Reinhold Messner


Born: Sep 17, 1944 in Brixen, Italy
Nationality: Italian
Occupation: Mountaineer, adventurer, and explorer
Famous For: First solo ascent of Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen

Born on September 17th, 1941 in Brixen, Italy, Reinhold Messner always had a passion for the outdoors and climbing. From the time he was a small child he would frequently go climbing in the Alps. Although strict, his father supported his passion and brought him to his first climbing summit when he was just five years old. The passion for climbing ran in the family. When Reinhold was 13 he and his brother began climbing together. This led to them being known as Europe’s best climbers by the time they reached their 20’s.

Himalayan Climb

In 1970 Messner was finally able to climb the Himalayan Mountains. He made this climb with his brother and it was a success. Unfortunately as they descended down the Diamir face, Gunther died and Reinhold lost six of his toes due to frostbite.

Reinhold faced a lot of criticism for taking his brother on this expedition, as Gunther did not have as much experience as he did. In 1971 Reinhold returned back to this mountain to look for his brother, but was unsuccessful in finding him. In 2005 his brother was found after warm weather melted much of the snow on the mountain.

Everest Climb

Peter Habeler was an Austrian climber that shared similar interests and climbing beliefs as Messner. In 1970 he wanted to climb Mount Everest without using oxygen, as he felt that using supplementary oxygen was not fair. Reinhold decided to go with him, and in 1978 they both reached the summit of Everest together, without the use of extra oxygen. Messner decided to repeat this climb again in 1980, but went in from the Tibetan side of the mountain during monsoon season. This was Reinhold’s first solo summit and it was successful for him.

Other Accomplishments

In 1978, before his solo summit of Everest, Reinhold decided to do a solo climb up the Diamir face of Nanga Parbat. This went successfully and he did not suffer any injuries from this like he did in his first Himalayan climb. He also went on a cross-country expedition in Antarctica with Arved Fuchs, who was also an explorer and climber. Throughout his life, Reinhold has made over 500 climbs. He’s also known as one of the best climbers in Europe and has done a lot of climbs that people did not think were possible.

Other climbs that Reinhold has made include: Manaslu, Gasherbrum, K2, Shishapangma, Kangchenjunga, Gasherbrum 2, Broad Peak, Cho Oyu, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Makalu and Lhotse. There is even a Messner Mountain Museum that Reinhold founded. It’s dedicated to educating people about the culture of mountain climbing.


Reinhold has written over 63 books that are still available today in many different languages. He dedicates most of his time to his museum, but also helped create the Mountain Wilderness organization, which helps protect mountains.