Denis Urubko: Gasherbrum - Shining mount (part 1)

http://urubko.blogspot.com/ So, bad weather approached Karakorum mountains. We sat in the Mess-tent in the Base camp, and Simone crossed the computer screen by fingers - the graphics became foggy in his breath. - In my humble opinion, ... read more

http://urubko.blogspot.com/ So, bad weather approached Karakorum mountains. We sat in the Mess-tent in the Base camp, and Simone crossed the computer screen by fingers - the graphics became foggy in his breath.

- In my humble opinion, friends, we have to do the attempt… - (I srambbled by shoulders) - …Three days of rest are enough for us…

- But five-six days is better for me… before so strong push! - declared Cory.

- Yes, of course… and it’s very difficult to catch the weather window, - flashed Simone with good hope – but if Karl Gabl will give us the permission…

But looking the forecast I understood the global crisis in further days. And remembered the local’s words about usual winds increase in February … And clouds concentration. And the cold become angrier… so, I felt bad in my mind…

Our friend-meteorologist from Innsbruck, taking all data in one table, called by phone and guaranteed us about one and half day of the acceptable weather. I’d laugh at it, if he’ll be other person, not Gabl. But… that was Karl, and he’s a magician…

- But you need to rush out extremely fast after that, Simone, - he limited. - Because the Hell will begin in Karakorum. For many days.

We prepared our gear for the climb. If I tried to analyse the situation, the doubts came to my heart. So, I preferred to think in one direction only - forward. Don’t think about the reasons, don’t remember about the insufficient acclimatization only till 6400… Because it was the possibility to reach our goal by one kick only. I was sure about myself, about Simone also… so… Cory was able to support, to help us with loads if he’ll be in not so good condition.

At first, the American hold me, when I fell to the crevasse. It happened on the middle of the glacier on the half-way to Camp 1. Going not far from the friends, I heard as Cory did some steps in opposite direction, gathering free rope part. “Clever guy!” – I’ve thought just. And at the next second I fell by head down, together with icicles to the dark abyss. Made a graciouse turn with the leg help, I heard as Simone screeming something on the surface. Then they took me out right.

Then we swam in the huge snow fields during two days, broke the trail again. Seeing nothing two days due to strong blizzard, we climbed to the end of fixed ropes. Our ice-axes were fine, waiting… and we changed them to the bamboo sticks, which prepared in the Base camp. But the third morning award us with the fine weather.

- Six o’clock, Simone! - I woke up. – It’s time to act. Remove your body out!

I know English not so well, and used words by the intuition often… not so correctly sometimes. But Simone understood, and moved to the tent’s wall, for free place in the center for the preparations.

That day was nice. The sun shined and warmed. The wonderful Karakorum mountains were around. The feeling of freedom was till the horizon like a dream. We were full of power and the optimism. And climbed via the slope direct throw bergshrunds. The snow had been blown by winds to Gasherbrum bottom, so we lost not so much energy.

The winter tactics differ from the traditional one. The short light-day, strong cold, hurricanes… and following untypical relief… forced to look for another decisions. So, the First camp had been set on a edge of the plateau, Camp 2 located just immediately after Banana ridge, and Third summit camp we didn’t risk to establish on the Shoulder, but pressed into the last bergshrund. By the way, we’ve found two pieces of fixed ropes there, which helped us a lot.

And at the night darkness the alarm shaked me. The goal was only one: - to work, and to be pacient, in spite of all. I screemed with the wild energy: “Fire!” It was a music of Scooter, that only could to shake nerves by crazy dance. FIRE!!! And an Apocalypse could begin then! Drank- eat few, we put on the crampons to our boots, and started. Somewhere…

Pushing some hundred steps on the steep hard snow slope above the tent, I went on a less steep part. West wind kicked my face by the icy warn. Stressfull, like a Snow Leopard just before the attack. I felt the alert in his breath.

Once I climbed this route… but it slid throw my mind without emotions. Because I climbed in speed-style that time. And now was surprised, counting meters of rocks, which we crossed. The Simone’s head-lamp shined very far. Cory was like a ghost little closer. I followed them, and at 7400, where fixed ropes ended, began to lead again.

