10 Jul 2017 - 17:26
Georgia’s mountainous resorts are hosting one of world’s greatest climbers this week, with Italian mountaineer Reinhold Messner on visit to survey the tourist potential of the country.
Messner, famous for his illustrious climbing and travelling life that spanned over five decades, visited eastern Georgia’s winemaking region Kakheti earlier today.
The 72-year old traveller was hosted by Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili before the high-profile visitor also travelled to the Tusheti National Park in the north-eastern Tusheti region.
The Italian adventurer photographed in Tusheti National Park in Georgia’s north-east. Photo: Sandro Onoprishvili/Facebook.
Kvirikashvili’s office said Messner, called "the world's greatest living man” by The Telegraph, was acquainted with the rising tourist trends in Georgia by the PM.
Hosting the famed explorer, the head of the Georgian government noted the importance of the visit for raising awareness on Georgia’s mountainous resorts internationally.
During his stay in Georgia Messner is also expected to tour two other mountainous regions on the slopes of the Greater Caucasus mountain range.
Village Dotchu in Tusheti. Photo: Georgia’s Agency of Protected Areas press office.
He will be guided through the Kazbegi Municipality in the Mtskheta-Mtianeti region as well as the picturesque Svaneti region in the country’s north-west.
Born as an ethnic German in Italy’s autonomous province South Tyrol in 1944, Messner reached his first mountain summit at age five before embarking on a stellar career in mountaineering.
In 1980 he became the first solo ascender of Mount Everest, achieving the feat without supplemental oxygen.
Messner is also expected to visit the mountainous Kazbegi Municipality during his visit. Photo: Georgia’s Agency of Protected Areas press office.
In 1986 Messner became the first person to climb all 14 peaks of the world featuring 8,000m altitude above sea.
The explorer is also known as the first solo traveller to cross Antarctica and Greenland without the help of snowmobiles or dog sleds and also crossed the Gobi Desert alone.
Author of over 80 books on his climbing and travel memoirs, Messner also served as a member of the European Parliament for the Italian Green Party from 1999-2004.