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When I Freeze My A** Off, I Think of Alaska

Jost Kobusch wants to climb Mount Everest Solo without any additional oxygen. In part 3 of our Instaview he talks about the cold in the Himalayas, the farewell to his chess opponent and a rock fall with consequences.


Joost Kobusch has big plans: The 27-year-old wants to climb Mount Everest in winter, solo and without additional oxygen. This is part 3 of our interview with Jost Kobusch. It's now mid-February, Kobusch has celebrated Christmas at the base camp and has prepared himself with more climbing routes on Mount Everest for the summit attempt.

Part 1 of the Instaview with Jost Kobusch: "I don't want to arrive at all"

Part 2 of the Instaview with Jost Kobusch: "I hope it goes well"

OutDoor Society: Hi Joost! How are you? What were your Christmas and New Year's Eve party like?
Messages from Jost Kobusch on 18 January: At Christmas we baked cookies and lit candles - battery and solar panel did not stand up to winter.

I brought Daniel (photographer, temporarily on site, editor's note) some gingerbread from my home town Borgholzhausen. We have a small gingerbread factory there - the best gingerbread, I tell you! "Von Ravensberg" the#re called.

New Year's Eve was a day like any other, so "oops - it's a new year already".

Thinking or feeling - what's dominating at the moment?
Thinking dominates all feelings - but is basically driven by my curiosity and excitement.

What are the central thoughts?
I think a lot about technology, tactics and safety.

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(english below)⬇️ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Nach 17.23 Stunden bin ich vorgestern Morgen (14.02.2020) wieder in meinem Zelt in Camp eins angekommen - habe eine Routenoption in der Westschulter erforscht. Das Ergebnis: ja geht schon, sexy ist aber was anderes... Es gab sehr viel hartes blaues Eis, in einem Gelände in dem jeder Fehler fatal ist. Da muss es noch eine bessere Option geben - den Everest von dort oben zu sehen ist allerdings sehr bewegend und motivierend! Diese massive Steinpyramide - es wirkte fast nicht wie von dieser Welt 😍! Meine Fettverbrennung funktioniert 1a spitzenklasse! Habe während der gesamten Belastung nur aus meinem Camelbag getrunken und über 14 Stunden nichts gegessen und konnte am Berg Leistung bringen 😁. Gestern in der Früh (15.02.2020) beim Schneeschmelzen hatte ich dann aber doch Sekundenschlaf... hab’s noch geschafft das Wasser in eine Flasche zu füllen bevor die Lichter ausgingen - apropos Lichter: meine Stirnlampe hat vorgestern, obwohl voll geladen, den Geist aufgegeben. Bin dann mit Handylicht abgestiegen. Alpinismus ist Improvisation 🤪😂! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ After 17.23 hours I arrived back in my tent in camp one ere yesterday morning (14.02.2020) - exploring a route option in the west shoulder. The result: yes, it is possible, but sexy is something else... There was a lot of hard blue ice, in a terrain where every mistake is fatal. There must be a better option - but to see Everest from up there is very moving and motivating! This massive stone pyramid - it almost didn't look like from this world 😍! My fat burning works 1a top class! I only drank out of my Camelbag during the whole load and didn't eat anything for 14 hours and was able to perform on the mountain 😁. However yesterday morning (15.02.2020), while I melted some snow, I had a microsleep... I managed to fill the water into a bottle before the lights went out - apropos lights: my headlamp died ere yesterday, although fully charged. Then I went down with cell phone light. Alpinism is improvisation 🤪😂! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 📸 by:@terragraphy ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

A post shared by Jost Kobusch (@jostkobusch) on

Chili to Fight the Cold

You often write about the incredible cold in the Himalayas. How do you stand it? What is your physical and mental strategy against it?
Compared to mountaineering in the polar winter in Alaska, it is quite mild here. When I freeze my a** off again, I just think about Alaska.

Physically, warm clothing doesn't hurt. Always sleep with a hot-water bottle - on the mountain of course with a down suit in your sleeping bag - various warming creams and lots of fresh chilies in the meals.

What happened next?
On 17.1. at noon I went up solo, in order to climb the huge Serac at night at low temperatures, which leads to Camp 1 at 6040 meters. Then on the 18th, rest day in C1. On the 19th in the morning Daniel will film with the helicopter at about 6500 meters and then fly directly to Kathmandu and then on to Germany. So from then on I miss not only a good photographer but also an important chess rookie, joker and storyteller in the base camp.

Meanwhile Jost Kobusch writes via WhatsApp, because it doesn't need as much loading time as Instagram. Here is the message from February 7th:

Back in basecamp after about 14 hours - climbed a new line today that, to my knowledge has never been climbed before and so have added the missing piece to the puzzle. The route up to camp1 is set up and I will rest and hydrate for 2 days and keep an eye on the weather - if it is looking promising I will make another attempt and try to beat my previous altitude record - small setback: there was a little rockfall and my rope was cut when I came to rappel - all good, I improvised (as usual) but this in combination with the severe winds and the dry air that turns everything into solid ice doesn’t make it easy - I have had a look down today and realized how much I have already accomplished, when you look up all the time you take everything for granted and don’t appreciate what you have done already - high five  

Kobusch has now been in the Himalayas for almost half a year. A long acclimatisation phase, several explorations at the foot and in the flanks of Mount Everest are now behind him. Now, at the end of February, the 27-year-old will probably attempt the final big push: