'Everest by fair means - that is the human dimension, and that is what interests me ... In reaching for the oxygen cylinder, a climber degrades Everest ... a climber who doesn't rely on his own strength and skills, but on apparatus and drugs, deceives himself. In May 1978 Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler became the first climbers in history to reach the summit of Mount Everest without the use of supplementary oxygen - an event which made international headlines and permanently altered the future of mountaineering. Here Messner tells how the and Habeler accomplished the impossible - and how it felt. He describes the dangers of the Khumbu Icefield, the daunting Lhotse flank, two lonely storm-filled nights at 26,247 feet, and finally the last step to the summit. Everest: Expedition to the Ultimate is a riveting account of the exhaustion, the exhilaration and the despair of climbing into the death zone. The book also includes a history of the mountain, successful ascents and Messner's reflections on recent tragedies on Mount Everest. Reinhold Messner was the first to climb all fourteen peaks higher than 8,000 metres. The author of more than a dozen books on his adventures, he lives in a castle in northern Italy.
Reinhold Messner is one of the world's greatest mountaineers. He was the first person to climb the fourteen 8,000-metre peaks, he made the first ascent of Mount Everest without supplementary oxygen and has made over 3,000 climbs on the world's mountains. He has crossed the Antarctic, Greenland and Tibet, as well as the Gobi and Takla Makan deserts. Born in 1944, Messner grew up in the Italian Dolomites. He climbed his first mountain at the age of five, with his father, and rapidly became one of Europe's best mountaineers. A great proponent of alpine-style climbing, Messner has always chosen to climb 'by fair means', preferring small teams and limiting his use of artificial tools so as to experience nature as he finds it. A writer and photographer, Messner has written over fifty books, which have been translated across the globe and won numerous awards. He was a Member of the European Parliament for the Italian Green Party from 1999 to 2004 and now lives in a castle in northern Italy, dedicating his time to his Messner Mountain Museum - five interrelated museums in the South Tyrol dedicated to the art, culture, and peculiarities of mountain regions. He has found the Messner Mountain Foundation (MMF) in order to support the mountain people worldwide.