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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


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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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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One of the best psychological thrillers for 2015 was released in October by Kathryn Croft. The Girl With No Past won many followers to the British author. The good news for the fans of our next guest is the premiere of the sequel – The Girl You Lost.
We are happy to welcome at Land of Books Kathryn Croft.


– Kathryn, what is your book The Girl With No Past about?
– The book is about a young woman called Leah, whose past comes back to haunt her. She lives a reclusive life as a self-inflicted punishment for something she did when she was younger but now someone has found out what happened and begins a reign of terror against her.
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Melissa Lenhardt made the big break in the literary world with her novel Stillwater. The book was published in October 2015. The story received a lot of positive feedback with the readers giving an average of 4.5 Amazon stars. Melissa will have a very busy year, because two more novels by her are waiting for their premiere.
It’s a great pleasure to speak with our next guest for her amazing debut. Let’s welcome Melissa Lenhardt.


– Melissa, what is your book Stillwater about?
STILLWATER is the story of an ex-FBI agent who takes the job as Chief of Police in small-town East Texas thinking it will be a nice, easy gig, but who ends up investigating two murders, fifty years apart, that share a surprising connection that will rattle the town to its core.
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Eliza Henry Jones released her debut novel In The Quiet on July 1. The book received huge praise by the readers with av. 4.7 Amazon stars. “Stunning debut”, “Absolutely Amazing”, This book just oozes raw emotions,” is the voice of the positive reviews.

Land of Books got a chance to meet the Australian author. Let’s say hello to Eliza Henry Jones.


– Eliza, what is your book In The Quiet about?
In the Quiet is a novel set in rural Australia. It’s narrated from the perspective of Cate, who has recently died, as she watches her family. It’s an exploration of grief, family, the land and the ways that people relate to animals – specifically, horses.
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The adventures of the famous detective Alex Cross continue with book #23 Cross Justice. The novel was published on November 23 and without surprising no one headed NY Times bestseller list. For the past month the title stayed in Top 3 of the most wanted books of the prestigious rankings.

The readers showed their appreciation of the story with brilliant average of 4.7 Amazon stars from 350 plus reviews. Let’s welcome the famous New York writer at our 13 Facts rubric.

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The Italian author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli released with success the English version of her novel The Mentor on November 1. During October the thriller was available for pre-orders and for Amazon Prime members. The book collected many positive reviews.
Our next guest made a name in her country with sci-fi series about Mars. She is very interesting interlocutor and I am sure you will enjoy our chat.


– Carla, what is your book The Mentor about?
The Mentor is a crime thriller set in London involving a forensic squad from Scotland Yard. The main character is a chief forensics detective, Eric Shaw, who investigates a series of murders that seem related to a cold case involving a person he cares for. This person, Mina, was just a child when twenty years earlier four men killed her family.
The purpose of the story isn’t exactly find out the culprit, but rather observe how the main character decides to react to his findings.
Though it can be read as standalone, this book is the first one in a trilogy, whose second book, titled “Syndrome”, I’m currently writing.
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