There is a funny story about Reinhold Messner and a kiosk at 4000 meters on Matterhorn. A video is available about this but it is in German, so perhaps some people did not know about it.
This is a true story from 80s, some people have decided to make a joke with Messner and used a helicopter to place a kiosk very close to the summit of Matterhorn. They prepared everything specially for him as they also arranged that he guides a person to the summit that morning.
The kiosk was full of crazy stuff (I mean for such an environment) like newspapers, refreshments, firecrackers to celebrate the summit attempt. Even Messner’s books were available to buy.
A few climbers passed the kiosk, you will see them in the video, before Reinhold Messner arrived with his client who was taking a part in this conspiracy.
Here is the video first, and below I shall give a translation of the most important part prepared by my daughter Jelena:
Messner (comments): A friend of mine came to me who had a high position in a German industrial company and he said: do me a favor. For my sake. We would like to hold a competition and the winner should go with you to the Matterhorn.
The evening before, the climbers are still in the valley, they fly to the Matterhorn from the back side. A helicopter is in a place that you can’t see from the valley. So no one can see how the kiosk is established and roped down and tied down. A difficult operation performed by three experienced mountaineers. Up there under the summit at 4000 meters the film team of ‘Verstehen Sie Spass’ will spend a night. Roped up in the icy cold.
This is a part where Messner comes to the kiosk:
[4:00] And now comes the moment we’ve been waiting for: there he is, Reinhold Messner. Secured with a rope, a female climber who accompanies him. From this rock he can see our kiosk for the first time.
Messner: Melinda, what is this?
Melinda: ???? last time there was nothing there.
Messner (comment): So spontaneously it occurs to me that I really stood in front of this kiosk with open eyes and open mouth, not believing it existed….
Messner: Good morning.
Salesman: Good morning.
Messner: What are you doing there?
Salesman: So, you’re a little late for the mountain stop, yes?
Messner: The late ones will not be the last!
Salesman: I’ve set up a new service here: the Matterhorn Kiosk service. And I will build such a kiosk on every mountain in the future.
Messner: Do you have a telephone?
Salesman: We don’t have a telephone, but we do have a radio connection.
Messner: Everything. Then, here, I will finally have peace from the newspapers, finally peace from the telephone. I have everything there again. I mean, …
Salesman: So the kiosk is a success. I have a great offer here, from the world press, to magazines, to confectionery, all kinds of things.
Messner: They don’t belong on it [the mountain] at all.
Salesman: I think they belong on it, and…
Messner: No, no, you don’t either. They don’t belong on it, the kiosk doesn’t belong on it, these sweets don’t belong on it.
Salesman: To the Japanese, I sell cuckoo clocks, 20 a day, then I have here, for example, so Bambis: small gifts to take home, for the children, for example, or for the spouse. I have beautiful souvenirs…I even, here I even have a firecracker.
Messner: But you can’t tell me that you have the new “Bunte” up today, I don’t believe that.
Salesman: Yes, just look.
Messner: What are we supposed to do with all these here? We can’t carry them up and down again. Who is so stupid as to buy all this that you are offering here?
Woman: I’m buying a bomb for the summit, a fizz bomb.
Messner: Nee nee, then we make the summit dirty too.
Woman: Nee nee, there we have.
Messner: The summit is filthy anyway, if we leave another garbage like that up there, then I won’t go up there anymore!
Messner: I don’t go to summits with people who throw firecracker bombs.
Seller: At least the book…
Messner: I won’t go on Matterhorn either, if there are still these kiosks standing there
Salesman: Yes, but this is a service, this is the future.
Messner: I will complain to the mayor in Zermatt, because there can’t be a building permit for such a hut. If on Matterhorn these huts are, if you have built there three huts, these McDonalds huts, then Matterhorn is over. Then Matterhorn is kaput. Once and for all.
Salesman: Yes, but I carry these newspapers up every morning with two suitcases.
Messner: That is certainly a great achievement, but your money you can certainly somewhere else, not the Matterhorn. Then you are destroying our mountains. I do not own them. But I’m not coming anymore. I’m not coming anymore. And Linda, now let’s go and let’s not stay in this hut anymore.
Seller: There’s something I would like to sell. One item that is going great is R. Messner’s books.
Messner: No no no, I don’t think so.
Messner: Now that is an insult to me that these books are sold here.
Messner: In a bookstore, at the airport, but not here! At the Matterhorn, in a kiosk. That’s an insult for me! I don’t write books anymore. Now I’ve had enough. I’ll never go on Matterhorn again, now I’ve had enough!
[7:21] Messner (comment) : We then did not continue climbing, we then, yes I would say, toasted this strange encounter on the Matterhorn.
Messner: Well, that my books are sold on the Matterhorn I have not taken quite seriously!
Messner (comment) : So I don’t get asked about any movie that’s been aired in conjunction with me as much as I get asked about this Matterhorn story. All people ask ‘Was that real?’ Yes, in so far as it was real I really wasn’t sensitive enough until the end to experience this story as a completely different one than I then had to perceive it
So, I hope you enjoyed it, thank you for reading and watching. For more texts of similar type, please check under the category Mountaineering. Read in particular my text about off-season trips to Switzerland. Bookmark this site and come again.