Nanga Parbat

The book written by Reinhold Messner on his climb of the Nanga Parbat with his brother Gunther and of the subsequent death of this brother during their disastrous retreat is simply called Nanga Parbat, The Naked Mountain. It is a very personal book since Messner feels responsible for this death and his account of their incredible descent with no material whatsoever from the summit is breathtaking. Especially the final passage when he precedes his brother in a network of seracs and eventually looses him, presumably to an ice avalanche. Messner is a mountain climber that stands out from others by his in-humanity, managing the first climbs above 8000m w/o oxygen, and the tale of his survival return dwarfs Simpson’s Touching the Void, even though the later is also an incredible feat, but the book is mostly remarkable because of the touching personal way it tells about this loss of a brother. The climb itself gets secondary even though it is the reason for the tragedy. (The controversy about the responsibility of the other climbers does not matter so much either.) This is certainly one of my preferred mountain books, right after Heckmair’s My Life and his account of the Eiger Nordwand first climb.

One Response to “Nanga Parbat”

  1. […] Messner gets Piolet d’Or Yesterday, Reinhold Messner got the 2010 Piolet d’Or lifetime achievement. This is quite an appropriate reward for the […]

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