Climber to Attempt a Solo of Denali in Winter
Only four climbers have reached the summit of North America's highest peak in winter alone
German climber and experienced high-altitude mountaineer Jost Kobusch will attempt to solo Denali, North America’s highest mountain, this winter solo and unsupported. Follow along on his Instagram below for daily story updates.
There have only been four solos of Denali in winter to date: Naomi Uemura in 1984 via the West Buttress, he died on the descent; Vern Tejas in 1988 via the West Buttress, he dedicated the summit to Uemura; David Staeheli in 1989 via the West Rib; and Lonnie Dupree in 2015 via the West Buttress. There are several hazards that come with this objective, including cold weather, bad conditions, crevasses and unstable snow.
Kobusch has climbed a number of big Himalayan peaks in the past, including Nangpai Gossum II in 2017, which he climbed solo and unsupported. The year before, he climbed Annapurna. In Alaska, he made a winter ascent of the smaller of the two summits on the Moose’s Tooth. His first solo climb was at 19 years old when he summited Mount Kenya, Africa’s highest peak alone.
Kobusch planned to attempt Denali in January 2019, but Denali National Park was closed at the time. Over the past few years, Kobush put effort into soloing Everest, but came up short due to conditions. In the past, climbers have carried bamboo poles on Denali in winter on their shoulders in case they fall into a crevasse to give the a fighting chance of surviving.