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Unsuccessful Ascent List for Reinhold Messner

No one can call themselves an experienced mountaineer unless they have turned back unsuccessfully from some of their summit attempts. Climbing is a game of knowing when to press on and when to bail, and these choices can mean the difference between great success and needless death. It is a misnomer, of course, to call any trip into the mountains “unsuccessful” —these attempts are often richer experiences with far more opportunities for learning and growth.

The following table shows all of Reinhold Messner's unsuccessful attempts. If the peak was climbed later, then the successful ascent date is noted, and how much time elapsed since the attempt. The “Attempt” column will be 2, 3, or other higher numbers for peaks that have been unsuccessfully attempted more than once. Unsuccessful attempts of peaks that have already been climbed are also shown.

Ascent DateTrip ReportPeak or PointElev-ftReached-ftAttemptLocationProm-ftSuccess DateTime Elapsed
1975 a Lhotse279408000 China/Nepal20021986-10-1611 Years, 288 Days Later
1977 Dhaulagiri267958000 Nepal110141985 b8 Years, 0 Days Later
1982 d Cho Oyu268648000 China/Nepal76911983 a365 Days Later
1986 a Makalu278388000 China/Nepal78021986 bSame Day
1989 Lhotse279408000 China/Nepal20021986-10-16Already Climbed
2000 Nanga Parbat266578000 Pakistan151181970-06-27Already Climbed



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