Winter 8,000’ers: Kobusch on the Move

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.