold on and Denis can fulfill our dream for us both.”

María Cardell in Gasherbrum’ Base Camp. Photo: Denis Urubko

Related story:

Gasherbrum VII: Urubko to the Rescue, Again