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Equipment Notes: Stereo=1; Dual-Channel Mono. NPR/NGS RADIO EXPEDITIONS Show: Geographic Century Log of DAT #: David Breshears ¿Resolute (EFX)¿ Date: 7/7/99 ng = not good ok = okay g = good vg = very good DB There was a lot of speculating about whether or not he made it, usually by armchair mountaineers. PB Reinhold Messner? DB He¿s an explorer of the highest order if going out onto untrodden slopes and new terrain isn¿t exploring. I don¿t know what is. In terms of the topography or geography. Of high elevations. PB He seems also to be an explorer of what is physically possible. DB Yes, he did a lot of showing us what was physically possible in the mountains, how to prepare in a logical method, but Messner¿s the greatest contribution he made to mountaineering was what could imagine was possible. He had a vision that changed mountaineering. The vision was a number of things. He had an ethic, he showed us how one could climb one of the greatest peaks in the world. And he showed us that they could be climbed in a lightweight fashion by just 2 men, a companion who was as capable and as talented as he was. And having gotten there without on your own esteem, without bottled oxygen. Whether you could do it and survive and get back down. PB How much of a quantum leap difference in style he brought. DB All progress, discovery is incremental. He polished a form that already existed. Alpine style climbing is, was 2 men and a rope. That¿s how I grew up understanding it and a mountain. You go to a big mountain and instead of bringing 50 porters or climbing Sherpas and establishing umbilical cord, you approach the mountain, you acclimatize, and then you ascend the mountain with everything you need on your back. You go up and you reach the summit and you find your way back down and there is no umbilical cord. You have to get back down to the base to survive. Military approach of climbing the mountain with Sherpas or porters. On Everest, there are 4 camps. All well-stocked with tents, stoves, provisions, and connected by fixed rope, and there is a great deal of security to be found in all that gear and all that fixed rope. Messner said he doesn¿t carry his security in his rucksack. You can climb alpine style or expedition style. Messner showed us how to refine an already existing style. They were lightweight teams, but they put up a few camps, but they reduced the level of commitment by placing a few camps along the way. That¿s the whole point, you reduce the level of commitment and reduce the level of risk. PB Climbing Everest solo without oxygen. DB It¿s one of the great achievements. It¿s one of the great yardsticks. It can never be repeated. There is no second solo ascent. That leap of faith it took to do that, you just cant find that anymore in the mountains. In some ways we¿re better climbers and we know a lot more. You have to look at Messner. From his early days, climbing in the dolomites and becoming one of the great rock climbers of his days. One of the great 8000 meter peaks, an alpine style ascent. Hidden peak in 1975. He climbed Nanga Parbot solo, the first solo, and then in 1978, in may, he climbed Everest without bottled oxygen. With that strength, soloed Nanga Parbot. Messner would never have leapt on the slopes with Mont Blanc. He had climbed giant peak solo and Everest without oxygen. During the monsoon season, and he was above 21,300 feet completely alone. People talk about solo ascents of Everest after that on that one day going up the last 3000 feet. But he was totally alone on that mountain because no one does it in the monsoon season. We expected it of Messner and yet we were stunned and shocked to know he had done it. It was always the way you felt about, you were excited, you could be thrilled of the thought of Messner on a pe... (Notes truncated)

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5 Jul 2005 by Ben Brotman
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5 Jul 2005 by Ben Brotman
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5 Jul 2005 by Ben Brotman