DENIS URUBKO | The unbelievable summer of one of the best mountaineers in the world
Denis Urubko needs no introduction but we like to get down on paper who he is, because one the best actual mountaineers in the world is part of the team Kayland and we are honored by this.
“Why do you think Kayland chose you?”
“I think my way of living and facing alpinism have been the most attractive points: I’m always looking for something new, something to discover and something inside myself I can improve and improve. I never rest. Then, I think they like the way I approach mountains: for me, it’s not only walking, running, competing, ascending. For me, alpinism is an artistic dance”.
Denis has been “on a podium” for 21 years, recognised as a true adventurer, and he reached the most important achievements on high-altitude level above 6000 mt.
But Denis is a “hunter of 8000ers”, the 14 mountains that are more than 8000 metres in height above sea level: he became the 15th mountaineer to climb all the 8000ers and the 8th to achieve the feat without the use of supplementary oxygen.
His ascents are somehow mystic, not to say superhuman: he opened 5 new routes above 8000 metres in alpine style, that means the refusal of fixed ropes, high-altitude porters, supplemental oxygen and stocked camps.
Denis Urubko is a true athlete which managed to go beyond limits in Himalaya and Karakorum.
The Russian-Polish mountaineer has been rewarded in several sporting and humanitarian achievements during his careers, furthermore he is a writer and a speaker really appreciated by his audience, during conferences held in Russia, Poland, Spain and Italy about his expeditions.
Like any other mountaineer, Denis has a reliable ascent fellow, Maria Jose Cardell Fernandez, aka Pipi. Maria is a talented climber and mountaineer, rewarded both for her sporting achievements all over the world both for her literary and photographic merit.
Denis’s and Maria’s unbelievable summer
In the summer of 2019, the couple of mountaineers undertook an expedition to Karakorum, with the purpose of opening a new route in alpine style to the Gasherbrum II, 8035 mt. It’s one of the most interesting mountains of the “Himalayan crown”, a mountain range made of 8000ers.
To complete the idea of an artistic ascent has been a dream for many generations of mountaineers, but just about 10 routes have been opened during the history of high-altitude exploration.
- Approach trekking
On 18th July, Denis and Pipi leave to ascent the GII and acclimatize. During the approach trekking, Maria falls badly with serious consequences for her back, but despite the pain she stands stoically at the basecamp to support her companion, who decides to go on a solo ascent.
- 4 high-altitude rescues
On July 20th, the mountaineer Francesco Cassardo is injured when falls 500 metres during a rope while descending Gasherbrum VII and gets stuck for 2 days at 6300 metres. His fellow climber, the mountaineer Cala Cimenti, attends to him and takes action to organize relief efforts, with the help of other mountaineers in the area, like Marco Confortola, which give the maximum support.
Since the helicopter is long in coming, another 4 mountaineers move away, including Denis Urubko and his companion Don Bowie, both just returned from Gasherbrum II. The group builds a sled to transport Cassardo to the BC, facilitating the work to the helicopter to transport the injured to the hospital.
Denis never takes a rest and he is always vigilant: in between he is protagonist of other 3 high-altitude rescues, between 5500 and 6300 metres.
Those are difficult days, he is concerned for Pipi and for the bad weather, but finally Denis can focus on his personal challenges.
- 8001, the expedition boot
Denis Urubko can finally test the expedition boot 8001, created in collaboration with Kayland: a made-to-measure mountaineering boot which is a powerful mix of technologies, such as the sole Vibram® Teton and the midsole Smart PU.
- Opening of the new route on Gasherbrum II
On 31st July, two days after turning 46, Denis leaves the advanced BC and spends 24 hours of difficult efforts, deep snow of plateu and summit rocky triangle.
Thanks to the years of intensive training, to his unbelievable power and also to a bit of luck, Denis gets to the top of Gasherbrum II on the late evening of August 1st, opening a new route which he names “Honeymoon” in homage to his marriage with Pipi Cardell. This extraordinary ascent is completed solo and without oxygen, in pure alpine style.
Mission accomplished! No doubt about it.
Closed an expedition, a true adventurer starts planning the next one.
Denis has unveiled his mid-term plans recently: the winter ascent of Broad Peak and K2, very important challenge.
Follow Denis Urubko’s adventures: