Showing posts with label Reinhold Messner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reinhold Messner. Show all posts

Reinhold Messner on the Future of Climbing Everest

Italian climbing legend Reinhold Messner has weighed in on the current state of affairs on Everest, and where mountaineering on the world's highest peak is headed, and as usual his thoughts are quite fascinating. Messner recently spoke with The Diplomat about these subjects and more, bringing his years of vast experience and knowledge to the table. In his typical style, the iconic climber doesn't mince too many words.

In the interview, Messner talks about the crowded conditions on Everest, and the guided climbs to the summit that are now very different than when he made his famous ascents on the mountain. In describing what it is like there, the Italian says that it is not alpinism but is instead tourism. A very different game than previous generations. He also says that with the path more well prepared and set out for the climbers to follow, the sense of adventure and exploration is gone. It is simply a guided trip to the top of the world.

The Italian also discusses the growing sense of resentment amongst Sherpas and how that has led to more locally owned trekking and climbing companies in Nepal. Those companies are able to offer less expensive trips into the mountain, and as a result they are slowly but surely eroding the business of foreign operators. That will have a dramatic impact on the future of climbing on Everest. Those same Sherpa are also now very experienced and talented mountaineers in their own right, and no longer need to follow the foreign climbers up the slopes.

Messner goes on to touch on the dangers of climbing the mountain, the fact that no one listens to the danger signs until it is too late, and the fact that so man inexperienced climbers are traveling to the Himalaya. He also talks about his relationship to Buddhism and his hopes for a free and autonomous Tibet, amongst other topics.

Most of what Messner talks about isn't especially new, and anyone who follows the climbing scene on Everest probably is aware of the things that are going on there. Still, it is always interesting to hear a man of his prominence and stature share his opinion on where mountaineering was, where its at now, and where it is heading. Check out the full text of the interview here.

The Himalayan Times Interviews Reinhold Messner

Reinhold Messner is thought by many to be the greatest mountaineer ever. His list of accomplishments is long and distinguished, including such feats as the first ascent of Everest without oxygen and the first solo climb of that mountain too. He is also the first person to successfully summit all 14 of the 8000-meter peaks as well. So any time he weighs in on the state of climbing, it is always interesting.

That is exactly what he did in this interview with The Himalayan Times. The Italian climbing legends talks about the role that Sherpas continue to play in expeditions to the big mountains, how "traditional" alpinism needs to be preserved, and his thoughts on the current mountaineering approach, which is dominated by commercial teams.

Not one to hold back on his opinions, Messner tells the Times that commercial mountaineering is basically the same as tourism, and even equated it to "climbing indoors." He notes that when he climbed the big peaks he did it much the same way as Edmund Hillary. But now, anyone with enough money can pay a commercial guide service to take them to the top. This isn't true alpinism in his mind.

Messner went on to say “During our time, we had guided the Sherpas to the top of the summit. Now, they lead the westerners and climbers from the other world to the summit point, keeping all the problems of expedition members away." He stressed that the situation was very different in the past, with the Sherpas being more teammates rather than just guides.

Currently, the Italian explorer – who has skied across Antarctica, trekked the Gobi, and gone in search of the Yeti in the Himalaya, has returned to Nepal to film a movie on Ama Dablam. The film will be the true story of efforts to climb that mountain from 1959 to 1979. He also says that he's working on a movie about Everest with Hollywood producers too.

Messner tells the Times that over the years he has fallen in love with Nepal, and has been there more than 50 times. It doesn't sound like that love affair will end anytime soon.

Video: Extreme Mountaineering with Reinhold Messner

This video is a full-length documentary about Reinhold Messner, quite possibly the greatest mountaineer of all time. The 45+ minute film is a great introduction to Messner's story for those who aren't familiar with his impressive resume, and a good reminder of just what a trailblazer the Italian alpinist has been. In terms of setting the bar higher for those who followed, it's hard to think of anyone who did more than this man. A true living legend.

Video: Reinhold Messner Talks Mountaineering, Adventure, and More

Reinhold Messner is a true legend in mountaineering. He is the first man to climb all 14 8000-meter peaks, and he pioneered the idea of climbing without the use of supplemental oxygen. As you can imagine, he has seen and done a lot of amazing things throughout his career. In the video below, he shares his thoughts on a number of topics, and offers some advice to young climbers today. If you're not familiar with Messner, this video is a great introduction. If you already know all about him, it is a good reminder of the impact that he has had on mountaineering. Great stuff as always from National Geographic.

