Superhumanly determined, Reinhold Messner has pursued his uncompromising vision to reach the summits of Earth’s highest peaks—and beyond.
Reinhold Messner is the Rainmaker in Climbing/Mountaineering fraternity! I’ve been tending to write about Reinhold Messner (my favorite) for quite sometime. They say, “with Great power comes Great responsibility,” Messner was well gifted with Great powers; a power to hold oneself, challenge the unknown, push beyond the limit and take the guts out in whatever one does, and even greater responsibility to let know the world that Nothing is Impossible. He proved the Grit and Passion is what drives human desire.
Creating awareness among peers about the greatness and purity of Mountains and warning them to not ruin its beauty has been Messner’s prime agenda lately.
With first successful ascent of Everest without the support of Bottled Oxygen (which he describes as “by fair means”), Messner proved that climbing Everest without artificial life support is very much conquerable. It changed the perspective of many experts and scientists to re-examine and determine the newer dynamics of climbing techniques and physical limits.
After 16 years (1970-1986) and successful summits of 14 Eight-Thousander without bottled O2, he shut everyone up who very much denied the fact that mountains are unconquerable without bottled O2. It inspired many others to follow the similar path and achieve similar feats.
Born in Brixley, Italy, Messner is also a successful author of at least 63 books on mountaineering, many of which have been translated into different languages.
On Ama Dablam expedition in 1979, Messner and Oswald Oelz conducted a spectacular rescue of Peter Hillary, son of Edmund Hillary, and two companions.
Reinhold covered that ground that the New Zealand climbers had taken two and a half days to climb in six hours.
~Nena Holguín, a witness
Conquering Nanga Parbat & The Demise of Günther Messner
Fueled by obstacles, risk, and high-adrenaline rage, Messner along with his younger brother Günther Messner made it to Nanga Parbat in 1970, the 9th highest mountain in the world. Unfortunately, Günther couldn’t live long enough to celebrate the successful descent of the mountain. Tired and hallucinated, he lost his way and disappeared midst the high towering mountains, beneath the avalanches, only later for Reinhold to burst out in tears and wails during interview with the global medias after the successful summit.
Critics described Messner as reckless and blamed him solely for Günther’s death. The first ever summit of the Eight-Thousander came out in a tragic conclusion. The success is immeasurable for Messner, despite loosing 6 toes to frostbite, so is the greater loss of his younger brother, his climbing partner for decades, his other half!
He made total of 5 expeditions to Nanga Parbat. In 1978, he made a solo ascent of the Diamar Face.
Successful Ascent of Everest! Say NO to “Bottled Oxygen”
First ascent of Everest with Peter Habeler in 1978 without the support of bottled Oxygen established Messner as the only mountaineer with Godly abilities. Saying “No to bottled Oxygen” was in his words “by fair means.” Later in 1980, he completed Everest solo summit from the Northern side (Tibet), again this time without bottled O2.
Being the first climber to ever feat 29,029 ft higher mountain without any sort of life support, Messner enjoyed the moment like never before. He remarked;
very, very happy. I was thinking—after Everest, I was feeling I could do anything.
Saying No to bottled O2 was his style of climbing. It inspired many climbers to climb like him. It was tough but not Impossible.
14 Eight-Thousander?? He Nailed’em!!
Starting from 1970’s expedition of Nanga Parbat to Lhotse in 1986, Messner became the first person ever to summit all of the 14 Eight-Thousander.
List of Messner’s Successful Summits
|1970||Nanga Parbat (8,125)|
|1975||Hidden Peak (Gasherbrum I) (8,080)|
|1978||Mount Everest (8,848), Nanga Parbat (8,125)||First ascent of Everest without supplementary oxygen.
Nanga Parbat: first solo ascent of 8000er from basecamp
|1980||Mount Everest (8,848)||First to ascend alone and without supplementary oxygen – during the monsoon|
|1982||Kangchenjunga (8,586), Gasherbrum II (8,034), Broad Peak(8,051)||Also failed summit attempt on Cho Oyu during winter|
|1983||Cho Oyu (8,188)|
|1984||Hidden Peak (Gasherbrum I) (8,080), Gasherbrum II (8,034)||At one time without returning to basecamp|
|1985||Annapurna (8,091), Dhaulagiri (8,167)|
|1986||Makalu (8,485), Lhotse (8,516)|