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The World’s Greatest Alpinists Stand Together After Guinness Revokes Record

Reinhold Messner is one of the world’s most famous mountaineers. His biggest claim to fame was conquering the 14 peaks that stand more than 8,000 meters high (think of mountains like Everest, K2 and Annapurna).

Messner completed all 14 peaks in 1986, or so it was believed. Guinness World Records gave Messner the record for the first to do the adventurous accomplishment. However, the world record organization has since revoked it after Eberhard Jurgalski, a well-known chronicler of mountaineering, suggested Messner was 15 feet short on Annapurna.  

Jurgalski has used maps and calculations to try and pinpoint these staggering peaks, much of which are in the Himalayas. Since then, the estimates have removed the accomplishment from most climbers who tackled the 14 peaks. The news has shaken the world of alpine climbing.

Guinness has re-awarded the record to Ed Viesturs, who completed the feat in 2005. However, Viesturs headed to social media to make his voice heard and declare Messner the true champion of scaling mountains.

“I truly believe that Reinhold Messner was the first person to climb all 14 8000ers and should still be recognized as having done so,” says Viesturs in his post. “ Messner and the others did their utmost to climb these peaks to the true summits, to the best of their abilities, given the conditions when they were there. I don’t think any of these climbers meant to be dishonest.”

It took Viesturs 18 years to complete the peaks, and he was the first American to do so. However, he says he is refusing the record

There’s no word on if Guinness will reconsider its decision.

Viesturs and Messner will meet at a sporting event in Italy on October 14 to discuss the record as part of a speaker panel.

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