'Everest by fair means — that is the human dimension, and that is what interests me … In reaching for the oxygen cylinder, a climber degrades Everest … a climber who doesn't rely on his own strength and skills, but on apparatus and drugs, deceives himself. In May 1978 Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler became the first climbers in history to reach the summit of Mount Everest without the use of supplementary oxygen — an event which made international headlines and permanently altered the future of mountaineering. Here Messner tells how the and Habeler accomplished the impossible — and how it felt. He describes the dangers of the Khumbu Icefield, the daunting Lhotse flank, two lonely storm-filled nights at 26,247 feet, and finally the last step to the summit. Everest: Expedition to the Ultimate is a riveting account of the exhaustion, the exhilaration and the despair of climbing into the death zone. The book also includes a history of the mountain, successful ascents and Messner's reflections on recent tragedies on Mount Everest. Reinhold Messner was the first to climb all fourteen peaks higher than 8,000 metres. The author of more than a dozen books on his adventures, he lives in a castle in northern Italy.