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Messner and Habeler’s 1978 First Ascent of Everest Without Supplementary Oxygen

This archival footage from their ascent shows the harsh conditions they faced to achieve their ground-breaking feat.

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Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of the Italian Reinhold Messner and the Austrian Peter Habeler’s first ascent of Everest without the aid of supplementary oxygen. On May 8, 1978, they reached the summit without the use of O2—something that had once been thought impossible.

This archival footage from their ascent shows the harsh conditions they faced to achieve their ground-breaking feat.


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