Jost Kobusch Picks West Ridge for Everest Winter Solo

Jost Kobusch. Photo: @terragraphy

The West Ridge it shall be!  An ingenious route to avoid the hazardous Khumbu Icefall, to gain altitude up a direct line and then to traverse to the North Face of Everest, in order to climb the elegant yet highly technical Hornbein Couloir. All of this solo and in winter. Such is the plan that Jost Kobusch has set up to sign his name in golden letters in mountaineering history.

In the last few days, Kobusch has climbed up the rocky side of the hanging glacier leading to Lho La, just north of the Western Cwm. Here, at 6,000m, he has set up Camp 1. He did that part of the route in just three pitches, which included some very hard passages.

The 27-year-old German climber is currently back in Base Camp to rest a little and to climb with his photographer friend, in order to shoot some pictures. After that, he’ll begin the solo in earnest.

Kobusch is taking on a great deal of uncertainty. It is likely that no one has done the West Ridge and Hornbein Couloir without supplemental O2 — and certainly not in winter.

Kobusch’s Everest 3D crew has put up a cool video of the entire trekking and climbing route, from Lukla to the summit of Everest. Have a look to get a sense of the magnitude of his proposed feat:

About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to "ExplorersWeb BC" in 2018 and. Feeling right at home since then!

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8 Comments on "Jost Kobusch Picks West Ridge for Everest Winter Solo"

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Vladi
Guest

Is there anyone else in Everest base camp this time of the year? Or is Jost Kobusch absolutely alone in there or does he have a crew with him (cook, porter, doctor)?

Trish
Guest

According to an article that was published in Rock and Ice he stated,”I will have a base camp team. It was mandatory. I couldn’t avoid it. If it up to me, I’d put my tent down and that’s it.”

OldHikerDude
Guest

Jost has a Photographer with him, other than that, I believe they’re alone. Cooks and Porters aren’t his style. I’m sure he’ll be fine. He’s one tough kid, but he’s not foolish. Alex Txikon’s team won’t arrive for a few weeks at least. I haven’t heard of anybody else wandering into EBC.

Ronald
Guest

Alex Txikon is also planning an everest winter attempt. Im not sure when he will arrive there since he was just in Antartica. I think he is planning the standard route on the south side.

lstamenova
Member

The Soviet expedition from 1982 didn’t climb via Hornbein, but established a new route on the SW face.
In April 1984 Bulgarian Hristo Prodanov climbed the entire West ridge without O2 and died on his way back, but he didn’t go through Hornbein as well. I am not sure if anyone has done this exact route (West Ridge + Hornbein) without O2.

Trish
Guest

Andrzei Marciniak?? I’m not sure.

lstamenova
Member

It’s possible. I’m courious now 🙂 Will search for their route back then and use of O2. It wasn’t West Ridge direct, as it’s not been repeated since 1984, so the Poles must have climbed via Hornbein.

Jerry Kobalenko
Admin

Thanks, we’ve corrected the story to reflect your clarification.