Winter 8,000’ers: Kobusch on the Move

Jost Kobusch at Everest Base Camp on a "bloody cold" day. Photo: @terragraphy

Rope-fixing and setting up camps have just begun in the Karakorum, but the winter Himalayan season is advancing apace, despite challenging weather. On Everest, Jost Kobusch has left Base Camp toward the Lho La — the beginning of his summit push, perhaps.

On Sunday, he reached Camp 1 at 6,000m and wrote that his photographer, Daniel Hug, will remain until January 22. Given Kobusch’s flexible approach, we will keep checking his tracking device for news.

Alex Txikon in Antarctica. Photo: @DiegoMartinezph

After a climbing sojourn in Antarctica, Alex Txikon flew to Lukla on Sunday with a large Spanish team to attempt Ama Dablam and Everest, in that order. Txikon intends to use the normal South Col route, so it is unlikely that he and Kobusch will join forces.

Don Bowie near Camp 1 on Broad Peak. Photo: Don Bowie

Meanwhile, in the Karakorum…

Denis Urubko, Don Bowie and Lotta Hintsa worked hard on Broad Peak to fix the route on the ridge above Camp 1 to 6,200m. Now they are back in Base Camp, sheltering from the storm.

On Gasherbrum I, Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger grappled with extreme cold for three days, typically -30ºC, while working to open a route through the very broken glacier. They should soon reach a higher plateau that leads to an icefall.

Simone Moro on the crevasse-ridden Gasherbrum glacier. Photo: Tamara Lunger and Matteo Pavana.

Mingma G’s K2 team is busy in Skardu with last-minute paperwork and interviews, but their porters have left Askole for Base Camp.

K2 in 2021?

A strong Russian/Kirghiz team is climbing 7,495m Ismail Somoni (formerly Pik Communism), the highest point of the Pamir range. For leaders Sergey Selivestrov and Aleksei Usathik, this is the last summit left for them to complete the winter version of the Snow Leopard challenge — an old-fashioned honour bestowed on mountaineers who climbed all peaks over 7,000m in the former Soviet Union.

While this is an ambitious plan in itself, the climbers are also training for K2 next winter, in the event that no one makes it this year. Besides Selivestrov and Usathil, members include Misha Danichkin, Pavel Vorobiov, Artur Usmanov, Maksim Cherkasov, Adrei Erokhin, Alexander Moroz, Vitali Akimov, Viktor Filinov, Stiepam Malcev, Adrei Alipov and Sergey Krasovski.

The Russian-Kirghiz team currently on Ismail Somoni peak. Photo: Instagram

At last word, they had set up Camp 1. When asked about their route, they snappily answered: “A new one!”

Also training for winter K2 in 2021 are the Polish climbers currently on their way to Batura Shar. They will reach Base Camp any day now.


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 ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!

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2 years ago

excellent articles Angela. Thanks for the updates.

Juveriya fatima
2 years ago

Every climber is my inspiration

E.M. Scottsdale, Az
E.M. Scottsdale, Az
2 years ago

This is a very exciting expedition, I’m following with great interest. Extraordinary winter summit is an option, successful decent is mandatory. Best of luck and good times to everyone!

Scottsdale, Arizona

Karakorum Expeditions
2 years ago

Angela, thank you for putting the news for the readers world wide, Jost climb is indeed unbelievable so the rest, what we assume, K2 ascents seems impossible again!