Reinhold Messner Net Worth & Career

Reinhold Messner is a legendary Italian mountaineer, famous as the first person in the world to climb all peaks measuring 8000 feet.

Aside from his daring spirit and climbing skills, Reinhold is also reported to be one of the wealthiest climbers in the world, with an estimated net worth of $1–$1.5 billion.

Profile Summary

Full NameReinhold Andreas Messner
NicknameReinhold Messner
Birthday17th September 1944
Age79 years old
Birth PlaceBrixen, Italy
Age78 (as of 2023)
Height1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Weight68 kg (150 lbs)
Parent’s NameJosef Messner and Maria Messner
Siblings8 siblings (Reinhold is the second of nine children)
Net Worth$1 – $1.5 Billion
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Net Worth

Pinpointing Reinhold Messner’s net worth is difficult as he keeps his finances private. However, reports suggest the legendary climber has amassed an estimated net worth of around $1 – $1.5 Billion through diverse income sources.

A prolific author, Messner has published over 80 books translated worldwide about his daring expeditions. These have sold millions of copies, generating significant royalties. Messner also earns ample fees for his sought-after public speaking engagements at prestigious conferences and events.

He is very prudent with investments and lives a relatively modest lifestyle. Aside from being the first to climb all 14 world peaks measuring over 8000 feet, he also owns two castles.

At 79 years old, Messner remains active in projects, suggesting his income streams continue flowing strongly.

While the exact number is elusive, Reinhold Messner has undoubtedly leveraged his climbing achievements into considerable wealth through books, museums, speaking engagements, and intelligent finances.



Reinhold Messner developed a passion for climbing when he was young, conquering numerous peaks in the Dolomites during his teenage years.

He honed his skills and established himself as a master of Alpine climbing, tackling challenging rock faces and routes. Some notable triumphs include the first winter ascent of the Agnér North Face and the Direttissima on the Ortler, showcasing his technical expertise and daring spirit.

However, Messner’s true calling was in the mighty Himalayas. One of his earliest significant milestones was reaching the summit of Nanga Parbat in 1970 alongside his brother Günther.

Sadly, tragedy struck when Günther perished during the descent, a dark event that haunted Messner throughout his career. Despite this setback, Messner continued to push himself, achieving groundbreaking solo ascents of Everest (1978) and Manaslu (1984), defying conventional wisdom and demonstrating unimaginable physical and mental fortitude.

In 1978, he and Peter Habeler made history by reaching the top of Everest without supplemental oxygen, marking a new era in high-altitude climbing. The crowning achievement of his career came in 1986 when he became the first person to climb all 14 eight-thousanders, mountains exceeding 8,000 meters in height.

This is considered one of the most remarkable feats in mountaineering history, requiring years of dedication, technical mastery, and incredible resilience.

Reinhold Messner is undoubtedly one of the greatest mountaineers of all time. His accomplishments redefined the limits of human endurance, challenged the world’s perception of what was possible on the highest peaks, and revolutionized high-altitude climbing.

He emphasized solo ascents, lightweight approaches, and minimal reliance on technology, advocating for mountaineering principles like self-reliance and minimal impact. Generations of climbers have felt his influence.

Moreover, Messner’s expeditions continued beyond the top. He continued to explore and push boundaries, attempting the first complete crossing of Antarctica without resupply and traversing the Gobi Desert alone.

His story is a powerful testament to the human spirit’s potential to achieve the seemingly impossible, and he remains a revered figure in the climbing community.

Writing Career

Reinhold Messner is a renowned mountaineer and prolific writer with over 60 books translated worldwide. His writing covers various genres, including introspective memoirs, philosophical essays, and cultural climbing histories.

His books like “The Naked Mountain” give a raw and honest account of the emotional struggles that come with triumph and tragedy on the peaks. In “Crystal Horizon,” he vividly recounts his solo ascent of Mount Everest. At the same time, in “The Big Walls of the Himalayas,” he blends folklore with the challenges of high-altitude climbing.

Messner’s candid prose offers unflinching insights into the extreme mental and physical tolls of mountaineering. He has received numerous literary honors for his impactful body of work.

Apart from books, Messner is also involved in producing films and giving lectures worldwide. His diverse writing career showcases him as a pioneering climber and a thoughtful storyteller who can transport readers to the peaks through his words. He continues to use his powerful voice to motivate and educate.

Political Career

From 1999 to 2004, Messner served as a Member of the European Parliament, representing Italy’s green party, the Federation of the Greens. He championed environmental protection for mountain areas, authoring a charter on preserving Europe’s mountain values. Messner also engaged in conflict resolution and advocated for South Tyrol’s autonomy.

However, frustrations with bureaucracy and a desire to focus on his passions led Messner away from politics after one term. He found the pace painfully slow for enacting real change.

But his legacy remains, bringing critical issues like conservation and human rights to the legislative forefront, even amidst the controversy surrounding his strong opinions.

Though short-lived, Reinhold Messner’s political role allowed him to extend his advocacy work on a broader platform. He continues to spotlight environmental and social justice causes today.

And while Messner moved on from the political arena, his singular voice stirred critical public dialogues during his parliamentary tenure.

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