Mountaineering legend Reinhold Messner reacted calmly to the loss of two titles in the Guinness Book of Records. Until now, Messner was considered the first person to have climbed all 14 eight-thousanders in the world – and also the first person to do so without the help of oxygen from a bottle. According to new calculations, the American Ed Viesturs will now be awarded this title in the new edition of the book, as the organizers announced on their homepage. Messner told the German Press Agency on Sunday about the decision: “I’m not interested in whether my name is in the Guinness Book.”
Messner never claimed such a “world record” in his life. “You can’t take away a record that I’ve never claimed.”
German Himalayan chronicler questioned Messner’s world record
The Guinness decision is based on new calculations using geodata, according to which some peaks have not yet been correctly identified. Many climbers therefore stopped before reaching the “true summit”. The German Himalayan chronicler Eberhard Jurgalski has long claimed that Messner never stood at the top of the 8,091 meter high Annapurna. His calculations also played a role in the decision.
Messner said: “He has no idea. He’s not an expert. He simply confused the mountain. Of course we have reached the summit.” At the same time, he accused Jurgalski: “Someone is using my fame to spread conspiracy theories.” In several books, Messner describes how he reached the Annapurna summit together with Kammerlander, tore up the cloud cover and she could also see the base camp.
Who now stands in place of Reinhold Messner Guinness Book
Jurgalski, on the other hand, concludes, based on digital data from the German Aerospace Center and summit photos, that no base camp can be seen from the summit of Annapurna: “Messner was at one point 65 meters in front of and five meters below the summit.” At Guinness, all records affected by the change were given the addition “legacy” until February 2023. First in the Guinness Book is now Viesturs, who managed his last missing eight-thousander with Annapurna in 2005.
Among mountaineers, “The Himalayan Database” is considered the ultimate in Himalayan summit chronicles. Messner’s Annapurna expedition, which he undertook in 1985 together with Hans Kammerlander, is still listed there.