Odd, one might say, for a climber who's made a life of venturing alone to the world's most dangerous mountains. But if you soften him up, Messner will tell you that his life has been a struggle, in part, to overcome his fear of solitude.

"I was trying my whole life to be able to handle it," Messner tells me during one of our talks. "I am not made for lonely expeditions. In the sixties, I climbed during the day so I wouldn't have to be alone. I finally learned to stay up for weeks in the high altitude all by my own without being afraid."
this guy climbed everest solo carrying whatever oxygen he needed in a backpack.
Messner later described feeling as though he were "nothing more than a single narrow, gasping lung, floating over the mists and summits."

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