When Jon Krakauer reached the summit of Mt. Everest in the early afternoon of May 10,1996, he hadn't slept in fifty-seven hours and was reeling from the brain-altering effects of oxygen depletion. As he turned to begin the perilous descent from 29,028 feet (roughly the cruising altitude of an Airbus jetliner), twenty other climbers were still pushing doggedly to the top, unaware that the sky had begun to roil with clouds...
Into Thin Air is the definitive account of the deadliest season in the history of Everest by the acclaimed Outside journalist and author of the bestselling Into the Wild. Taking the reader step by step from Katmandu to the mountain's deadly pinnacle, Krakauer has his readers shaking on the edge of their seat. Beyond the terrors of this account, however, he also peers deeply into the myth of the world's tallest mountain. What is is about Everest that has compelled so many poeple--including himself--to throw caution to the wind, ignore the concerns of loved ones, and willingly subject themselves to such risk, hardship, and expense?
Written with emotional clarity and supported by his unimpeachable reporting, Krakauer's eyewitness account of what happened on the roof of the world is a singular achievement.
From the Paperback edition.
Facing the world's second-highest peak, the Karakoram Range's K2 in Northern Pakistan, mountain climbers encounter incredible dangers, including a huge serac (an overhanging glacier), snow-obscured crevasses, whiteouts and avalanches that have killed even accomplished mountaineers. With clarity and compassion, renowned peak-scaler Viesturs recounts campaigns up K2's 28,000-plus feet from the late 1930s through the tragic 2008 season that saw 11 climbers die in the space of 36 hours. An American master of the climb, Viesturs shares secrets, inside jokes, history and lore such as the "psychological protection" afforded by clipping onto rope or handrails, the climbers' habit of "looking up to see if anything's coming your way," and the "miracle" of "one man with a single ax and a grip of steel stopping the otherwise fatal fall of six teammates and of himself." Admitting to "a disturbing fanaticism" that's driven himself and others to tackle the world's fourteen 8000-foot-plus peaks, Viesturs's you-are-there narration communicates effortlessly the enormous effort, and high adventure, of scaling K2.
Customer ReviewsSee All
As someone who just climb Kilimanjaro into a freak february blizzard that could have killed me. -- I could appreciate at some level what was going on with Jon and his comrades on Everest. But only slightly...being their conditions above 25,000 feet makes a total world of difference, let alone the more technical aspects of their aclimazation and climb. Jon brings this into stark relief and his writing is surpurb. Totally spellbinding. The only thing I wish were illustrations, maps and photos to help me better orient myself.
Read THE CLIMB by Anatoli Boukreev instead.
Boukreev got the most prestigious climbing award in the effort of saving everyone under his care. Mountain Madness lost no one with the the exception of Fischer, the leader.
Rob Hall's expedition Adventure Consultants, lost a great deal of their clients including himself.
Where was the author of this book? Whimpering in a tent with no intention of helping.
Way to spit on one's grave. How is Anatoli responsible for individuals in your expedition? Answer that and you'll not need to read further, people. This is of course only my opinion, just as it was your speculation as to the events once zipped in the safety of your tent with only your self serving attitude and lack of consideration for anyone in YOUR OWN PARTY!
Into thin air
Jon as always puts much thought research and his heart into his writing. I am grateful that he took the time effort and courage to record his account of these terrible events in order that others might know what happened. In the process and over time I hope he found the healing and peace he was trying to bring to others.