In September 2019, the agile South Tyrolean, gifted mountain climber and operator of six r Mountain Museums, Reinhold Andreas MESSNER, became 75 years old. Unfortunately, in June 2020 – unlike 3 years ago – I was not able to travel to Sulden/ South Tyrol to participate again in yak cattle drive.

According to his current website, the museums have reopened and the popular open-air fireside chats will take place again in August / September.

Here is the link to MY FORMER MESSNER blog-article:

Instead, however, I found a revealing actual interview with him on the Internet. How does he live in the meantime and what is still on the mind of this creator, book authors, expedition leader and conqueror of all 14 eight-thousanders … what keeps him so fit?

“Nobody knows who I really am“ …. Messner likes to say. No, he doesn’t live comfortably and calm at home; he always lives in the here and now. He doesn’t really want to say whether he has a new project in the pipeline. He doesn’t want to make any announcements, but obviously has new ideas in his mind.

The management oft he museums he has already handed over to his daughter Magdalena. And with his Simon, he is currently working on   various films on the topic of “mountains”. For him, the medium film, is the most complex form of storytelling. A three-part story on alpine history has just been completed and will soon be on display in his museums. Son Simon is an enthusiastic movie regisseur and is very good at it. e.g. the documentary film “Die Große Zinne/ The Great Merlon“, published in 2019 – 150 years upon its  first ascent.

Without money you could neither climb the Everest, nor persue or implement other projects. You already need at least 2-3 years to prepare a movie. No story-setting works without looking back and ahead, and finally also the „personal environment“ (such as family and hiking-friends) is/ was not always well-intentioned about his way of living and selection of (film) projects.

Castle Juval belongs to him, but e.g. the “house” in Sigmundskron, however, belongs to the state and will only remain in his hands for more than 30 years under certain conditions. Finding like-minded comrades and financial resources/ sponsors is exhausting and time-consuming and ultimately always a risk. Similar to his Mont Everest ascent in 1978 without oxygen bottles – which hardly anyone thought to be possible.

By the way, mountaineering isn’t bad luck or luck for the brave alpinist. For him, survival involves a combination of instinct, planning and fear. At least from an economic perspective, the museum project was frightening for him as a cautious person and one or the other would have liked to see him fail.

Anyway, he does not allow himself to get stuck with advancing age as long as he feels some  energy.  And not without pride he adds that his museums run without subsidies like many others.

The fact that he hardly doesn’t care about what other people comment about him, to me is evidence of sovereignty and independence. He doesn’t follow the various online debates anymore.; he has a cell phone for calling, nothing else. A self-determined life has top-priority for him. BRAVO!

… when it comes to “higher” interests, also the famous „camaraderie in mountain climbing“ starts shaking. Traditional mountaineering has pretty to do what the human nature is like. On the mountain you can see unfiltered what makes us human (or not). For him an alpinist basically lives in an archaic world. But once a satellite can help from above, you are no longer in the wilderness. But the wilderness – at for him – is the prerequisite that fears and self-doubts arise.

Messner does not want to say that everything was better during former times, it was just different. Yes, he also needed support and logistics in the background for his ascents, namely 10 porters. Today there are hundreds and even four helicopters are now available at Everest Base Camp. Well, this “all-inclusive development” will be difficult to reverse.

For Messner, becoming three quarters of a century old was no reason for a special celebration with friends. He only does it every 10 years. Nevertheless he would rather think about what still has to be decided for the future or not. His legacy is settled.

Again something new in my mid-seventies? Many may see him as being driven or a restless person, at least I can understand him very well. Sitting in front of the TV in the evening and waiting for my pension is also not my world !!

I share many of his views – and am looking forward to his next project.

Oh yes, not to forget the following circumstance: there is obviously a new love after the failure of his second marriage with Sabine Stehle. His  new partner Diane Schumacher is considerably younger and – how else – should be a good mountaineer. Corona-related they were stuck in Munich, where Messner owns an apartment in the Glockenbach district since decades. … Everything just human …


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