Urubko Confirms Winter Gasherbrum I

Finally, Denis Urubko has confirmed that he will set off for the Karakoram on Dec. 30 to attempt what he calls “the first winter ascent of Gasherbrum I.”

Some may not agree, especially Adam Bielecki and Janus Golab of Poland, who summited the peak on March 9, 2012.

Urubko is a fierce advocate of meteorological winter. That means defining the season not by the equinox/solstice but by the fiercest weather, from Dec. 1 to the end of February. By this definition, Bielecki and Golab’s climb took place in early spring.

Most of the climbing community still sticks to calendar winter, from Dec. 21 to March 21. But to avoid controversy, many try to climb inside both options. That is, from the final days of December till the end of February.

Urubko’s plan

Urubko told ExplorersWeb that he is behind schedule because of the large number of fall lectures he had to do, a lack of time to train, and funding problems. Most importantly, he had no partner.

While he hasn’t worked out all the details yet, Urubko now feels that it is “highly likely” his expedition will take place. He is currently training hard as he deals with officials in Pakistan.

However, he might not have anyone to accompany him to the summit.

“Hassan Shigri, an experienced local climber, will climb with me up to 6,500m,” explained Urubko. That is, he’ll rope up to cross the treacherous Gasherbrum Glacier but will be on his own over the upper part of the route.

Urubko will have a cook and some friends in Base Camp.

In addition to his usual sponsor CAMP, Urubko has support from Russian friend Oleg Vaitman and Polski Klub Alpejski, the Polish Alpine Club.

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.