Günther Messner, brother of the world-famous mountaineer, Reinhold Messner

Günther Messner was a talented Italian mountaineer and younger brother of the world-famous mountaineer, Reinhold Messner.

In 1970, Günther joined Reinhold on an expedition to Nanga Parbat – the 9th highest mountain in the world. He never returned from this climb, presumably caught in an avalanche during the brothers’ descent. This led to the most controversial fight in modern-day climbing, as many did not believe Reinhold’s version of events.

In 2000 and 2005, human remains were found on the Diamir Face. These were confirmed as Günther’s remains by DNA testing of the bones and comparing to DNA provided from his two brother’s – Reinhold and Hubert. These analyses determined the mtDNA and Y-DNA profiles of Günther, Reinhold and Hubert.