/ Messner - Habeler

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Stuart (aka brt) - on 04 Jul 2012
Reading Messner - All 14 eight thousanders. Can't believe I've never read it before.

Anyway; 1978 they climb Everest. There is a caption in the book saying that after the ascent they went their separate ways. What was the "row": something about an account of the climb?
Talius Brute - on 04 Jul 2012
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

I think it was essentially about who was the best / who was the leader - Habeler was doing lecture tours in the off season and Messner wrote a book after each climb, and they both hated it when the other said anything negative about them said anything which seemed to indicate that the writer thought they were number 1.
Stuart (aka brt) - on 04 Jul 2012
In reply to Talius Brute:

Assumed as such. However much Messner claims to not have an ego (granted I'm not that well versed in his literature; but certainly it's written thus in All 14); the guy must have, and guess criticism stings.

There is that bit in Dark Glow of the Mountains where he's asked about his brother though. Complete opposite of the picture I have in my head of him.

Brilliant climber/character.
macmuseeuw on 04 Jul 2012
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):
Have heard Peter Habeler 3 times. He is a very humble, down-to-earth man whom I found very approachable. He spent ages chatting to my 14 year old nephew and made a very good impression on him.

During his talks, he points out Messner was the driving force behind the duo. He was prepared to take more risks than Habeler. Peter Habeler tells us Messner was better than him at everything they did (don't buy that one personally). At the time of the split, Messner wasn't married whereas Peter Habeler was married with a family.Given Messners greater risk-taking, I think this may be the reason for the split.

Either way, both are brilliant climbers in their own rights.
Pursued by a bear - on 04 Jul 2012
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):
> (In reply to Talius Brute)
>
> Assumed as such. However much Messner claims to not have an ego

It's been a while since I read anything by Messner or saw anything about him or his exploits, but my lingering impression was that he'd be fine as long as it was done his way.
Granted, he's an outstanding mountaineer and prepared to back his own opinion but I couldn't imagine he'd be easy company if your opinion didn't match his own. Rather self-delusional to claim not to have an ego.

T.

cariva - on 05 Jul 2012
In reply to Pursued by a bear:
> (In reply to Stuart (aka brt))
Rather self-delusional to claim not to have an ego.

I agree...First of all, anyone who sets off to do what he did kinda "must" have it, besides the fact that I've read a few of his book and he's definitely got it. And a quite big one for that matter.

Regarding the main issue, I cannot remember where I read about it, but there was something about Messner getting snowblind on the descent (because of removing sun goggles several times for pictures)and Habeler guiding his steps down the mountain.
I guess later on there was some sort of misunderstanding about that - I believe fueled by the press, which was never in good terms with Messner and was always picking on him for whatever reason.
Rob Exile Ward on 05 Jul 2012
In reply to macmuseeuw: We bumped into Peter Habeler in Austria last year, he was leading a large and jolly party of bumblies up a peak above his home town. He seemed like a pretty steady, relaxed bloke I have to say.
Damo on 05 Jul 2012
In reply to Talius Brute:
> (In reply to Stuart (aka brt))
>
> I think it was essentially about who was the best / who was the leader - Habeler was doing lecture tours in the off season and Messner wrote a book after each climb, and they both hated it when the other said anything negative about them said anything which seemed to indicate that the writer thought they were number 1.

Yeh, that's how I remember it, though I haven't read any Messner stuff for years. There was an issue of filming final steps to the summit - of Hidden Peak in '75 I think - and it was clear that Habeler was in front, maybe on top, as he was filming the other come up, or something. Messner felt it implied that Habeler got there before him, which he may have, but that did not fit with the view that Messner was trying to project.

As for Messner being better at everything, I'm pretty sure Habeler was the better skier. Read an anecdote years ago from the very accomplished US climber George Lowe (Infinite Spur, Kangshung Face) about Habeler visiting the US and how despite trying to sandbag him simulsoloing technical ground (Tetons?) Habler blew him off and was out of sight. About 10 years ago an Austrian mate broke up with his (early 30s) girlfriend, who then began a relationship with Habeler. So he's clearly got some abilities ...

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