Kobusch Safe: Denali Winter Summit Confirmed

Finally, there’s good news from winter Denali, where Jost Kobusch has spent the last two days on a solo summit push. After hours of suspense, his team confirmed that the German climber is safely back at a high camp. He is ok, with just some minor frostbite on his toes. Kobusch’s team also confirmed that he reached the 6,190m summit at 3 am Alaska time on Sunday.

Kobusch started the summit push from high camp around 5 am on Saturday and returned to his tent some 35 hours later.

Details on the GPS tracks and descent route

There was confusion as to whether the German climber had actually summited, as his tracker stopped around 100m below the summit. However, Kobusch’s team has confirmed he did reach the summit, and a text sent by Kobusch at 1:03 pm on Sunday included coordinates that correspond to Denali’s summit. The German climber noted that he spent very little time on the top, and the tracking interval set on his GPS device meant a summit waypoint was not registered.

Kobusch’s SMS located him on Denali’s summit.


As for the descent route, we are waiting for details. It is possible that Kobusch used a different route for the descent. Alaska guide Colby Coombs of AMS told ExWeb that Kobusch may have descended via the so-called Rescue Gully. This is a shortcut between high camp on the West Buttress and Camp 3 at 4,330m (also known as Medical Camp), where Kobusch is currently located.

Kobusch’s GPS tracks, showing him back at the 4,330m camp.


The Rescue Gully, marked on a 3D image via Fatmap.


While he may have summited and descended safely, Kobusch’s journey is far from over. He’ll need to retreat down the Kahiltna Glacier to the base of the mountain, and find a clear landing point for the Alaska bush pilots to pick him up. Weather permitting, Kobusch hopes to be back in town later this week.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering 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 corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.