Top 5 Greatest European Mountaineers

Europe is a great place for mountaneering: it hosts mountains of great heights, such as the Alps, the Pyrenees, and the Dolomites. Mountaneering is a great deal of adventure and challenge, and there are people who decided to choose this path as their profession and career. Leading the race is tough, but determination and patience will literally let you go places. Let’s take a look at our top 5 of greatest European mountaneers!

Great Mountaineers

1. Reinhold Messner (born 17 September 1944) is an Italian mountaineer, climber, explorer. He is regarded as the greatest mountaineers of all the times.
Reinhold Messner made the first ascent of Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen.

Also, he is the first mountaineer to ascend all 14 „eight-thousanders” (peaks over 8,000 meters above sea level).
His climbs were also all among the first 20 ascents for each mountain individually. Specifically, these are: Manaslu (8,163), Hidden Peak (Gasherbrum I) (8,080), Mount Everest (8,848), Nanga Parbat (8,125), K2 (8,611), Mount Everest (8,848), Shishapangma (8,027), Kangchenjunga (8,586), Gasherbrum II (8,034), Broad Peak (8,051), Cho Oyu (8,188), Hidden Peak (Gasherbrum I) (8,080), Gasherbrum II (8,034), Annapurna (8,091), Dhaulagiri (8,167), Makalu (8,485), Lhotse (8,516).
He wrote over 63 books translated into other languages.
In 1984, Rinhold Messner was featured by Werner Herzog in a movie: The Dark Glow of the Mountains.

2. Erhard Loretan (28 April 1959 – 28 April 2011) was a Swiss mountain climber and one of the greatest mountaineers of all times.

Erhard Loretan is the third person to summit all fourteen “eight-thousanders”, and the second mountaineer to summit without supplemental oxygen.
He ascended Everest in only 43 hours, climbing at night.

3. Jerzy Kukuczka (24 March 1948 – 24 October 1989) was a Polish mountaineer.

In 1987, he became the second mountaineer, after the Italian mountaineer Reinhold Messner, to climb all fourteen eight-thousanders in the world.
He is the first man who made the first winter ascents of three eight-thousanders: Dhaulagiri (in 1985), Kangchenjunga (in 1986), and Annapurna I (in 1987). He is the single mountaineer to have ascended 4 of the “Eight-thousanders” during the winter.
Also, Jerzy Kukuczka established a new route on K2 called Polish Line. No one has ever repeated this route.

4. Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner (born on 13 December 1970) is an Austrian mountaineer.

In August 2011, she became the first woman to climb the fourteen “Eight-thousanders” without supplemental oxygen or porters.
At the age of 32, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner climbed Nanga Parbat, and she decided to become professional mountaineer full-time.

5. Edurne Pasaban (born on August 1, 1973) is a Spanish mountaineer.

On May 17, 2010, she became the 21st person and the first woman to climb all of the fourteen eight-thousander peaks in the World.
Her first 8,000 peak had been achieved on May 23, 2001, when she climbed to the summit of Mount Everest with supplemental oxygen.
“It was great to summit the world’s tallest mountain in 2001, which was my third attempt. In those days, I did not have a lot of experience at high altitudes, so I used supplemental oxygen to summit. It’s the only mountain where I have used oxygen. Because of this, I will return in the spring of 2011, ten years later, to try for the summit without using oxygen”, said Edurne Pasaban.
On May 18, 2009, Edurne Pasaban climbed the Kangchenjunga with Juanito Oiarzabal and Kinga Baranowska, and she became the first woman in climbing twelve eight-thousanders.

Thoughts on "Top 5 Greatest European Mountaineers"

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Doris - Sun Feb 28 01:01:52 PST 2016

Absolutely true, Remaining focused on a moatunin is top priority, countless accidents happen not only when people are tired but when complacency sets in and situations are taken for granted instead of monitoring the continuously changing environment winter moatunins present. The word MOUNTAINEERING and not SUMMITEERING is given to our beloved sport and this must be remembered throughout the duration of a climb as the moatunin will still be there another day but due to individuals/companies and sponsors need for reaching the summit means we may be not. I'm not looking to point blame on either party but there may be too many underskilled climbers given an easy chance to tackle these moatunins and this lack of experience, knowledge and skill together with the want, need and pressure to reach the summit can leave them blind to the dangers and risks involved.


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