Kangchenjunga ( 8586m ) via North Ridge
19 May 2014
Climbed by Denis Urubko
Other members of the expedition: Adam Bielecki, Artem Braun, Dimtry Sinev, Alex Txikon
Denis Urubko has reached the summit of Kangchenjunga alone via the mountain's North Ridge. The expedition did not use supplementary oxygen, but used fixed ropes on the difficult face that gives access to the North Ridge, and also on a short section of the ridge.
Kangchenjunga is the 3rd highest mountain in the world and was climbed for the first time in 1955. The North Ridge was first climbed in 1979 by Pete Boardman, Doug Scott and Joe Tasker. It has been climbed a number of times since then. Many of these ascents have followed variations to the 1979 access route to the ridge, generally involving greater objective danger but lower technical difficulty.
Denis Urubko (Russia) made his lone ascent as part of a team that also included Adam Bielecki (Poland), Artem Braun (Russia), Dimtry Sinev (Russia) and Alex Txikon (Basque Country, Spain). They had initially intended to attempt an alpine-style ascent of a new route on the North West Face, and to use the 1979 route for acclimatisation. On reaching the mountain they found that conditions were unsuitable for the North West Face, and decided unsuitable to focus entirely on the 1979 route.
The team established a new variation on the access route to the ridge, involving 18 pitches of technical climbing, with a camp (Camp 2) on the face at around 6600m. They gained the ridge above the North Col, establishing Camp 3 at 7050m. They then established Camp 4 on the ridge at 7650m. On 18 May they set out on a summit bid.
Urubko and Braun turned back at about 7850m, having decided that conditions were too dangerous. Sinev, Bielecki and Txikon continued upwards, fixing a rope in a difficult section up a steep couloir. At 4.30pm they reached an altitude of around 8400-8500m and decided to turn back, thinking it too late in the day to continue to the summit safely.
On the following day, 19 May, Denis Urubko set out again from Camp 4 and reached the summit in just four and a half hours - an exceptional performance. All the climbers descended safely.
© Himalaya Masala 2014. All rights reserved.
More about this ascent
Kangchenjunga in the Ascent Book
First ascent of Kangchenjunga