Into Thin Air

I saw the movie Everest (2015) and found out during the credits that it was based on true events.  I liked the movie so I was very curious about the book.  While I’ve never had the itch to climb Mt. Everest, there’s something about the idea of climbing it that speaks to my inner adrenaline junkie and wanna-be adventurer seeker.  So for now, I thought, why not just stick with the movie and the book?

AirInto Thin Air, is the account of the deadliest (at that time) event on Mt. Everest, occurring in 1996.  I don’t know why, but I didn’t know about this until just this year.  Jon Krakauer was part of the ill-fated expedition to climb Everest that year and his role was not only to climb the mountain, but to be there as a journalist for Outside magazine.  It’s a difficult task to tell the story of a tragic event, especially one that you were involved in. Jon Krakauer does an admirable job blending a journalist’s eye with an editorial tone intermixed with his own reflections and interpretations.The tone of the book is a blend of telling the events, reflecting on the events, and bringing us into the very real emotional toll of surviving and processing the events.

Whenever a tragedy occurs in extreme Nature, there’s usually no one to blame but Nature. Krakauer does ask good questions that most readers, and I suppose survivors too, would ask. Could it have been prevented? What if the guides had stuck to their original plans? All in all Krakauer delves into the complexity and takes the reader to the tragic beauty of the Himalayas.

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