It was misunderstanding between me and Cory sometimes. When it was necessary to do something definite, he began to think by another way. Sometimes it was well… as in case of my fell to the crevasse, when he gathered the free part of rope… sometimes he made a problems. Simply, we’ve never climbed together before!

- Go round… by ledges, - I cried to him from upper part of rock throw the increased wind, showing the direction by the hands. - Put the rope under the rock!

- Where?

- Into… - by Russian I tald hadly.

- I don’t understand! - very aggressivly resumed Cory. - Your English is good not about route only.

Into the grey rising day we count something… and very engry american rushed onto the traverse just below summit triangle. Simone and me fallowed him connecting by white line of rope.

We managed do it in twilight… Then angry American pushed to the traverse under the top triangle. Me and Simone, belayed by white line of the rope, walked after him, shocked. We were fools due to the cold.

And the high-altitude blanket covered us there – and the thin air was unsufficient for the simple movements…Before the ridge beginning, I began to lead that international march of crazy winter mountaineering again. Because remembered that “window” in rocks, which we had to go through.

We could find some protection from the wind after the turn, and could to rest. The further way, where we could find the deep snow or hard winter ice, for our happiness, occurred to be not so hard. There was the firn slope, with short snow sites, so we haven’t work hard… didn’t lost energy and time… and we could to stop in case of falling.

As usually is in such moments, the doubts filled my heart. I felt different: from full despair till crazy rapture. “We won’t climb… there’ll be ice…”, “That’s 7800 already! We’re about the goal!”, “Waw, there’s 200 vertical meters more…. I’ll die here…”, “Don’t be afraid, soldier!”, “And how will we descend here? It’s so dangerous!“, “FIRE!”

We worked. Simone stopped often, breathing. Cory waited him. And I looked to the further fog, trying to remember the route details. And in one place, where the ridge turn to left after the little rock tower, I cried happily:

- Simone! The summit is there… only hundred meters.

My friend looked at me. This was the calmness of the experienced man. All’s OK.

Of course, we had to work hard twice as long. But it wasn’t important already. I found red rope on the ridge, and threw it down, to Simone and Cory. I climbed further by somebody steps, to the summit. I was delirious – it were my steps, which I did here ten years ago… Like 28-years old me did them for myself. I felt the youth in my veins, like the fire, I was fool of feelings of great energy… And I reassure myself floating in a misty wraith blinding wind.

And reached the highest point, I lifted my hands to the sun, shining in the circle. Waited a second, laughing. And the thought appeared, like a incredible ice crystal, like a blue frozen lightning: “That’s all. I’m here. FIRE!!!”

 

Then my friends came. I recorded them on camera from aside. From the rocks, where I went to delete my doubts, like in 2001. The time stopped as that scratchy crystal, which froze my soul. And I felt all around me like in lightning - true moment. When you can understand the world’s depth.

Simone fell to knees, face down to the edge between sky and ground, he cried. Cory also cried something crazy to the open sky, shook Italian, hugged him. And I felt like stayed aside and looked at three of us, like I was not the member of the event, but only a spectator from the past…. From my 28-years youth.

 

VIDEO

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XbjnZfjPdZs#

 

 

Our friends - this is the 7 Summits Club !

7 Summits Club - is not only planning group, with our guides traveling on different continents and different routes. And not just those, who ride on the costly option. Not only those who receive certain services, advice, etc.. And not even ... read more

7 Summits Club - is not only planning group, with our guides traveling on different continents and different routes. And not just those, who ride on the costly option. Not only those who receive certain services, advice, etc.. And not even just those who register at our site a move his big trip in the mountains, valleys and ice in the world. This is - all those who, in one way or another, share with us our love, our ideology ... our friends. We welcome everyone, dared to start the program of 7 Summits, and to all who are interested in what others are doing. We are happy to help those who have to contact us with any question, our office - a meeting place for friends ... Write, call, come in !

 

Belgian Johan Debeker sent a message of his ascent o Aconcagua and a certificate.

 

 

 

Vladimir Doronin lives and worked in the U.S.. He climbed Ojos del Salado, and continues to implement his plan, according it he expects to climb Mount Everest in 2014

 

Mario Trimeri sent a couple of warm words and three photos from the memorable ascent of Mount Sidley.

