Reinhold Messner

Climber, writer, photographer and European parliamentarian, Reinhold Messner was born in Brixen, South Tyrol, Italy, on 17th September 1944. He grew up in the Villnöss Valley in the Dolomites and later studied at the University of Padua.

He has been one of the world’s most outstanding mountaineers for twenty years. In the course of about one hundred trips in the mountains he has chalked up many first ascents and was the first to climb all the world’s 8000-metre peaks. He lectures throughout the world, makes documentary films, contributes to well-known specialist magazines and supports the preservation of the last wildernesses.

Contrary to modern adventure performers, Reinhold Messner never went after records; instead, he is interested in being exposed to nature in landscapes hardly touched by man, and in travelling with a minimum of equipment. He followed Mummery’s “by fair means” on Nanga Parbat, Nansen’s “call of the north” to the ice packs of the Arctic and crossed the Antarctic via the South Pole after an idea by Shackleton. Opposing his travelling on foot to the possibilities the age of communication has to offer, he does without any expansion bolts, oxygen masks and satellite phones – an anachronism, true, but one that preserves an inexhaustible source of experience in the wilderness.

He has written more than 40 books, which have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Between his journeys he lives in Juval Castle in South Tyrol where he runs a museum containing a considerable collection of Tibetan art, and a hill farm using organic methods. In addition, he continues to write books and develop museum projects.

On Everest Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler were the first to summit without the use of bottled oxygen. Reinhold Messner was the first, and many will argue the only, to ever solo Everest on Aug 20, 1980 via the North Col/North Face.

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