Messner on the Magic Line - "I never called it suicidal"

Posted: Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am EST

Around a month ago, the Magic Line teams Dani Martí shot off a mail to Reinhold Messner, with three questions on the climb. Messner is perhaps the most prestigious name ever related to the Magic Line.

Messner himself never finished the route, but was the one to name it. Well, Friday the reply came, right on schedule for the Catalan summit bid!

Messner said that (A) he chose the name because The route is great. The line on K2 is a piece of art."

(B) Never called it suicidal: "It's a safe route. The South face (climbed by Kucuczka in 1986) is too dangerous.

(C) On the question if he thinks the Catalans can make it, Messner said; "Why not! It depends on weather and experience."

Well, last we heard the weather was fine and the climbers are experienced, so yeah - why not - Messner!

Let's just hope the weather holds, the rock avalanches keep off, and the upper part of the line doesn't prove so complicated that time runs out for the team. Latest report had the guys scouting above 8100 early yesterday, more news are expected from the team in a few hours.

Messner attempted the Magic Line in 1979 with Michl Dacher. He abandoned the route after a while and climbed the Abruzzi Spur instead. It was then the fourth repetition of the Abruzzi. It is commonly said that after his climb, Reinhold described the Magic Line as suicidal, which he denied Friday.

The first Magic Line ascent was made by a Polish/Slovak team. The men were Wojtek Wroz (Poland), Przemyslaw Piasecki (Poland) and Peter Bozik (Slovakia). The climbers ascended in expedition style up to 7600 m. Wojtek Wroz fell from the fixed ropes during the descent by the Abruzzi spur. Peter Bozik later perished during an attempt to climb the Bonington route on the South West Face of Everest in 1998.

The Kukuczka-Piotrowski route was opened in 1986, the same year the Magic Line was completed for the first, and until now, only time. Will the line see its first repetition today, 18 years later? Stay tuned, the answer is counting down to hours.

The head of the current "Tarragona Magic Line Expedition 2004" is Oscar Cadiach, who has done 5 expeditions to Everest, 2 of which reached the summit. Cadiach has also climbed Nanga Parbat, Shisha Pangma, Makalu and Lhotse. He opened the route 'Free Tibet' on Cho Oyu and did a new route on Broad Peak central. Manel de la Matta climbed Cho Oyu and Shisha Pangma. Jordi Corominas climbed Dhaulagiri alone.

The climbers are attempting the first repetition of the Magic Line. Today, Sunday 15th, could be the summit day. Otherwise they will force a second bivouac on their way up, at 8300-8400m, before going for the summit on Monday.

Reinhold Messner (Brixen, South Tirol, 1944) became a living climbing legend when, at 42, he became the first to climb all 14, 8000ers.

Image Copyright K2 Magic Line 2004 Expedition, compiled by ExplorersWeb, Messner by