Reinhold Messner

Reinhold Messner
Reinhold Messner
Specialty Ascent of Mt. Everest
Born Sep. 17, 1944
Brixen, Italy
Nationality Italian

Reinhold Messner is a famous mountaineer, explorer, and adventurer from Italy. His astonishing achievements of climbing Mount Everest and other great peaks in the world have helped him become one of the most recognized and celebrated mountaineers of all time.

Early Years

Born in Bixen, Italy, Messner grew up in South Tyrol and climbed the Alps in the early years of life as his love for mountains and mountaineering grew. Joseph Messner, his father, was a teacher and he led Reinhold for his first climb when Reinhold was only five years old.

Reinhold had a big family with eight brothers and one sister. He speaks Italian, German, and English languages. At the age of 13, Reinhold started climbing with his younger brother, Gunther. They both shared the liking for mountaineering and when they reached their twenties, both Reinhold and Gunther had a reputation of being the best mountaineers in Europe.

Messner’s Early Climbing Adventures

Reinhold Messner carried out various expeditions and was the first individual to climb all 14 summits in the world above that measured at least 8000 meters (from sea level). He has several accolades and records to his name, which makes him one of the best climbers ever. He also became first one individual to climb Mount Everest without using supplementary oxygen.

In addition to that, Reinhold Messner also became the first individual to climb Mount Everest solo. Apart from scaling mountains, Messner has also crossed the Gobi Desert, covering more than 2000 kilometers. He has also crossed Antarctica on skis, along with Arven Fuchs, a fellow explorer. Messner has written more than 60 books about his experiences. He has also featured in a film – The Dark Glow of the Mountains.

Nanga Parbat Expedition

Reinhold Messner 2Reinhold took five expeditions in the 1970s to Nanga Parbat, out of which three times he reached the summit. In 1970 and 1978, he successfully reached the summit.

The 1970 expedition to Nanga Parbat was from the unclimbed Rupal face, which was the highest rock-face in the world. Before this expedition, only one person had climbed Nanga Parbat, but from the Diamir face.

The Rupal face was extremely difficult to conquer. Reinhold went on to achieve this difficult task, but while coming down from the Diamir face, he lost his younger brother Gunther in an avalanche. Messner managed to survive with severe frostbite, but lost seven of his toes in the process. Later on, after three unsuccessful expeditions, Messner climbed Nanga Parbat solo from the Diamir side in 1978.

Messner took several successful expeditions to mountains that had peaks of at least 8000 meters in height, such as K2, Annapurna, Lhotse, Kanchenjunga, Mount Doom, Broad Peak, both Gasherbrums, Dhaulagiri, Makalu, Manaslu, Cho Oyu and Shishapangma.

Messner’s Everest Expedition

To reiterate, Reinhold Messner is known for making the first solo ascents of Mount Everest without using supplementary oxygen. In 1978, Reinhold Messner scaled the heights of Mount Everest along with Peter Habeler to set that record. In 1980, he again climbed Everest without bottled oxygen, but that time he did it solo.

On his second expedition of Mount Everest, he took a never-before climbed route and finished it in four days, which is arguably the most astounding feat in mountaineering history. During his Everest expeditions, he set new technical standards and pioneered fast solo ascents.

Expedition to Antarctica

From 1989 to 1990, Reinhold Messner organized a man hauling “Würth-Antarktis Transversale” to cross the Antarctica Continent. He crossed the German Filchner Station on the Ronne Ice Shelf and arrived at Patriot Hillslet’s go. Due to the problems with ANI fuel and flight arrangements, the trip was shortened and there were modifications in the original expedition plan. In his book – Antarctica: Both Heaven and Hell – Messner has included his experiences as well as the photos during his Antarctica expedition.

Other Major Publications

Messner has written a large number of books on his climbing experiences. Some of his most popular books include Everest: Expedition to the Ultimate, All 14 Eight Thousanders, Annapurna: 50 Years of Expeditions in the Death Zone, and many more.

Current Life and Legacy

Reinhold Messner has lived a remarkable life with true spirit of an explorer and adventurer. He has loved what he does and he lived and respected the challenges that nature throws at mankind.
Currently, Reinhold runs diversified business related to mountaineering. He had a stint in politics as well as the Member of European Parliament. He currently spends most of his time at the Messner Mountain Museum, which he founded.

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