Reinhold Messner is a world famous Italian mountaineer and older brother of Günther Messner. Reinhold was the first to climb all 14 peaks over 8,000 meters (26,000 feet) and the first to climb Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen. He has done many solo climbs including Nanga Parbat and Mount Everest, and is known for his fast high-altitude alpine-style climbs with limited supplies and support personnel. He has written over 60 books and is the founder of the Messner Mountain Museum.
In 1970, Günther joined Reinhold on an expedition to Nanga Parbat – the 9th highest mountain in the world. Günther 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.