 

 

 

Alexey Kosyakov from Kaluga is famous by his solo climb Peak Pobeda by route of Abalakov. He and his friends climbed Aconcagua, and met on the way down our team ...

 

 

 

Alexander Bichenko, our guide on Everest, traveled on the South America. He climbed Ojos, a bit climbed in Patagonia, was introduced to Dakar race. And now he invites us to visit his native Kamchatka ...

 

 

 

 

 

Sergei Kovalev and his team after Antarctica had a ride through Chile from south to north and climbed the highest peak of the country Ojos del Salado

 

 

 

Missions Accomplished. About the Mt. Kili Climb

It is estimated that nearly 1 billion people around the world do not have access to one of life’s most basic needs—clean, safe drinking water. As daunting as that sounds, it’s a challenge that can be met in the same way ... read more

It is estimated that nearly 1 billion people around the world do not have access to one of life’s most basic needs—clean, safe drinking water. As daunting as that sounds, it’s a challenge that can be met in the same way one would summit the world’s most famous high point: one step at a time.

In January 2011, every step Doug Pitt and a team of nearly 50 climbers take up Mt. Kilimanjaro will be a step towards building more than 50 fresh-water wells in Africa through WorldServe International.

The U.S. Goodwill Ambassador for Tanzania, Doug Pitt has a passion for helping people. Husband to Lisa Pitt, and father to three, it was Pitt’s work as a photojournalist that initially drew him to the water needs in Africa after seeing a water well drilling operation on his first trip.

"It is the obvious first step to release people from dire poverty. Clean water must come first." - Doug PItt

Through organizations like World Serve International’s Mt. Kili Climb and Africa 6000, Pitt hopes to drastically reduce the number of children that lack access to clean water in Tanzania and around the world.

 

 

For more information about Doug Pitt and contributing to the Mt. Kili climb please visit www.worldserveintl.org.

 

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Online Extra: Political Notes: Lesbian climbs African peak to raise funds for LGBT youth

An exhausted, but happy, Jody Cole holds an Equality California placard on the summit at Mount Kilimanjaro.

It was a climb she initially resisted but turned into a journey aimed at improving the lives of LGBT youth who are struggling with their sexual orientation.

With each step Jody Cole, an out lesbian and former San Francisco resident who now lives in Ukiah in Mendocino County, took up the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa earlier this month another dollar was raised for the statewide LGBT lobbying group Equality California.

Returning home from Kenya last September, where she had spent the month, Cole learned about the American LGBT youth who were committing suicide due to being bullied about their sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation. Each new report about another teenager taking their life devastated Cole, 48, who has long been an LGBT activist.

"It makes me sick. I can't believe this has happened," Cole told the Bay Area Reporter in a phone interview from London last week before taking a flight back to California. "It hit me in the gut. I couldn't believe our movement, which experienced AIDS and millions of people dying, it was never supposed to include children. They are not supposed to be killing themselves. Our work should be way ahead of this by now."

Cole decided she would try to raise $1 for every foot she climbed on Kilimanjaro. Having ascended the notoriously dangerous inactive stratovolcano in 1998, she was fully aware of how difficult the journey would be. Turning it into a fundraiser, Cole felt it would provide her the motivation needed not to quit.

"Climbing the mountain was fucking hard and I knew it was going to be hard but I knew there was no way the pain I felt climbing that mountain was anywhere near the pain these kids felt to turn to suicide," said Cole. "On summit day I was in unbelievable pain. But I said to myself you got to keep putting one foot in front of the other because my life is so charmed compared to these kids."

 

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Burns Supper on Kilimanjaro

A group of climbers from the Scottish hospitality industry have successfully completed a challenge to hold the world’s highest group Burns Supper on Mount Kilimanjaro.

The group arrived back home yesterday (Tuesday) at Edinburgh airport. The team of 20 people, including two Michelin-star chef Andrew Fairlie and comedian Fred MacAulay, have been raising money for the Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland.

