Winter Gasherbrum I: Urubko Making Progress

Denis Urubko reached the Gasherbrums base camp on Jan. 20. Each day, he sends short messages via a satellite device to his partner back in Spain, Pipi Cardell.

Journalist Laszlo Pinter received some interesting information from Urubko, via Cardell:

“After eight days of trekking, we arrived at the base camp at 5,000m. Several porters fell ill, the loads were heavy. There was about 30cm of snow on the trail at 4,400m. Fortunately, there was no serious wind. The temperature was -15°C during the day and about -30°C at night. Gasherbrum I is shrouded in clouds, not visible, but I can feel its power. A special giant, its past is extreme, with many tragedies and triumphs. But our summer success with Maria Jose Cardell will help me plan the winter ascent.”

Gradual progress

Urubko mentioned that the base camp stands on a secure platform, protected from stormy winds. He has started to scout ahead, taking a look at the descent route on the glacier. On Jan. 22, he planned to find a way through the icefall.

The next step is to find the route to Camp 2 at 6,400m. “Pakistani climber Hassan Shigri is very strong, Ibrahim the cook is a real specialist, liaison officer Shahzeib is positive, assistant Nizar is attentive. The team is ready,” Urubko said.

Gasherbrum I.

Gasherbrum I. Photo: Olaf Rieck/Wikipedia


On Jan. 21, a few further details from Urubko were posted on Cardell’s social media. Urubko reported that they broke trail in 30-80cm of snow and made it through the icefall to 5,150m. They deposited some gear before returning to base camp.

On Jan. 22, Urubko reported that he was back in base camp after reaching 5,400m.

“[There are] many crevasses, lots of snow, fixed ropes,” he wrote. Today, Urubko and Shigri will try to reach Camp 1.

Kris Annapurna

KrisAnnapurna is a writer with ExplorersWeb.

Kris has been writing about history and tales in alpinism, news, mountaineering, and news updates in the Himalaya, Karakoram, etc., for the past year with ExplorersWeb. Prior to that, Kris worked as a real estate agent, interpreter, and translator in criminal law. Now based in Madrid, Spain, she was born and raised in Hungary.