Jost Kobusch Picks West Ridge for Everest Winter Solo

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: