When the earthquake struck Nepal on 25th April, the young German mountaineer and climber Jost Kobusch (22) was on an expedition to Lhotse, the fourth highest mountain in the world.
His video of the avalanche hitting the Everest Base Camp has already been watched by more than 22 million people.
In the run-up to this expedition, Jost prepared carefully, conducted physical training and put a lot of thought into the choice of his equipment. He bought a SPOT Gen3 device based on a friend’s recommendation.
SPOT Gen3 is a satellite messenger that allows users to send messages to friends and family, to share their current GPS location in almost real time via its tracking function and send a SOS signal to emergency responders. Thanks to its use of satellite technology, SPOT Gen3 works where there is no mobile phone service.
Jost’s video on YouTube was proof that he had survived the avalanche unharmed. But within seconds of the avalanche, with a single press of the ‘check in’ button, Jost had sent a text message including his current GPS location to his parents, saying “I’m fine. Everything is alright.” They received the text even before they knew what had happened.
“From now on, the SPOT will always be a fixed part of my equipment. I think of it as a replacement for a mobile phone in extreme environments,” he said. The great advantage Jost sees is that by pressing a single button he can reach many people or can call for help, without having to actually type a message and send it to every person individually.
Since he was young, Jost has loved the mountains. His plan to climb Lhotse solo and without additional oxygen would have been another milestone in his career as a mountaineer, but due to the earthquake his expedition came to a sudden end.
Jost has now returned to Nepal where he is supporting rebuilding activities and fundraising campaigns. Afterwards he will fly to Kirgizstan as part of the team establishing the “Climb for life” project. They want to establish the small village Arslandbob as a destination for climbers and mountaineers. By developing training routes, training guides and providing climbing equipment they hope to sustainably create additional income sources for the local people.