Reinhold Messner, born in South Tyrol in 1944, climbed the first three-thousand-meter peak at the age of 5 accompanied by his father. After studying technology, he worked as a secondary school teacher for a short time before devoting himself entirely to mountaineering. A life as a cross-border commuter followed.
Since 1969 he has made more than a hundred trips to the mountains and deserts of this earth. He wrote four dozen books. He achieved many first ascents, the ascent of all 14 eight-thousanders as well as the “seven summits”, the crossing of the Antarctic, the Gobi and Takla Makan deserts as well as the longitudinal crossing of Greenland.
In contrast to modern adventurers, Reinhold Messner is less interested in records than in being exposed to natural landscapes that are as pristine as possible and being out and about with a minimum of equipment. He followed the “By fair means” proclaimed by Albert Frederick Mummery on Nanga Parbat, Fridtjof Nansen's “Call of the North” into the Arctic pack ice and crossed the Antarctic via the South Pole based on an idea by Ernest Henry Shackleton.