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Free Spirit: A Climber's Life

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  164 ratings  ·  15 reviews
He is known as one of history's greates Himalayan mountaineers, a man who pushed back the frontiers of the possible for a whole generation of climbers. In his revealing autobiography Reinhold Messner reflects on his remarkable career. His story is more than a recounting of "firsts." Here Messner reveals the forces and events that have shaped him as an individual and as a c ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published December 3rd 2005 by Mountaineers Books (first published January 1st 1991)
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3.98  · 
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 ·  164 ratings  ·  15 reviews

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Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the sport of mountaineering, Reinhold Messner is widely regarded as the greatest ever. Not just because he succeeded in accomplishing a number of firsts (first Everest summit without oxygen, first Everest solo ascent, first to complete the 8000ers, etc), but also because his whole approach to climbing, from technical to ethical considerations, resulted in a paradigm shift. It is difficult and perhaps unfair to ascribe a community-wide change to a single individual; Messner certainly wasn't th ...more
Miglen Evlogiev
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Четох я бавно, много много бавно като се опитвах да вниквам във всеки един детайл и момент, защото въображението ми е богато и успявах да си пресъздавам всичко, което Меснер е преживял. Успях да преживея толкова много благодарение на тази книга. Това беше едно много вълнуващо пътуване из върховете по света и след нея още повече уважавам този иначе доказал се инатлив тиролец, който вярвам нищо не може да му се опре. След нея съм още повече вдъхновен за високи изкачвания и истински приключения и я ...more
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: climbing
I have been an armchair mountaineer for most of my life and this book took me to more peaks than any other. A comprehensive history of Reinhold Messner's entire mountaineering and adventuring career, this book instantly transports you to the Dolomites of his home, the Himalaya of his dreams and the seven summits of every continent. I wouldn't be able to read this in the original German, but I thought the translation was great, expecially considering Jill Neate and James Heath needed to convey no ...more
Manuel Chiacchiararelli
Interessantissimo e dettagliato resoconto delle imprese di Messner, fa capire molto di più di tutto quello che ha affrontato in parete, in solitaria, sui ghiacciai.
Se posso fare un solo appunto, le foto sono un po' "sparpagliate" e spesso non combaciano con l'impresa che il capitolo ci riporta: avere delle foto specifiche per ogni impresa e magari il tracciato della via fatta da Messner avrebbe, a mio avviso, completato meglio il libro.
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mountaneering
Твърде разпокъсана и съсредоточена във факти, на книгата сякаш ѝ липсва общ мотив, който да води читателя по страниците. При цялото ми уважение към постиженията на Райнхолд Меснер, смятам, че те могат да бъдат представени и по по-добър начин. Откровено казано, прескачах цели секции, в които за пореден път авторът разказва колко метра му остават и какво е времето.
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I truly enjoyed the book. Messner describes all his adventures as if you’re there. If you want to learn more about his challenges and his way of thinking while summiting the peaks for his Himalayan crown read the book.
Feb 15, 2018 rated it liked it
A struggle to read, but that was more due to the translation being awkward at times and seeming to jump around. I found it very interesting and the second to last chapter was very well done.
Tobias Mcevoy
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Messner ... badass
LAPL Reads
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Reinhold Messner is the king of the world's mountains. Now half-retired to his Sigmundskron Castle near Bolzano in the South Tyrol, he is most famous for having made the first successful summit of Mount Everest, minus additional oxygen supply. He is the author of numerous books about mountain climbing, biographies about other famous mountaineers, and a book about his quest for the yeti or abominable snowman. Messner has been a businessman, an elected MEP (Member of the European Parliament) for t ...more
Reinhold Messner made the first successful summit of Mt Everest without supplemental oxygen. He also climbed the highest points on every continent, all mountains over 8000 meters, and had many first ascents on new routes. He spent decades climbing, beginning as a child in South Tyrol (Italy). He has also written numerous books and guides, restored a farmhouse in Tyrol, and opened several museums about mountain people, climbing, etc.

He also claims to not be foolhardy when it comes to climbing. I
Garth Dickerman
Oct 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Climbers
Messner has had an incredible career of climbing hard. I was just a bit disappointed with this memoir, but it wasn't necessarily his fault.

The book was translated from German, and I think it lost A LOT of its potency. Climbs that would scare the bejesus out of many people sound like cake walks. I don't think he's trying to be overly strong, but his words just don't sound quite the same in English. Oh well.
Aug 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
I loved it! He's a pretty intense individual. This book really got into the mind of a true mountaineer. If you're into mountaineering and gritty mountain speak then this would be a good book for you!
April Sanders
May 24, 2016 rated it liked it
I had to read this to try and understand Messner. I don't think I accomplished that. He is an icon among those who care anything about climbers but not an individual that is easy to relate to. I guess that I need to read more...
Apr 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a classic of climbing literature. Messner is both an incredible climber and an incredible writer. This book will in inspire anyone one to go out and climb mountains.
Philip Burnett
Really amazing stories, just told in seemingly broken english.
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Reinhold Messner (born September 17, 1944) is an Italian mountaineer and explorer from South Tyrol, often cited as the greatest mountain climber of all time. He is renowned for making the first solo ascents of Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen and for being the first climber to ascend all fourteen "eight-thousanders" (peaks over 8,000 metres above sea level). He is the author of at least 6 ...more