Reinhold Messner stripped of world records
- Tuesday 26th September 2023
World-renowned Italian mountaineer Reinhold Messner, has been stripped of two Guinness World Records.
New analysis suggests numerous mountaineers have failed to climb to the true mountain summits on some of the world’s 14 8000m peaks. Germany map expert Eberhard Jurgalski has been working for a decade with a team at 8000ers.com to re-investigate historic record-breaking climbs. Several of the 14 8000’ers are understood to be affected leading to climbers finishing on false or wrong summits. Following this analysis, Guinness World Records last week reclassified the 8000’ers which has resulted in numerous mountaineers having their climbs challenged and world records reassigned.
One of the all-time mountaineering legends Reinhold Messner has been affected by the Guinness World Records reclassification when the analysis undertaken by Eberhard Jurgalski and his team suggests that Messner failed to climb to the true summit of Annapurna in Nepal in 1985 stopping just 5m lower on a false summit.
Reinhold Messner achieved widespread acclaim as the first climber to summit all 14 of the world’s 8000’ers firstly with supplementary oxygen and then again without. However, Guinness World Records have now reconsidered Messner’s 37-year record and have reallocated that record to American climber Edmund Viesturs who completed the climbs in 2005 considerably later than Messner’s original ascents.
Reinhold Messner has – understandably - contested the findings of the new analysis noting not only that Eberhard Jurgalski isn't an expert and that the mountains themselves change over time and that nearly 40 years has elapsed since his ascents. Messner also points out that he never claimed the record which Guinness bestowed on him in 1986.
As well as Annapurna I, Dhaulagiri I and Manaslu are also understood to be affected by the changes. The true number of mountaineers who have successfully climbed all 14 8000’ers is now thought to have plummeted from 44 to just four.
Guinness World Records commented that climbers, including Reinhold Messner himself, who didn’t reach what is now considered the true summit did so through no fault of their own and that this new analysis shouldn’t detract from the pioneering achievements made by renowned mountaineers.