Free Spirit

Free Spirit-A Climbers Life, by Reinhold Messner ★★★★★
A wonderful and spell-bounding read on most certainly the greatest climber of the 20th century, Messner accounts in short chapters, a brief reflection on his most significant climbs, and the philosophy of climbing that he created, that of minimalist techniques, eliminating the use of siege techniques and bottled oxygen to achieve the highest peaks in the world, which would later become the accepted norm by even climbers like Ed Viesturs. Messner is the veritable opposite of Viesturs, constantly taking risks, and constantly redefining the art of climbing. Viesturs would attack a mountain by its simplest route, while Messner by its most creative permissible route, often solo. The only thing in common was the mental fortitude of the push for limits that few other people in the world could do and incredible luck. Messner did not need a reason or justification for climbing and admits that it was a combination of sheer joy mixed with merciless addiction that kept him pushing for more difficult, in not impossible, routes up a cliff or mountain. He truly will remain one of the greatest climbers of all time.