by Ralf-Peter Martin & Reinhold Messner
About Reinhold Messner
"Undertaking what was once called 'the last possible land journey on earth', Arved Fuchs and Reinhold Messner completed a dramatic traverse of the Antarctic continent in February 1990, after a 92-day, 2,800-kilometre trek on foot. Through temperatures of minus 40 degrees C, and blizzards of up to 150 kilometres an hour, they journeyed across the Thiel mountains to the South Pole, and from there to McMurdo Sound on the Ross Sea. A remarkable story of hardship, courage and determination, this is Messner's account of yet another incredible adventure in a life which has already known so many."
What Sir Ernest Shackleton, who in 1914 failed in his attempt to cross Antarctica, called 'the last possible land journey on earth', Arved Fuchs and Reinhold Messner accomplished between 13th November 1989 and 12th February 1990. Marching 2,800 kilometres on foot in 92 days, with temperatures down to minus 40 degrees C and blizzards with speeds of up to 150 kilometres per hour, they completed a traverse from the edge of the Antarctic continent across the Thiel mountains to the South Pole, and from there to McMurdo Sound on the Ross Sea. Reinhold Messner did it not as a conquest in the classic, geographical sense. He had simply looked for an adventure - as a man who had known many - and he had found it. In the white infinity of that great wilderness he found something else - another perception of time and space than he had found on the great mountains which had previously been his goal. On the long match across the ice continent he sensed that 'Heaven' and 'Hell' are not human inventions but rather that they are inseparable halves in the nature of the world, which man should not seek to separate from one another. This is Messner's account of a remarkable journey.
Reinhold Messner has been called the most important living adventurer. Born in 1944 in the South Tyrol, he became the first man to conquer all of the world's fourteen 8,000-metre peaks, including the first ascent of Everest without artificial oxygen. He has climbed all over the world and written many books on his adventures. Looking for new challenges he was drawn to the great ice deserts of the world, and undertook one of the hardest journeys imaginable - the crossing of Antarctica on skis.
The expedition is fully described in the book: 'Wurth-Antarktis-Transversale' [Antarctica. Both Heaven and Hell by Reinhold Messner], by Reinhold Messner is available at bookstores. Published by The Mountaineers. A brief summary of the expedition can be found on the last page of the Chronicles.
* See Messner and Fuchs' Expedition Equipment List
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Text © Reinhold Messner - All Rights Reserved - Picture Credits: Wade Fairley, Ricardo Roura, Greg Landreth, Frank Hurley; Picture Locations: South Georgia Is., Smith Island, Antarctic Peninsula, McMurdo Sound, Southern Ocean - Reproduction or redistribution of this article or pictures is strictly prohibited without permission - Web Production and Design © 1996 OneWorld Magazine - OneWorld Site is hosted by The EnviroLink Network - Read Important Information