Reinhold Messner

Birth Day September 17th, 1944
Birth Place Brixen
Age 79 Years Old

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Reinhold Messner is an Italian mountaineer and author. He is famous for achieving historic milestones in climbing, including the first solo ascent of Mount Everest and the initial oxygen-free Everest ascent with Peter Habeler. He's renowned for conquering all 14 peaks over 8,000 meters without supplementary oxygen and undertook daring expeditions like crossing Antarctica, Greenland, and the Gobi Desert. Recently, Guinness World Records has deprived Reinhold Messner of being the first to officially climb all the 8,000m peaks. Messner never reached the true summit of Annapurna, it states.

Reinhold Messner Family Details

Reinhold Messner, born on September 17, 1944, in Brixen (Bressanone), South Tyrol, Italy, marked his 79th birthday in 2022. His birth name is Reinhold Andreas Messner. Hailing from an Italian nationality and an Italian-White ethnicity, he grew up in St. Peter, Villnöß, within a German-speaking family. His father, Josef, who served in the German army during World War II on the Russian front, and his mother, Maria, the daughter of a shop owner, raised Reinhold and his eight siblings in modest circumstances.

His siblings are Helmut (born 1943), Günther (1946–1970), Erich (born 1948), Waltraud (born 1949), Siegfried (1950–1985), Hubert (born 1953), Hansjörg (born 1955) and Werner (born 1957). Despite a challenging birth during an air raid due to his large size, Messner's passion for climbing blossomed in his early years amidst the Alps, leading to a lifelong love for the Dolomites. His strict father, Josef, introduced him to mountaineering at just five years old, and by age 13, Reinhold was already climbing alongside his brother Günther, who was 11 at the time.

Italian Mountaineer, Reinhold Messner

Reinhold Messner Mountaineer Career

  • Before his pivotal 1970 Himalayan expedition, Reinhold Messner's reputation as a renowned mountaineer was firmly established with over 500 ascents, notably in the Dolomites, between 1960 and 1964. 
  • These feats included groundbreaking accomplishments like the new route on Ortler's north face in 1965, the conquest of the Walker Spur on the Grandes Jorasses, and the ascent of Rocchetta Alta di Bosconero in 1966. 
  • In 1967, he achieved firsts on the northeast face of the Agnér and completed winter ascents of the Agnér north face and Furchetta north face.
  • Further achievements followed in 1968, including conquering the Heiligkreuzkofel middle pillar and the Marmolada's direct south face. 
  • However, the tragic loss of his brother Günther during the 1970 Nanga Parbat climb, combined with frostbitten toes and criticism, marked a turning point.
  • Messner went on to set records, such as the first ascent of Everest without oxygen in 1978, a solo summit in 1980, and completing all fourteen eight-thousanders in 1986. 
  • His remarkable adventures extend far beyond mountaineering; he's skied across Antarctica alongside explorer Arved Fuchs, authored over 80 books, a quarter of which have been translated to share his experiences, and featured in Werner Herzog's 1984 film "The Dark Glow of the Mountains." 
  • Between 1999 and 2004, he held a political role as a Member of the European Parliament for the Italian Green Party (Federazione dei Verdi) and co-founded Mountain Wilderness, an international NGO dedicated to mountain conservation.
  • Notably, in 2004, he undertook a challenging 2,000-kilometer expedition through the Gobi Desert. 
  • In 2006, Reinhold Messner established the Messner Mountain Museum (MMM), comprising multiple locations. 
  • The MMM network includes sites such as MMM Firmian, which focuses on man's relationship with mountains, MMM Juval emphasizes mystical mountains, MMM Dolomites which delves into the geology of the Dolomites, MMM Ortles centered on ice and glaciers, MMM Ripa celebrates mountain cultures, and MMM Corones dedicated to traditional climbing.
  • Similarly, he has also worked in the trending documentary, "14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible". He was a high-altitude mountaineer in the documentary and reality as well.

Reinhold Messner Climbing Career

  • Reinhold Messner's mountaineering legacy is marked by his notable expeditions to various peaks, including Nanga Parbat, Manaslu, Gasherbrum I, Mount Everest, K2, Shishapangma, Kangchenjunga, Gasherbrum II, Broad Peak, Cho Oyu, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Makalu, Lhotse, and his completion of all eight-thousanders. 
  • In 1970, he and his brother Günther achieved a historic traverse of Nanga Parbat, but tragically, Günther lost his life during the descent. 
  • Messner's climb of Mount Everest in 1978 without supplemental oxygen broke new ground in high-altitude mountaineering.
  • His expeditions to K2, Shishapangma, Kangchenjunga, and others showcased his relentless pursuit of challenging ascents. 
  • In addition to his climbing achievements, Messner played a pivotal role in defining the "Messner list" of seven summits, replacing Mount Kosciuszko with Puncak Jaya (Carstensz Pyramid) and creating a more demanding mountaineering challenge. 

Reinhold Messner World Records

  • First ascent of Manaslu without supplementary oxygen
  • First solo summit of Everest
  • First ascent of Everest and K2 without supplementary oxygen
  • First ascent of the top three highest mountains without supplementary oxygen
  • 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

Reinhold Messner Wife

Reinhold Messner, who has been married three times in his life, found marital happiness with his current and third wife, Diane Messner, in 2021, and the couple is currently relishing a harmonious life together. His sexual orientation is straight. 

Reinhold Messner and his wife Diane

His first marriage was to Uschi Demeter, a Canadian photographer, in 1972, which lasted for five years until 1977. The couple shares a daughter, Layla Messner who was born in 1981. Subsequently, he entered into his second marriage with Sabine Stehle, a textile designer, in 2009, a union that continued for a decade until 2019. They share three children. 

Reinhold Messner Net Worth

Reinhold Messner, the renowned Italian mountaineer, explorer, and author, has an estimated net worth of $10 million in 2023. His source of wealth comes from his multifaceted career in mountaineering, exploration, writing, and public speaking. With over 60 books authored, detailing his remarkable mountaineering and expedition experiences, the sales of his literary works substantially bolster his financial portfolio.

Additionally, Messner's entrepreneurial venture as the founder of the Messner Mountain Museum, a chain dedicated to celebrating mountaineering and alpine culture, generates substantial revenue. His involvement in various film and television projects further enhances his earnings. Despite his considerable wealth, Messner maintains a modest and fulfilling lifestyle, currently enjoying an annual income exceeding $1 million. 

Reinhold Messner Height

Reinhold Messner, the charismatic mountaineer and explorer, stands at an impressive height of 6 feet, weighing in at 72 kilograms. With distinguished gray hair and piercing blue eyes, he possesses an average physique complemented by an attractive and engaging personality. 

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