March 11, 1995 |
In a howling north wind, the temperature stood at minus 42 degrees Fahrenheit. Two explorer brothers had taken shelter in their tent on the restive ice pack that encrusts the Arctic Ocean. Suddenly, with ominous cracks, ice splintered on three sides of them. The pack began to explode, tossing towering blocks of blue ice into the air. Some sank into sudden openings of frothing sea. Others rained down, one atop another. One block smashed a sled. Fleeing another, one brother slipped into the water.
March 1, 1995 |
There are four toes in his boots, white flecks in his beard and 50 years riding on his shoulders. In Reinhold Messner's reflective mind, determination jostles with intimations of mortality. The aw-shucks Italian daredevil who is generally recognized as history's greatest mountain climber is embarking on his last great expedition and perhaps his most daunting challenge--an ice cap stroll, Asia to America.
November 2, 1994 |
Reaching 8,000-meter summits might or might not be a thing of Reinhold Messner's past, but he has much to say about bolting, a controversial subject among climbers and environmentalists. Bolts are drilled into rock faces to help secure climbing ropes, and are a fact of life in today's sport climbing ethic, which emphasizes short, steep, technical routes. "I have never used a bolt in my life," Messner said. "Up to 25, I was a rock climber and nothing else, but I always defend the wall.
November 2, 1994 |
The first person to climb Mt. Everest without supplemental oxygen, the first to climb it solo, the first to climb all 14 of the world's peaks over 8,000 meters--often alone, always without oxygen--has gone horizontal. At 50, Italy's Reinhold Messner, often cited as the world's greatest living mountaineer, has decided long walks are more appropriate for him. "Now I prepare to go to the North Pole," said Messner. "The Himalaya is not as challenging.
February 13, 1990 |
Italian Reinhold Messner and West German Arved Fuchs became the first to cross Antarctica without the aid of dogs or machinery. A West German magazine said they finished their 1,550-mile trek after 91 days, using sails and wind power to help pull their sledges.
June 29, 1989 |
Reinhold Messner has been to the mountaintops--the 14 highest in the world--and what he has seen appalls him. Cable cars crisscross the great mountains of Europe, trash lines the routes into the Himalayas and Mt. Everest is overcrowded with expeditions. "Most of the expeditions the last five years have been less for adventure and more for show," Messner says. That is the inspiration for Messner's "White Wilderness" concept to defend the world's remaining unexplored regions against abusive intrusion-- white in that they appear as blank areas on maps, places where only Messner and others like him care to go. He expounded on his idea this month at the Mountain Summit, a gathering organized by Dan McConnell of Seattle of some of the world's best climbers, among whom Messner is a giant.