Peter started climbing in 1969, at the side of Reinhold Messner, considered by many to be one of the greatest climbers of the 20th century. With him, he succeeded in making the first ascent of Everest without oxygen in 1978, even though such a challenge was considered, up until then, to be impossibility. He was one of the first Europeans to climb the Big Walls in Yosemite National Park in the United States. Among the other 8 000 metre peaks in his repertoire are Cho Oyu, Nanga Parbat, Kanghenjunga and Gasherbrum 1. Today, Peter Habeler runs a skiing and climbing school in his home town of Mayrhofen in Austria.