I am reading Savage Summit by Jennifer Jordan (William Morrow, 2005), the Savage Summit being K2. Jordan also recounts the attempts on Everest by Allison Hargreaves, which culminated in her successful ascent in May 1995, without supplemental oxygen or outside (e.g., Sherpa) assistance or using ropes set by other groups.

Jordan emphatically states that Hargreaves was the first person after Reinhold Messner, to accomplish this feat. I am by no means an expert in the history of climbing, but I have read fairly widely, and I was surprised to read this. I had thought that the Polish climber, Jerry Kukuczka was the first to repeat Meissner's ascent of Everest without supplemental oxygen. However, according to my Google search, Kukuczka was the first after Meissner to climb all fourteen 8-thousanders, thirteen of which he climbed without supplemental oxygen; he used supplemental oxygen on Everest.

My Google search for the second person either ignored Hargreaves entirely or named her as the first woman to summit Everest without supplemental oxygen. I would have expected Hargreaves to pop up this search.

Was Hargreaves in fact the first person after Messner to climb Everest without supplemental oxygen and without outside assistance? I am not a careless reader, and if Hargreaves had received a significant fraction of the notice in the literature as did Kukuczka (who was a superman), I would have noticed it.

1 Answer 1


NO, she wasn't even close to 2nd. From 1978 to 1995 is 17 years!!! Plenty of others.

"On this date, Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler were the first to climb to the top of Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen."

They both were 1st and 2nd.

Loretan was the 3rd person to climb all 14 eight-thousanders (second without oxygen), a feat he accomplished at the age of 36. In 1986, together with Jean Troillet, Loretan made a revolutionary ascent of Mount Everest in only 40 hours, climbing by night and without the use of supplementary oxygen.

There were probably others(individual ascend, not all 14 peaks) before such a legend as Loretan, but I don't have time to search for data. I mentioned him, because he made all of them.

You can look into database if you have time for it, I found the data online.


  • This answerer has misinterpreted the question. The question has NOTHING to do with who climber all 8-thousanders with neither supplemental oxygen nor outside assistance; the question is about EVEREST and Everest ONLY. Moreover, climbing with a partner is, by definition, climbing with assistance (unless the partner is useless.) Therefore, this answer does not answer the question at all. I will edit the question to make things clearer, when I get the time.
    – ab2
    Aug 7, 2023 at 18:00

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