They reached the 19,000ft peak of Kilimanjaro on Saturday morning, 10 days ahead of the official birthday of Robert Burns. Due to the weather conditions, the group held their Burns Supper on Friday evening, the night before the final ascent, at the Barafu Camp, 15,500ft up Africa’s highest peak.

Scotland's intrepid climbers followed the full Burns Supper tradition with a haggis created specially by Perthshire butcher Simon Howie. The climb was also supported by two Diageo brands - Johnnie Walker, which was used to toast the haggis, and Guinness, a popular drink in Africa.

Billy Bell from Wine Importers Scotland completed the walk in a kilt and transported his bagpipes up the mountain to play in the haggis. Fred MacAulay acted as master of ceremonies, giving the Selkirk Grace and performing the Ode to a Haggis.

Meanwhile, Callum Ross, who works for Hilton Hotels, gave the toast to the lassies while Annabel Meikle from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society gave the response.

Gleneagles' Andrew Fairlie cooked the haggis in the mess tent with help from the head chef from the African walking company. The whole group, including the porters, sat down to enjoy the traditional Scottish meal and celebrate the works of Robert Burns.

Nineteen of the 20 climbers made it to the top and all were present to take part in the Burns Supper. The challenge was held before Burns' official birthday night because the group had to return to work in their own hospitality businesses.

Together, Simon Howie and Diageo, who also supported the climb through Guinness, donated £40,000 to HIT Scotland. The climbers have already brought in another £50,000 and hope to raise more than £150,000 in total, including future fundraising.

Money raised from the climb will go to the Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland, the charity working to raise the ambitions and aspirations of Scotland’s hospitality industry. The charity achieves this by working with colleges and universities and providing scholarships for talented people working in the industry.

Each year the charity holds the Emerging Talent conference to bringing together more than 400 students, professionals and businesses who are interested in raising standards in Scottish hospitality. This year’s event takes place on 9th February in Edinburgh, when HIT Scotland will award over £100,000 worth of scholarships to talented people in the industry.

The record for the highest individual having Burns Supper was set by Chris Dunlop in 2006. The Glasgow climber enjoyed the traditional meal on top of Mount Aconcagua in Argentina at 23,000ft.

David Cochrane, climber and chief executive of HIT Scotland, said: "The trip was unbelievable. We will all remember it forever. The conditions changed from 30 to minus 18 degrees. Some days we were waking up with icicles inside our tents.

"We must have covered between 50 and 60 miles, although it felt like more. We are delighted to reach the top and had a great laugh holding the Burns Supper. There wasn’t a scrap of food left between us.

"We are all looking forward to seeing our families and loved ones. Without their support over the last year we would never have made it to the top."

Butcher Simon Howie said: "Congratulations to all the climbers taking part in this tremendous expedition. I’m delighted to learn that they have succeeded in achieving their objective to hold the world’s highest group Burns Supper at the summit of Kilimanjaro to raise funds for a very worthwhile cause.

"I’m particularly thrilled that our specially prepared Kilimanjaro haggis proved such a hit with the team and to play a part in treating them to a well-deserved taste of Scotland in one of the most exotic locations."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information or to make a donation visit, www.hitscotlandappeal.org

The climbers:

Alan Hill is director of food and beverages at Gleneagles. He holds many internationally recognised awards and is a member of the Académie Culinaire de France

Alyson Cawley is a trustee of HIT Scotland and is commercial director for NEC group catering

Elaine Watson is food and beverage trainer at Gleneagles

Callum Ross is responsible for five Hilton Hotels across central Scotland in his role as area general manager

David Cochrane is chief executive of HIT Scotland. He previously worked for Springboard Scotland and Gleneagles

One of Scotland’s best-known restaurateurs, James Thomson owns and runs The Witchery, Rhubarb and the Tower, plus Prestonfield Hotel. He has been involved in a number of charitable initiatives over the years

Mark Forret is Compass Group UK and Ireland’s account director to one of UK’s largest banks

Susan Mathieson is managing director of Event Consultants Scotland, responsible for HIT Scotland’s events throughout the year

Tamara Kobiolke is a senior manager at the Missoni Hotel in Edinburgh

Billy Bell is managing director of Wine Importers and a keen piper

As well as being the director of the Fringe by the Sea, Jane Thomson is also PA to the chairman and managing director of Edinburgh and Glasgow hotel company, The Town House Collection

