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I don't want to arrive

Summit Selfie - Jost Kobusch on the Amotsang

Jost Kobusch is currently perhaps the most discussed mountaineer in the world. Some see him as a pioneer who could push the boundaries of mountaineering further, others as a suicidal mountaineer. What's the matter with you? Because he wants to climb Mount Everest in winter 2019/2020 solo

No mountaineer has been on Mount Everest in winter for more than a quarter of a century, Jost Kobusch - from Bielefeld - doesn't care, he has been thinking about a winter expedition to Everest for several years now, alone and without additional oxygen. Now he wants to put his plan into action from the northwest through the demanding Hornbein Couloir.

"How could you come up with that? Total arrogance," some say; "Daring, but not impossible," others say. He himself says that "even the 8000 mark would be a success". For the acclimatization process, the 27-year-old has been in the Himalayas since September 2019. Shortly before Kobusch set off for his first major milestone within the acclimatization phase, he answered a few questions via Instagram chat and we wrote it down here:

OutDoor Society: You want to tackle Everest in winter. The determined preparation, however, begins now. Are you alone all the time?
Jost Kobusch: I'm acclimatizing now for three months. The first few weeks I was on the road together with my father and sister, we did the Anapurnatrek. Right now I am in a lodge in Koto and will attack an unclimbed 6000m, the Amotsang (6393m). Now I have two porters. They'll unload my luggage at a point where I'll set up base camp. Then I'll be alone. I've got one or two good books, a little music. I downloaded a few episodes of Suits from Netflix to my mobile phone, but not too many. In the end it will be used up very quickly and then I will deliberate a lot, but only in base camp.

Screenshot Instagram
Screenshot from the chat of Jost Kobusch and Claudia Klingelhöfer, who was travelling in the Dolomites at the time
Image credit: Instagram Claudia Klingelhöfer

And then?
Once I'm up on the mountain, I'm in some kind of survival mode. The next step counts the next break where I can have a drink, the next stopover. The focus is on many small details. I am really very present in every single moment and therefore I don't feel lonely either. When I come back from this expedition - in a month, my girlfriend will join me and we will go mountaineering together again. The photographer arrives at the beginning of December. He'll always be at base camp, too. So I will be on my own for a maximum of ten days and then have someone in the base camp again.

Have a save trip home tomorrow! Last 2,5 weeks with you have been amazing!
Image credit: Jost Kobusch

Kobusch: "Solos are meditative"

After the Amotsang it goes on for you on a 7000, also solo, before Everest follows in winter, once again solo. You say solos are also maturation processes. How mature will this expedition bring you back?
The solos are so meditative because they are so reduced in irritation, so minimalist. Because next to the fact that there is no Internet, mobile phone, radio or television, there is no rope partner either. That's why solos are always a great journey into myself. But I never know where such a journey will take me. I don't know until later what I've learned. I get incredibly creative and get so many new ideas and so much attention for so many different trains of thought.

Everest in winter, that's a fundamental step: Does it feel more like another stage of lifelong training or more like the start of a new section?
Someone wrote me the other day: I want you to get there and find what you were looking for. And I think: I don't want to arrive, I love this change. I love thinking new things, learning a lot. I've arrived because I know I don't want to arrive. I figured that out for myself. Everyone and everything has its own truth, so I will probably never find that one truth.

Did you know that the idea of climbing Everest in winter was already on the table a few years ago?
Did you know that the idea of climbing Everest in winter was already on the table a few years ago? 
Image credit: Jost Kobusch Instagram

Jost Kobusch: On the summit of Amotsang

When do you think we can write here again?
I guess we'll be writing again in about 25 days. If everything goes really well, maybe faster. However: With unscaled mountains, one never knows exactly what will happen. And I want to make the steep south face, which I find more beautiful, but which is more difficult. There may be some surprises ahead.

Epilogue: Jost Kobusch successfully climbed the summit of Amotsang on 24.10. At the moment he is in Rolwaling / Nepal at the border to Tibet, for the next acclimatization step. So our Instaview continues soon with part 2.

Yaaay!!!! Last Thursday, on October the 24th I reached the summit of the (until then) unscaled Amotsang!!
"Yaaay!!!! Last Thursday, on October the 24th I reached the summit of the (until then) unscaled Amotsang"
Image credit: Jost Kobusch Instagram