Denis Urubko Climbs New Route on Gasherbrum II, Solo

A new route on an 8,000-meter peak like Gasherbrum II is always big news. When it’s done solo, in a single day-and-a-half push, by Denis Urubko no less, it’s on a whole different level.

By Rock and Ice | August 2nd, 2019

Gasherbrum II. Photo: Denis Urubko.


Update 8/07/19: Urubko is down, safe and sound! He named his new route Honeymoon. In the image below, Honeymoon is the red line. For an interview with Urubko on his new route, visit 

Photo: Courtesy of Mountain.RU.


Details are scant, but this much is certain: Denis Urubko, the Saint Bernard of the Himalayas, as he’s come to be known, has completed a new route, solo, without supplemental oxygen, up the 8,035-meter Gasherbrum II, in Pakistan.

Denis Urubko.

Urubko, 46, traveled to Pakistan this summer with the intent of establishing a new route on GII, but hit several snags along the way that threatened to foil his plans. Urubko—originally from the Soviet Union, than a Kazakhstani citizen after the dissolution of the USSR, and now a dual Polish-Russian citizen—participated in a successful rescue operation on the adjacent Gasherbrum VII. 

Following that rescue, Urubko participated in not one, but two additional rescue situations, bringing his rescue total for the season to three.

With all of the energy he expended on the rescues, some doubted whether he’d be in the correct physical condition or headspace to try to climb a new route. To complicate matters further, Urubko’s partner, María Cardel, injured her back earlier in the expedition. She would be unable to join him on any new route.


[Also Read Urubko Goes Rogue On Winter K2 Expedition]


Nonetheless, Urubko decided to go for it. He was certainly well-acclimatized—between his multiple rescues, and having already summited once for that specific purpose on July 18.

On July 30, Urubko made his way to Camp 1, accompanied through this more dangerous and unstable section by Canadian climber Don Bowie, Finnish climber Lotta Hintsa, and American climber Matthew James.

On the evening of Wednesday, July 31, Urubko continued up alone. He took no satellite phone or radio.

A tense day-and-a-half followed—no word from Urubko. But then today  his team posted an update on Facebook: “Denis summited Gasherbrum2 by a new route, alone, without O2. He is now in C1.”

Now all that remains is the story of what happened along the way. Details here as they become available!


Also Read


A Miracle Rescue On Gasherbrum VII


K2 In Winter: Can It Ever Be Done?


Adam Bielecki Calls Daring Rescue On Nanga Parbat “The Only Right Thing To Do”




Notify of

Interview: Hazel Findlay on "Magic Line" (5.14c R)

“The whole route demands that you be a good climber. You can’t just rehearse the moves and put your hands and feet in the right place; you have to climb well the whole way up.”

read more

Tomoa Narasaki Flashes "Decided" (V14), Mt. Mizugaki, Japan

Flashing Decided was just the icing on the cake for Narasaki this year.

read more

High Above Boulder: Speed Records on the First and Third Flatirons

All-around mountain athlete Kyle Richardson writes about breaking the speed record on two of the most famous formations in the Flatirons, above Boulder, Colorado, and about the legends that paved the way for him to do so.

read more