Exclusive Interview with Jost Kobusch: Why Isn’t He Soloing Muchu Chhish?

Some media outlets recently reported that Jost Kobusch was about to enter the Karakoram climbing scene. In grand style at that, he would apparently make a solo attempt on Muchu Chhish, one of the highest mountains in the world yet to be summited. We asked Kobusch directly and his answer was basically, “What?”

After his latest attempt to solo Everest in winter via the West Ridge, Kobusch has been intensively training in the Alps. He was still there when he chatted with ExplorersWeb.

Kobusch: it is not the right peak

“It’s funny how rumors start and spread,” Kobusch reflected. “I did consider Muchu Chhish as a potential goal but finally I discarded it.”

A photo of Kobusch walking on the Khumbu glacier during his previous Everest climb. He is in a bright yellow jacket with a heavy looking pack.

Jost Kobusch is fully focused on Everest next winter. A photo of Kobusch on the Khumbu glacier during his previous Everest climb. Photo: @terragraphy

 

Kobusch admitted he prepared to go but then had second thoughts. “I thoroughly analyzed whether this peak would really prepare me for my next Everest attempt and I realized it wouldn’t. I believe that in order to prepare for Winter Everest, I need to train directly on Everest or, at the very least, on another 8,000’er,” Kobusch explained. Unfortunately, Kobusch didn’t reveal what exactly he had in mind in terms of preparation for his next attempt.

Kobusch last year, solo on Everest, between the Lho La and the West Ridge. A tiny climber is just visible in the middle of a snowy mountain face.

Kobusch last year, solo on Everest, between the Lho La and the West Ridge. Photo: @terragraphy

 

Kobusch has tried to climb Everest’s West Ridge the past two winters, each time climbing solo. On his first attempt, he reached 7,300m. Last year, he set off from Nepal in Autumn and climbed two 6,000’ers in the Annapurna region to prepare.

On his second attempt at Everest, he hoped to reach the base of the Hornbein Couloir at 8,000m. Yet, conditions were much worse than during his first attempt and he only managed to reach 6,464m. Yet, Kobusch is not ready to throw the towel in on his personal Everest challenge.

For bold teams only

As for Muchu Chhish, its name is mentioned every Pakistan climbing season. Recent attempts included Jordi Tosas and Phillip Brugger in September 2020, and then Czechs Pavel Korinek and Jiri Janak. In 2021, Korinek and Janak added Lukas Dubsky, Leos Hustak, and Tomas Petrecek for a second crack at the mountain. But excess snow on the route finally forced them back.

What is special about Muchu Chhish?

Muchu Chhish (also known as Batura V) is a 7,453m giant in the Batura Muztagh. Isolated and wild, it is the second-highest unclimbed peak in the world. Gangkhar Puensum, a 7,570m peak in Bhutan, is also yet to be summited. However, Gangkhar Puensum is a sacred mountain for the Bhutanese. Climbing expeditions are not allowed.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides is a college-graduated journalist specialised on high-altitude mountaineer and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporates, press manager and communication executive,and a published author.