You can tell it's a slow news sort of day when the Guardian

devotes the best part of full page to the discovery of Gunther

Messner's remains on the Diamar face of Nanga Parbat.

The discovery of the body of Reinhold Messner's brother looks set

to call a halt to the unseemly spat that's had mountaineers

at each other's throats in recent years. The Messner brothers were

descending from the summit of the mountain in 1970 when in horrific

conditions, Gunther, trailing behind his brother disappeared.

Reinhold, who went on to become a legendary mountaineer, survived

despite losing seven toes and several fingertips to frostbite.

However two other climbers on the expedition, Max von Kienlin and

Hans Saler have published books accusing Messner of leaving his

brother to descend the difficult Rupal Face of the mountain while he

alone attempted the unexplored Diamar Face in pursuit of glory.

The discovery of Gunther's body on the Diamar Face seems to

contradict that version of events and will hopefully draw a line

under the whole affair. Reinhold has just returned from Pakistan

where he reportedly identified clothing and equipment found with the

body as his brother's, though DNA tests may be needed for final


The friction between the mountaineers may owe something to the

Reinhold's affair with, and subsequent marriage to, Kienlin's wife,

in the early 1970s.

You can find a full

report in the Guardian along with a short profile

of Reinhold Messner by Ed Douglas.

More about Reinhold Messner at his official home page: