VIDEO: “MESSNER” – World’s Greatest Mountaineer

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“The Greatest Mountaineer of All Time” – said Chris Bonnington. MESSNER details the most daring and accomplished mountain climber of our time. ” Reinhold Messner’s solo climb of Everest,” Jon Krakauer wrote, “is a deed widely considered the greatest mountaineering feat of all time.”

MESSNER premiered on the opening night of the 2004 Telluride Mountain Film festival.

Director: Les Guthman

Writer: Les Guthman

Stars: Chris Bonington, Reinhold Messner, Peter Strauss

Reinhold Andreas Messner (born 17 September 1944) is an Italian mountaineer, explorer, and author. He made the first solo ascent of Mount Everest and, along with Peter Habeler, the first ascent of Everest without supplemental oxygen. He was the first climber to ascend all fourteen peaks over 8,000 meters (26,000 ft) above sea level. Messner was the first to cross Antarctica and Greenland with neither snowmobiles nor dog sleds. He also crossed the Gobi Desert alone. Messner has published more than 80 books (only a quarter of which have been translated into English) about his experiences as a climber and explorer. In 2018, he received jointly with Krzysztof Wielicki the Princess of Asturias Award in the category of Sports.


Messner’s first major Himalayan climb in 1970, the unclimbed Rupal face of Nanga Parbat, turned out to be a tragic success. Both he and his brother Günther reached the summit, but Günther died two days later on the descent of the Diamir face. Reinhold lost seven toes, which had become badly frostbitten during the climb and required amputation. Reinhold was severely criticized for persisting on this climb with the less experienced Günther. The 2010 movie Nanga Parbat by Joseph Vilsmaier is based on his account of the events.

While Messner and Peter Habeler were noted for fast ascents in the Alps of the Eiger North Wall, standard route (10 hours) and Les Droites (8 hours), his 1975 Gasherbrum I first ascent of a new route took three days. This was unheard of at the time.

In the 1970s, Messner championed the cause for ascending Mount Everest without supplementary oxygen, saying that he would do it “by fair means” or not at all In 1978, he reached the summit of Everest with Habeler. This was the first time anyone had been that high without supplemental oxygen and Messner and Habeler achieved what certain doctors, specialists, and mountaineers thought impossible. He repeated the feat, without Habeler, from the Tibetan side in 1980, during the monsoon season. This was Everest’s first solo summit.

Location of the eight-thousanders In 1978, he made a solo ascent of the Diamir face of Nanga Parbat. In 1986, Messner became the first to complete all fourteen eight-thousanders (peaks over 8,000 meters above sea level).

Messner has crossed Antarctica on skis, together with fellow explorer Arved Fuchs. He has written over 60 books about his experiences, a quarter of which have been translated. He was featured in the 1984 film The Dark Glow of the Mountains by Werner Herzog. From 1999 to 2004, he held political office as a Member of the European Parliament for the Italian Green Party (Federazione dei Verdi). He was also among the founders of Mountain Wilderness, an international NGO dedicated to the protection of mountains worldwide.

In 2004 he completed a 2,000-kilometre (1,200 mi) expedition through the Gobi desert. In 2006, he founded the Messner Mountain Museum.

Guinness Book of Records

Messner is listed nine times in the Guinness Book of Records. All these records belong to “World’s Firsts” category, known also as Historical Firsts. “World’s First” is the highest form of Guinness World Record, the ownership of this title never expires. As of 2020 it is the world’s second highest number of “World’s Firsts” held by an individual. Higher number is held by Fiann Paul.

First ascent of Manaslu without supplementary oxygen First solo summit of Everest First ascent of Everest and K2 without supplementary oxygen – male First ascent of the top three highest mountains without supplementary oxygen – male First 8,000-metre mountain hat-trick First person to climb all 8,000-metre mountains without supplementary oxygen First person to climb all 8,000-metre mountains First ascent of Everest without supplementary oxygen First ascent of Gasherbrum I without supplementary oxygen

David Snow

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