Denis Urubko: Sportive mountaineering is not a Supermarket where you can buy elements of survival

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Denis Urubko is one of the legends of alpine mountaineering. He became the 15-th person, who climbed all 8k peaks and was the 8th who did it without supplementary oxygen.

The Russian is known with his unique attacks. He decided to call it a day last year after unsuccessful winter summit attempt on Broad Peak. During a solo attack he fell from 50 m, but managed to survive.

Urubko was approached by “Bulgaria Today” daily newspaper for his opinion regarding the full of events 2020-21 winter season on K-2.


– Would you put the successful winter climb of K-2 by the Nepal team among the top achievements in alpine history?

– I am not counting it as one of the greatest achievements in mountaineering. On the positive side Nepalese were working very well, hard, coordinated and looking for success. Every member joined efforts. It is a good example of team-work. Well realized project that was made step by step. They started in winter 2019-2020, arrived in season 2020-2021 with (Ali) Sadpara’s group and cooperate with the other expeditions.
There is no doubt that the conquest became historical. It’s first winter ascent on K2. Similar with my winter ascents to G2 and Makalu. I can’t say that all winter ascents are among the greatest. If you check the details without emotions, you can see that most of them happened on classical routes, using pre-fixed ropes. Some of them are with supplementary oxygen by huge expeditions in normal style. The term greatest should be used for something exceptional, unusual, non-typical in order to be put among other excellent achievements. In my humble opinion exclusive winter ascents could be graduated to Everest 1980 by Polish team, as the first winter successful exploration over 8000 m. And Cho Oyu 1985 by Polish team via new route.

With all respects to many other winter expeditions, I am not able to announce K-2 winter on the same level as the solo fight of Ueli Steck on Annapurna and the battle of the big USSR team on the South face of Lhotse.

Despite the non-sportive ascent Nepalese climbers were incredibly well related towards dedication of all strengths by every single participant in the name of the final goal. I applaud them. I applaud them for the success. Compliments. It’s rarity to see such a brotherhood in the current times. K2 was captured in winter.

– What kind of conclusions the alpine community should get from tragic events on K2, where 5 climbers died?

– Should? No one should, because everyone is having freedom and rights. It is important to remember that a guarantee in risky conditions is possible only by self-control, self-preparation, responsibility and 100% full partnership. In the Death zone you don’t have prepaid service. Sportive mountaineering is not a Supermarket where you can buy elements of survival.

Sometimes accidents happen just from bad fortune, from unlucky circumstances. I have my thoughts… but prefer to keep silence. Because I don’t want to give “meal” for “specialists-on-sofa”. They are constructing reality in our epoch through Internet. What is the reason to demonstrate my realism? People like to exploit emotions and imaginations, fantasy and egoism without responsibility. Tragic lessons of Karakorum’s 2020-2021 Winter are logical. Everyone can learn on personal level.

– You also were part in the past of K2 Winter attempt. I know that you retired last year after Broad Peak attempt, but is there any chance that you could return in order to try attempt on K2 Winter without supplementary oxygen?

– Currently I can’t tell exactly. I have no good sensation about K2. My age is setting limits. I am not well related to the most ambitious personal efforts now. The hardest challenge in mountaineering is the new routes in alpine style on over 8000 m peaks. If you count them, there are less than 10 successful ascents in such category in history. This is the real freedom of the soul. If you take a different look, not the standard and public one, you will discover that just few routes were opened in clear pure sportive style. Without preparations in advance and fixed ropes for the attitude over 8000 m. For now I stopped my sportive mountaineering. I am doing commercial trips for clients, free classes for youth, sportive rock-climbing for my-self-satisfaction, presentations, photo exhibitions, publishing my books. In future I could try to collect the record of 8000 m peaks without oxygen – to beat the 26 ascents of Juanito Oiarzabal (Urubko has 23). Probably to try an attempt for new route over 8000 m in alpine style with a lady…

It is necessary to have a real parthner like Boris Dedeshko or some other my previous friends for Winter K2. Right now I have no one who is capable to follow all the rules. Perhaps it’s better that way so I won’t do any unpredictable steps. My kids and family need me here, in normal life. I am open for correct relation with all good people, just in case you need me.

Photos copywrites: Maria Cardell and Denis Urubko


Ognian Georgiev/Bulgaria Today

Hidden documents, dirty bargains and corruption attempts on the highest level are some of the reasons for the heaviest blow that boxing could take in its 115-years history as part of the Olympic Games. The fate of the sport will be decided on March 27 in Lausanne. IOC Executive board will have a meeting, where an ad-hoc Inquiry Committee, chaired by the president of International wrestling world body Nenad Lalovic, will summarize all the current problems of International boxing association (AIBA) (Update, March 26, 10.04 CET: The case of AIBA was moved to Thursday, March 28. The reason: The pressconference of Thomas Bach, set for March 27, to do not be overwhelmed by boxing questions).