Annette Lamb is press and marketing manager of Harvey Nichols, Edinburgh

Andrew Fairlie is Scotland’s only two Michelin-star chef for his restaurant at Gleneagles. Every year he welcomes some HIT Scotland scholars to learn in his kitchen

Andrew Chappell is executive director of UK operations at ISS Food & Hospitality

Venue manager for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Annabel Meikle will be holding her highest tasting to date

Robert Lynn is from Stag Ltd

Valerie Fotheringham is from Ticketyboo Training

Fred MacAulay is a popular comedian and broadcaster

Jackie Yates, from the Highland sporting estate, Loch Assynt Lodge, Sutherland

Our climbers are already relaxing in the Plaza de Mulos, congratulations !

Victor Bobok and his team, Alexander Markelov, Igor Pchelyakov and Sergey Chernyshev climbed yesterday the highest peak in South America Mount Aconcagua. Now they have descended to base camp Plaza de Mulos and having rest. Everything went ... read more

Victor Bobok and his team, Alexander Markelov, Igor Pchelyakov and Sergey Chernyshev climbed yesterday the highest peak in South America Mount Aconcagua. Now they have descended to base camp Plaza de Mulos and having rest. Everything went almost perfectly, they expect soon to be in Mendoza.

 A little more detail. The team starts on February, 3 in 2 a.m. from the camp Nido de Condores (5500m). Several groups, together with our group, began to climb. However, most of them soon turned back. The strong wind did not seem to give any chances. Our foursome team also questioned the advisability of continuing climb. In the area of Independencia (6500), they sat down in a relatively sheltered place and waited. A couple of hours later they decided to go up. Only two Americans, followed by our group. Visibility was good, so our group is also stretched during the ascent of Canaleto. The last of the group was on top at 5 p.m.. At 9 p.m. all group came down to the camp at Nido. extremely tired, but happy, as it should be. The next morning, they descended on the Plaza de Mulos in just 1:20, where they waited for mules. And as they went into the gallery to our friend the artist Miguel.

 

     

Luba Ivanova from Chile, from Atacama

"We have everything in order. We just came down from acclimatization ascent on the summit, called Seven Brothers. Its height was 4,900 meters. At the top the group stood up in full, everyone feels great. Today we are moving to the area of ... read more

"We have everything in order. We just came down from acclimatization ascent on the summit, called Seven Brothers. Its height was 4,900 meters. At the top the group stood up in full, everyone feels great. Today we are moving to the area of Laguna Verde, right at the Ojos del Salado foot. On the next day we appoint for ourselves a day of rest. "

 

 

 

 

Alexander Abramov has returned home, that is, to our office

A high-day in the 7 Summits Club. Our leader Alexander Abramov returned from Antarctica. Now he is going through a transitional period to get used to germs, darkness, fuss, heavy traffic etc. However, a couple of days, he will be working at ... read more

A high-day in the 7 Summits Club. Our leader Alexander Abramov returned from Antarctica. Now he is going through a transitional period to get used to germs, darkness, fuss, heavy traffic etc. However, a couple of days, he will be working at full capacity. Expedition on Everest will start soon, it needs a lot of work. By the way, you still have a good opportunity to join our expedition. Details here >>>>>>>

 

 

 

And here are some stories from Antarctica. Photos from Mt. Sidley are posted here >>>>>>>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simone Moro, Denis Urubko and Cory Richards: the first winter climb on Karakorum Giants

They were on the top at 11-35 a.m.. It was the first winter ascent of one of the five 8000ers located in Pakistan.   Congratulations ! SMS at 2 p.m. (Moscow time): We've found our tent in this terrible storm. THat's all. ... read more

They were on the top at 11-35 a.m.. It was the first winter ascent of one of the five 8000ers located in Pakistan.   Congratulations !

SMS at 2 p.m. (Moscow time): We've found our tent in this terrible storm. THat's all. Tomorrow the descent to BC. THanks for the support.

Denis, SMS to wife: "Summit at 11-35. Going down, 7800. Hope to reach tent before the darkness".

Russianclimb.com