Urubko: K2 Teams Have No Chance

As forecast, hurricane-force winds are currently pounding K2. The Eastern team in BC amuse themselves by posting clips of the violent gale on social media, while Alex Txikon and his Team-beyond-the-Wall enjoy slightly better shelter in their ice fortress.


Back in Europe, well-known climbers from Reinhold Messner to Krzysztof Wielicki have been offering non-committal opinions about the Winter K2 season to inquiring media. Everyone, that is, except Denis Urubko, who in opinions as in climbing, is always fully committed.

The Polish-Kazakh strongman believes, first of all, that winter in the Greater Ranges ends on March 1, not March 20. Since “Txikon is sitting in BC” and Pivtsov’s high point is the Black Pyramid, Urubko claims that there’s “no chance” of success on K2 this season. “It is impossible to go to K2 without significant acclimatization [and] a well-prepared road…They do not have time,” he told a Polish publication.

Coloring Urubko’s opinion, perhaps, is his ambition to climb K2 in winter himself as the capstone to his career.

Meanwhile, the ever-analytical Messner explained the difference in style between the teams that suggests why, despite an early and rumored alliance, the two are not working together: “While the first expedition advances with a typically Soviet method, based on many days of sacrifice and constant work, even in adverse conditions, the second moves less and only then can be fast. Txikon tries to reserve as much as possible the energies, physical and mental.”






Angela Benavides is a journalist specialised on high-altitude mountaineer and expedition news working with ExplorersWeb.com.

Angela Benavides 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 national and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporates, press manager and communication executive, radio reporter and anchorwoman, etc. Experience in Education: Researcher at Spain’s National University for Distance Learning on the European Commission-funded ECO Learning Project; experience in teaching ELE (Spanish as a Second Language) and transcultural training for expats living in Spain.

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