At 7,650 meters it was over. Denis Urubko finished the first summit attempt of the winter expedition on the 8,051-meter-high Broad Peak and turned back. “No ropes and a lot of crevasses,” the 46-year-old posted on Facebook. „(Too) Tired to break trail, too risky, not enough time, but good acclimatization. Now we are drinking tea in Camp 3, tomorrow base camp.” It almost sounded as if Denis had been en route all the time today with his expedition companions Don Bowie and Lotta Hintsa. But Urubko climbed up alone.
“Not totally clear on what Denis did”
The trio split up yesterday. Denis climbed up to 7,000 meters, Don and Lotta had started a bit later because of the strong wind, as Bowie wrote on Instagram today. Denis spent the night in a crevasse, Don and Lotta a little lower on a narrow platform. “I am not totally clear on what Denis did after this,” Don wrote. “but he said over the radio that this morning he tried to climb higher but was stopped by crevasses. Lotta Hintsa and I decided to stay put because big winds are forecast for the night and tomorrow, so we will retreat to base camp in the morning.”
Urubko’s behaviour brings back memories of winter 2018, when he had set out on K2 for a solo summit attempt as a member of a Polish team without consulting expedition leader Krzysztof Wielicki. At 7,600 meters he had turned around and then left the expedition in dispute. Would Denis have made the summit push on Broad Peak on his own even now, if conditions had allowed it?
K2: Mingmas team above 6,300 meters
On neighbouring K2, the team of the Nepalese expedition leader Mingma Gyalje Sherpa pushed the route over the Abruzzi Spur today to an altitude of 6,338 metres, as the GPS tracker of Icelandic mountaineer John Snorri Sigurjonsson showed. Then the team descended to base camp – probably also to avoid the announced strong winds.
Everest: Txikon in the Khumbu Icefall
At Mount Everest today, the Spaniard Alex Txikon ascended through the Khumbu Icefall to Camp 1 and then returned to base camp. The 38-year-old had scaled the 6,814-meter-high Ama Dablam in preparation for Everest. For the third time after 2017 and 2018, Alex tries to climb Everest in winter – without bottled oxygen.
German climber Jost Kobusch wants to do the same – but solo and on a different route than Txikon. The Spaniard wants to climb on the normal route via the South Col to the summit, Kobusch plans to climb via the West Ridge and the Hornbein Couloir in the North Face. The 27-year-old has problems with his left foot, therefore and because of the strong winds he has spent the past days in base camp.