22 January, 2003

The letter from Denis Urubko:

Photo by © Monika Rogozinska

Den dobiy, as we say here in Poland!
Today we left the Camp 2, which we established yesterday. There were three of us - Ilias, Vasilliy and me. Starting from Camp 1 in 5.30 am we crossed 950 m of the fixed ropes, which our team has prepared before, and fixed next 400 m ropes. The weather was good till 3.00 pm, but later we cought the very strong and cold wind. In this time I worked ahead, and we went by rocks and ice to the ridge on the 6700m, where spent the night. It was difficult, because we slept in one sleeping bag. During the night tent was jumping, shaking by the wind. In 6 hours we descent to ABC, where the team met us with the meat soup.
We have some problems with Internet , so I can't check the letters. Excuse me, please. But my best wishes for everybody, who think about us.
Denis 21 January, 12-15 am

Sponsors of Denis: MANARAGA, SALICE, CSCA of Kazakhstan

The message was transmitted with the satellite phone provided by "Rzeczpospolita"


Mirror-like slope

After twelve hours of climbing, Denis Urubko, Wasilij Piwcow and Ilias Tukwatullin have established the makeshift camp II at 6600 m.

They could not find a place for setting up the tent until dusk. They have cut a small platform in the steep ice under the ridge of K2's Northern Pillar and established a bivouac there.

Hard times await the alpinists due to a weather change. It is a very frosty, windy, moonlit night. The two Kazakhs and the Uzbek have mattresses, one sleeping bag and a gas cartridge, which will last for about three hours of cooking, at their disposal. In order to reach that point, they have established fixed ropes. The fourth mountaineer, Gia Tortladze from Georgia, who was supposed to carry the ropes and the equipment necessary to set up the camp, has withdrawn due to a minor knee injury and has descended to the base.

From the base, we can see through the telescopes the remains of a tent, left by a former expedition. Some expeditions, who had attacked the Northern Pillar in the past, would build camp II there. The winter has caused utter changes in the terrain shape, however. Instead of a relatively gentle snowfield, the alpinists have found a steep, icy slope. At sunset, it looked like a mirror, reflecting the mountaineers' dark silhouettes.

On Tuesday morning, Piotr Morawski and Marcin Kaczkan are leaving camp I with the necessary equipment and ropes.

Monika Rogozinska from the base under K2.
(Polish - English translation: "Scrivanek")