Reinhold Messner travels from high density areas in Monaco, through the wild and deserted Italian-French Western Alps and up to the north to the summit of the Mont Blanc. Only a few kilometres away from the luxurious metropolis, he reaches desolate mountain villages. In the breathtaking area of the Stura valley, the last farmers and sheep breeders are committed to their hard life and fight the return of the wildlife to their villages. In the middle of the journey, at Les Deux Alpes, he finds a clash of contrasts: the idyllic mountain village La Grave favours high-quality tourism and a music festival, whereas in the glacier regions snowboarders and mountainbikers use the Alps as a sport arena, their “mountain of hell”. In his conversations with the locals and the Alps-specialist Werner Bätzing from the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Reinhold Messner focuses on ideas and solutions and the future role of the Alps in Europe, as both a retreat and a place with hidden dangers.