Famed mountaineer reveals gruesome reality of frostbite after falling into Himalayan crevasse

Gasherbrum Himalayas
(Image credit: Getty Images / By Haider Ali)

Warning! Swiping to the next picture on the Instagram post below may churn your stomach.

Famed Russian mountaineer Denis Urubko, 50, has survived a fall into a crevasse on the Hamalayan peak Gasherbrum I, which is the good news. The bad news is that he’s now suffering from some very nasty-looking frostbite to his hands.

Urubko’s fall happened at around 5,500m during a winter ascent of Gasherbrum I, which is situated on the China–Pakistan border in Gilgit–Baltistan on the Pakistan side and Xinjiang on the Chinese side.

After being helped out of the crevasse, he and his team spent time at a high camp before descending to base camp. He has now abandoned his mission and is trekking to Skardu in Pakistan to recover.

Via his partner @pipicardell, Urubko notified climbing publication Desnivel Revista Montaña of his failed ascent, also sending them a gruesome image of his injuries which they posted to Instagram.

“There are seven good days of the expedition behind us. The weather and conditions were good, so we marched to camp 2. But at 5,500m I fell into a crevasse 6m or 7m deep,” he tells Desnivel Revista Montaña.

“Unfortunately, many factors have made the situation worse.

“I remained inside the crevasse for an hour during which it began to snow. Finally Hassan managed to help me out. We had a bad night and descended to base camp.

“I have frostbite on my fingers and I cannot continue the expedition. I am using my personal medicines and when I reach Skardu, I will go to the military doctor. My plan now is to go to Skardu in two or three days.”

“It was very bad luck to miss this opportunity because the conditions were good. But I have survived.”

But he promises that he has “many interesting plans for the future, even without mountains.” 

Urubko is a Russian-Polish climber who became the 15th person to climb all 14 8,000m peaks in 2009.

We wish him the very best for his recovery.