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Reinhold Messner

Photo: Joern Haufe / dapd / ddp

Since 1986, Reinhold Messner has been considered the first person to climb all 14 eight-thousanders in the world first and also to do so without the help of oxygen. These two records have now been revoked from the former extreme mountaineer in the current book "Guinness World Records 2024".

New calculations with geodata by Himalayan expert Eberhard Jurgalski from Lörrach had shown that some peaks had previously been misidentified. Numerous mountaineers had therefore finished their climbing tours below the actual summit. Messner, together with Hans Kammerlander, is also said to have never reached the summit of Annapurna at 8091 meters. This summer, Jurgalski triggered an earthquake in the world of alpinists. On his homepage 8000ers.com he maintains an internationally recognized ranking of women and men who have climbed all 14 eight-thousanders. At the beginning of this year, 44 names were still listed there, Messner was then in first place in the Champions League of high-altitude mountaineers.

In the new Guinness Book of Records, the American Ed Viesturs is now listed as the record holder instead of Messner, the organizers wrote on their homepage.

Messner describes in several books how he reached the Annapurna summit together with Kammerlander, tore up the cloud cover and they could see the base camp.

Jurgalski, on the other hand, comes to the conclusion on the basis of 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 suffix "legacy" by February 2023.

Messner sharply criticizes researchers

Messner initially reacted calmly to the announcement and told the German Press Agency on Sunday about the decision: "I'm not interested in whether my name is in the Guinness Book." The 79-year-old had never claimed such a "world record" for himself in his life. You can't take away a record that I've never claimed."

But then he dealt out against the Lörracher, to whom he had been asked again and again. "He has no idea. He's not an expert. He just mixed up the mountain. Of course, we've reached the summit." At the same time, he accused Jurgalski of using his fame to spread conspiracy theories.

On his Instagram channel, Messner added: It was funny that people would use his name again and again to make themselves important, he wrote in English. "Because they haven't achieved anything? Because they don't have the courage to realize their dreams?" asked the 79-year-old.

In 2005, the new record holder Viesturs climbed the Annapurna, his last missing eight-thousander. In the book »The Himalayan Database«, which is considered a standard work among mountaineers, Messner's Annapurna expedition of 1985 is still listed.