The Fate of the Olympic boxing will be decided on Wednesday by IOC’s Executive Board.

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By Ognian Georgiev

2017 was a nightmarish year for Olympic boxing and the governing body of the sport – AIBA. Power struggle, ugly accusations, disclosures of bad governance and shameful retirement by long time president of the organization and IOC Executive board member Wu Ching-kwo were just part of the events that shook the entire world.

During the year lasting war, a disgraceful moment has been well hidden from the public eye by Wu Ching-kwo and his lieutenants. For the first time ever a boxer won his bout by so called “security decision” during one of the most important events – the African championships. The tournament was a qualification for the World championships.
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The president of Olympic boxing assosiation (AIBA ) Ching -Kuo Wu resigned from his position. He reached a deal with the current management of the organization after long and nasty war of words, threats and lawsuits between him and the Executive committee.

Both parties reached an agreement and signed it on paper. Wu’s governance was challenged after he made several bad deals that harmed the financial stability of AIBA . It’s expected that his resignation to be announced later today!

Check out our articles about the dramatic events that leaded to Wu’s resignation:
THE DIRTY SOCKS OF OLYMPIC BOXING, PART 1: Kazakhstan government invested $10 mil. into AIBA


Wu quit his position as a member of IOC Executive board. He will keep his regular membership at International Olympic committee.

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Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro will be remembered with one of the most controversial boxing tournament in the history of the five interlaced rings. For the first time seven of the most experienced referees/judges were expelled during the competition without further explanations. Those officials were known as The Magnificent Seven. They were extremely influential, because they were given huge authority to evaluate, train, mentor and select all the other referees and judges in elite Olympic boxing competitions.

Just before the eviction of The Magnificent the audience in Rio de Janeiro booed the result of the infamous heavyweight final (91 kg) between the Russian boxer Evgeny Tischenko and Kazakhstanian Vasily Levit and the following medal awarding ceremony in front of IOC president Thomas Bach. The most influential person in the sport probably was asking himself what the heck is going on with the Olympic boxing. If he just knew what had happened a year ago in Doha, Qatar during the World championships.

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THE DIRTY SOCKS OF OLYMPIC BOXING, PART 1: Kazakhstan government invested $10 mil. into AIBA

By Ognian Georgiev

The government of Kazakhstan invested $10 mil. into AIBA, Olympic boxing federation, through a company, named Skiff Promotion. The deal raised many questions, because it was never presented or approved by the Executive committee of AIBA. It was a sole decision by the currently suspended AIBA president Ching-Kwo Wu. Few days ago he was temporary removed from his position by the organization’s disciplinary commission because of violation of the rules of the Olympic boxing governing body.

In the verge of inside war and a possible bankrupt of AIBA, because of bad financial decisions, the latest dark contract would put more pressure on Ching-Kwo Wu, who sealed the deal.

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IOC to review Olympic boxing, requests revenues audit

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will make a review of International Boxing Association (AIBA) and Olympic boxing after the Rio Games. The sport will be reevaluated after the scandals with controversial scoring during the Olympic boxing tournament. “Clearly, any issues raised in the sport will form part of this consideration,” confirmed the IOC via its communication department to®.

Thomas Bach, photo credit: Mohan

Thomas Bach, photo credit: Mohan

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Joe Hart shined in the literary world with his novel The River is Dark. He did it very well with the book that received almost 500 reviews with average 4.2 Amazon stars. His new title The Last Girl was released on March 1. The novel was part of Kindle First program and jumped to the top of Amazon ranks. The story is the start of Dominion trilogy.

It’s a great pleasure to welcome once again at Land of Books Joe Hart. If you missed our previous interview with him, check it out here.


– Joe, what the readers will find in your new novel The Last Girl?
– They’ll find a world devastated by the precipitous drop in the female birthrate, an organization set on finding a solution to the crisis no matter what the cost, and an indomitable young woman named Zoey who only wants the truth.
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USA Today bestselling author Rachel Hauck finished very strongly last year with her last novel The Wedding Chapel. The book is a nice follow up of her hits The Wedding Dress and Georgia On Her Mind. We’ve got a great chance to dig deep into the writing world of our next guest.

Let me introduce to you lady Rachel Hauck.


– Rachel, what is your last book The Wedding Chapel about?
– It’s a story about 60 year old wedding chapel in which there has never been a wedding. It looks at the mystery of love, and asks, “How long does true love wait?”
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Melanie Harlow just finished her trilogy Happy Crazy Love. The last part of the series Some Sort of Love was published at the beginning of February. We wanted to get in touch with our next guest in the last few months, but she was busy completing her last book.

Finally, we are glad to welcome Melanie Harlow at Land of Books. We will concentrate our chat around book 2 of Happy Crazy Love series.


– Melanie, what is your book Some Sort of Crazy about?

– It’s a friends to lovers romance about Miles and Natalie, who spent their summers together as kids and always had great chemistry but never gave in to it before.
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