The mountaineer


“I had my key experience in life a long time ago – and far away: in the Himalayas, on Nanga Parbat. I experienced that extended state of being that occupies two levels of consciousness – as if something had shifted in the brain. I consciously experienced how death and life first happened and then – almost simultaneously – become part of my biography. And this dislocated event has remained in my memory as an experience of my death and at the same time as the impossible story of my survival. For me the traverse of the mountain from south to north-west in 1970 was more than a crossing in the geographic sense of the word; it was a border crossing from this world to the next, from life to death, from death to life.”

Reinhold Messner