Reinhold Messner Interviewed on the Eve of his 70th Birthday

German journalist Stefan Nestler, who always does an excellent job of covering the world of mountaineering and other outdoor sports, has interviewed Reinhold Messner on the eve of his 70th birthday. The Italian climbing legend, who is the first to climb all 14 8000-meter peaks, amongst a number of other feats, will reach that milestone tomorrow, and indications are that he is both philosophical and pragmatic about his advancing years.

When asked how he'll celebrate his birthday, Messner says he'll have a private party with close friends, where he'll invite them to bivouac with him under the stars one last time. He says it will be the last night that he spends in a sleeping back outside, which is a surprise for a man who has spent a lot of nights outside over the course of his life.

Nestler asks Messner about his level of happiness at this point in his life, how he spends his time in his private castle, and what his goals are for the next decade of his life. To that Messner says he'll concentrate on his mountaineering museum, ensuring that it has a lasting legacy beyond his lifetime, and that he'd like to work on some films, in addition to his farms.

Perhaps more importantly, Reinhold discusses his thoughts on Carlos Soria still climbing 8000 meter peaks at the age of 75, how the events on Everest this past spring will impact climbing there, and his advice for young mountaineers heading to the mountains today. He closes the interview by discussing the state of his own personal climbing ambitions, saying that he still routinely goes above 6000 meters (19,685 feet), and actually feels better at that altitude than he does in normal life. He says that might serve as incentive for him to visit Nepal more regularly over the next decade, as the altitude seems to make him feel better. He is quick to point out however, that he has no intention of climbing the big mountains again, adding "I don't want to die in the mountains."

This is another intriguing and insightful interview with Messner, who is always an interesting guy. I like that he doesn't hold back on his thoughts and opinions, and is always happy to share his perspectives. At the age of 70, clearly his best days of climbing are behind him. But I'd venture to guess he could still teach today's mountaineers a thing or two, and many of them would not be where they are today if it weren't for Messner breaking trail for them. On this milestone birthday, I salute his accomplishments. Happy birthday Reinhold!

Curious Animal Interviews Mountaineering Legend Reinhold Messner

On the eve of his 70th birthday, mountaineering legend Reinhold Messner sat down with adventure travel magazine Curious Animal for an eye-opening interview. As usual, Messner has strong opinions on life, death, and the mountains, and he isn't shy about sharing those thoughts with the world.

In the interview, Messner talks about the challenges he sought as a younger man, both in rock climbing and high altitude mountaineering. He also discusses how testing your own limits helps you to learn about yourself, and your own possibilities when faced with survival in extreme environments. The Italian climber, who many believe to be the greatest mountaineer of all time, emphasizes that danger is an essential element of mountaineering, and without the chance of death, it just doesn't hold the same appeal. He says that mountaineering is "...not a sport. It’s a play with nature, a serious play with nature."

Messner goes on to discuss his preference for climbing and traveling solo, as it allows him more freedom to do what he wants, on his own terms. He also touches on whether or not climbing is "worth it" considering the number of people who have died in the mountains over the years, and shares his approach to an expedition prior to setting out.

One of the more interesting aspects of the interview are when Messner gives a nod to several of the exceptional young climbers today. For instances, he mentions David Lama's free climb of the Cerro Torre in Patagonia as an amazing feat that he could never have accomplished, and he calls Ueli Steck's solo-summit of Annapurna one of the most impressive climbs in recent memory.  He also salutes Sandy Allan and Rick Allen for their impressive first ascent of the Mazeno Ridge on Nanga Parbat from a few years back, calling it one of the greatest, and most intelligent, ascents of the past few years.

Finally, Messner talks about his ongoing efforts in the mountains, which have slowed down in recent years, but his love for remote places keeps driving him to go back. He shares his thoughts on the Yeti, and mentions his efforts at setting up a charitable foundation, following in the footsteps of Edmund Hillary, who he says he respects "more for his social work than for his climbing." He wraps up the interview by discussing his time in office as a politician, which seemed to leave him a bit frustrated by the process.

All in all, a good interview from a man whose reputation and legacy are certainly secure. For me, Messner is indeed the greatest mountaineer of all time, and I always enjoy reading his take on climbing, adventure, and life in general. He remains a very interesting man, and I'm not sure there will ever be another one like him.